Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
User Panel

Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 7
Posted: 8/17/2017 8:06:35 AM EDT


The Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission was an air combat battle in World War II. A strategic bombing attack flown by B-17 Flying Fortresses of the U.S. Army Air Forces on August 17, 1943, it was conceived as an ambitious plan to cripple the German aircraft industry. The mission was also known as the "double-strike mission" because it entailed two large forces of bombers attacking separate targets in order to disperse fighter reaction by the Luftwaffe, and was the first "shuttle" mission, in which all or part of a mission landed at a different field and later bombed another target returning to its base.

After being postponed several times by unfavorable weather, the operation, known within the Eighth Air Force as "Mission No. 84", was flown on the anniversary of the first daylight raid by the Eighth Air Force.

Mission No. 84 was a strike by 376 bombers of sixteen bomb groups against German heavy industry well beyond the range of escorting fighters. The mission inflicted heavy damage on the Regensburg target, but at catastrophic loss to the force, with 60 bombers lost and many more damaged beyond economical repair. As a result, the Eighth Air Force was unable to follow up immediately with a second attack that might have seriously crippled German industry. When Schweinfurt was finally attacked again two months later, the lack of long-range fighter escort had still not been addressed and losses were even higher. As a consequence, deep penetration strategic bombing was curtailed for five months.

"As soon as the reconnaissance photographs were received on the evening of the 17th, Generals Eaker and Anderson knew that the Schweinfurt raid had been a failure. The excellent results at Regensburg were small consolation for the loss of 60 B-17s. The results of the bombing were exaggerated, and the high losses were well disguised in after-mission reports. Everyone who flew the mission stressed the importance of the escorts in reducing losses; the planners grasped only that Schweinfurt would have to be bombed again, soon, in another deep-penetration, unescorted mission[5]”


LINK
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:20:00 AM EDT
[#1]
...some gave all
USAAF bombers damaged/shot down

B-17 Down

Emergency Landing at Duebendorf during WW II
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:22:25 AM EDT
[#2]
Ira Eaker was still fighting with WWI tactics.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:30:09 AM EDT
[#3]
I wonder how much urgency there would have been to redo the mission, had the mission planner's sons been the assigned aircrew. 
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:40:33 AM EDT
[#4]
60 bombers lost becomes nuts when you start doing the math on crews.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:42:44 AM EDT
[#5]
26,000 KIA just in the 8th AF alone.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:51:09 AM EDT
[#6]
8th and 9th AAF lost more men in WW2 than the entire USMC.

But, swear to god, we are so fucking ready to bomb schweifurt now.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:52:57 AM EDT
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
60 bombers lost becomes nuts when you start doing the math on crews.
View Quote
VERY few crews were able to complete their 25 missions...

Average flew 7-9 missions before being lost in service.

Those loss rates were completely unsustainable in aircraft and men...

Generals were still high on the Fallacy of "The Bomber Always Gets Through"... and "Self Supporting Interlocking Fields of Fire"...
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:56:58 AM EDT
[#8]
Dad flew out of Italy as a copilot in 342nd BS, 97th BG. Part of the "Forgotten Fifteenth" Air Force. Shot down on a mission to Gyor, Hungary on 13 April, 1944 and held in Stalag Luft 3.


Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:00:59 AM EDT
[#9]
They didn't need a permit to fight Nazis either.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:04:57 AM EDT
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Dad flew out of Italy as a copilot in 342nd BS, 97th BG. Part of the "Forgotten Fifteenth" Air Force. Shot down on a mission to Gyor, Hungary on 13 April, 1944 and held in Stalag Luft 3.


http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d729b3127ccec545005a469400000040O02UbtWzl­iyB7efDA/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/
View Quote
Awesome.
My Dad was a gunner on an A-20.
The last time he spoke with my brother's best friend was right around Veteran's day, 2005. During the conversation regarding WWII, Dad just stated "I don't know how any of us made it through that goddam war".
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:06:20 AM EDT
[#11]
And they went back......Second Raid on Schweinfurt......October 14, 1943......Black Thursday.


"Of the 291 B-17 Flying Fortresses sent on the mission, 60 were lost outright, another 17 damaged so heavily that they had to be scrapped, and another 121 had varying degrees of battle damage. Outright losses represented over 26% of the attacking force. Losses in aircrew were equally heavy, with 650 men lost of 2,900, 22% of the bomber crews. The American Official History of the Army Air Forces in the Second World War acknowledged losses had been so heavy that the USAAF would not return to the target for four months."

Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:24:36 AM EDT
[#12]
I knew an elderly Air Force 0-6 who as a 22yo shake and bake flew the second raid.

We spoke of it once.

Other missions several times; Black Thursday only once.

It was horrific.  His plane came home with two dead and four wounded, including the navigator and bombardier hit by a FW-190 attacking head on. He and the co-pilot weren't hit only by God's grace. The bombardier, wounded, still toggled the bombs away.

Talking about this raid he said something to me I've never forgotten - "When you see a movie of a 17 or 24 going down in flames or out of control, remember there were ten good men who went with it."


And a factoid.

Once committed to a mission, the Eight Air Force never turned back.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:27:44 AM EDT
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
They didn't need a permit to fight Nazis either.
View Quote
Well, technically speaking, they did need a permit issued by Congress for the war, and then the plane needed a permit to fly, several other checkout regulations, crews had to pass certifications, etc.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:29:27 AM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
They didn't need a permit to fight Nazis either.
View Quote
But those were real Nazis.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:39:01 AM EDT
[#15]
My grandfather took part in that mission.  He told me about it a couple times.  He was a B17 flight engineer/top turret gunner.  He did his 25 missions and then taught aerial gunnery in England for almost a year after that before coming home.  His whole crew stayed together for all 25 missions and their plane never suffered major damage.  They were extremely lucky.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:45:59 AM EDT
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
But those were real Nazis.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
They didn't need a permit to fight Nazis either.
But those were real Nazis.
And the USAAF was comprised completely of lawful combatants.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:53:32 AM EDT
[#17]
There were more people in the USAAF in WWII that all the services currently.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 10:03:33 AM EDT
[#18]
600,000 German civilians killed by airraids. In the City of Kassel around 10,000 people died on the night of October 22 1943, when an immense firestorm swept the city.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 10:07:46 AM EDT
[#19]
My dad flew 33 missions over Germany as B-17 pilot. His early missions were during a period when the average life expectancy was three missions. Lack of pilots and lack of planes meant the "25 mission" rule no longer applied.

His final mission was on the day Germany surrendered. He was the group leader - about an hour after taking off, he got a radio message saying the war was over. He said the proper authentication code wasn't used, so they continued on and bombed their target.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 10:28:59 AM EDT
[#20]
Still,the US was able to replace B-17s and entire crews more easily than the Luftwaffe could replace roughly the same number of fighters lost while shooting them down,disregarding any impact the bombing had. This is really how and why the war was won but of course most missions were not anything nearly as dire.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:01:12 AM EDT
[#21]
Four years ago on Memorial Day I was leaving the community center after working out and I met two guys a bit older than me. One was wearing a 7th Cav campaign hat. I asked him if he had served. He told me yeah I was with Moore at Ia Drang Valley. I was fascinated, I had just finished reading We Were Soldiers for the second time. His buddy told me yeah he was there, "I was sent in a couple days later Bravo Company to help pull his ass out." After I'd thanked them for their service and we shook  hands I noticed a small guy who looked about 80 or so behind them he had been quiet while I talked with the other two. He spoke up and said "I've been in the service too." I asked which branch? He said Army Air Corps, "I don't know if you ever heard of it but I was in on the Schweinfurt raid......."  I told him I did know of the raid and that I was amazed that on Memorial Day I'd be able to run into men that had fought in two battles I'd read so much about.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:12:39 AM EDT
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


VERY few crews were able to complete their 25 missions...

Average flew 7-9 missions before being lost in service.

Those loss rates were completely unsustainable in aircraft and men...

Generals were still high on the Fallacy of "The Bomber Always Gets Through"... and "Self Supporting Interlocking Fields of Fire"...
View Quote
Agree...  The Germans were pretty innovative with their fighter aircraft and armaments too.  Not to mention the 88s were an amazing weapon for the day - dual use against air threats and very deadly against armor.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:16:03 AM EDT
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
600,000 German civilians killed by airraids. In the City of Kassel around 10,000 people died on the night of October 22 1943, when an immense firestorm swept the city.
View Quote
Should we count the millions of people the Germans killed as well?  WWII should be the war to end all wars - and I truly hope it does just that...
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:17:29 AM EDT
[#24]
My dad was in the AAC medical corp stationed at one of the many bases in England during the war.  Fifty years later he said he would still smell burnt human flesh when he smelled gasoline.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:18:06 AM EDT
[#25]
Grandpa flew a full extended tour as a ball turret gunner (398th bomb group, 601st squadron), said they got lucky that nobody on their crew was ever seriously injured even though they took hits all the time including an 88 shell going right through the fuselage and not exploding. Once they were down to one engine and had to make an emergency landing in Switzerland.

I wish I had been older when he was still around to talk to him more about it.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:22:59 AM EDT
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
8th and 9th AAF lost more men in WW2 than the entire USMC.

But, swear to god, we are so fucking ready to bomb schweifurt now.
View Quote
RAF Bomber Command suffered one third of all British KIA.  Just Bomber Command.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:25:42 AM EDT
[#27]
I worked in the 1970's with a machinist that was involved in that very raid.
He told me their plane was in absolute tatters when they got back to England.
In fact they were quite lucky as a German 88 mm round passed right through the plane but for some reason did not explode.
He was 19 years old at that time I believe he said.
For a kid that grew up in small town Texas this was some rodeo.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:30:17 AM EDT
[#28]
If the brits hadn't still been dicking around with night time only ops, it would not have been that horrible.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:30:55 AM EDT
[#29]
How long and rigorous was the training to become a pilot in WWII?

It seems like now a-days every pilot is in his late 30s by the time they get to actually fly missions.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:35:05 AM EDT
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
If the brits hadn't still been dicking around with night time only ops, it would not have been that horrible.
View Quote
Brits tried day light raids early in the war and got slaughtered.  They thought the Americans were insane for trying daylight raids.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:35:45 AM EDT
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Grandpa flew a full extended tour as a ball turret gunner (398th bomb group, 601st squadron), said they got lucky that nobody on their crew was ever seriously injured even though they took hits all the time including an 88 shell going right through the fuselage and not exploding. Once they were down to one engine and had to make an emergency landing in Switzerland.

I wish I had been older when he was still around to talk to him more about it.
View Quote
Internment in Switzerland could be pretty shitty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wauwilermoos_internment_camp
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:38:06 AM EDT
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
How long and rigorous was the training to become a pilot in WWII?

It seems like now a-days every pilot is in his late 30s by the time they get to actually fly missions.
View Quote
Roughly speaking most aircrew were in the training pipeline for about a year.  We cranked out an enormous number of pilots, indeed by 1945 we had too many pilots and not enough infantry.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:38:30 AM EDT
[#33]
That must have been some relief at least, later in the war when the P-51's started to stack up on your wing headed to the target.

Headed to the target without fighter escort must have been pretty damn depressing.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:38:42 AM EDT
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Dad flew out of Italy as a copilot in 342nd BS, 97th BG. Part of the "Forgotten Fifteenth" Air Force. Shot down on a mission to Gyor, Hungary on 13 April, 1944 and held in Stalag Luft 3.


http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8d729b3127ccec545005a469400000040O02UbtWzl­iyB7efDA/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/
View Quote
My grandfather was 8th AF, 449th bomb group at grottagile, italy.  He was also shot down and a POW at Stalagluft 3 for a time.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:41:41 AM EDT
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
They didn't need a permit to fight Nazis either.
View Quote
Just to be clear, do you think modern day Antifa in this country are heroes?  Because that seems to be the veiled analogy you are making.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 11:49:31 AM EDT
[#36]
What a fucking waste.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 2:18:19 PM EDT
[#37]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That must have been some relief at least, later in the war when the P-51's started to stack up on your wing headed to the target.

Headed to the target without fighter escort must have been pretty damn depressing.
View Quote
Fighters helped if you could fly high enough to avoid flak
Dad said that shrapnel from distant rounds sounded like hail on an awning.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 2:47:13 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Grandpa flew a full extended tour as a ball turret gunner (398th bomb group, 601st squadron), said they got lucky that nobody on their crew was ever seriously injured even though they took hits all the time including an 88 shell going right through the fuselage and not exploding. Once they were down to one engine and had to make an emergency landing in Switzerland.

I wish I had been older when he was still around to talk to him more about it.
View Quote
Small world.  My uncle flew in the 603rd of the 398th.  32 missions, shot down once on the Cologne raid in early 45 and made back to the British lines.  My avatar is the 603rd patch.

When he returned to the states he told my aunt that he would never fly in a plane again.  He passed in 2002 and every trip that they took no matter how far it was they drove.  My uncle was the toughest man that I ever knew.  For him to be so deeply scarred from his war experience speaks volumes.   He would talk about the planes and his crew but never talk about specific missions.  He once told me that the worst thing that he ever saw was at his base in England.  A crew member from another plane wasn't paying attention and walked into a running prop on an in-board engine.  My uncle saw what was coming and screamed at the guy but there was too much noise from the engines and he couldnt be heard.  
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 2:57:44 PM EDT
[#39]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That must have been some relief at least, later in the war when the P-51's started to stack up on your wing headed to the target.

Headed to the target without fighter escort must have been pretty damn depressing.
View Quote
Even fighter escort generated controversy.  The bombers wanted the fighters tucked in tight with them.  The fighters want to roam free over Germany engaging the Luftwaffe whenever and wherever they found them.  The Germans had a similar debate during the Battle of Britain. Eventually we had enough fighters that we could do both but it took a while to get there.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 2:58:43 PM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
8th and 9th AAF lost more men in WW2 than the entire USMC.

But, swear to god, we are so fucking ready to bomb schweifurt now.
View Quote
Losses for a valid contribution to the war effort. Those losses required a massive investment of material and men on behalf of the Germans, resources which otherwise could have been turned against the ground forces who were defeating the enemy (the Soviets). An 88 is far more effective against tanks then aircraft, and a huge amount of them were sitting in Germany pointed skyward rather then in Russia pointed east. It wasn't the cleanest or most effective application of airpower, but it did work and it was part of the direct killchain on the German Nazi state.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:02:39 PM EDT
[#41]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Losses for a valid contribution to the war effort. Those losses required a massive investment of material and men on behalf of the Germans, resources which otherwise could have been turned against the ground forces who were defeating the enemy (the Soviets). An 88 is far more effective against tanks then aircraft, and a huge amount of them were sitting in Germany pointed skyward rather then in Russia pointed east. It wasn't the cleanest or most effective application of airpower, but it did work and it was part of the direct killchain on the German Nazi state.
View Quote
It cost 25% of the US war effort and barely slowed production. And it didn't break German morale.

Very poor investment.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:07:57 PM EDT
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Even fighter escort generated controversy.  The bombers wanted the fighters tucked in tight with them.  The fighters want to roam free over Germany engaging the Luftwaffe whenever and wherever they found them.  The Germans had a similar debate during the Battle of Britain. Eventually we had enough fighters that we could do both but it took a while to get there.
View Quote
P-51s stayed above the bombers to avoid flak
P-47s would dive on AA guns and hit them
Dad liked the thunderbolts and respected the he'll out of their pilots.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:09:55 PM EDT
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Brits tried day light raids early in the war and got slaughtered.  They thought the Americans were insane for trying daylight raids.
View Quote
Churchill spoke of "bombing those devils around the clock".
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:21:39 PM EDT
[#44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
And they went back......Second Raid on Schweinfurt......October 14, 1943......Black Thursday.


"Of the 291 B-17 Flying Fortresses sent on the mission, 60 were lost outright, another 17 damaged so heavily that they had to be scrapped, and another 121 had varying degrees of battle damage. Outright losses represented over 26% of the attacking force. Losses in aircrew were equally heavy, with 650 men lost of 2,900, 22% of the bomber crews. The American Official History of the Army Air Forces in the Second World War acknowledged losses had been so heavy that the USAAF would not return to the target for four months."

http://media.dma.mil/2005/Dec/27/2000573820/-1/-1/0/050330-F-1234P-130.JPG
View Quote
The writeup says that they wouldn't return to Schweinfurt for four months, my grandpa was on that raid, Feb. 24, 1944. There probably wasn't any cheering when they pulled the curtain back on the map and they saw that place again. They went to Augsburg again the next day, and then again on March 16th. Augsburg was bad news too.

He was a ball turret gunner, 364th Bombardment Squadron of the 95th Bomb Group and flew 28 combat missions.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:30:59 PM EDT
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Churchill spoke of "bombing those devils around the clock".
View Quote
Wasn't his choice or his bill to pay. Daylight bombing did turn out to be a bad idea.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:36:43 PM EDT
[#46]
My grandpa flew 29 missions in the 8th on B17s as a co pilot. He lived. Most didn't.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 3:41:08 PM EDT
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That must have been some relief at least, later in the war when the P-51's started to stack up on your wing headed to the target.

Headed to the target without fighter escort must have been pretty damn depressing.  
View Quote
Imagine the feelings of the crews who knew what was coming when they had to watch their shorter ranged escort fighters break off and head home before P-51s were in service?  I'm surprised there aren't stories of in-flight suicides from that alone.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 4:31:49 PM EDT
[#48]
The daylight bombers are almost directly responsible for the complete destruction of the Luftwaffe.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 4:44:12 PM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
They didn't need a permit to fight Nazis either.
View Quote
Neither did these guys. Wonder how that turned out?
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 4:46:49 PM EDT
[#50]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


It cost 25% of the US war effort and barely slowed production. And it didn't break German morale.

Very poor investment.
View Quote
More than a million men were committed to air protection of Germany.
A significant portion of the German fighter force was deployed in the West against the Allied bombing offensive.

This amount of men, aircraft and 88s could well have turned the tide on the eastern front, or at least brought a negotiated peace like there had been in WW1.
Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 7
Close Join Our Mail List to Stay Up To Date! Win a FREE Membership!

Sign up for the ARFCOM weekly newsletter and be entered to win a free ARFCOM membership. One new winner* is announced every week!

You will receive an email every Friday morning featuring the latest chatter from the hottest topics, breaking news surrounding legislation, as well as exclusive deals only available to ARFCOM email subscribers.


By signing up you agree to our User Agreement. *Must have a registered ARFCOM account to win.
Top Top