For instance, he shows that the Americans chose precision bombing over area bombing
because their military technology was better-suited for it than the area bombing
the British preferred, and he shows the impact on the campaign of a wide array of technological innovations on both sides, such as Oboe, which targeted bombings using radar signals, and Windows, which were scraps of metal released from planes by the Allies tojam enemy radio signals.
"would not at any time direct its efforts towards area bombing
"; "they (the Americans) wanted to avoid hitting towns in they could" and; "there can be no doubt that these (American) precision targets (oil production and transportation facilities) were far more important than cities."
The wartime erosion of social and moral restraints on the bombing of civilians was evidenced on all sides during the war; in particular, however, the area bombing
of civilians in Germany and Japan by the Allied nations during the latter part of the war wrought, "a revolution in the morality of warfare" (Schaffer, 1985: 3).
"The Germans won't win the war by dribbling bombs on London." He instead turned to area bombing
because precision bombing didn't work: daytime precision bombing required good weather, clear visibility, and weak German defences.
In doing so, Bloxham provides a thoughtful discussion on the principle of proportionality and airpower--that is, what is the balance between the hoped-for military advantage gained from area bombing
on the one hand and the resulting civilian deaths and destruction of property on the other?
This, notes Bishop, is one of Churchill's less impressive moments, given his support for area bombing
and the fact that he had himself given the order for bombing Dresden.
But Grayling does not focus solely on the emotional; he provides a detailed study of the strategic questions, citing the Strategic Bombing Survey's evidence that the USAAF attacks on German ball-bearing, oil, and aircraft production were far more damaging to the Nazi war effort than was RAF area bombing
: "Almost every authority on the subject of Bomber Command's area-bombing campaign agrees that it was a failure--a failure in military terms, that is....
Once Allied forces had crossed the Rhine and were advancing into Germany, they were shocked by the scale of the devastation caused by our area bombing
British area bombing
in general was, by reason of its goal of breaking civilian morale, intentionally indiscriminate in its scope.
The continued 'area bombing
' of towns and cities, instead of strategic targets such as oil supplies and transport, was undoubtedly a serious mistake.
In the wider controversy about Harris and Bomber Command, Neillands shows how it was not one man but many who approved the idea of 'area bombing
' to obliterate targets, inevitably killing civilians in the process.
If highly concentrated area bombing
achieved a crescendo of mass slaughter and degradation over Germany in 1944, in 1945 the world leapt into another zone.