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POINTBLANK DIRECTIVE

14 June 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The POINTBLANK DIRECTIVE, 14 June 1943 is not a mission per-se, but an agreement among the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) refining and elaborating upon the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) agreement established and issued the Casablanca Directive as a result of the Casablanca Conference (cf. CASABLANCA DIRECTIVE 21 January 1943).

The Casablanca Directive was a generalised targeting strategy for the CBO which established the top priority as the destruction of German submarine construction yards with the German aircraft industry second on the priority list. The POINTBLANK DIRECTIVE put the German aircraft industry, and particulary that portion of which was dedicated to the production of single-engine fighters, at the top of the priority list. The POINTBLANK DIRECTIVE identfied nineteen (19) vital German industries (and the number of targets associated) which if destroyed would stagnate the German war machine. The industries and number of associated targets were:

Single-engine figther aircraft - 22 targets
Ball bearings - 10 targets
Petroleum products - 39 targets
Grinding wheels and crude abrasives - 10 targets
Nonferrous metals - 13 targets
Synthetic rubber and rubber tires - 12 targets
Submarine construction plants an bases - 27 targets
Military transport vehicles - 7 targets
Transportation (rail, barge & surface roads) - No specific number
Coking plants - 89 targets
Iron & steel works - 14 targets
Machine tools - 12 targets
Electrical power - 55 targets
Electrical equipment - 16 targets
Optical precision instruments - 3 targets
Chemicals - Not thought to be vulnerable to air attack when the Directive was issued because of their dispersal.
Food - 21 targets
Nitrogen - 21 targets
Anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery - Not thought to be vulnerable to air attack when the Directive was issued.

While the Directive identified military/industrial targets it contained nothing concerning the strategy to be employed in actually bombing the targets. A presentation of the many factors that influenced the strategy of the RAF and that of the USAAF are beyond the scope that can be addressed here but the overall strategy was that RAF Bomber Command would use "area bombing" of Germany's industrial cities by night and that the USAAF would use "precision" bombing of German industrial/military targets in daylight. Thus, "around the clock" attack would result.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
23 May 2015 20:12:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-May-2015. Pointblank directive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointblank_directive.

Date Contributor Update
22 May 2015 22:16:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-May-2015. Contnued development from sources previously cited.

Date Contributor Update
21 May 2015 00:37:36 Lee8thbuff Created entry with name, date and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-May-2015. Added Narrative based on en.wikepedia.org sources concerned with the Casablanca Confernece, Casablanca Directive; Combined Bomber Offensive , Pointblank Directive, Guilio Douhet, Arthur Harris andHugh Trenchard; Also "among the Dead Cities", A. C. Grayling; and U.S. Air Force Historical Study No.118 "The Early Operations of the Eighth Air Force and the Origins of the Combined Bomber Offensive". AFD-090522-057; U.S. Air Force Historical Study No. 122, "The Combined Bomber Offensive 1 January to 6 June 1944" AFD 090522-061.

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