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Old 22nd November 2009, 16:02
The Machinist The Machinist is offline
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German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

I tried to look for German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940. The only french strategic targets hit by Luftwaffe bombings, that I found, are mainly Airfields and Railway Stations. Do anyone knows about other strategic targets in France hit by Luftwaffe in 1940, such as factories or power plants or depots, and the details about missions?

Is it possible to find the list of targets and missions in some database?
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Old 22nd November 2009, 21:12
Pieter H Pieter H is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

Already on May 10 Heinkels of II/KG1 attacked the Potez aircraft factory in Albert.
In the Netherlands the Koolhoven aircraft factory on the airfield of Waalhaven was effectively destroyed by the early morning bomb raid on that airfield.

Pieter
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Old 22nd November 2009, 21:42
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

Well Machinist

I am not sure Luftwaffe really had any strategic outlines drawn up to them at this campaign. Not even sure the OBW really could differentiate between tactial and strategic at the time. Their aime was by the face of it to make a fast and total campaign and conquer their set territory as fast as possible (Blitz tactics) and it worked thanks to the Allies not really understanding such tactics either. I would rather have the Luftwaffe as part of a tactical campaign all the way up to the Battle of Britain where of course no tactics could work due to the non existance of any back up from the Heer. The bombing of any (in today's parlance) strategic goals in France at this time was not part of any strategic goals itself but part of an all out war under a tactical signature. Luftwaffe was basically during it whole existance fighting a war with tactical weapons/tactics but using these weapons many times against strategic targets with mostly indifferent results. I am pretty certain that Göring as CinC was not capable of differentiate between these two outsets since his and most of the OBW (which also includes Hitler) had no clear capacity to do either.

I am not well read enough to state if there were anyone in the world at this time (1939/40) who had a clear vision regarding tactical and strategic targets as such and who could plan for a long term capacity to make it. As the war progressed there were air force planners who certainly were capable of grasping the concept and plane for it and even execute it, but Luftwaffe never accomplished it due to various reasons.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 23rd November 2009, 10:22
The Machinist The Machinist is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

Thanks for answers!

Now I learned about two aircraft factories bombed by Luftwaffe, that I didn't knew. Effectively, I imagine that OKW was not so interested in strategic bombing until the Battle of Britain ; and the Luftwaffe didn't had the four-engined bombers required for the task, being focused in tactical roles, as Stig said.

Anyway, if someone else knows about any other strategic targets hit by Luftwaffe in French Campaign 1940, it will be appreciated!
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Old 23rd November 2009, 12:50
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

There was a specific mission against Paris: I don't have the date offhand but I'm sure it is available in several works on the campaign. Other than that I have to agree whoelheartedly with Stig.

After all, if you intend a quick takeover there is little point in damaging the assets.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 13:28
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

The German raid on Paris was on 3 June 1940 and codenamed Paula. The French counter-operation was codenamed Tapir. It is well covered by several books and article, including a French magazine dating from this year IIRC (I don't have it, so speaking from memory).

Even if this was probably the "most strategic" raid by the Luftwaffe during this campaign, the targets chosen were mainly airfields rather than factories or the town itself.

In some circunstances, aviation factories were bombed but as they were close to active airfields, what was the main target could be questionned. That is especially the case for the Dutch target evocated above.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 13:45
The Machinist The Machinist is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

Good! Thanks!
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Old 24th November 2009, 00:33
ChrisS ChrisS is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

Hello

This page has some very visual proof of the efficacy of the Luftwaffe's bombing campaign in the BoF:

http://www.histavia21.net/Tempo/Luftwaffe2.htm

Cheers
Chris
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Old 24th November 2009, 00:52
The Machinist The Machinist is offline
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Re: German strategic bombing in Battle of France 1940

Interesting photos! Thanks!

So it seems that strategic targets such as Factories, around France, were not neglected by Luftwaffe, although it was focused on tactical role.
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