View Full Version : Eighth Air Force and sacrifice

05-09-2015, 04:42 AM
Hello! (First post!)

During a museum tour, one of the guests mentioned that the Eighth Air Force (8 AF) has been secretly but intentionally sacrificed, used as bait to bomb pointless targets like Berlin, to draw out the German air force so that they could be engaged and shot down such that there would be little air support for the Germans when D-Day came.

He went on to further point out that the 18,000 Allied casualties on D-Day were dwarfed by the losses in the 8 AF in the run-up to D-Day.

Now that he mentioned it, I don't recall much German air defense during D-Day.

Does he have a point?

I did a quick Internet search and didn't see anything obvious about on this angle.

06-06-2015, 03:43 AM
They were not just bait as was said. But in early 1944 the US decided to let their fighters loose from sticking on the bombers so the fighters could go after the German fighters and shoot down as many as they could as they wanted to defeat the German air force basically before D-day to make the invasion easier on the men. Before the fighters were turned loose they basically stuck with the bombers to protect them. But if you let the American fighters go after the German air force and chase them and shoot them down its kinda like protecting the bombers because the more German planes they shoot down the less to attack the bombers.

It started at Big Week I believe in Febuary 1944 and they did send the bombers to bomb the heck out of Germany and anything that helped them fight the war but yes they hoped the bombers would lure up as many German fighters as they could so the US fighters could shoot them down as they wanted to destroy as much of the German air force as they could. The 8th air force did become the largest single air force in world history by the end of WW II. By late 1944 the 8th could put over 2000 bombers and 1000 fighters up on a single mission and to do that you needed many more planes then that as most air forces in WW II usually had about 70% of its planes ready to fly most of the time. I do know by late 1944 the 8th had about 3000 bombers (B-17's and B-24's) in its inventory and around 1500 fighters also but no air force ever had all its planes able to fly everyday. But you can thank the great unsung hero's which were the ground crews for keeping as many planes flying as they could. Ron