Re: War Is Bad
Fighter escorts were kind of useless.
Sir, I must disagree with you. The daylight bombing raids of 1943 and early '44 were primarily designed to FORCE the Luftwaffe into the air. Hitler HAD to defend the key cities and industrial targets those raids went after. The Luftwaffe was ordered to intercept those bombers at any cost. Early on, the Allies' tactic worked fairly well, but soon the Germans figured out where the fighter escorts (mostly P-47s, which were good fighters, but had limited range) had to turn back and attacked the unescorted bombers. After the P-51s came along, with their "all the way to the target and back" range, the escorts inflicted massive casualties on the Luftwaffe before D-Day. This is what gave the Allies the air superiority without which the Normandy landings wouldn't have been possible.
Air superiority is critical, and both sides knew it. Goering launched "Operation Eagle Attack" with the aim of achieving air superiority over Blighty. His failure to achieve that air superiority, due to the RAF's heroic efforts in the "Battle of Britain," was a key factor that prevented Hitler from ordering his own "D-Day" attack on Blighty, Operation Sea Lion.