Chapter 21: The Autumn Crisis
IN PLANNING, as in operations, the crisis that overtook the Combined Bomber Offensive in the fall of 1943 centered upon the German Air Force. Recognized in the CBO Plan as the objective of the greatest immediate importance, the Luftwaffe and the industry supporting it had continued to occupy the attention of strategic air planners, and to a steadily increasing extent as the year wore on. The bomber offensive was considered to be a prerequisite to OVERLORD. Before that operation could safely be attempted the Allied strategic air forces would have to gain air superiority over western Europe. That meant substantially defeating the fighter force upon which the enemy depended for the protection of the homeland and upon which he had lavished--belatedly--the best of his intellectual and material resources. Now in the fall of the year, with OVERLORD scheduled for the following May, it was a matter of the utmost concern to Allied planners to determine the exact status of the strategic air war.
The task was not an easy one. Intelligence data was necessarily limited and estimates of the progress of the CBO could at best be only carefully reasoned guesses. It was clear that the Germans were on the strategic defensive in the west and that they were making every effort to build up their air defenses. As for the Allied effort, it seemed obvious that in its hard blows against the airframe, bearing, and rubber industries the Eighth Air Force had seriously damaged important parts of the industrial machine which fed the Luftwaffe, that the RAF in its bombing of industrial centers had contributed in an incalculable degree to the destruction, and that the air battles fought in the course of strategic missions had imposed an appalling wastage upon the German fighter force at an equally appalling cost to the AAF force in bombers and crews. Unfortunately, the bomb tonnage and the cost were all that could be definitely stated at the time. (In the case of the Eighth Air
Force, 1,965 tons had been dropped on the German aircraft industry since early April 1943 in the course of 14 attacks, and the loss rate had by October risen to 9.2 per cent of credit sorties.1 The precise effect of all this effort on the production of fighter aircraft and on the frontline strength of the Luftwaffe was another and more difficult question.
What made the problem especially baffling was the apparent paradox of increased production of enemy fighter planes in the face of increasingly devastating bombardment and the increasingly vicious air fighting. British intelligence agencies (from which the American bomber force derived most of its information concerning the enemy) knew that the front-line German fighter strength was growing steadily throughout the summer and early fall of 1943. According to their estimates, which later proved to be remarkably accurate, 591 single-engine enemy fighters were in front-line units on the western front by mid-year, 1943. By October the enemy strength in that category and that area had risen to well over 700, though estimates of 789 were probably high. Much of that increase came from redeployment of single-engine fighters from the eastern and Mediterranean fronts. Whereas by July of 1943 the Germans had only 30 per cent of their day fighters (both single-and twin-engine) on the western front, by October that figure had risen to 56 per cent. Here also contemporary estimates of 65 per cent of total fighter strength on the western front by September tended to be high. The Russian fighting continued to absorb a higher proportion of German air strength than was generally understood to be the case by western observers during the war.2
This error stemmed in part from the much larger error made in estimates of enemy aircraft production. Allied intelligence having tended during 1941-42 to over-estimate German aircraft production, in 1943was inclined increasingly to underrate the recuperative powers of that industry, especially in the critical category of single-engine fighters. Against an estimated average monthly production of 595 single-engine lighters for the first six months of 1943 and of 645 for the last six months, actual production, as determined from German Air Ministry records, reached 753 and 851 per month respectively for those periods.3 It was natural for those who were making the evaluations to overstate the degree of destruction caused by Allied bombing and to underestimate the ability of the Germans to recuperate from the attacks.4 But throughout 1943 the necessity for repeated precision attacks
on major targets-with intervals of only a very few weeks-was not generally appreciated.*
As a matter of fact the Combined Bomber Offensive had by November 1943 seriously embarrassed the German aircraft industry. The daylight bombers of the Eighth Air Force had made thirteen attacks on factories engaged in manufacturing Fw-190 and Me-109 fighters and one attack on an engine plant. In addition, the two heavy attacks on the ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt and the very successful bombing of the synthetic rubber factory at Hüls may be considered as part of this counter-air campaign. The very heavy bombing done by the RAF contributed substantially to the same end, though more indirectly, through the general demoralization of important industrial areas. Because the aircraft industry had not as yet been decentralized to the extent that it would be, the Allied bombs did a high degree of damage during these earlier attacks. Indeed, it was the lesson learned by the Germans during the summer and fall of 1943 that led to the adoption of a systematic policy of dispersal. Although the official general order to disperse the aircraft industry was not issued by the German high command until February 1944 (a decision which was undoubtedly delayed too long), the Air Ministry had recommended it as early as 1942, and during the latter part of 1943 large-scale dispersal movements were already under way on a voluntary basis. It was by forcing the Germans to disperse their vital industries that the bombing of 1943 made its principal contribution, albeit one of qualified value in the long run for, though it probably caused more immediate delay in production than did the bombs themselves, it placed the high-priority industries eventually in a better position to withstand strategic bombing attacks. As a result of both bomb damage and dispersal, production of single-engine fighters actually declined slightly in the fall and winter of 1943, and the planned program for fighter production was delayed as a result of the 1943 attacks by approximately three months. "The timing of this delay contributed significantly to the victory in the critical air battles of the winter of 1944," according to the report of the USSBS.5
But the delay, substantial enough if taken by itself in relation to production plans which were by this time enormous, constituted only a temporary interruption of the enemy program. Alarmed in the late months of 1942 by the growing threat of strategic bombardment, the Germans had awakened to the need for a greatly expanded fighter
* See the discussion in the preceding chapter.
force. In December 1942 and again in October 1943 the program of fighter plane production was greatly enlarged, and these expanded plans commenced to bear fruit just about the time the Allied strategic bombers were beginning to bring to bear on the industry a degree of pressure which might ordinarily have been expected to reduce its production drastically. So it was that, except for the slump in the fall of 1943, the curve of fighter production tended steadily to rise despite all efforts to destroy the capacity of the industry.6
If, however, fighter aircraft continued to flow from the factory to the front-line unit in steadily increasing quantity, it is also true that they were lost in steadily increasing numbers in the desperate defensive battles they fought against the strategic bombing forces. The great air battles of the summer and early fall of 1943--Regensburg, Schweinfurt, Stuttgart, Münster, Kiel, Hannover, and Kassel, to name but a few--had forced the German fighters to close with constantly growing forces of bombers and to run the gauntlet of escort fighters, the expanding fuel capacity of which was carrying them ever deeper into the Reich.
Here again Allied intelligence fell into a certain understandable confusion. In October a report by the intelligence section of Eighth Air Force, covering the first twelve months of American operations from the United Kingdom, indicated a sharp discrepancy between British estimates of GAF strength, wastage, and production (which were the only such estimates available) and American claims of enemy planes destroyed on daylight bombardment missions. The Americans claimed to have destroyed more single-engine fighters during this period than the British believed were lost by the enemy on the western front from all causes. The trouble could have arisen from errors either in estimated production, estimated wastage, or estimated strength. The first was naturally difficult to check accurately. The second was a category in which the British gained considerable experience during the Battle of Britain, and in which the American force had admittedly been far from accurate in the past despite every effort to be conservative. It was still virtually impossible to sort out the claims registered by a number of gunners all of whom might in a brisk air battle have been firing at the same enemy fighter. On the third matter, that of front-line strength, it was possible to provide a rough but convincing check through the reports of American bomber crews, which generally confirmed British estimates. "We know, "the report declared, "that Fighter strength on the Western Front is increasing." It concluded that, while British
figures on production and wastage might be conservative, American claims of enemy fighters destroyed were undoubtedly too high.7
Even with evidence of an increase in German fighter strength on the western front, it was still possible that this increase reflected a policy of desperation implemented at the expense of reserves and operations on other fronts. On 14 October, General Arnold cabled General Eaker that, according to the evidence as it appeared in Washington, the GAF was on the verge of collapse and that the situation should be carefully investigated. Eaker, whose bombers on that very day had been frightfully mauled by the German fighters on their way to and from Schweinfurt, was nevertheless able to reply with restrained confidence (thinking no doubt of the 186 enemy aircraft claimed destroyed): "There is not the slightest question but that we now have our teeth in the Hun Air Force's neck." The battle of the 14th, serious as it was, he likened to "the last final struggle of a monster in his death throes." On more mature deliberation he cabled Arnold to the effect that, although the GAF appeared to be operating under severe strain which might ultimately lead to a breakdown, no evidence pointed to an early collapse.8
Opinion in the Eighth Air Force tended during the remaining weeks of the year to concentrate more and more on the sobering fact that the German fighter force in the west was increasing rather than decreasing in absolute strength. It was known that the enemy was on the defensive and had since October put into effect a strict policy of conservation in order to reduce the rate of attrition suffered during the summer and early fall. But by January 1944 it was becoming increasingly apparent that the German fighter force was being fed by rapidly accelerating production. There was concern also about the improvement in performance among German fighters--and with some reason, for although the level of pilot training had gone down considerably since late 1942 as a result of a decision to save aviation gasoline by reducing the number of flying hours for trainees, fighter units had improved their tactics and in the case of the Fw-190 firepower had been greatly increased. One observer felt that this improvement in performance would be enough by the spring of 1944 to overcome the advantage even of the improved American fighter planes. A report dated 5 January concluded that the entire American daylight bombing program against strategic objectives located deep in Germany would be seriously threatened unless effective steps were soon taken to reduce the
enemy's fighter force both in quantity and quality.9 This anxiety was soon reflected in Washington where, except for an incredibly naIve report issued by the office of AC/AS, Intelligence on 18 October stating that "aerial supremacy on a continental scale has been won, "opinion came to be colored less and less by the tendency toward wishful thinking that had occasionally marked it prior to 15 October.10
A deepening concern over the stubborn refusal of the GAF to quit set the tone for estimates of the entire Combined Bomber Offensive, for the counter-air campaign had been given top priority and it was natural enough to evaluate the whole program with reference to its most important part. Concern for the counter-air campaign tended to center mainly on the Eighth Air Force, to which had been assigned the task of destroying the specific objectives of vital importance to the German aircraft industry. To the accomplishment of that campaign the work of the RAF was supposed to contribute and did contribute to a very considerable extent, but only indirectly through the bombing of the industrial areas of key importance to all German industry. Prevented from flying far into the Reich during the summer months on account of the short nights, RAF Bomber Command had directed its powerful forces against the industrial concentration in the Ruhr-Rhineland area. These and other planned operations promised long-term effects of great significance, but the immediate responsibility for crippling the GAF fell chiefly on the American daylight bombers.
Over-all estimates of the CBO in the latter half of 1943 contained a curious mixture of optimism regarding the results expected from the RAF's night area bombing and growing anxiety regarding the effects of the Eighth's daylight bombing campaign. The estimates placed before the Combined Chiefs of Staff at the Quebec conference in August, for example, have a good deal to say about the bombing of industrial areas.
The results, admittedly difficult to measure, were believed to be far reaching not only through the undermining of civilian morale but through a general disorganization of the social and economic system upon which the enemy war machine depended. Although it was true that, in industry itself, only the "cushion"--the reserves and alternate facilities--had been destroyed, and in many cases not even that, reduction of excess capacity was important. Even more important was the indirect effect of bombing. Repair of a particular factory might, it was
argued, be possible in a short time if skilled labor, materials, and transportation were available. Labor might be obtained if there were housing to accommodate it and if public utilities and administration were functioning normally. Some provision might at least be made to move undamaged machinery and skilled labor if the transportation situation could take it. The problem for the Germans would be made simpler if public morale could be maintained at a high level, but that could be done only if supplies of consumer goods and housing for bombed-out populations could be made readily available. And so it went, a vicious spiral that involved the German authorities in "an ever more acute conflict of priorities."11 That the optimism here expressed was to a certain extent illusory, stemming from a tendency to underestimate the resiliency of the German economy and the recuperative power of German industry, is a matter of little importance as far as the opinions then shaping the course of the air war are concerned.
The QUADRANT papers are somewhat critical of the counter-air program itself. While admitting that, by forcing the enemy to concentrate a large portion of his air force on the western front in a defensive campaign, the bomber offensive had made a Major strategic contribution and that the daylight attacks were actually succeeding in striking the vitals of the German aircraft industry with considerable success, the discussions reflect a distinct feeling of impatience at the slow rate of acceleration in the campaign, especially in the daylight offensive. The chief of the Air Staff, RAF, in a note of 15 August 1943, pointed to the GAF and the industry supporting it, the status of which he considered precarious despite an undoubted expansion in both production and front-line strength. Then, directing his remarks to the question of the American strategic force, which bore the primary responsibility for striking specific installations vital to the German aircraft industry, he went on to note that the Eighth's build-up as required in the CBO Plan was seriously behind schedule. As approved at TRIDENT, that plan called for 1,068 aircraft in the VIII Bomber Command by 15 August 1943; actual strength on that date was 921, including 105 detached for service in North Africa. The Eighth could, he was confident, accomplish the primary POINTBLANK objective of destroying the GAF if given time to build up the necessary force. But time was at a premium. The GAF was in a vulnerable position at the moment, but the opportunity if missed might never recur. He therefore urged "most strongly" that the U.S. chiefs of staff take all practicable steps to increase
the striking power of the Eighth Air Force as much as possible during the succeeding two months.12
The peculiar urgency attending all official estimates of the CBO at this point derived, of course, from the key position that operation enjoyed in the structure of Allied strategy. It had been set up as a prerequisite to OVERLORD at TRIDENT in May 1943. During the weeks following, when specific plans for OVERLORD were being drawn up, the full import of that decision became clearer. As General Kuter remarked in a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 8 July 1943, a successful invasion depended on the air effort exerted against the GAF from that very date: indeed, the effect of POINTBLANK would determine the date of OVERLORD,13 At the QUADRANT conference, the Combined Chiefs of Staff reaffirmed the decisions made in this respect at TRIDENT and in addition pledged full support to POINTBLANK, as requested by both General Arnold and Air Chief Marshal Portal.14
Early in November, the progress of the CBO was again officially examined. In answer to a request from the Combined Chiefs of Staff for re-evaluation of the campaign, a committee appointed by Eaker and Portal reported handsome progress toward the general disorganization of German economy. It spoke confidently again of that "ever more acute conflict of priorities" into which the bombing of industrial cities had plunged the German government: nineteen towns and cities according to photo reconnaissance had been virtually destroyed,* nineteen others seriously damaged, and nine additional damaged in some lesser degree. Industry as a whole had suffered an estimated 10 per cent total loss. Morale was believed (somewhat optimistically) to have deteriorated to the point where "the general attitude is approaching one of 'peace at any price.'" The report held precision day attacks to be proportionately more effective than area attacks, citing the devastation wrought in the ball-bearing industry at Schweinfurt and the synthetic rubber industry at Hüls. As for the German aircraft industry and the GAF itself, the committee was less confident. Since the summer months, however, RAF Bomber Command had made use of the longer nights to make a more direct contribution to that end by attacking cities of significance to the aircraft industry lying deep in Germany.
* "Destroyed" was taken to mean damage to a degree which made the objective a liability to the Germans in excess of any remaining assets. "Serious damage" was defined as damage greater than the worst suffered by the United Kingdom--e.g., Coventry.
Damage to fighter aircraft production as a result principally of daylight precision attacks was believed to have been great, amounting to a loss of 880 single-engine fighters since February as the result of raids on assembly factories alone. In addition to the work of the heavy bombers, British and American medium bombers and British fighter-bombers had been employed mainly against enemy airfields and in diversionary attacks timed to relieve the enemy pressure on the heavy bomber formations. Even the bombing of submarine building yards and bases was believed to have been successful to the extent of denying twenty-two U-boats to the enemy. To accomplish all this destruction the strategic bombing forces had been forced to fly from 4 February to 31 October a total of 45, 844 night sorties and 15,846 day sorties. Losses over the entire period had been 3.9 per cent for the RAF force and 4.4 per cent for the VIII Bomber Command.15
This paper did well enough as a statement of probable achievement to date. The trouble was that those achievements had to be considered always in close relation to the strategic timetable. It was not enough to determine how much damage had been inflicted in relation to the effort expended. The important thing was to determine how near the operation was to achieving its assigned objective within the time allotted; for, although it was in a sense true that the success of POINTBLANK would determine the date of OVERLORD, there was a limit to how long the invasion could be postponed while awaiting the anticipated fatal weakening of the GAF. The target date for OVERLORD had been set for 1 May 1944. Would the CBO have done its work by that time? To this question both British and American planners gave an increasingly pessimistic answer as the weeks passed.16 In a note to the Combined Chiefs of Staff dated 3 December 1943, Air Chief Marshal Portal stated bluntly that POINTBLANK was at that time a full three months behind schedule.17
Time was thus the critical element in air planning during the latter part of 1943. As OVERLORD drew nearer and as the Combined Bomber Offensive gathered momentum (yet insofar as the GAF was concerned with apparently no greater net result than to stimulate the enemy to undertake a prodigious program of expansion), British and American air planners became ever more conscious of the need for accelerating and intensifying the strategic bombing campaign. As was usually the case when the progress of the CBO came under consideration, discussion tended to center mainly on the American force. Its task of
destroying certain industrial plants of vital importance to the enemy was of such consequence to plans for mounting OVERLORD that attention was given chiefly to the problem of increasing the daylight bombing effort. The RAF Bomber Command, on the other hand, was committed to a bombardment policy that promised results of a relatively long-term value (though contemporary observers never wholly gave up hope for an early collapse of German morale), and in addition it had achieved a relatively stabilized effort.
Improvement in the speed and effectiveness of the bomber offensive could be sought in a number of directions. First of all, the operating force could be built up to the level prescribed in the CBO Plan. Secondly, the efficiency of that force could be improved. Then, by revising target directives and by bringing about a closer coordination of effort between British and American forces, the time remaining before OVERLORD could be used to best advantage. Finally, the daylight bombing campaign from the United Kingdom could be supplemented by operations from Mediterranean bases. During the last half of 1943 the solution to the problem was sought in all of the above directions.
There were difficulties in accelerating the build-up of the daylight force. General Arnold heartily indorsed Portal's proposal at QUADRANT to increase the striking power of VIII Bomber Command as much as possible during the next two months but warned that not too much could be expected along this line for some time. combat crews rather than aircraft were the bottleneck. In order to meet the growing demands of the Eighth Air Force for replacements, training facilities in the United States had been reorganized, a process which, though promising for the future, was costing the Eighth for the time being about two groups. As things stood in August, Eaker had nowhere near enough pilots to fly the aircraft he had available in the theater. Even by December, Arnold declared, the training program would not be able to provide replacements and reinforcements enough to bring the Eighth up to planned strength.18
Substantial help could be provided in this situation by preventing further large-scale diversions from the force in the United Kingdom. In the past these had virtually crippled the daylight bombing program, and now in August 1943, General Eisenhower was requesting that the three B-24 groups of the Eighth which were in Africa* be left there
* Two groups had been sent down from the United Kingdom primarily for the Ploesti mission. A third, originally destined for the United Kingdom, had been diverted to Africa from the United States.
for use in the forthcoming Italian campaign.19 This request of Eisenhower's raised a knotty question of priority in which the immediate requirements of a critical tactical situation almost prevailed over the less dramatic needs of strategic bombardment. To Eisenhower the bombers were a mobile offensive weapon with which he could strike a strong blow at the Italian mainland, thus facilitating the invasion of Italy and forwarding the entire European war.20 To both General Eaker and General Devers the bomber offensive was equally important and in an equally critical condition. Especially during the summer and early fall, when the days were long and the weather relatively promising, every possible bomber should be placed at the disposal of the Eighth Air Force for its daylight bombing operations.21 With the support of these arguments from the theater, General Arnold was able to convince the U.S. chiefs of staff that the three B-24 groups should revert to the operational control of the Eighth Air Force.22 During the critical phase of AVALANCHE in September, it became necessary for the Eighth to send down to the Mediterranean a total of eighty B-24's but their stay was of short duration.23
Remedy for the problem of diversion, however, was not in itself enough. In mid-November only 65 per cent of the forces originally scheduled for POINTBLANK by that date had been made available. And, as Air Chief Marshal Portal pointed out, that percentage of the force could not be expected to produce a similar percentage of results but rather a considerably smaller proportion.24 In addition to the slow build-up in bomber forces the daylight bombing campaign also suffered from the sadly retarded build-up of long-range fighters. Not until an adequate force of P-38's and P-51s properly equipped with extra fuel capacity for long distance flights had been provided would it be practicable to renew the systematic bombing under visual conditions of targets deep in Germany. Unfortunately, General Arnold was in no better position in November than he had been in August to increase the already maximum flow of men and equipment. POINTBLANK having been given "the highest strategic priority" at QUADRANT,25 Arnold was sending bomber crews and long-range fighters (the two critical items) into the United Kingdom as rapidly as they became available over and above the minimum replacement needs of other operations. In fact, in the category of long-range fighters, he planned to send none whatsoever to other theaters during October, November, and December 1943, despite urgent requests for them. He also urged Portal to make available to the Eighth Air Force some fighters of the P-51 type being produced
for the RAF. Help from that quarter, however, could not be expected before January 1944.26
This inability to meet the scheduled build-up explains in no small part a growing concern that the available force should be made to function as efficiently as possible. Since May and June, when the Eighth Air Force began to receive its heavy bombers in considerable numbers, General Arnold had been worried about the rate of operations achieved by this swelling force. It seemed to him and his staff that the relatively rapid build-up taking place in the United Kingdom during that summer should be accompanied by an equally rapid increase in the number of bombers dispatched on major missions.27 During the month of June, for example, the Eighth had a daily average of 775 bombers assigned but an effective combat strength of only 222. These figures, of course, put the problem in an extreme and misleading form, for many of those aircraft had not yet been delivered to tactical units. The daily average of heavy bombers listed as "on hand in operating tactical units" was only 459, a figure more than double 222. The difference, however, was generally easy enough to explain. For one thing, new units were only gradually becoming fully operational--the daily average of bombers "fully operational" was 287. Evidently the critical item was available trained crews, for although the Eighth had a daily average of 419, the figure for those available was only 222--which thus determined the average effective strength in combat combinations. The difference here could be explained largely by the fact that so many crews were as yet in training status and by the normal loss of crew strength through illness, war weariness, etc.28
The picture was, however, far from being as simple as the above statistics would indicate. Availability of both crews and aircraft fluctuated widely from day to day, especially when missions were being flown on several successive days, at which time the loss of planes in action coupled with the very high percentage of battle damage incurred in operations over flak--and fighter--defended areas reduced sharply if temporarily the number of available bombers. Moreover, the statistics listed above, though generally explainable, left plenty of room for specific questions regarding the degrees of difference indicated. Were planes being kept too long in depot for modification before being turned over to tactical units? Was repair of battle-damaged bombers being accomplished as rapidly as possible? Were combat crews being used to their full capacity? These and other questions General Arnold asked with rising insistence during the summer of 1943.
Although, broadly speaking, crews constituted the bottleneck in effective combat strength, Arnold was more concerned with maintenance. No doubt he had in mind the future as well as the present. Crews would eventually be made available: arrangements had been made by June to man combat units with two crews per unit equipment, and by December 1943 availability of crews determined the effective strength for combat to a lesser extent than available aircraft.29 Faulty maintenance on the other hand could seriously impair the efficiency of even the largest bomber force. General Arnold, of course, had some reason to be critical of maintenance in the United Kingdom. But the situation does not appear to have been so bad as he at times feared, and by fall energetic steps taken to bring about the necessary improvement had made very real progress.*
Maintenance and the availability of crews were not the only factors affecting the rate and weight of operations. Through the summer, as the operating force increased in strength and the pitch of the air fighting rose, General Arnold became increasingly anxious to see the Eighth send out larger forces more frequently and more consistently against objectives in Germany, especially against the big aircraft factories. He was prompted in his impatience not only by his very understandable desire to see the primary task of the AAF done speedily and decisively; he was also under pressure, as he had been from the beginning of the bomber offensive against Germany, to interpret to military and civilian authorities in the United States the contribution being made by the heavy bombers. Those observers knew that the Eighth was being sent vast numbers of planes and crews. During September, for example, the Eighth reported a daily average of 881 heavy bombers and 661 crews assigned to it. It therefore required some explaining to show why the bomber command was able only once during that month to dispatch a force of more than 400 bombers and during the same period was never able to put more than 330 over the target. During September, also, the Eighth had struck German targets only twice out of the eleven major daylight operations accomplished-this at a time when it appeared to observers in Washington that the GAF was in a critical enough position to be defeated decisively if only the attack could be bunched consistently enough and on a large enough scale. As Arnold put it, he hoped to see a whole series of Regensburgs with hundreds of bombers smashing German fighter factories so decisively that the enemy would find it simpler to build new ones than to repair the old ones.30
General Eaker would himself have liked nothing better than to send forces of 500 bombers repeatedly to the aircraft factories in central and southeastern Germany. That and much more was the objective toward which he and his command were striving. But he had also to think of the future. Part of his task was to build up the bomber force to planned strength, and that objective could not always be reconciled with the policy of striking the enemy with everything he had, regardless of the cost.31
There were, moreover, certain factors at work in the theater which prevented the full employment of available force against the aircraft industry and related objectives of high priority in the CBO Plan. First of all there was the weather, always a limitation on daylight operations, especially those depending on visual sightings. The September record showed cloud conditions over the target area as the main reason why targets in Germany were attacked only twice during the month. Secondly, the Eighth was frequently called upon to attack targets outside the CBO priority list. Here again the September record proved instructive. Of a total of 3,259 aircraft dispatched by VIII Bomber Command, only 1,571 were sent to CBO objectives. The STARKEY operation took 638. Requests from the British army and navy for attacks on such targets as the port facilities at Nantes and the rocket launching site at Watten had accounted for the dispatch of another 734 bombers.32
Solutions were being sought for all these problems. General Eaker started his fall operations with a new team of combat commanders. Brig. Gen. F. L. Anderson had taken over command of the VIII Bomber Command onI July. On 3 August, Maj. Gen. William E. Kepner had been given charge of the VIII Fighter Command. Both could be counted on for aggressive leadership. Radar bombing was ready for use by the end of September as a means of breaking the strangle hold that weather had maintained over daylight bombing; the first H2S mission took place on the 27th. Although clearly not an instrument for precision attack, H2S and its successor, H2X, promised to relieve the daylight bombing force from the absolute limitations hitherto imposed on daylight operations by overcast weather conditions. It would now be possible to strike strategic industrial centers even when there was little or no possibility of visual bombing. There were those who were so convinced of the value of blind bombing that they advocated adding to the CBO Plan a frankly stated program of area bombardment, for the winter months at least, which would be similar to and supplementary
to the area bombing campaign being carried on by the RAF. In such a way the rate of air attack against Germany could be greatly accelerated: larger forces could be used more frequently with fewer losses, and a valuable contribution could be made to the progressive undermining of enemy morale and economic organization. Moreover it could all be accomplished with the force available without interfering with CBO precision operations.33
Revamping the Plan
There remained the alternative of drastically revising the CBO Plan itself, and during the late summer and the fall of 1943, General Arnold and his air planners turned their attention in this direction with increasing determination. Here again the governing consideration was the brief time left before OVERLORD. But there were additional reasons for dissatisfaction with the CBO Plan as it then stood. Since midyear the submarine menace had been greatly reduced and opinion regarding the effectiveness of bombing submarine bases had become very skeptical. Clearly the GAF, rather than the fleet, was the objective of first priority. Moreover, the Committee of Operations Analysts had for some time been advocating the addition of the abrasives industry, especially its precision grinding-wheel branch, to the target systems of high priority. The committee had never been happy at the removal of that industry from the list it had proposed as a basis for the CBO Plan; and it had restated its earlier view with added emphasis in a report, dated 18 June 1943, which met with considerable favor.34
Revision of the plan in such particulars as these, however, could have been accomplished with less effort than was in the long run expended for that purpose. As a matter of fact, the GAF had been accorded a temporary status as an objective of first priority in the plan as it was set up in June and had been receiving in practice even more attention since that date.* Consequently, greater significance attaches to another criticism leveled during the fall months by the U.S. planners with rising insistence: in view of the short time remaining before OVERLORD, much of which would be useless for visual bombing of precision targets, the seventy-six targets authorized in the POINTBLANK plan were too many to be decisively attacked and should accordingly be reduced in number. It was clear also that the detailed target lists would have to be revised in order to keep up with the accelerating efforts of
* See above, pp. 366-67.
the Germans to relocate their vital industrial plants.35 But a revision of strategic objectives was finally accepted by the CCS only in February 1944, after discussions lasting intermittently since August 1943.36 Meanwhile adjustments in detailed priorities were apparently being made with ease and effectiveness in the theater by the COPC working in close contact with the chiefs of the American and British forces concerned.*37
It appears, therefore, that a more basic issue was that of coordinating the activities of the Eighth Air Force and RAF Bomber Command and of extending the organization of the strategic offensive to include the Fifteenth Air Force in the Mediterranean. The American air planners, especially those in Washington, were concerned over the highly informal arrangements existing for the coordination of RAF area bombing with the campaign against the specific CBO objectives. In fact, no provision had been made for the employment of the two forces against the same targets.38 Such cooperation was assumed, doubtless as a natural outcome of the general (and real) unity of purpose back of the strategic bombing program. In practice the different tactical concepts of the two forces tended to make any very close cooperation on individual targets difficult except in congested industrial areas where the results of area bombing by night would immediately complement the daylight attacks against specific points of importance. It was the prevailing opinion in Washington (an opinion, by the way, which General Eaker did not share)39 that the RAF had not directed its efforts as consistently as it might toward objectives set forth in the CBO Plan. The suggestion was also made that the British were not supporting POINTBLANK with their fighter force as vigorously as they might.40 And there were some who suspected that the Eighth Air Force was being seduced from the strict paths outlined in the original directive,41 an opinion supported, certainly on its face, by a study of the weight of bombs dropped by the Eighth from April to October of 1943 on each type of target.42
Much of this criticism arose from the natural impatience of one ally with the strategic and tactical doctrines of another. Still it seemed to American observers that the imminence of the cross-Channel assault placed an.undeniable premium on short-term results of the type to be expected from an intensified POINTBLANK rather than on any collapse of German economy and morale that might ultimately reward
* See above, pp. 374-75.
† See above, pp. 371-72.
the area bombing policy of the RAF,43 at least insofar as that policy was not directed toward objectives of immediate importance to POINTBLANK. That project had been accepted by the British as a combined effort; it was being carried on under the direction of the chief of Air Staff, RAF, and both forces were working, each in its own way, toward POINTBLANK objectives. But the project had obviously been planned with special reference to the concepts and capabilities of the American force. Now, with time short, American planners hoped for a more detailed and specific type of cooperation. The creation of an additional U.S. air force in the Mediterranean committed to POINTBLANK raised, at the same time, problems of strategic policy and control which made it more difficult for the Allied air planners to agree on the proposed revisions. The British command in October opposed the steps taken to decentralize the strategic bombing effort, preferring for reasons both of strategy and control to have it based in the United Kingdom.*
So it was that the crisis in the daylight bombing program prompted American air planners to intensify their efforts to revise the strategic bombardment plan with an eye first to extending the bases for attacking German industry and second to securing a more closely integrated POINTBLANK. Those desiderata were very closely related, and it is hard to separate the respective arguments in the planning papers of late 1943. The project for extending the CBO to include operations of an additional strategic force in the Mediterranean involved, however, the more radical alteration in the concept underlying that campaign.
To secure air bases in Italy was one of the objectives of the Allied campaign in that country.44 In the summer of 1943 the prospect of developing bases in the Foggia area led airmen to explore more specifically the possibilities thereby presented. American air planners, especially Generals Arnold and Spaatz (and in this they received support from General Eisenhower and Air Chief Marshal Tedder), saw in it a rational and profitable way of increasing the effectiveness of the strategic bombing effort. Bases in a Mediterranean climate had interested General Arnold since the fall of 1942, when the weather of northern Europe had seriously disrupted the operations of the infant Eighth Air Force, and the summer and fall months of 1943 brought additional arguments. Operations from Italian bases would split the enemy's defenses, especially his fighter force, and so help reduce the alarming
* See below, pp.725-27.
casualty rate being suffered by the Eighth Air Force in its attempts to strike deeper into the heart of the Reich. On this argument General Marshall laid special emphasis during the discussions in October;45 and it appears to have been a governing consideration in the tentative decision made by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at that time to authorize a strategic air offensive from Italian bases.46 Not only would such an offensive divert enemy defense forces, both fighter and antiaircraft, from the sadly bedeviled Eighth but that offensive would find the going relatively easy, striking as it would the as yet poorly protected industrial areas of southeast Germany.
In addition the apparently rapid relocation of enemy industries from the heavily bombed northwest to those areas placed tempting targets within reasonable range of Italy-based bombers. The major aircraft manufacturing complexes being concentrated in the Augsburg and Wiener Neustadt areas were particularly important in the counter-air campaign. Nor did the possibilities of close cooperation between strategic forces in Italy and the United Kingdom, involving coordinated attacks and possible shuttle-bombing missions, make the project look any less attractive--from a distance at any rate. Finally, to build up a force in Italy would be to relieve crowded operating conditions in the United Kingdom47
These were the strategic arguments advanced in favor of building up a new U.S. strategic air force in Italy. The fact that a sizable force of heavy bombers was already in the Mediterranean with the Twelfth Air Force and was likely to be diverted to purely tactical purposes unless specifically dedicated to POINTBLANK no doubt helped to convince General Spaatz and General Arnold,48 although the latter seemed by the fall of 1943 sufficiently dissatisfied with the rate and range of daylight operations from the United Kingdom to seize upon any reasonable plan that would promise substantial improvement in both respects.*
With the above considerations in mind the JCS early in October considered and approved a plant drawn up by General Arnold and his staff in conference with General Spaatz, who paid a brief visit to Washington for that purpose, "to assure the most effective exploitation of the CBO" by reorganizing and building up the U.S. strategic air force in the Mediterranean in anticipation of the acquisition of numerous bases in central and southern Italy.49 The idea was to regroup the air
*See above, p. 718.
† See above, pp. 564-65.
units of the Twelfth Air Force into two separate air forces, one to remain under the direction of the theater commander for use in connection with tactical operations, the other to be called the Fifteenth Strategic Air Force, composed of heavy bomber and long-range fighter units. This new force would according to the plan also operate under the theater commander but would have its general objectives in connection with POINTBLANK stated from time to time by the CCS and would maintain liaison with the Eighth to insure close cooperation in the CBO. The strength of the Fifteenth would be made up partly from the long-range bomber groups already with the parent organization but would have to be augmented by units drawn from those set up in the Bradley plan for the Eighth. The new force would consist at first of six heavy bomber groups and two long-range fighter groups; by 31 March 1944 it was to have twenty-one heavy bomber and seven long-range fighter groups. As CCS-217/1 this paper was approved by the Combined Chiefs on 22 October with the proviso that, if it became impossible properly to base the full number of aircraft planned, they should be diverted to the United Kingdom.50
This proviso was inserted at the suggestion of the British representatives, who were very skeptical regarding the practicability of basing large-scale strategic air operations in Italy until better base facilities could be provided. The British reaction to the Italian plan had been initially favorable. At QUADRANT, Portal had expressed the opinion that Italy would be the key to the bomber offensive, for bases in northern Italy could command all of northern Germany.51 The plan advocated in October by the JCS, the British appear to have considered premature. Progress in Italy had been slower than anticipated two months earlier.52 As the implications of the plan became clearer-the drain it would necessarily cause on the forces scheduled for the United Kingdom and the revised system of organization and control which the U.S. chiefs had in mind as a corollary--the British Air Staff opposed the project vigorously.
The opposition voiced by the British on strategic grounds (and in this opposition they were seconded heartily by Generals Eaker and Devers)53 centered chiefly upon the wholeSale diversion of units from the scheduled build-up in the United Kingdom.54 Air Chief Marshal Portal repeatedly urged that what the bomber offensive required was not so much a revision of basic strategy as a build-up of the American daylight bombing force in the United Kingdom that would approximate
the rate of increase originally scheduled. As it was, that build-up had lagged seriously and half the scheduled force could not be expected to accomplish the task set for the full-sized force, especially now that time was short and results more than ever imperative.55 The principle of the concentration of force, as Eaker viewed the problem, would in itself dictate the build-up of a larger force in the United Kingdom rather than the weakening of that force by diversion to the Mediterranean.56
But also on a number of lesser counts British leaders and General Eaker believed the Italian project a doubtful venture, at least for the time being. First of all there was the fact that actually only a small percentage of the CBO objectives were closer to Italy than to the United Kingdom, and most of these could be attacked from England. The heart of the enemy war machine remained in the west and northwest. As for the reputedly better weather conditions in Italy, that was a factor of minor importance, for the critical factor in daylight attacks had been found to be weather over the target in Germany, not weather in the base area. Advanced techniques of weather forecasting and navigation, they argued, had made the weather in England a secondary problem. Radar bombing was believed to be only in its infancy as a means of extending the effective operating days of the Eighth Air Force. Such advantages as Italy-based forces might have in longer hours of daylight during winter months in the south would be more than counterbalanced by the constant necessity of crossing the Alps when clouds and bad icing conditions up to great heights are common, especially in winter months. The Alps, moreover, constituted a serious obstacle to the safe return of damaged aircraft. Many a bomber had been able to limp home to its English base, losing altitude gradually. The cripple returning to Italy from a mission against south German targets would be forced to expend vital energy in order to clear the mountains and might frequently be unable to make the grade. Unless the neutrality of Switzerland were violated as a matter of policy, most missions to south German targets from Italian bases would necessarily be very roundabout and would require the Germans to defend only a slightly increased air front. For an indefinite period the heavy bomber operations in Italy would be handicapped by inadequate base facilities for maintenance and repair.*
* For a different argument see above, pp. 563-65.
It was the opinion of Air Marshal N. H. Bottomley that a year would be needed before a heavy bomber force of the size projected could be economically maintained in Italy, especially in what the Americans would term fourth-echelon repair which required virtually full factory equipment. Base facilities in England, though obviously crowded, had been developed to a high pitch of efficiency and could, in addition to more rapid maintenance, provide such services as radar, weather forecasting, and air-sea rescue in a way that would not be possible in Italy for many months--in fact, not until after the life-and-death struggle with the GAF had been decided. The opponents of the Italian scheme furthermore believed the close coordination of planning and attack between the Eighth and the Fifteenth Air Forces, to which many American planners looked with confidence, to be a mirage. With some accuracy they predicted that the great disparity in operating conditions between one theater and the other would make it difficult for the two forces to act at all frequently in concert, and that necessary last-minute changes would very probably disrupt the most carefully coordinated plans. In short the daylight offensive during the critical months preceding OVERLORD could best remain based in the United Kingdom where all facilities existed and from which the heart of Germany could be most effectively reached and the Luftwaffe forced into decisive battle by a heavy concentration of forces.
Despite objections, plans proceeded on the basis of CCS 217/ 1,and the Fifteenth Air Force became a reality on 1 November 1943.Its establishment at once raised the question of command for the expanded bomber offensive, a question which evoked further and at times spirited debate. But since this problem was part of the larger and more complex one of organizing the pre-invasion forces in both the European and Mediterranean theaters, it is dealt with in some detail in the following chapter.
Side by side with the discussions concerning command went equally spirited, but somewhat less decisive, talks concerning the targets for the CBO. American planners continued during the fall and winter to urge modification of the CBO Plan. It was principally a problem of reducing the number of CBO targets to those (in particular the ones of importance to the GAF) that could be decisively attacked during the short time remaining before OVERLORD, of including among this number certain target systems within easier reach from Italy than from the United Kingdom, and above all of insuring that all available bombardment,
both day- and night-flying, would be employed exclusively against the German aircraft industry.57 These principles were embodied in a paper presented by the JCS to the CCS on 5 November. British authorities continued to oppose any such specific revision of the CBO not because they disagreed with the general objective of reducing the GAF as a prerequisite to the big invasion but largely, it would seem, because they wished to avoid being committed to an inflexible plan designed clearly to make the effort of the RAF supplementary to that of the U.S. strategic forces. RAF leaders, and General Eaker with them, had from the beginning of this controversy taken the attitude that there was nothing wrong with the directive originally issued, that to provide the forces projected in that directive and to rededicate them to the general objectives stated therein would do all that was necessary to improve the effectiveness of the bomber offensive. Apparent deviations from the original directive by the Eighth Air Force had been dictated by weather conditions, defensive tactics, and other problems of tactical importance rather than by any failure to recognize the importance of CBO objectives. Furthermore, adequate machinery existed in the Air Ministry and in the COPC to revise the detailed priority lists as the occasion arose.
It was in perfect harmony with the traditions of British public life that the British chiefs of staff preferred a system of informal, practical adjustment within the limits set by a general statement of purpose to the inflexibility of a "written constitution." And, although the staff of AC/AS, Plans complained vigorously of the "quasi-political" control of the British bombing effort as a serious obstacle to wholehearted adherence to POINTBLANK, it was apparently the legalism inherent in the American tradition as much as any actual failure of the CBO machinery that led the U.S. chiefs of staff to insist on a formal revision of the CBO Plan.58
At the SEXTANT conference in December 1943 the CCS reported to the President and the Prime Minister their agreement "that the present plan for the Combined Bomber Offensive should remain unchanged except for revision of the bombing objectives which should be made periodically."59 But this agreement settled little and the debate continued.
Meanwhile, the American strategic bombing forces were operating in steadily increasing strength. The Fifteenth Air Force could by the end of the year muster an effective combat strength of six heavy bomber groups and had three more almost ready to start fighting. The Eighth
added to its order of battle one heavy group in November and four more in December, making by the end of that month a total of 25¾ groups. More significant is the fact that the Eighth was able to dispatch forces of over 700 heavy bombers on three occasions in December, whereas only once prior to 15 October had it sent out more than 400.60 Clearly, the daylight bomber campaign was rapidly assuming proportions that might be considered decisive, especially when coupled with the strategic advantage of bases in Italy.
But, examined through a lens well ground by later events, the daylight operations of late 1943, although unusually heavy, appear to be those of a force attacking targets of secondary importance in the CBO Plan while waiting cautiously for the big opportunity when fine weather would make it possible to return to the heart of Germany and, in a sustained and coordinated attack, to paralyze the industries supporting the GAF. The Eighth Air Force had learned in October that such operations without fighter protection were impossibly costly. Even with long-range fighters they would not be easy; the losses could, in fact, only be justified by decisive results. Plans for this offensive were developed by December, and both the Eighth and the Fifteenth Air Forces were willing to put them into effect at the earliest possible date, even before long-range fighters were available in sufficient numbers to make the task easier. The weather proved uncooperative, however; and for the rest of 1943 the Eighth Air Force confined its activity to targets on or near the German coast and in occupied France and Norway. Few of these targets were high in the POINTBLANK priority scheme. A majority of the attacks were made during cloudy weather with the aid of the new radar-bombing, Pathfinder equipment, which made possible much more frequent missions than ever before but which did not permit precision bombing of given industrial objectives.61 Nor was the Fifteenth Air Force able to contribute any more decisively to the attainment of POINTBLANK objectives during this period. Except for a spectacular mission to the Messerschmitt works at Wiener Neustadt on 2 November, one day after its formal activation, the Fifteenth was prevented by bad weather, lack of Pathfinder equipment, and shortage of long-range escort from bombing high-priority targets in southern Germany.62
The operations of late 1943 are therefore significant on the one hand because of the disastrous experience of October in striking the aircraft industry deep in enemy territory and on the other as a preparatory phase of the smashing attack of February 1944 which for the first time
seriously weakened the power of the GAF to stop the strategic bombardment of Axis Europe and which for that reason may be called the climactic point of the CBO, considered as a counter-air campaign. At the end of 1943 the daylight strategic forces were poised for the final onslaught against the GAF, an assault which had to be completed before the selected vital organs of enemy industry could be made to feel the full effect of the daylight attack. Viewed in retrospect, the preceding sixteen months of bombing by the American forces become a long period of preparation.
Not that the daylight offensive had been negligible in terms of strategic effects. Together with the devastating attacks made by the RAF against urban industrial areas, that offensive had reduced the cushion of potential productive capacity which had at first absorbed the shock of strategic bombardment. Before 1944, German industry was not fully mobilized. Most industries had surplus plant space, machine tools, and stocks of raw materials. Many plants had yet to be converted to war production. The productive capabilities of occupied countries had yet to be fully developed. The production program had not yet been wholly converted from a quality to a quantity basis. And the enormous recuperative power of the German industry had not been taxed to the full. By the end of 1943 this cushion had been so seriously reduced that the large-scale bombing of 1944 was able for the first time to undermine the enemy's ability to wage war. But the fact remains that, compared to the weight of attack delivered in 1944, the daylight bombing campaign in 1943 must be considered light and indecisive. Especially compelling is the fact that the GAF continued to expand its fighter force despite all efforts made during 1943 to stop it.63
That year had been an important one in the history of strategic bombardment; but from the point of view of the daylight force the importance had been tactical rather than strategic. The Americans had pioneered in a new and exacting type of offensive. They had had to learn many lessons-how to drop bombs accurately in unnerving circumstances, how to cope with some of the most perverse weather in Europe, above all how to outwit the Luftwaffe. These lessons they learned so well that they were able during the following year to apply themselves to the task of large-scale bombing with a minimum of confusion and experimentation. On both strategic and tactical grounds it would be true to say that the record of the American heavy bomber forces in Europe for 1943 must be evaluated principally in terms of what took place in 1944.
Notes to Chapter 21:
1. AC/S, A-2, Hq. USAFE, The Contribution of Air Power to the Defeat of Germany, 7 Aug. 1945, App. B; Hq. AAF, Stat. Summary of Eighth AF Operations, European Theater, 17 Aug. 1942 to 8 May 1945 (hereinafter cited as Stat. Sum., 8th AF).
2. USSBS, Military Analysis Div., The Defeat of the GAF; ltr., Eaker to Lovett, 16 Sept. 1943; 8th AF Semi-monthly Rpt., 16-30 Sept. 1943; Hq. VIII BC, Status of CBO from UK, Aug. 1943.
3. USSBS, Aircraft Div. Industry Rpt., Strategic Bombing of the German Aircraft Industry, 2 Nov. 1945, pp. 74-75.
5. USSBS, Over-all Rpt. (European War) (Washington, 1945), pp. 14-17; USSBS, Aircraft Div. Ind. Rpt. cited in n. 3, p. 24 and Figs. VI-VII.
6. USSBS, Aircraft Div. Ind. Rpt. cited in n. 3, passim.
7. Ltr., Maj. W. W. Haines, Asst. A-2, 8th AF to Lt. Col. J. B. Allen, Opns. Intel.,8th AF, 1 Oct. 1943, filed with ltr., Eaker to A-2, 8th AF, 15 Dec. 1943.
8. CM-OUT-6209, Arnold to Eaker, 14 Oct. 1943; ltr., Eaker to Arnold, 15 Oct. 1943, quoted in R&R, AC/AS, A-2 to AC/AS, Plans, 23 Oct. 1943; CM-OUT6442, Arnold to Tedder, 15 Oct. 1943; CM-IN-12917, Eaker to Arnold, 21 Oct. 1943.
9. Rpt., Col. L. K. Callahan, AC/S, A-2, 8th AF, n.d. but prob. 5 Jan. 1944, in USSTAF files. Cf.ltr., AC/S, A-2, 8th AF to CG 8th AF, 9 Dec. 1943.
10. Current items of air intel. from AC/AS, A-2, 18 Oct. 1943. Cf. CM-OUT-7616, Arnold to Portal, 17 Oct. 1943; ltr., Arnold to CG 8th AF, 27 Dec. 1943.
11. JCS Memo for Information 113, 15 Aug. 1943. Cf. Appreciation of CBO to 1 Aug. 1943, n.d., n.s., filed with above; CCS 300/1, 7 Aug. 1943 (memo by JCS to CCS).
12. CCS 309, 15 Aug. 1943. Cf. sources cited in n. 11.
13. JCS 100th Mtg., 8 July 1943 (ref. JCS 442).
14. CCS 309; JCS 105th Mtg., 16 Aug. 1943; CCS 109th Mtg., 16 Aug. 1943; CCS 319/5, 24 Aug. 1943.
15. CCS 403, 21 Nov. 1943; Itr., Eaker to Giles, 2 Nov. 1943.
16. Paper, AFAEP Survey of Conditions Prerequisite to Launching of OVERLORD, 30 Sept. 1943; memo for Col. J. L. Loutzenheiser from Col. S. Berliner, 7 Oct. 1943; memo for Arnold from AC/AS, Plans, 26 Oct. 1943; CM-OUT-7616, Arnold to Portal, 17 Oct. 1943.
17. CCS 403/1 3 Dec. 1943. Cf. notes on CCS 403 by Combined Subjects Sec., AC/AS, Plans, 3 Dec. 1943.
18. CCS 309, 15 Aug. 1943; JCS 105th Mtg., 16 Aug. 1943 (ref. CCS 309); Itr., Arnold to Devers, 7 July 1943.
19. JCS 105th Mtg.
20. CM-IN-21774, Eisenhower to Marshall, 30 July 1943.
21. CM-IN-21175, Devers to Marshall, 29 July 1943; ltr., Devers to Marshall, 8 Aug. 1943.
22. CCS 252/2, 12 Aug. 1943; JCS 105th Mtg., 16 Aug. 1943 (ref. CCS 309).
23. CM-IN-11726, Eisenhower to CCS, 15 Sept. 1943; Stat. Sum., 8th AF; CM-IN, 8007, Eisenhower to CCS, 25 Sept. 1943.
24. CCS 403/1, 3 Dec. 1943.
25. CCS 303/3, 17 Aug. 1943.
26. Ltr., Arnold to Spaatz, 10 Aug. 1943; ltrs., Arnold to Portal, 14, 31 Oct. 1943.
27. Ltr., Arnold to Eaker, 15 June 1943; ltr., Arnold to Devers, 16 June 1943.
28. Ltr., Arnold to Devers, 16 June 1943; Stat. Sum., 8th AF; ltr., Lt. Col. F. W. Castle, AC/S, A-4, VIII BC to CG VIII BC, 17 June 1943; Itt., IG, 8th AF to CG 8th AF, 17 June 1943.
29. Ltr., Arnold to Eaker, 15 June 1943; Stat. Sum., 8th AF.
30. CM-OUT-12058, Arnold to Eaker, 25 Sept. 1943; CM-OUT-13686, Arnold to Eaker, 29 Sept. 1943.
31. Memo for Devers from Eaker, 20 Dec. 1943.
32. Rpt., Hq. VIII BC, September 1943 Effort of VIII BC, 2 Oct. 1943.
33. Memos for Col. Loutzenheiser from Col. Berliner, 7, 11 Oct. 1943. Cf. CM-OUT-13686. Arnold to Eaker, 29 Sept. 1943.
34. CCS 319/5, 24 Aug. 1943; Appreciation of CEO to 1 Aug. 1943 cited in n. 11; JPS 302. 18 Oct. 1943, App. A, 11 Oct. 1943; memo for Arnold from Kuter, AC/AS, Plans, 26 Oct. 1943; CCS 217/2, 5 Nov. 1943; CCS 166/4,4 Jan. 1944; History, COA, pp. 48 ff. and Tab 28.
36. Memo for Arnold from AC/AS, Plans, 26 Oct. 1943; CCS 217/2; CCS 166/4; memo for Col. Lautzenheiser, AC/AS, Plans from Col. Berliner, 11 Oct. 1943.
36. CCS 166/I1, 13 Feb. 1944.
37. Cf. ltr., Eaker to AVM W. A. Coryton, A.C.A.S., Opns., British Air Ministry, 11 Nov. 1943; JCS 563, 4 Nov. 1943.
38. CCS 217, 14 May 1943; memo for Arnold from AC/AS, Plans, 26 Oct. 1943.
39. Ltr., Eaker to Cory ton, 11 Nov. 1943.
40. Ltr., Arnold to Portal, 14 Oct. 1943; JCS 563.
41. Memo for Arnold from AC/AS, Plans, 26 Oct. 1943; ltr., Arnold to Portal, 14 Oct. 1943.
42. Memo for Arnold from AC/AS, Plans, 26 Oct. 1943, Tab A.
43. CCS 217/2, 5 Nov. 1943.
44. CM-IN-14271, n.s. to WAR, 19 Sept. 1943.
45. CCS 125th Mtg., 29 Oct. 1943 (ref. CCS 217/1). Cf. JCS 123d Mtg., 15 Nov. 1943.
46. CCS 117/1, 19 Oct. 1943.
47. The above-mentioned arguments may be found in one form or another in the following documents: CCS 217/1, 19 Oct. 1943; CCS 125th Mtg., 29 Oct. 1943; CCS 400, 18 Nov. 1943; CM-OUT-815, Arnold to Spaatz, 3 Aug. 1943; AFAEP Plan for Strategic Bombing Offensive against the Entire Mittel-Europa Citadel, 10 Aug. 1943; CM-IN-14271, Eisenhower to Marshall, 19 Sept. 1943. Cf. interview with Robert Lovett by Dr. B. C. Hopper, 7 June 1945.
48. Ltr., Spaatz to Arnold, 24 June 1943.
49. JCS 524/1, presented to CCS as CCS 217/1, 19 Oct. 1943; CM-IN-14271, Eisenhower to Marshall, 19 Sept. 1943.
50. CCS 124th Mtg., 22 Oct. 1943.
51. CCS 106th Mtg., 14 Aug. 1943.
52. AFSHO Special File 77 (msgs.).
53. Ltr., Eaker to Hansell, 25 Aug. 1943; CM-IN-299, Eaker to Lovett, 1 Oct. 1943; ltr., C/S ETOUSA,10ct. 1943; ltr., Eaker to Arnold, 1 Oct. 1943.
54. File 77 (msgs.).
55. CCS 309, 15 Aug. 1943; JCS 563, 4 Nov. 1943; CCS 403/1, 3 Dec. 1943.
56. Ltr., C/S ETOUSA, 1 Oct. 1943, contains arguments as outlined by Eaker. Cf. ltr., Eaker to Arnold, 1 Oct. 1943.
57. In addition to sources listed earlier in this chapter, see also memo for Kuter, 24 Nov. 1943, filed with CCS 403/1; notes on CCS 166/7 by CCS and JCS Sec., AC/AS, Plans, 21 Jan. 1944.
58. Notes on CCS 166/7 by CCS and JCS Sec., AC/AS, Plans, 21 Jan. 1944.
59. CCS 426/1, 6 Dec. 1943.
60. Stat. Sum., 8th AF; Tactical Mission Rpts. 116-71; History, 15th AF, Volume I, chap. i.
61. Memo for Eaker from F. L. Anderson, n.d. but Dec. 1943.
62. History, 15th AF, Volume 1, Pt. IV.
63. On these points see the conclusions reached in Contribution of Air Power cited in n. 1, Volume I, and in USSBS, Overall Rpt.