2006-01-31 21:42:29 UTC
presented below, WI the alternative scenario offered by Haywoord
Hansell in the text bloc below had been carried out starting in the
earliest possible time, the sensible targets the German electric,
petroleum, synthetic fuel, nitrogen fixing plants were targeted from
day 1, leaving the Germans in the situation they faced in March 1945 at
the earliest possible moment. "OT A Memorandum from the Luftwaffe in
August 1944 pointed out :that fuel production had gone from 5850 tons
daily to 120 tons in:July 1944 as a result of the enemy air offensive.
Aug 17, 1942 - First all-American air attack in Europe.
Jan 27, 1943 - First bombing raid by Americans on Germany (at
March 16-20, 1943 - Battle of Atlantic climaxes with 27 merchant ships
sunk by German U-boats.
May 16/17 - British air raid on the Ruhr.
June 10, 1943 - 'Pointblank' directive to improve Allied bombing
July 24, 1943 - British bombing raid on Hamburg.
July 27/28 - Allied air raid causes a firestorm in Hamburg.
Aug 17, 1943 - American daylight air raids on Regensburg and
Schweinfurt in Germany; Allies reach Messina, Sicily.
Nov 18, 1943 - Large British air raid on Berlin.
March 18, 1944 - British drop 3000 tons of bombs during an air raid on
June 6, 1944 - D-Day landings.
then the scenario
Given the actual development of escort fighters, it also seems
certain that any of the three strategic air plans (AWPD-1, AWPD-42, and
the CBO) could have been carried out as planned. And the Combined
Bomber Offensive could have included the destruction of most of the
German powerplants and the disruption of the power distribution system
by demolishing the switching stations. Further, it appears to me that
the U.S. strategic air forces should not have been dismembered by
sending forty percent of the aircraft to the Mediterranean to be used
chiefly for theater objectives. The air power could have been better
used to destroy and disrupt the electric power system. Coupled to this
would be the collapse of the synthetic petroleum system, the loss of
nitrogen for explosives, and disruption of the German transportation
system. Altogether, they would have produced in May or June of 1944 the
chaos which characterized the German war industry and the German state
in January, February, and March of 1945.
I also feel it would have been possible to achieve this fatal chaos
before the Normandy Invasion. The greatest single deterrent to this
achievement was probably the decision to invade North Africa, and later
to extend military operations the length of the Mediterranean,
including Italy. This was, of course, a political decision. Even during
a war, one can not quarrel with the right of political leaders to base
major decisions on political rather than military factors. The action
was quite within the bounds of American political philosophy. The U.S.
Joint Chiefs of Staff had their day in court, expressing with candor
and vigor their opposition to this Mediterranean strategy. They
contended it was a dangerous diversion from the main military objective
-- the defeat of Germany. President Roosevelt made it clear he
understood the military reasoning of his professional military
advisors. But he had other elements to deal with as well. Thus, the
right of the President and Prime Minister Churchill to override the
advice of the U.S. Joint Chiefs and reach a political decision, and the
propriety of their action in this case, are beyond question. The
decision's outcome must be evaluated in terms of political
accomplishments. Its effect on military achievements and other
political goals should likewise be weighed.