Rise of Area Bombing

  • Air Ministry give Stategic Priorities

    Air Ministry gave priorities to Bomber Command in the order of “Communiciations, the air industry, the U-Boat target system, and invasion preparations.” (Davis, 2006, p. 25). allowed attacks on Berlin causing “the greatest possible disturbance and dislocation both to the industrial activities and civil population generally in the area (emphasis added)"(Davis, 2006, p. 16)
  • Portal makes Morale priority

    Portal made morale a direct priority, with a concentration on “oil when visibility allowed, morale when it did not” (Davis, 2006, p. 16). In this way bombing was able to continue despite the inability to strike strategic targets.
  • Bombing of Mannheim

    First direct city bombing on Mannheim with a ‘clear intention of burning out the city center” (Davis, 2006, p. 16)
  • Butt Report

    Butt Report delivered – showed that ‘only one bomber in five dropped its bombs within five miles of the target”. Demonstrated huge inaccuracy in Bomber Command’s methods and removed illusion that strategic bombing was effective in achieving its goals. (Davis, 2006, p. 30)
  • Directive No. 22 - Makes Air Bombing Priority

    Area bombing made priority target through Directive No 22 which redirected bombing to now be “focused on the morale of the enemy civil population and in particular of the industrial workers”.” (Garrett, 1993, p. 11)
  • Casablanca Directive

    US-British Casablanca Directive – decided the strategy for a combined bombing offensive – which resulted with the instruction that the “primary object will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system, and the undermining of morale of the German people to the point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened”. (Garret, 1993, p. 54)
  • (Late winter) US switch to area bombing

    As a result of bad weather US crews, previously using a stricter strategic bombing strategy than the RAF, moved to more inaccurate radar bombing as “it was unthinkable not to use bombers simply because visual bombing was not possible”(Rizer, 2001).
  • Order given to priortize German cities

    Bottomley gives orders giving attacks on “Next in order of priorty for Air Forces operating in the UK is attack of Berlin, Lepzig, Dresden, and associated cities where heavy attack will cause great confusion in civilian evacuation from the east and hamper movement of reinforcements from other fronts” (Davis, 2006, p. 494)