Mission 8: Schweinfurt, Germany
October 14, 1943

Air Chief Says Blitz
Will Doom Nazis
by Spring

Bombs Will Destroy All
Power to Carry On
War -- Gen. Le May


    AN EIGHTH BOMBER STATION, Oct. 15 -- German war industry will be so smashed by spring as a result of the Allied aerial pounding that the Nazis won't be able to fight effectively any longer on land, sea or in the air, Brig. Gen. Curtis E. Le May, commander of a U.S. heavy bombardment division, declared today.
    "Winter holds no hope for Germany," predicted the 36-year-old veteran of a year's European air battles.
    "By spring the Allies will have destroyed enough of the German war industry to ensure that they cannot fight effectively any more.
    "The enemy will be pounded as frequently as strength is available. The more Fortresses we have here the shorter the war is going to be, and the more fighters we have to protect the Fortresses the smaller the losses will be."

Last Hope -- and a Poor One

    The Germans are shooting the works on their last defensive hope -- fighter planes -- but it is not much of a hope, the General said. "Once they run out of planes and supplies they are done."
    He contended that the bombing of the Schweinfurt ball-bearing plant meant that American heavy bombers virtually smashed 50 per cent of the enemy's bearing production.
    "What other method in modern warfare could be used to destroy that much of the enemy's war effort with the loss of 600 men?" Gen. Le May asked.
    Sixty planes failed to return from the great attack, but it was estimated that probably half of the crews reached the ground alive.
    As a direct result of the Allied air war in Europe, Le May declared, the Allied forces on the Russian and Mediterranean fronts gained air superiority. He added that over France and Germany enemy fighter strength was "moving up all the time. How long the enemy can go on depends on how much he will strip other fronts."
    American bombing losses have been increasing in numbers recently, Le May continued, but the percentage, considering the forces employed, has remained almost constantly at less than five, he added.
    "The destruction of targets like Marienburg's Focke-Wulf plant and Schweinfurt is worth almost any expenditure," he said.
    The fact that the Germans now are using rocket-gunned planes of every type -- some of them obsolescent -- "may be a measure of their desperation," Le May concluded.

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