Targets of the Eighth Air Force

“Targets of the Eighth Air Force” from a special edition of Army Talks, “Stars over the Reich,” published for the officers and men of the Eighth Air Force.

Targets of the Eighth

A. Aircraft Industry (includes assembly, engine and repair plants and airfields). The four great air blows in February 1944 were a decisive factor in weakening the Luftwaffe and giving the Allies the essential air superiority before the invasion of Europe. They were the first of many aimed at aircraft.

B. Tactical Direct Army Support (includes coastal and military defenses, bridges and all marshalling yards attacked after 1 June ’44). Although designed for strategic bombing, the Eighth proved its flexibility during the invasion days in the tactical support it gave to the ground and sea forces by crippling German ground force support.

C. Oil Industry (includes refineries, synthetic oil, and storage). The Germans have more planes, tanks, vehicles and other equipment than they are able to operate, owing to the critical shortage of fuel and lubricants. Strategic bombing has played a very large part in causing this shortage.

D. Flying Bomb Sites. The Eighth, though not designed for such work, took part in the pounding of these targets when the flying bomb menace became serious.

E. U-Boat Industry (includes sub-pens, bases and construction yards). At the height of the German submarine activity in the winter of 1942-43 the Forts and Libs gained experience at the expense of the U-boats and had a big hand in whittling down the U-boat supremacy.

F. Indirect Army Support (includes tank, vehicle and locomotive plants, steel industry, ordnance depots, and marshalling yards prior to 1 June ’44). This is one of the basic strategic jobs of the Eighth Air Force.

G. Ball Bearing Industry. A small but significant target, since the serious damage caused by bombing has been a production bottleneck for the aircraft and other industries dependent on the manufacture of ball bearings.

H. Rubber Industry. The same is true of this target, especially for transportation.

I. Miscellaneous Strategic. An assortment of targets have been attacked in key industrial areas when weather has singled them out as targets of opportunity or as suitable for overcast bombing.

 

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