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Escort from Italy

B-26 over Vatican City. (U.S. Air Force photo)

B-26 over Vatican City. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Consolidated B-24s after attacking an airfield in Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Consolidated B-24s after attacking an airfield in Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo)


After the Allies had consolidated their battle lines across southern Italy, both heavy and medium bombers, along with light bombers and fighters, continued to attack tactical targets. In addition, the heavy bombers were able to continue strikes against strategic targets in the Balkans, northern Italy and southern Germany.

A build-up began in Italy late in 1943 to provide additional heavy bombers and long-range escort fighters for increasing the bombing offensive from the south as well as the west.

The primary targets to be destroyed inside Nazi territory were aircraft and ball-bearing factories, to reduce Luftwaffe capabilities to a minimum.

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