From: Bristol, UK
The repeated assertion that because Cobra carpet bombing was partially inaccurate, hence all carpet bombing must be is completely silly. In early war BC could not get bombs within 5 miles of the target most of the time. Doesn't this mean they never got any better? Fighter command largely flew fighting area tactics at the start of the Battle of Britain. Do they have to do this all war? Close air support in 1940 was a joke. By 1944 there were RAF ground controllers embedded in the army. You don't think that the air forces would have learnt from their mistakes?
As usual Warspite makes good points.
For COBRA there was no direct communication between the bombers and the soldiers on the ground waiting to follow on from their attack. Afterwards the 8AF developed elaborate systems to minimize the risk of short bombing. For example, for operation QUEEN on 16 November 1944 1,204 bombers attacked two fortified German towns in the way of ground forces.
- Most of the bombers were equipped to receive signals from a vertical SCS-51 localiser transmitter beacon placed a short distance behind the front line and two other marker beacons, giving a precise location relative to the front line and the bomb release point.
- A ground crew was in direct communication with the aircraft.
- Aircrews were extensively briefed.
- Large panels on the ground indicated the front line.
- A line of barrage balloons flew at 2,000 ft at 600 ft intervals 4,000 yards behind the front line.
- Four batteries of 90mm AA guns fired red smoke shells on the same line as the balloons but above them. Shells burst every 15 seconds at 2,000 feet below the bombers. Timings were co-ordinated by direct link between the batteries and the air controller.
No bombs fell on American troops even though the bombers attacked from 18,600 – 24,000 feet through cloud. All targets received a high proportion of hits and the German units being attacked suffered heavy casualties, up to 30% for one company; the advancing American units initially met little opposition.
By 1945 15AF added even more measures. For BUCKLAND on 9 April 1945 these included:
- A pre-defined cancellation signal - a huge ‘X’ fired by AA guns into the air.
- Bombadiers and navigators of the leading planes flew over the target beforehand, guided by recce pilots familiar with the terrain who pointed out notable geographical features. Some 175 flight of over an hours duration were made.
In this case short bombing still occurred (my sources do not say why), though the main attack by 825 B-17 and B-24s was so well aimed that German resistance was minimal.
Now we're making the same mistake as Pelton. We're taking a limited number of carpet bombing raids and extrapolating that they could have been safely and effectively on a routine basis.
So, for example, let's assume that carpet bombing had been perfected by November 1944. We know that in July 1944, the bombs struck friendly troops. Does this mean that the game should be coded so that carpet bombing causes friendly casualties in July 1944, and doesn't in November?
Confronting Liquid Sky's defenses in France, I used carpet bombing every turn, including bad weather turns. Whether this was the best move I don't know. But do we know enough to be able to say that carpet bombing could be safely used even in bad weather?
Remember that first and foremost, WITW is a game as well as history. If you give people an option that was only used sporadically in real life, they're probably going to do it all the time.
No. The point I raised was to show that assuming carpet bombing would always cause blue on blue was not valid. At no stage has anyone said it could never happen, just that it would not always happen. The examples given were in support of that.
As there were no significant static lines between August and late into September, the effectiveness of bombing in that window is impossible to derive from history. However in war people learn quickly. But this is besides the point. The question here has not even got past the issue of whether WA could bomb every week for 10 weeks.
I have a cunning plan, My Lord