Eighty years on from the “Big Week”

Photo:  American bombing of German industrial sites, February 1944

Follow the new Spielberg series “Masters of the Air” with your copy of Sir Martin’s Second World War Atlas, with maps such as “The United States ‘Big Week’ Bombing Offensive, 19-25 February 1944”, below.

“This is the dawning of a day of wrath” as expressed by “Hap” Arnold of the USAAF

From the map text:

To prevent German aircraft interfering with the planned Allied landings in Normandy, the United States Strategic Air Force launched 3,000 sorties from Britain and 500 from southern Italy against German aircraft industry, including airframe manufacturing and aircraft assembly plants.  During the “Big Week” offensive, the United States Eighth Air Force lost 226 heavy bombers and 2,600 crewmen.  A total of 8,000 tons of bombs were dropped.  The German Air Force, with more than 500 fighter aircraft destroyed, lost the ability to control the air above German soil.

 Read:  The Second World War Atlas

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