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Target Germany

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Target Germany: The Army Air Forces' Official Story of the VIII Bomber Command's First Year Over Europe
  • Army Air Forces Aid Society, New York, 1943
    • 136 pages
    • 102 photos
    • 17 illustrations
    • 4 maps
    • 2 charts
  • Free PDF download

Well illustrated account of the Eighth Air Force's bomber forces during its first year in operation over Europe.


  • Mission 95: The complete story of a typical late-stage attack on Germany by the VIII Bomber Command, from the first decision to send out the mission until; the last strike photo is pulled that night.

  • From Fives Miles Up: The history, told in terms any layman can understand, of the conception and development of American high-altitude precision bombing. This chapter sets the scene for our entire operation in the European theater, telling why we tried to do what we tried to do.

  • Act 1, Scene 1: The story of the early days. The arrival of General Eaker as Bomber Commander in England. The "symbolic" raid of July 4th. "Arrival of aircraft: 1 B-17E. Total: 1" The first kindergarten missions.

  • Luftwaffe Over Lille: The official and eyewitness accounts of our first major air battle, as the American spearhead and the massed strength of the Luftwaffe collide over Lille. The claims problems and how it was worked out. The amazing durability of the Forts. An Air-Sea rescue.

  • Twelve Feet of Concrete: We hammer the submarine pens at La Pallice, Lorient, and St. Nazaire. Formation of "Junior"—the 12th Air Force. The medium-level raid. The Nazis move in their best fighters and best flak. How we kept changing our tactics, modifying our plans. "You always get good trouble over St. Nazaire." Operational anecdotes.

  • Parlous Days: Station life from November 1942 to the Casablanca conference in January. Restricted operations and why. What it's like to lunch at London one day and be a human target five miles up over France next morning. The problem of "the full breakfast table." Casablanca and the questions on which the future of the VIII Bomber Command depended.

  • Target: Germany: We join the RAF in the Battle of Germany. First attacks against port installations and marshaling yards. Rennes. Vegesack. Bremen. Story of the "Southern Comfort." The first deep penetration attack. Jack Mathis' last flight.

  • Battles in the Sky: The "Southern Comfort" again—"I could see one of them wearing my bathrobe." The attack on the Renault factories. A Wing Commander's informal notes on one sortie. Bremen—and the most vicious fighter concentration yet encountered. One navigator's story. How a ball turret gunner won the Medal of Honor.

  • Men, Mud and Machines: What it takes to build an air base. One enemy the engineers can't arm themselves against. Why it takes some 75,000 men to put 500 heavy bombers over an enemy target. The job of the Army Service Forces and the Air Service Command. Believe-it-or-not figures that are facts.

  • The Old One-Two: The German defense network against our air attack. Air-to-air bombing and rocket guns fail to stop the Forts. The air battles from the destruction of the Focke-Wulf plant at Bremen on May 17, to the end of the "first phase" of the bombing offensive on July 1st. We triple our size and expand our tactics almost overnight. A Sergeant Gunner's diary. Tactical deception.

  • The Log of the Liberators: The story of the Liberators in the European theater. A freak accident. A Lib pilot describes Kiel. The attack on Ploesti oil fields. "Those German fighters used non-habit-forming tactics!" Summing up of the attack.

  • Full Stride: Operations from July 1 to the time this manuscript went to press. The cyclonic air battles of July. "Blitz week." The men of the "Happy Daze." Story of grim fortitude. The Thunderbolts. The "intruder" Flying Fortress. Freak accidents. August 17th over Regensburg—one year to the day after the VIII Bomber Command had started operations over Europe—when the sky was cluttered with falling planes and bodies. Eyewitness stories. "Each second of time had a cannon shell in it."

  • The Summing Up: What the year over Europe has proved. An inventory of achievements. What the immediate future holds; the continued destruction of Germany, her war potential, her will to fight. The future: forging a weapon here that will play its part in the shattering of Japan.

  • Glossary

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