January 2019 Hand Grenade
Did Strategic Bombing lengthen the war?
John T. Kuehn
A book I am currently reading makes an interesting argument.
Here it is.
Because of Winston Churchill’s infatuation with the promise of strategic bombing, and the willing complicity of the leadership of the RAF (with exception of Hugh Dowding), the great war in the North Atlantic between U-boats and convoys took much longer to reach the point of success for the Allies (summer of 1943). The author went on to claim that this likely lengthened the war, giving the Allies fewer options because of the ongoing dire U-Boat threat through 1943.
Why? Argument goes that the U-boats were at a severe disadvantage against long range air that could have been provided by RAF Bomber Command (or by bombers flying for US Army Air Force, whose leaders also though bombers alone could win the war). Too, airborne surface search radars already existed that could have been installed on long range bombers much earlier in the war. They were already in use, for example, at the battle of Midway in June 1942on PBY Catalinas.
What say the faithful readers of this handgrenade? Could the turning point of the U-boat war have come earlier had not Britain’s (and America’s) leaders not been so star struck by the promise of strategic bombing? Secondly, what about the thesis that this might have shortened the war?
Happy New Year,
John T. Kuehn