Monday, October 26, 2009

German Bombers & Bombing Raids of WW2 - 1942-1945

The bombing campaigns of World War II were the one element of the air war that had a strategic significance, on a par with the ground movements of infantry and the blockade-related activities of both sides on the high seas. It was this use of air power, first deployed to a significant extent in the 1940s, that was to have a lasting influence on geopolitics for decades to come. Previously, bombing from the air was looked upon as a form of sabotage—an irritant and a hindrance, but not a map-changing strategic factor in the course of a war. However, once bombing was carried out extensively against industrial, military, and civilian targets, it had the power to change battle lines, and ultimately to determine the outcome of a war.
The first use of bombing in the war was as a tactical weapon, by the Germans in the invasion of Poland. The early bombers were converted transports that were originally designed to be transformed into bombers: the Junkers JU86 and JU88, the Dornier Do 17, and the Heinkel He-111, all used in the invasion of Poland. All these aircraft had been tested in the Spanish Civil War and had been found to be vulnerable to attack from the aft and forward directions. The remedy was to create gunner’s nests in “greenhouse” type nests, which were to become common in later bombers of both sides.

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