Galbraith on Bombing

Galbraith makes a good point when he warns against the tendency to exaggerate the role of technology in the Persian Gulf as well as in past wars. I agree with the professor on that and on his position on sanctions.

However, as a plain old ex-GI and B-17 crewman in World War II, I have to object to some of his statements about the Allied strategic air offensive against Germany. No right-thinking airman would claim that air power won the war, but everyone of us would take offense to the idea that our efforts did not substantially advance the day of victory.

Gen. Eisenhower could assure his invasion troops that "if you see fighter aircraft over you, they will be ours." My experience was from May to September, including two missions on D-Day, and I personally did not see a single Luftwaffe plane in that whole time. It is not hard to imagine how much tougher the ground campaign would have been with steady attacks by Stukas and Messerschmitts. Our very presence in the sky tied up a million soldiers manning anti-aircraft guns, which were very effective in killing many of our guys.

Yes, Mr. Galbraith, we can reflect on those lives lost, but we can rest assured that their efforts did shorten the war, substantially.



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