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Old 18th March 2019, 21:01
Dan History Dan History is offline
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How many tonnes of bombs did the Allies drop on D-Day?

Christophe Cony stated that the Allies dropped 23,178 tonnes of bombs on D-Day, but this figure is clearly excessive. Does anyone have a figure, how many tonnes were actually expended? Perhaps the figure of 23,178 tonnes refers to the entire month before and including D-Day?

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Dan
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Old 18th March 2019, 21:51
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: How many tonnes of bombs did the Allies drop on D-Day?

This site: https://www.dday-overlord.com/en/d-day/figures

says:

7,616 Tonnage of allied bombs dropped on Normandy during the night of June 5-6, 1944

and

10,395 Tonnage of allied bombs dropped on Normandy all day of June 6, 1944
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Old 19th March 2019, 00:12
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: How many tonnes of bombs did the Allies drop on D-Day?

From memory, many of the missions flown in the night of June 5-6 were in the hours before dawn, while a good part of those flown in the night of 6-7 were in the evening of the 6th. As the bombing effort on the second night was bigger than on the first (1065 Bomber Command aircraft vs 1012), this would add some thousand more tons of bombs. According to the BC War diaries by Middlebrook and Everitt, 3488 tons of bombs were dropped that night.

A quick check in the BC Losses book for 1944 show that most raids of the 6-7 June actually hit their targets after midnight British time. So either Mr Cony's total is including all activity from the day and both nights, or something is wrong with his numbers. By the way, 7,616 tons for the night of 5-6 June is too high for the Bomber Command only, the tonnage estimated by the BC War diaries is "over 5,000 tons"

The USAAF chronology says that "In all, 1,729 bombers drop 3,596 tons of bombs during D-Day." That is only for the heavy bombers (B-17 and B-24). Medium bombers and fighter bombers will add some thousands. Still the strategic bombers of RAF and USAFF so delivered about 12,000 tons of bombs from evening of the 5th to dawn of the 7th, so 11,000 tons by medium and fighter bombers is probably too high. On the other hand, with probably 15,000 tons delivered in total on this 36 hours period, 23,000 tons is certainly not the right amount for the month.
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Old 19th March 2019, 10:53
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Re: How many tonnes of bombs did the Allies drop on D-Day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSwank View Post
link
Thank you, RSwank. An obvious source which I did not check!

This information allowed me to find the following, reasonably definitive, text, in the Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945. It is available online at https://history.army.mil/html/books/...-58/index.html:

"During the 24 hours of 6 June, the Strategic Air Forces flew 5,309 sorties to drop 10,395 tons of bombs, while aircraft of the tactical forces flew a further 5,276 sorties"

These are US, or short, tons, so the equivalent weight in metric tonnes is 9,430.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti View Post
From memory, many of the missions flown in the night of June 5-6 were in the hours before dawn, while a good part of those flown in the night of 6-7 were in the evening of the 6th. As the bombing effort on the second night was bigger than on the first (1065 Bomber Command aircraft vs 1012), this would add some thousand more tons of bombs. According to the BC War diaries by Middlebrook and Everitt, 3488 tons of bombs were dropped that night.
Laurent, the text that I found adds the following detail to that already mentioned above:

"Shortly after midnight the bombing commenced, and by dawn 1,136 aircraft of RAF Bomber Command had dropped 5,853 tons of bombs on 10 selected coastal batteries lining the Bay of the Seine between Cherbourg and Le Havre. As the day broke, the bombers of the U. S. Eighth Air Force took up the attacks, 1,083 aircraft dropping 1,763 tons on the shore defenses during the half-hour preceding the touchdown."

Thus, the piece of the puzzle that is missing is the tonnage dropped by tactical aircraft. Given their much lower bomb-carrying capacity and the fact that many fighters did not carry any bombs at all, I would estimate that they dropped no more than about 3,000 metric tonnes on D-Day. It would be good to have precise figures, of course.

Kind regards,

Dan
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Old 19th March 2019, 16:24
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: How many tonnes of bombs did the Allies drop on D-Day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan History View Post
"During the 24 hours of 6 June, the Strategic Air Forces flew 5,309 sorties to drop 10,395 tons of bombs, while aircraft of the tactical forces flew a further 5,276 sorties"

These are US, or short, tons, so the equivalent weight in metric tonnes is 9,430.
I'm quite sure the above is for both British and US Strategic Air Forces (Bomber Command and 8th Air Force)

Regarding the number of sorties:
1,136 by Bomber Command
1,880 by 8th AF fighters (including fighter-bomber sorties)
2,591 by 8th AF bombers, only 1729 bombing a target

Total: from 5607 to 4845 sorties, I think a number of bombers that did not bomb were counted as sorties while other were not. Probably the ones that flew over France without finding a target were counted.

Regarding the bombs:
5,853 tons by Bomber Command
3,596 tons by 8th AF bombers (according to http://paul.rutgers.edu/~mcgrew/wwii...ml/Jun.44.html)
Total: 9449, close to your number. It is possible that the 3,596 tons just above are short tons, roughly 3300 metric tons. This will leave about 250 tons not listed, but the 8th AF fighters probably dropped them.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 22:29
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Re: How many tonnes of bombs did the Allies drop on D-Day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti View Post
I'm quite sure the above is for both British and US Strategic Air Forces (Bomber Command and 8th Air Force)
.... This will leave about 250 tons not listed, but the 8th AF fighters probably dropped them.
Laurent, thank you for these comments. The source explicitly refers to 'air forces', so the tonnage is definitely a joint British and American figure. I am confident that neither the Americans nor the British used metric tonnes, and probably standardised on short tons. This assumption is supported by a quick check of the RAF's official history, where short tons are used - https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/...AF-III-16.html .

I agree that it appears that the tonnage not accounted for by Bomber Command or American heavy bombers was dropped by the fighter-bombers of the Eighth Air Force. This does leave the tactical aircraft of the Ninth and Second Tactical Air Forces entirely unaccounted for, which is a matter of frustration.

Kind regards,

Dan
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