Conquest by Air pt1-2 1945 US Army Air Forces in World War II





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Published on May 11, 2012

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"Flashback of French troops storming German trenches during World War I; B-26's, B-17's, and P-38's in the air and bombs falling on Rouen, France, on Aug. 17, 1942; unescorted B-17's over Schweinfurt, Germany, under heavy attack by FW-190's; Gen. Eisenhower and his aides conferring; the unloading of dead and wounded from B-17's returned from the Schweinfurt raid; panoramic views of ruined Schweinfurt on Aug. 20, 1943; P-47's and P-51's in the air; bombs falling on German aircraft plants; and Folk-Wulfs on an assembly line in Germany.

Allied officers confer prior to the Normandy invasion. B-24's raid Romania's Ploesti oil fields; gun-camera footage records dogfights and the strafing of grounded German planes. Gen. Marshall confers with British officers. Allied troops land in Normandy and advance in the Ardennes Forest. Bombs fall on German tank factories. Shows the ruins of a factory in Bomark.

U.S. and British officers confer. Berlin and Bremen are bombed. Shows ruins in Germany. Transportation and communication centers are bombed. An atom bomb is tested."

NEW VERSION in one piece instead of multiple parts, and with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXSqX...

Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization.

part 2: had to be removed due to a bogus copyright claim


...The Air Force Historical Studies Office summarizes the execution of USAAF strategy during World War II:

- "Arnold's staff made the first priority in the war to launch a strategic bombing offensive in support of the RAF against Germany. The Eighth Air Force, sent to England in 1942, took on that job. After a slow and often costly effort to bring the necessary strength to bear, joined in 1944 by the Fifteenth Air Force stationed in Italy, strategic bombing finally began to get results, and by the end of the war, the German economy had been dispersed and pounded to rubble.

- Tactical air forces supported the ground forces in the Mediterranean and European theaters, where the enemy found Allied air supremacy a constant frustration. In the war against Japan, General Douglas MacArthur made his advance along New Guinea by leap frogging his air forces forward and using amphibious forces to open up new bases. The AAF also supported Admiral Chester Nimitz's aircraft carriers in their island-hopping across the Central Pacific and assisted Allied forces in Burma and China.

- Arnold directly controlled the Twentieth Air Force, equipped with the new long-range B-29 Superfortresses used for bombing Japan's home islands, first from China and then from the Marianas. Devastated by fire-raids, Japan was so weakened by August 1945 that Arnold believed neither the atomic bomb nor the planned invasion would be necessary to win the war. The fact that AAF B-29s dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nevertheless, demonstrated what air power could do in the future. The Strategic Bombing Survey provided ammunition for the leaders of the AAF in the postwar debates over armed forces unification and national strategy..."

USAAF statistical summary of World War II

...Total aircraft losses by the USAAF from December 1941 to August 1945 were 65,164, with 43,581 lost overseas and 21,583 within the Continental United States. Combat losses of aircraft totaled 22,948 world wide, with 18,418 lost in theaters fighting Germany and 4,530 lost in combat in the Pacific. The USAAF credited its own forces with destroying a total of 40,259 aircraft of opposing nations by all means, 29,916 against Germany and its allies and 10,343 in the Pacific.

The cost of the war to the USAAF was approximately $50 billion, or about 30% of the cost to the War Department, with cash expenditures from direct appropriations between July 1942 and August 1945 amounting to $35,185,548,000.

Total sorties flown by the AAF during World War II were 2,352,800, with 1,693,565 flown in Europe-related areas and 669,235 flown in the Pacific and Far East...

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