how Much did the strategic bombing campaign help the Allies in WW2?

Mar 2018
837
UK
Considering how the USA and UK were putting around 40% of their wartime production to it, it achieved remarkably little. If the same industrial output had been put into tanks, artillery, fighters, tactical (ie, battlefield) bombers or just used to make higher quality versions of the equipment that was produced it would surely have been more effective.

But every side in WW2 massively overestimated how important strategic bombing would be. By the time (i.e., 1943-44) people realised it wasn't going to win the war on its own, then you've already got a fleet built and you might as well use it.
 
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Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,071
Considering how the USA and UK were putting around 40% of their wartime production to it, it achieved remarkably little. If the same industrial output had been put into tanks, artillery, fighters, tactical (ie, battlefield) bombers or just used to make higher quality versions of the equipment that was produced it would surely have been more effective.

But every side in WW2 massively overestimated how important strategic bombing would be. By the time (i.e., 1943-44) people realised it wasn't going to win the war on its own, then you've already got a fleet built and you might as well use it.
I remember reading that Churchill wanted to delay the Invasion if France partially to bleed the Russians and also, to avoid a repeat of what happened to France, Britain and their allies in 1940. Many of the Americans wanted to land earlier. I wonder how it would have turned out in a scenario where Italy was neutral and their only option for engaging the German Army was invading France or Norway. Could they have successfully done it in 1943?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,627
Considering how the USA and UK were putting around 40% of their wartime production to it, it achieved remarkably little. If the same industrial output had been put into tanks, artillery, fighters, tactical (ie, battlefield) bombers or just used to make higher quality versions of the equipment that was produced it would surely have been more effective.

But every side in WW2 massively overestimated how important strategic bombing would be. By the time (i.e., 1943-44) people realised it wasn't going to win the war on its own, then you've already got a fleet built and you might as well use it.
40% seems high , though I sure it was a massive commitment, and committed those resources elsewhere would have produced some results. A few long range aircraft soem more merchnat/escort carriers could have reduced losses in the North Alantic. Much more tatcical bombers and support could have had effort in North frica and elesehwere.

To some extent I'm sure because it was the only really offensive operation 1941-43 it was attractive because it was doing something.

Whats the basis of the 40%? raw materials? Workers? Dollar terms?
 
May 2019
145
Northern and Western hemispheres
In terms of impacting German industrial capacity and civilian morale strategic bombing was a failure. I know there's a chart somewhere showing that German aircraft production increased in 1944 despite the bombing raids. The main success of strategic bombing was that it contributed to the destruction of the luftwaffe as the bombers drew out the luftwaffe's fighters and allowed them to be engaged by the USAAF fighter escorts.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,627
Some Stats,

1943 AAF 2,197,114 personnel 31.4% of US Army strength (1944 was peak in numbers 2,372,292)
 
Mar 2018
837
UK
40% seems high , though I sure it was a massive commitment, and committed those resources elsewhere would have produced some results. A few long range aircraft soem more merchnat/escort carriers could have reduced losses in the North Alantic. Much more tatcical bombers and support could have had effort in North frica and elesehwere.

To some extent I'm sure because it was the only really offensive operation 1941-43 it was attractive because it was doing something.

Whats the basis of the 40%? raw materials? Workers? Dollar terms?
The article/report that was posted literally just above my comment. The one that you "liked".
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,627
The article/report that was posted literally just above my comment. The one that you "liked".
I did not like it the post it was someone else. and reading a whole report posted by another user is harldy intiutive,

reading it I get this.

"England devoted 40 to 50 percent of her war production to her air forces, Germany 40 percent, and the United States 35 percent."

Which is not strictly just strategic bombing. Nor does it say what this is based on (workers? cost in money? resources? ). Though I would say stretgic bombing would be the major component of air forces in general (both directly and indirectly including escorts and such) and I would think suffered higher losses and required more support (feul, munitions, air crew, ground crew, bigger airfield requirements)
 
Mar 2018
837
UK
I did not like it the post it was someone else. and reading a whole report posted by another user is harldy intiutive,

reading it I get this.

"England devoted 40 to 50 percent of her war production to her air forces, Germany 40 percent, and the United States 35 percent."

Which is not strictly just strategic bombing. Nor does it say what this is based on (workers? cost in money? resources? ). Though I would say stretgic bombing would be the major component of air forces in general (both directly and indirectly including escorts and such) and I would think suffered higher losses and required more support (feul, munitions, air crew, ground crew, bigger airfield requirements)
My bad, I saw two people had quoted me and got confused. You are also correct, the figure isn't very precise, but it's an order-of-magnitude calculation at least.

I'd also like to know if the total amount of resources/man-hours/$ spent by the allies on strategic bombing compares to the damage caused to Germany by strategic bombing on the same metrics. I suspect it's less than 1:1. However, considering the imbalance of industrial power you could argue that spending a dollar to make your enemy lose 50c is worth it.