“Big Week” 1944

“Big Week” 1944

Operation Argument and the breaking of the Jagdwaffe

Air Campaign 27
  • Author: Douglas C. Dildy
  • Illustrator: Graham Turner
  • Short code: ACM 27
  • Publication Date: 17 Feb 2022
  • Number of Pages: 96
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About this Product

A rigorous new analysis of America's legendary 'Big Week' air campaign which enabled the Allies to gain air superiority before D-Day.

The USAAF's mighty World War II bomber forces were designed for unescorted, precision daylight bombing, but no-one foresaw the devastation that German radar-directed interceptors would inflict on them. Following the failures of 1943's Schweinfurt-Regensburg raids, and with D-Day looming, the Allies urgently needed to crush the Luftwaffe's ability to oppose the landings.

In February 1944, the Allies conceived and fought history's first-ever successful offensive counter­air (OCA) campaign, Operation Argument or "Big Week.” Attacking German aircraft factories with hundreds of heavy bombers, escorted by the new long-range P-51 Mustang, it aimed both to slash aircraft production and force the Luftwaffe into combat, allowing the new Mustangs to take their toll on the German interceptors. This expertly written, illustration-packed account explains how the Allies finally began to win air superiority over Europe, and how Operation Argument marked the beginning of the Luftwaffe's fall.

Biographical Note

Douglas C. Dildy is a USAF Academy graduate and former USAF colonel with a degree in history. He attended the US Armed Forces Staff College and USAF Air War College and holds a Master's Degree in Political Science. Doug has written campaign studies of the Battle of Britain for both the RAF Salute magazine and the USAF's Air Power History journal. He has also authored several articles covering the Dutch, Danish and Norwegian air arms' defence against the German invasions of 1940 for notable US aviation history magazines. He is a regular contributor to the amateur modelling magazine Small Air Forces Observer. He lives in Alberquerque, New Mexico, USA.Graham Turner is a leading historical artist, specializing in the medieval period. He has illustrated numerous titles for Osprey, covering a wide variety of subjects from the dress of the 10th-century armies of the Caliphates, through the action of bloody medieval battles, to the daily life of the British Redcoat of the late 18th century. The son of the illustrator Michael Turner, Graham lives and works in Buckinghamshire, UK.

Contents

INTRODUCTION
CHRONOLOGY
ATTACKER'S CAPABILITIES
-The Pointblank Directive
-Aircraft: their capabilities, roles, and missions
-Commanders
ORDERS OF BATTLE, February 1944
DEFENDER'S CAPABILITIES
-The Luftwaffe's air defence system
-Aircraft: their capabilities, roles, and missions
-Commanders
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES
-"Black Week” - the crisis of American daylight strategic
bombing
-The Luftwaffe's response
-Operation Argument planning
THE CAMPAIGN
-Eighth AF Mission 226, February 20
-Eighth AF Mission 228, February 21
-Eighth AF Mission 230, February 22
-Fifteenth AF Missions, February 22, 23, and 24
-Eighth AF Mission No.233, February 24
-Eighth and Fifteenth AF Missions, February 25
AFTERMATH AND ASSESSMENT
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX


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