Strategic bombing is a military strategy used to destroy the enemies' economic ability to fight a war. It is an attack from the air. Strategic bombing missions usually attack targets such as factories, railroads, oil refineries and cities. Tactical bombing missions would attack targets such as military bases, command and control facilities, airfields, and ammunition dumps.
The early years[change | edit source]
Strategic bombing was an idea first tried in World War I. It was used by the German Luftwaffe. They bombed London. Later Gotha bombers could carry over a ton of bombs. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Colonel Billy Mitchell promoted strategic bombing in the United States. He had new ideas on the strategic, and tactical air war. The first USAAF strategic bomber was the B-17 Flying Fortress.
Strategic bombing was important in World War II. In the Battle of Britain the German Air Force almost defeated Britain by attacking the Royal Air Force and the factores that supplied their equipment. Later the large bomber fleets of the enemies of Germany and Japan devastated those contries.
After World War II, the Strategic Air Command became located at Omaha, Nebraska, at Offutt Air Force Base. There was a full cadre of generals located there who participated in many of the missions of the "Looking Glass", a KC-135 air tanker which was gutted and refitted with state of the art electronics which would take over in case the president was killed in wartime. The plane had several generals on board to assume wartime duties. The "red telephone" was an instant connection to the president at the White House. The plane flew all day every day, three planes took off a day in overlapping flights to provide this level of coverage. Since the end of the cold war, this flight ended, however, the Strategic Air Command still maintains the main facility at Offutt AFB (this is where President Bush flew to when the Twin Towers were bombed on 9-11-01 to set up his command center.)