Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

This is coolbert: The USSBS.

This was the U.S. Strategic Bombing Study [called us-bus].

A study of the U.S. bombing offensive against Germany in WW2.

Done by such Vietnam War advisors as Galbreath and Ball.

These luminaries concluded that the U.S. air offensive against Germany during WW2 was more or less a failure.

This was quite a surprising conclusion, given the emphasis the U.S. and the British paid to the aerial offensive during the war.

This strategic offensive was given high priority and was carried out as such.

The offensive was predicated on the belief that an aerial bombardment would cripple German industry to such an extent that the German war machine would grind to a halt.

USSBS concluded that the aerial offensive was a failure in that German production of planes, tanks, submarines only increased during the whole war. Say five times as many tanks, six times as many planes, and maybe fifteen times as many submarines were being built at the end of the war as were being built at the start of the war!

Albert Speer, German Minister of Armaments, read this report while he was in prison, and came to a different conclusion than did the authors of the report.

Albert's conclusion was that the bombing offensive did hurt the Germans, and hurt them badly. Yes, it was true, said Albert, we were producing five times as many tanks in 1945 as we did in 1939, but we would have been producing maybe ten times as more tanks if it was not for the bombing offensive.

Dispersing their factories is what the Germans did to protect themselves against the bombing. A tank would have the engine made at one factory, the gun and turret at another factory, and the chassis made at yet a third factory. All these parts had to brought together at yet another place for final assembly. The delay in doing manufacturing this way held back increased production significantly.

In addition, Albert hit upon a point that the USSBS authors did not even touch upon.

A point that Albert felt was even more significant that decreased production.

To defend against the strategic bombing offensive of the U.S.-British allies, the Germans had to deploy a 1 million man army with all it's impedimenta. This was a severe drain on resources that could be better used elsewhere. This 1 million man army included all the day fighters and night fighters [aircraft] and their ground crews, radar, searchlight, and AAA crews, fire and civil defense wardens, etc. The authors of USSBS did not even realize or include this factor in their report!