What to Bomb Next? (Full Version)

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cfulbright -> What to Bomb Next? (3/29/2021 5:43:42 PM)

I'd love some advice from those who understand the Allied strategic bombing game on what to bomb next.

It's Feb. 19, 1944 in a 1943-45 campaign. As you can see from this cobbled together screenshot (Axis Industries sorted in descending order by size of each factory, done column by column with a lot of cutting and pasting!), I've done a lot of damage to most of the largest targets in: Heavy Industry, both types of Fuel, Oil, Vehicles, Air (just the Bf-109 and Fw-190 FB factories), V-Weapon manufacturing and launch sites. I haven't deliberately touched: Manpower, Resources, Armaments, AFV, Rail or Ports (will save the last two for May and June before the invasion).

With 50%+ damage on most of the larger factories I've targeted, what should I bomb next that would either 1) help my war effort militarily; or 2) add the most Bombing Victory Points. I'd rather focus on the military effort than the VP's if possible.

Does anyone have any suggestions?



loki100 -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/29/2021 7:06:17 PM)

I'd go on a VP hunt, get the larger factories bombed up to around 100 in part as that is the slowest to repair so you have a flow of VPs locked in for the period when your strategic bombers need to be elsewhere.

One thing I learnt in my tussles with Glorius Ruse (playing both sides), there is a huge reward to really trashing the larger manpower and HI factories, don't stop at 50% (which is what I used to do), crank it up to 11 (and watch your drummer explode [;)])

cfulbright -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/29/2021 7:51:41 PM)


Thanks. That's good advice.

I used to bomb up to 100%, then I read that at 50% the factory shuts down so it seemed like all I needed to do was keep the Vehicle and HI factories above that mark.

Bombing Fuel doesn't seem to do anything for the war effort (as opposed possibly to the VP game). I got the Ploesti fields up to 100% and also the Hamburg area, Ruhr, and Saxony area Fuel/Synthetic factories, yet German Fuel supply kept going up, according to the graphs. I don't know whether there's a bug in the game for units and industry not using Fuel. I was going off the US Strategic Bombing Survey conclusion that if they'd just bombed Fuel from the start, that would have been most effective. But not in WitW.


bomccarthy -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/29/2021 9:30:41 PM)

Actually, if you use the USSBS report and the later analyses, you would try to concentrate on German railyards as soon as possible. Coal was the keystone to the German economy (almost everything required coal inputs, since almost everything required vast amounts of heat), and coal had to be moved by rail. When the USAAF finally targeted the railyards in Germany during the Autumn of 1944, German industry went from peak production to collapse in 12 weeks - two months before any Allied soldier set foot on the east banks of the Rhine. Railyards were key, because trains need them for "creation", changing direction, and maintenance. As the railyards were bombed, the allocation of railcars to coal movement dropped precipitously, with combat unit supplies given priority for railcar use.

Of course, the question is whether the Allied air forces could have adequately targeted the railyards in Germany before the Summer of 1944. The transportation campaign entailed a very large number of sorties deep into Germany; there probably weren't enough escort fighters available until July or August 1944.

Fuel production and stockpiling actually continued through the end of the war, albeit at a much reduced rate; it just couldn't be delivered to its users. Now, production of synthetic aviation fuel was seriously impacted in late 1944 by Allied bombing of specific plants, but these aren't differentiated in the game from the plants producing standard grade fuel for motor vehicles. A recently published book, The Secret Horsepower Race (Callum Douglas), gives a very illuminating account of the fuel problems experienced by the German aviation industry throughout the war.

The fate of one "industry" not identified in the game, electrical power generation, so terrified the German leaders that reports of any damage to it could only be conveyed through hard copy reports, for fear that Allied intelligence would intercept wire and airwave transmissions. After the war, city leaders in Berlin told Allied interviewers that they could have shut down all operations in the city environs in just one air raid. US Air Force planners apparently took this to heart, because electric power facilities have been a priority target ever since.

cfulbright -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/29/2021 10:05:47 PM)

Thanks for the background. I looked to see if I could add a new industry type called "Electrical", but there's an Ground Element Type field or table that isn't exposed in the Editor.


cfulbright -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/30/2021 1:50:21 AM)


Between HI and Vehicle targets, do you recommend going after one or the other first?


loki100 -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/30/2021 8:14:12 AM)

fuel I think is best seen as a VP target in the game (but a good one as its slow to repair so the VP flow is sustained), the economic model being functional rather than realistic.

well I'm always in favour of bombing truck production but assuming you've done a decent job on the main plants I'd go for HI in this phase.

Two bits to my logic, first, the reason to take out the trucks is to degrade the ability of the Pzrs to recover after you've beaten them once (same as why go for the medium tanks), for good or ill the next phase of the campaign is when you need to do that initial beating. Also I tend to regard 1944 as VP neutral, your losses will just about be covered by city VP (clearly having Rome already captured really helps here), so grabbing some more bombing VP before that modifier dips again seems a useful addition to your stock.


sfbaytf -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/30/2021 6:38:00 PM)

I posted a while back about a youtuber who made videos about why concentrating on truck production was the way to go.

cfulbright -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/30/2021 6:40:17 PM)


cfulbright -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (3/31/2021 8:25:55 PM)

It turns out there's a way to toggle to edit Types in the Ground Element tab of the editor. I created an "Electricity" ground element with type of "Electricity". My two open questions would be:

1. How does one set VP's or damage point values for industries like this?
2. A good source for where the Axis electrical power generation locations were, and what values to assign to each


bomccarthy -> RE: What to Bomb Next? (4/1/2021 9:08:53 PM)


ORIGINAL: cfulbright

It turns out there's a way to toggle to edit Types in the Ground Element tab of the editor. I created an "Electricity" ground element with type of "Electricity". My two open questions would be:

1. How does one set VP's or damage point values for industries like this?
2. A good source for where the Axis electrical power generation locations were, and what values to assign to each


This gets really tricky - in addition to the "public" plants in and near cities, most of the large industrial operations had their own private power generating plants, supplying electricity to just their factories (this was also true in the United States; i.e., Ford had its own powerplant just for its Dearborn factory). Thus, disabling the public plant wouldn't affect the factory. However, I would guess that all of these private powerplants were coal-fired (the Allies discovered after the war that some 85% of electricity in Germany came from coal-fired powerplants).

The best place to start research would be the USSBS and its supporting documents; you would then probably have to spend some time in the U.S. National Archives examining wartime and postwar intelligence reports to get an idea of the distribution of electrical power in Germany.

An easier solution would be to start with Phillips Payson O'Brien, How the War was Won: Air-Sea Power and Allied Victory in World War II (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and review the bibliography for leads.

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