WINNING AIR SUPERIORITY OVER WESTERN EUROPE
Late in 1943, the leaders of the Grand Alliance met at Teheran to discuss the future of the war. The commitment to invade western Europe was reaffirmed to a doubtful Stalin, and that doubt precipitated a decision on the selection of a commander for the great landings. Eisenhower was sent from the Mediterranean back to the United Kingdom to take charge and, late in December, Carl Spaatz joined him.
The first six months of 1944 were possibly the most critical in Spaatz's career. During that time he energized the flagging strategic bombing campaign, successfully resisted attempts by the Royal Air Force to gain control of the American strategic air forces, helped bring the air superiority fight to its climax, limited somewhat the tactical commitment of American strategic airpower to bombing French railroads, initiated the campaign against German resources, and provided major air support to the landings in France.
Stalin had long been demanding that the western Allies launch a second front against Hitler's homeland. The Mediterranean campaigns and combined bomber offensive had drawn a good deal of German strength away from the Russian front, but that was not enough. Stalin wanted a landing on the coast of France. That was also the desire of Roosevelt and his military subordinates. At the Teheran conference late in Novem-