From: Detroit Mi, USA
Well, in a probably vain attempt to drag back to topic, I would have to say that the Allied bombing campaign of Germany (unfortunately, I can't speak with any knowledge of the PTO) was absolutely pivotal to the Allied victory.
Suggesting that the German production figures went up anyway misses the point completely, that they didn't go up by much. Before total war was called and the economy fully mobilised, the Germans were not even running plants at three shifts per day. There was slack in the system and it was bombing's achievement that industrial expansion and that slack only amounted to the increases that it did.
Secondly, the bombing of cities had a number of deadly effects over and above deaths among war workers. To begin with, the Allies essentially dismantled the German transportation system in 1944/45. In 1945, factories were liberated in Germany that still had full tank parks, the vehicles immobilised because trains were hardly running. All train lines led through cities. The destruction of the cities fouled mile after mile of track at strategic points (rail lines generally met and intersected at Cities) with rubble. The marshalling yards inside cities were destroyed, engines blown up and repair facilities crippled. Simply turning engines around was difficult.
At it's height, over 1 million personnel (a number of who'm could have fought at the front) were deployed manning flak defences. Over 55000 anti aircraft pieces were deployed to defend the Reich. Many were of 88 calibre and if not shooting at Allied bombers would have been taking down Allied tanks at the front. Thousands of tonnes of concrete and other raw materials created shelters and flak towers.
Production suffered as much through the crippling of the railways as it did through direct bombing. Towards the end, entire factories sat idle because the railways could not get supplies of raw materials to them to produce their weapons, nor take the completed kit away.
Finally, the bombing forced the Germans to deploy hundreds of fighters on home soil, effectively ceding control of the air just about everywhere else. More importantly, this fighter force was decimated when the P-51 arrived in large numbers and began escorting the bombers. Over several months, the Luftwaffe was chooped to pieces in a series of gruelling attritional battles. With their losse high, their aircraft often sabotaged by foreign workers and their oil plants and railways bombed to the point that fuel was in short supply and replacement pilots could not be given much air time, the Luftwaffe was knocked out of the war.
All of this was a direct result of the Allied bomber offensive. We can call it immoral, we can deplore the killing of civilians, but we shouldn't lose sight of its pivotal role in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Right on the money buddy!