Author Topic: FSO: Over the Reich: Germany 1944 - Frame 1 11PM EST  (Read 140 times)

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FSO: Over the Reich: Germany 1944 - Frame 1 11PM EST
« on: January 31, 2019, 10:46:37 AM »
By the spring of 1944 the Allied bombing of Germany had become a round the clock undertaking. The strategy known as the Combined Bombing Offensive tasked the USAAF to strike targets by day and the RAF to attack by night. Prior to the strategic air forces coming under the direct command of General Eisenhower for D-Day the air fleets were committed to operation POINTBLANK. This operation directed the air forces to attack the German aircraft industry and to attrite the defending Luftwaffe fighter units. The aim was to ensure that the Luftwaffe would not play a role in the upcoming invasion.

Withing VIII Fighter Command the most important fighter by the beginning of 1944 was the P-47 Thunderbolt. With drop tanks the P-47s range was increased and with the return of P-38s to England the "heavies" could be escorted as far as Berlin. Destined to become the most important American fighter in the ETO the P-51 Mustang made its combat debut in December 1943. With long range and performance the pioneer Mustang groups heralded a new era in the Army Air Force fighter escort role.

On the German side the new Me 410 had joined the older Bf 110 in the heavy fighter mission. Since early in the war the heavy fighter concept had worked well for the Luftwaffe but long ranged escort fighters had begun to take a heavy toll on them. The Fw 190 equipped Sturmgruppe close attack formations signaled a shift in interception strategy. The Jagdflieger continued to have success but the losses amongst  veteran fighter crews and leaders was becoming harder to replace as the campaign wore on. The Luftwaffe reinforced with units from Russia and elsewhere to bolster it's strength in the West. 1944 would be the decisive contest between 8th Army Air Force and the Defence of the Reich Jagdgeschwaders.

Frame dates:

Frame 1 Feb 8th 2019
Frame 2 Feb 15th 2019
Frame 3 Feb 22nd 2019

More info & writeup:

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