Richard H. Kohn and Joseph P. Harahan
General Editors



Air Superiority in World War II and Korea, edited by Richard H. Kohn and Joseph P. Harahan, 1983
GPO Stock $k 008-070-0489-5

The Command of the Air, by Guilio Douhet, New Imprint, 1983
GPO Stock # 008-070-0505-1

Condensed Analysis of the Ninth Air Force in the European Theater of Operations, 1984
GPO Stock # 008-070-0513-1

The Literature of Aeronautics, Astronautics, and Air Power, by Richard P. Hallion, 1984
GPO Stock # 008-070-0523-9

Over the Hump, by William H. Tunner, New Imprint, 1985
Available to Air Force agencies only from the Office of Air Force History

Air Interdiction in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, edited by Richard H. Kohn and Joseph P. Harahan, 1986
GPO Stock # 008-070-00571-9

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402



Haywood S. Hansell, Jr.
Major General, USAF, Retired



Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hansell, Haywood S.
   The strategic air war against Germany and Japan.

   (USAF warrior studies)
   Bibliography: p. 295
   Includes index.
1. Hansell, Haywood S. 2. World War, 1939-1945-
Aerial operations, American. 3. Japan-History-Bom-
bardment, 1944-1945. 4. Germany-History-Bombard-
ment, 1940-1945. 5. World War, 1939-1945-Personal 
narratives, American. 6. Strategy. 7. Japan-Strategic 
aspects. 8. Germany-Strategic aspects. I. Title. 11. 
D790.11264 1986 940.54'4973'0924 [B]	86-23749 
ISBN 0-912799-39-0


Project Warrior Studies are published by the Office of Air Force History. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the United States Air Force or the Department of Defense.


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402



The Strategic Air War Against Germany and Japan is part of a continuing series of historical volumes produced by the Office of Air Force History in direct support of Project Warrior. Since its beginnings in 1982, Project Warrior has captured the imagination of Air Force people around the world and reawakened a keener appreciation of our fundamental purpose as a Service: to deter war, but to be prepared to fight and win should deterrence fail.

Military history helps provide a realistic perspective on warfare. Through the study of past events, we gain insight into the capabilities of armed forces and, most importantly, a sound knowledge of the policies, strategies, tactics, doctrine, leadership, and weapons that have produced success in battle. Each of us, in broadening our knowledge of air power's past, helps to maintain the most effective Air Force possible, now and in the future.

Chief of Staff


United States Air Force
Historical Advisory Committee
(As of January 1, 1986)

Mr. DeWitt S. Copp
The Voice of America

Dr. Phillip A. Crowl
Annapolis, Maryland

Dr. Warren W. Hassler, Jr.
Pennsylvania State University

Brig. Gen. Harris B. Hull
USAF, Retired
National Aeronautics and
Space Administration

Dr. Alfred F. Hurley (Chairman)
Brig. Gen., USAF, Retired
North Texas State University

Dr. Haskell M. Monroe, Jr.
University of Texas at El Paso

Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Richards, USAF
Commander, Air University

Gen. Thomas M. Ryan, Jr.
USAF, Retired

Lt. Gen. Winfield W. Scott, Jr.
USAF Superintendent, USAF Academy

Mr. Eugene R. Sullivan
The General Counsel, USAF



The history of American air power is very short indeed. Military and naval histories span thousands of years. Military aviation history is encompassed in the lifetime of a single individual. The birth of powered flight is coincident with my own. In 1912 I got my first glimpse of an airplane. I was standing on the fairgrounds of the annual carnival in Manila, Philippine Islands, when a biplane beat its slow pace across the sky. An aged Filipino standing nearby said, in astonishment, "¡Muy grande pollo!" or "Very large chicken!" As a boy of nine I was in full agreement.

I mention this only to make a point. Military conflict on land and sea has been exhaustively reported and analyzed for centuries. The processes are well understood. The general principles have been distilled and tested. The experience and history of air war are in their infancy. They are measured in a few decades, actually in the span of my own lifetime. There has been only one major conflict involving application of air power on a grand scale. And yet that air experience has had a profound impact upon war, and upon nations in competition and conflict short of major war. The impact of space power has no history at all, but that impact may be even greater than the impact of atmospheric air power. There is dispute over the relative merits of historical experience and of abstract logic in the development of effective combat forces. Military aviation strategists must make the best of very limited historical experience and derive requirements based upon logic and forecast.

This book seeks to recount the air experience and development


before World War II, to describe the objectives, plans and effects of strategic air warfare in Europe and in the Pacific, and to offer criticism, opinion, and lessons of that great conflict.

In retrospect I find that I have been singularly fortunate in my associations and assignments. I have been associated with many great men and have been in position to observe great events. In the decade before World War II, I had a priceless opportunity to work with Bob Olds, Harold Lee George, Ken Walker, Don Wilson, and Muir "Santy" Fairchild, under the guidance, inspiration, and benign protection of the Commandant of the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Col. John F. Curry. My associates also included Ira C. Eaker, who combined great ability as a staff executive with superlative leadership as Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force in England. I worked under that superb airman, Carl "Tooey" Spaatz, Commanding General, United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe. I was caught up in the dedication and driving spirit of Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Commanding General, U.S. Army Air Forces, Air Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commanding General, Twentieth Air Force. And I had the special privilege of working for the greatest soldier of our day, and perhaps of any day, a man of superb integrity and highest character: Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Catlett Marshall.

The observations contained in this book constitute a memoir, with all the shortcomings of faulty memory, bias, personal viewpoint, personal experience, and inadequate research that are implied in the term. They lead to speculation on probable results of alternative actions or conditions, and that speculation is likewise suspect because it reflects personal judgment. But the compendium may lead others to derive lessons and conclusions which fit into a broader mosaic.


This work does not, of course, aspire to the dignity of "history." Participants are notoriously poor historical observers. Participation induces bias. But there should be some limited value to the viewpoint of participants -- if their opinions are properly screened to eliminate prejudice. After all, there is some virtue in the observation of the poet who wrote:

The experts sit in serried rows
And fill the Plaza Toros full.
But only one there is who knows
And he's the one who fights the bull.

These memoirs will not earn the "bull's ear," but the perspective is that of an aged matador.


Haywood S. Hartsell, Jr.
Hilton Head, South Carolina



Since this is a personal memoir, I acknowledge my indebtedness on two scores: to those who shaped the perspective through which I viewed the events described in this book; and to those who helped in the preparation of the book itself.

My perspective and outlook were deeply influenced by my first commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Knerr, who prior to the war served with the 2d Bombardment Group at Langley Field. He impressed me as a dynamic and charismatic leader who imbued his outfit with his own integrity, devotion, and patriotic loyalty to the Air Corps. I owe a debt of admiration to Brig. Gen. Kenneth N. Walker for his enthusiasm and his faith in bombardment; to Lt. Gen. Harold L. George, whose perceptive prewar inquiry into the basic purpose and nature of strategic air warfare colored my outlook for the rest of my military career; to Maj. Gen. Donald Wilson for his method of logical research into fundamental target systems; to Gen. Muir S. Fairchild for his thoughtful approach to and appraisal of military philosophy, particularly as it pertains to strategic air warfare; to Gen. Ira C. Eaker for his dedication to performance as Executive to Gen. Henry H. Arnold, and as Commanding General, Eighth Air Force, for his courage and steadfastness of character in the harrowing first years of the great trial of the Eighth Air Force in combat. His dedication to the Air Force knows no equal. My outlook upon strategic planning and the conduct of air warfare was influenced by my service under Gen. Carl "Tooey" Spaatz and my admiration for his example of calm, courageous common sense and good judgment. And, I pay tribute to


two great commanders for whom I worked and whose achievements -- through signally different methods -- I came to admire: General of the Army George C. Marshall, the epitome of integrity and cool dedication; and General of the Army Air Forces Henry H. Arnold, whose dynamism drove men to accomplish the impossible in the creation of the United States Air Force. All of these people influenced my military perspective and formed my military outlook.

The creation of the book itself benefited from many who helped, offered criticism, edited, and corrected the text. My gratitude to Maj. Gen. Cecil E. Combs knows no bounds. He offered intelligent and constructive criticism coupled with encouragement. His observations and contributions were well founded; he was an active participant in most of the events recorded in this memoir. And I offer my thanks and acknowledgments to Lt. Gen. Raymond B. Furlong, USAF, Ret., former Air University Commander, and Col. Thomas A. Fabyanic, USAF, Ret., former Chief, Military Studies Division, Air War College, without whose enthusiastic support my previous books The Air Plan That Defeated Hitler and Strategic Air War Against Japan, on which this memoir is based, would probably not have been published. I especially appreciate the assistance of a very special scholar, Dr. Robert F. Futrell, a gifted professional historian who participated in the air war in the Pacific. His acknowledged scholarship and willingness to edit and review this manuscript have eliminated lingering fears of some gross error on my part.

The present form of the memoir is a compendium of the books mentioned above. This memoir has profited greatly from the talent and skill of Dr. Richard H. Kohn, Chief, Office of Air Force History; Col. John F. Shiner, Deputy Chief; and Dr. Joseph P. Harahan,


Historian, USAF, who consolidated, rearranged, and improved the sequential presentation of this book. Mr. Eugene P. Sagstetter, Office of Air Force History, edited the final manuscript; Mr. Ray Del Villar, USAF Directorate of Administration, Publishing Division, assisted with maps and charts; and Sgt. Glenn B. Reynolds, USAF, typed the final manuscript. Ms. Anne E. Johnson, Office of Air Force History, designed the volume and guided it through the publication process.

I also acknowledge my indebtedness to Mr. Robert T. Finney and Mrs. Irene P. Barnett of the Air University for editing an early edition of this manuscript. Mrs. Barnett gave of her talents so thoroughly that I feel she is better acquainted with this memoir than its author.

Finally, I express my gratitude to the editors of Air University Review for permission to use extracts from my articles which it has published, and to the editors of Air Force Magazine for permission to use my article "The Plan that Defeated Hitler," which appeared in the July 1980 issue.



The Author

MAJOR GENERAL HAYWOOD S. HANSELL, JR., USAF (Retired), is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology (1924), he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1928. Trained as a fighter pilot, he flew in the Air Corps Aerobatic and Demonstration Team (1932) led by Captain Claire Chennault. In the mid-1930s Hansell specialized in strategic bombardment, teaching tactics and doctrine at the Air Corps Tactical School from 1935 to 1938. Just prior to World War II, he went to Army Air Forces Headquarters where he helped draft the fundamental war requirements plan for the service. In 1942 he became Commanding General, Third Bombardment Wing (B-26s), Eighth Air Force, in the European Theater. Subsequently General Hansell commanded the First Bombardment Division (B-17s), Eighth Air Force, and in 1944-45 the XXI Bomber Command (B-29s), Twentieth Air Force, in the Pacific. The latter command was one of only two long-range B-29 commands conducting strategic air warfare against Japan. In 1946 he retired, suffering from a physical disability. During the Korean War (1950-53), the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force recalled him to active duty, assigning him as Chief, Military Assistance Program Headquarters, USAF, and subsequently as Air Member Review Board, Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, reporting to the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Development and to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After four years as a senior program manager and advisor, General Hansell retired again. He is the author of The Air Plan That Defeated Hitler (1972) and Strategic Air War Against Japan (1980).


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