The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945

By Alan J. Levine | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Struggle for Air Superiority,
November 1943-April 1944

The Eighth Air Force soon recovered its strength. A flow of replacements and new units, better trained than earlier arrivals, made it stronger than ever. The Eighth had grown from 20 complete heavy bomber groups in October to 25 by the end of 1943. VIIIth Fighter Command grew to 12 groups. The groups themselves were being strengthened, so that instead of putting up three squadrons of 16 planes each, some groups were starting to fly two separate, A and B groups, each of three 12-plane squadrons, more manageable than the standard 16-plane units.

Moreover, the Eighth was getting support from other forces. During October the Ninth Air Force headquarters arrived from the Mediterranean. It would control the U.S. tactical air forces supporting the cross-channel invasion; in the meantime it would support the Eighth. The Eighth's B-26 units were transferred to it, and in November it received three fighter groups from the States; one, the 354th, would play a particularly important part in the struggle for air superiority over Germany. On November 1 a new strategic air force, the Fifteenth, under General James Doolittle, was formed in the Mediterranean. Based at Foggia, in Italy, it would support the Eighth, attacking aircraft plants in southern Germany and in Austria, Hungary, and Romania. It took over the heavy bombers and some of the fighters of the Twelfth and Ninth Air Forces, starting its existence with 6 heavy bomber groups and just 4 not fully equipped fighter groups. The plan was to build the Fifteenth up to a force of 21 heavy groups (15 diverted from the Eighth) and 7 fighter groups by April 1944.

High hopes were entertained for the Fifteenth. General Arnold's headquarters hoped it would split the defending German forces, encounter better weather conditions during the winter, and hit some targets that were inaccessible, or not easily reached, from England.

Eaker and the British were less enthusiastic. They held that most of the objectives within the Fifteenth's radius of operations--Ploesti was an outstanding


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 240

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?