Empire Air Training Scheme & Bomber Command’s Strategic Bombing Campaign

The Origins of the Scheme. The Collapse of Daylight Bombing and the Fall of France. Bomber Command is left in the central strategic position it always sought but its tactics and doctrine are exposed as completely ineffective.


The Training Scheme grows rapidly. Bomber Command continues the night offensive, which it had not expected or prepared for, despite high losses, slow production and the failure and withdrawal of the Manchester. The results of the bombing are demonstrated to be almost entirely ineffective by the Butt report. The British Government continues the commitment of resources to Bomber Command because they have no other means of continuing to engage Germany. At year end losses and slow production force the reduction of the intensity of the offensive despite the urgent need for any action, which might assist the Soviet Union.

January to June 1942

Gee, the first Radio Aid to navigation and bombing, and the Battle of the Ruhr. The defences of the Ruhr still have the upper hand but Bomber Command strike powerful blows against targets in prominent geographical positions in good weather. Bomber numbers build up climaxing with the Thousand Bomber raids at the end of the period. The Training Scheme continues to expand despite the Japanese threat to Australia. The Accident Rate continues high in both the tTraining Scheme and Bomber Command.

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