Usage of the map
By altering the date controls, to a date between June 1940 and May 1945, this shows which air forces were based at that airfield on that date. Where an airfield has a 'F' symbol next to it, this denotes a Fighter airfield, and a 'B' represents a Bomber airfield. By left-clicking on an airfield, this shows the airfield's name. By right-clicking, this shows which air forces were stationed at that airfield. Where USAAF aircraft are at an airfield, if you move the mouse over the force name and the colour changes to red, then press the mouse on this name, this opens the web page for this division of the air force. This is only for airfields occupied by the USAAF. Some airfields with the RAF symbol may be later occupied by the USAAF, though mostly after 1943.
Chain Home stations
By pressing the key 'C' the radar stations can be seen, and unseen. Clicking on each site identifies them. The key 'P ' makes the radar reception waves 'pulse'. To distinguish the two, Chain Home sites emit 'red waves' and Chain Home Low sites have 'black waves'. German radar was very advanced too, although this discovery came relatively slowly only in February 1942. The Germans never realised the significance of the Chain Home stations; had they done so, Britain would have lost the war. The RAF No.100 Bomber Group (based around north Norfolk) was created for radar countermeasures ('jamming').
44% of RAF bomber aircrew never survived the war. It was the most dangerous British military command in which to work. The USAAF, unlike the RAF, flew daytime missions. It believed the defensive armament of the B-17s and B-24s would manage over Germany. A viewing of the film 'Memphis Belle' does not give this argument any weight. It was a high-risk strategy. Only when the Mustang P-51D was introduced in spring 1944 with a much longer range and a Merlin engine, and German synthetic oil plants were destroyed, did the lives of USAAF bomber pilots become tolerable. The German air defence could not retaliate.
It was a big decision for RAF or USAAF crew to parachute over Germany or occupied countries. Whereas Britain treated captured German pilots very well with excellent residential conditions, the fate of RAF or USAAF pilots was significantly less favourable. There was no comparison between the two. In Germany, many were starved. After the war, some 30,000 captured German prisoners stayed in the UK to live, such was their liking of how they were treated. The fact that no captive British or Americans would stay in Germany subsequently, says everything.
1 million metric tonnes of explosives were delivered over Germany (3/5ths by the RAF); 70% of that was dropped in the last year of the war. Most bombs dropped by the RAF before 1942 missed their targets by several miles; but by 1944 they were treating German cities like giant dart boards, with corresponding devastating accuracy. In comparison, German air forces dropped 40 thousand tonnes of explosives altogether, although that does not include the infamous Vergeltungswaffen (Vengeance) unguided rockets (V1 and V2). The V2 was impossible to stop or track by radar, travelling at Mach 10, and caused massive damage if one fell directly on an inhabited area. After May 10th 1941, the continuous 'Blitz' of the UK, was stopped. Only 'Tip and Run' bombings of seaside towns, by fewer aircraft would follow.
Details of aircraft manufacturers are found here.
For more information, contact hampshire7 at gmx.co.uk