Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cambridge American War Cemetery


  There were 90,000 American Airmen who died in the air war over Europe. The Cambridge England American Military Cemetery holds the bodies of thousands of American airmen and is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever visited. American bombing of Europe started on July 4, 1942. The British bombed at night and the American B-17's and B-24's bombed during the day. At first the American bombers had no fighter escorts until later in the war. They suffered huge losses in planes and men. The Americans practiced precision bombing while the British used carpet bombing. The B-17's were armed with thirteen 50 caliber machine guns but American losses did not decrease until the P-51 Mustang came on line and was able to escort the bombers all the way into the target and back. Late in the war the American Army Air Forces virtually destroyed the German Air Force. Strategic bombing focused on destroying German war production like ball bearing plants and plants that produced all manner of German military hardware and ammunition. It wasn't until the focus became German oil and gas refineries late in the war that the German war machine was effectively stopped.

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