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DLte:15 Feb.

I n i t i a l s : <f M> f-

BOMBER
ust 1944

Headquarters TWELFTH AIR FOR'

LBQUARTERS MEDITERffcjjpE^ ALLIED AIR FCjUjafc


; 5*

.2 April 1945
Brig. General R. C. Candee Director, Air Instruction Command and General Staff School Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Dear General Candee:
S-e*.
^
' *9

Thank you for your nice words about the Cassino docu ment in your letter of March 9th to General Eaker. It ar rived after he had left for his new assignment in Washington
so I am taking the liberty of sending you some of the material
you asked for before sending the letter on to General Eaker.
Enclosed are four documents which may be of use to you.
One of these, entitled "The Evolution of MAAF Intelligence",
seems to be exactly the sort of thing you desire. It has been
prepared by the staff of Harris Hull, whom you doubtless re member. He would appreciate it if you would write him your
comments direct. The other items may not be of direct use to
you but may be of value for general background purposes. They
are (l) three copies of "Air Power in the Mediterranean", an
unclassified summary prepared by my section recently;
(2) "Troop Carrier Operations 1944" prepared by Headquarters
Twelfth Air Force; (3) "Medium Bomber Operations, January
through August 1944" likewise prepared by Headquarters Twelfth
Air Force.
We have sent back a number of interim histories of the
various commands in this theater which are available in the
archives of the Army Air Forces Historical Division in Wash ington. They contain a great deal of data on staff organiza tion and procedure. Possibly you could borrow the originals
or the extra copies which existed in some cases. I am just
completing a history of MAAF for the first nine months of its
existence and will send you a carbon in a week or so.
I hope our paths will cross again one day.
Siricerely,

I/VIA

#UB v
6 Incls: As above.

JAMES

Lt. coi.', A;

" Historian.

!~Uo j ;

HEAD .UAKTEJB TivELFTH AIR FORGE


APO 650, U. 3 . Army

15 Februaiy 1945

The achievements of t h e 42nd and 57th Bombardment '/ings i n t h e Mediterranean Theater of Operations have g r e a t signifi

cance, demonstrating t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s of p r e c i s i o n bombing on a wide v a r i e t y of t a r g e t s . The following r e p o r t presents

a survey of their activities, suggests the versatility of their efforts, and demonstrates the decisive part they have played in the Mediterranean Campaign.

JOHN K. GANNON G e n e r a l , U. S . Army Commanding

I.EDIUM BC1.SER CFERATICIS


1 J/.KUARY TKRCUGH 28 AUGUST, 1944

KEAD^UARTERS, TWELFTH AIR FCRCE

INTRODUCTION
! Scope of this Study. The following work is a study of
the operations of medium bombers under the Twelfth Air Force dur ing the period of 1 Jenuary l'?44 through 28 August 1944* The
Study opens with Operation "Shingle" end closes with the end of
medium bomber participation in Operation "Drtgocn", the last
operation which had been definitely concluded at the time this
study was written. Within that period only A.jUF. units of the
42nd end 57th Bomb Wings are dealt with. Consequently, units of
the French Air 7orce attached to the 42nd Wing are omitted. Also
no discussion appears here of the work performed by the 310th Bomb
Group during the period up to 13 Kerch when it wes under Mediter ranean Allied Coastal Air Force. The operations of the two Bomb
Wings throughout this period form a unity in all respects with
which this study deals.
2. ?Tethod of Presentation. The work of the medium bombers
throughout" this period is divided into chapters detailing the
role played by medium bombardment in each of the major operations
undertaken by the Air Force during that time, "Shingle", "Strangle",
"Diadem", end "Dragoon". Smaller operations such as "Hellory
Major" ere discussed with the chapter into which they fall
chronologically.
3, Each chapter presents a study of the plan for the mediums
in thct particular operation, a detailed account of the operations
by which the plan wes fulfilled, a study of the tactics used in
that period, and a summary table of statistics divided by type of
tar^iet. In general, operations ere discussed in terms of numbers
of missions rather than of scrties. However, within each period the
number of scrties per mission used against the various types of
targets is discussed under the section dealing with tactics.
^# Results. This study is in no sense a definitive work on
how medium bombardment should be used. It attempts merely to show
how they heve been used over a certain period and what success
they have attained in that use. Their use in support of ground
action is presented and the various, ways in which that support has
been given, namely: pre-invasicn neutralization of fixed defenses;
close support of the immediate front line of bt-ttle; isolation of,
and support within, the immediate battle zone, and interdiction of

enemy retreat. Counter air force operation, attacks en dumps and


harbor installations, end nickelling missions are ell e pert of
the picture.
5 However, the most vital and interesting is the greet
rele played by the mediums in rail interdiction, the primary task
allocated tc them. This study does show the great advances made
by the mediums in that work: the early period of concentration
on marshalling yards; the switch to -interdiction by bridge
busting; the development of definitive tactics; end the final
recognized position of being the key air weapon in the interdic tion of enemy lines of communication.

li

TABLE OF
Page No.
TART I. - Organization.
Initial Administrative Control and Location of Units . 1
Initial Operational Control
Reorganization of 1 March, 1944 . ! ! ! . ' ! 1
Changes within the 57th Wing *. \ \'.'.'.". \ \ 1
TART II - Operation "Shingle". 5

The Plan c
The Directive \ \ \ \ \ \ \ 5
The 42nd Bomb Wing Study 6
\ \ 7
Operations before 'D1 day Railway Interdiction " 7
Results of the Interdiction Frogram 9
Counter Air Force Operations 10
Operations in the LIRI Valley 10
Other Operations 10
Non-bombing Missions 10
Operations from 'D1 day through 4 February 12
General 12
Support to Ground Troops 12
Intermediate Support 12
Railway Interdiction 14
Non-bombing Missions 1&
Operations from 5 February through 24 February l6
General 1
Support of the ANZIQ Beachheed 1 &
Counter Air Force Operations 19
Destruction of M N E CASSINO OT 19
Railway Interdiction 19
ron-bombing Missions 20
Operations from 25 February through 18 March 20
Bombing Directive No. 1 20
Discussion ^
22
Weather 2 Counter Air Force Operations
3 Support to the ANZIC Beachhead 23
Railway Interdiction 23
Support of the LIRI Valley 2b
Non-bombing Missions 2?
Tactics R

Sorties

Bombs and Fuzings


#

fg

Summary

iii

Page Ko.

T / " n i "7
>

Ill - Cyeration "Strangle"


The Plan
The Weather
Cpe ret ions
Railway Interdiction Attcits on Herbor Instclletions Counter i.ir Force r'issions Durr.ps and Close Suj.jcrt T ~on-bombing Missions Tactics Target, Bomb, &nd Fuze Selection
T'ethod cf Attack
Variations of the 3lCth Bomb Group
Sujnraary
Division of Effort
Results

33
33
33
35
35
31
31
31
31
38
3
39
42
42
* 42
44

45

FART IV - Operation "Diadem", 11 T;7sy t o 23 June 1944

The I Ian
45
Background
45
rian
45
".'eather
4
Operations - 'D1 plus 1 and 'D1 plus 2
4
'D' Day
4
42nd '.Ving, 'D1 plus 1
47
57th Wing, B1 plus 1
47
Surrnary, 'D' plus 1
4
2j.2nd wing 'D' plus 2
48
57th Wing *D' plus 2
48
Surmary, D' plus 2
50
Railway Interdiction
50
North-Central ITALIAN Zone
5 0
SII-ZIA-^II'-INI Zone
55
Close Support 5
Alloceticn of Effort 5
LIRI Valley 57
Blocking the Enemy Retreat from the LIRI Valley
57
Support of the CCLLI LJ.SIALI Area
58
Hifahv/ey Interdiction North of ROME, 24
Iv:ay through 3 June.
0 T Ii,-hway Interdiction North of ROE, 4
through 16 June
0 Other Operations A Attacks on Harbor Installations y Counter Air Force operations > Non-"bombing missions ri Tactics * ' " * * . * . ' . ". 66

iv

Page No. TART V - Operation "Diadem", 23 June t c 5 August 67

Definition of the Feriod 67 FC Valley 67 "I'.Tallory Major" 67 "Dragoon* 67 Weather 67 Interdiction . 68 SFEZIA-RIMINI Zone 68 RE/INI-BCLOGNA-FIACEKZA Line 69 "tfallory Major" 71 The Plan 71 Operations, General 71 Operations, 42nd Wing 71 Operations, 57th Wing . . . . * 74 Operations in North-Eastern ITALY 74 Operations in the Central FO Valley 74 Ops ret ions in North-Western ITALY 74 General 74 Early Attacks en the GENCA-KICE Line 75 Isolation of G N A EO . . . . . 75 The Coast Lines 77 GENOA-CVADA Line 77 Main L i n e s from GENOA N o r t h 77 Highway A t t a c k s 77 O p e r a t i o n s North and West of t h e GENOA L i n e s . . . . 77 L a t e A t t a c k s on t h e GENOA-NICE Line 78 A t t a c k s on Dumps 78 Ncn-bombing O p e r a t i o n s 80 Tactics 8c Summary 80 FART VI - Operation "Dragoon" The Flan General Phases Fhase I The Plan Execution, General 6 August 7 August 8 August 9 August Phase I , Summary Phase I I , "Nutmeg" The Plan The Execution 81 81 81 81
82

82 82 82 82 84 84 84 84 8 4 86

lege No. Fhase I I I - "Yokum" The H a n The Execution These IV, "Ducrot* The Plen The Execution Fhase V General l6 through 20 August Gun Targets Rail Bridges Road Bridges Counter Air Force TCickelling r i s s i c n s 21 through 28 August Gun Targets Rail Bridges Road Bridges Kickelling T'issions Surma ry PART VII - Conclusion Allocetion of Effort General Counter Air Force Missions Close Support Activities Cther Activities Railway Interdiction General Phases of Development Tactics Bombing Technique . . . , Crdnence Summary AKKEXURES Annex 'A' - O p e r a t i o n a l D i r e c t i v e f o r Operation "Shingle" No. 4 , Hq., MATAF, dated 4 Jenuary, 1944. Annex ' B ' - S i g n a l A.986 from !'ATAF t o TBF, X I I ASC Adv., TAAF Adv., 15th A i r Force, deted 15 Jenuary, 1944* Annex 'C 1 - S i g n a l A.944 from !'ATAF t o T^AAF Adv., MA5AF, TBF, d e t e d 15 J a n u a r y , 1944* Annex f D' - Bombing D i r e c t i v e No. 1, Kq., J.CATAF, d e t e d 25 F e b r u a r y , 1944. 86 86 86 87 87 87 87 87 87 87 89 89 89 89 91 91 91 91 91 92 93
93
93
93
93
94
95
95
93
96
96 97 97

Annex 'E1 - Bombing Directive Ko. 2, Hq., rATAF, dated 19 March, 1944*
Annex 'F' - Cperetion "Diadem", Operational Directive i;o. 11, Eq.,
MATAF, dated 10 May, 1944.
Annex 'G1 - Operational Directive No. 15, Cperetion "M&llory !.:ajor",
Hq., MATAF, dated 11 July, 1944 Annex I H I - A Study of Bombing Results in the Interdiction of Three
Selected Italian Railroad Lines.

vii

I.
1#

ORGANIZATION

Initial Administrative Control and Location of Units.


On 1 January 1944, XII Bomber Command was reactivated as an ad ministrative headquarters, consisting of the personnel of the
57th Bomb Wing, which wes in turn reduced to a retaining cadre.
Assigned to it were the 42nd Bomb Wing and its group, the 17th,
319th, end 320th, and the three groups formerly assigned to the
57th Wing, the 12th, 321st, and 340th. The 42nd Wing Headquar ters wes et this time located at ELMAS, SARDINIA, and its three
groups were located at the nearby fields of DECB'TrANKU and VILL ACIDRC. The 57th Wing end its three groups had all been located
in the FOGGIA area. However, on 4 January, Coirmand Headquarters
moved to TRCCCHIA on the slopes of Mount VESUVIUS? and at ap proximately the same time, tLe 12th group moved to GAUDO Air field near rAESTUT, and the 340th Group to PCMIEI. The 321st re mained first at AMENDCLA, later at VINCEKZO Lending Ground in
the FOGGIA area until 15 February, when it replaced the 12th at
GAUDO, the 12th Bomb Group at that time being relieved from as signment to the Twelfth Air Force and departing for the CHINA BURMA-IKDIA Theater.
2. Initial Operational Control. All six of these medium
bomber groups, the B-26's of the 42nd Wing and the B-25's which
had been under the 57th Wing, were attached to Tactical Bomber
Force for operational control. Tactical Bomber Force wes a com bined headquarters, almost entirely British in personnel, which
operated under the higher operational control of Mediterranean
Allied Tactical Air Force.
3# Reorganization of 1 ATarch 1944* This, organizational
set-up continued until approximately 20 February, at which time
Tactical Bomber Force wes disbanded and XII Bomber Commend again
inactivated by the transfer of all personnel except a retaining
cadre back into the 57* h Bomb Wing. Operationally the two Bomb
Wings passed to the immediate control of MATAF, and administra tively by orders of 1 March to the direct control of Headquarters,
Twelfth Air Force. This system remained unchanged.throughout the
remainder of the period covered in this report.
4# Changes Within the 57th Wing. The 42nd Wing, in so far
as American units are concerned, had no changes either in units
assigned to it or in the location of its units during this en tire period. The 57th Wing, however, had been reduced to two

groups in February by the departure of the 12th Bomb Group from


the Theater. This loss was replaced on 15 I ' r h by the assign -ac ment to it of the 310th 3omb Group, the B-25 group which had
previously been assigned to XII Fighter Command end operating
under I!editerranean Allied Coastal Air Force. The 310th at the
time of the transfer WE,S located at GHISONACCIA, CORSICA and re mained there* Between 19 and 29 April, 57th Wing Headquarters
and tije 321st and 3Zj.Cth Groups ell moved to FRUNELLI, SOLEN ZARA, and ALESAN, CORSICA respectively, locations all in the
immediete neighborhood of GHISCNACCIA. Thereafter, throughout
the remainder of the period, the B-25*s operated from these
CORSICA^ bases.

B-25's on a bridge busting mission over ITALY

II. THE PLAN

OPERATION "SHINGLE"

! The Directive, The year opened with the publication of the plans for Operation "Shingle", an emphibious lending south of E K in the AKZIO-NETTUKO Area. Operational Directive CE for Operation "Shingle"No. 4t published on 4 January 1944 and the Amendment to i t of 15 January 1944 detailed the role to be played by Tactical Bomber Force in t h i s operation. 2. The primary mission was to be the interdiction of r a i l communications in West and Central ITALY south of 44 degrees North to the R M Area. C E 3 To accomplish this a series of railway lines were as signed to the 42nd Wing for interdiction in the following prior i t y , with specific targets thereon to be designated by TBF. a_. b . c. d . . 4. FLORENCE - A E Z - ORVIETC - C T - R If l i n e . RZO RE CtE A^ Z O - FOLIGMO - TERNI - C T l i n e . IE Z RE PISA - LEGHORN - CIVITAVECCHIA - R L E l i n e . C5 A l t e r n a t i v e routes through (EMPCLI-SIENA) end (PISA-PiaPOIA-FLCRENGE ) . By-pass l i n e s through VTTERBC t o ROME. Southern Coast of FRANCE from NICE - GENOA LA SPEZIA - PISA.

The Amendment of 15 January a l t e r e d t h i s p r i o r i t y l i s t F i r s t p r i o r i t y t a r g e t s were as follows; AREZZO - ORVIETC - ORTE - R M l i n e . O E AREZZO - FCLIGNO - TERNI - ORTE l i n e s . LEGHORN - CIVITAVECCHIA - R M l i n e (Only i n the O E event i t i s reopened.) TERNI - SULMONA l i n e .

ing s l i g h t l y * a . t). . d .

e_.

By pess l i n e s through VITERBC t o ROTE.

Second F r i o r i t y t a r g e t s to be attacked only i f weether precluded s t r i k i n g primary o b j e c t i v e s , were: a_. b . Communications Southern coast of FPJiNCE from EO NICE - G N A - USA. Objectives scuth of R M in support of the F i f t h O E Army which w i l l be nominated by d a i l y s i g n e l from IvIATAF. East Coast r a i l l i n e EESCARA - FALCONARA. FICL3IKC Harbor and Marshalling Yards.

. d.

5. I t was s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e d t h a t no a t t a c k s were t o be made on R M or FLCTElvCE without the a u t h o r i t y of I.rATAF. O S 6. The B-25*s were t o continue t o be used against t a r g e t s in support of the armies in the BALKANS and ITALY, with the major portion of t h e i r e f f o r t directed against enemy r a i l com munications in the R M Area. O S 7. The 42nd Bomb wing Study. In accordance with the plen of action specified above, the 42nd Win, drew up a l i s t of specif i c t a r g e t s on t i e r a i l l i n e s assigned t o them which l i s t e d a l l t a r g e t s considered f e a s i b l e f o r bombing on those l i n e s i n a def i n i t e p r i o r i t y r a t i n g , arranged under headings "Marshalling Yards" end "Blocks". The l i s t was published on 5 January 1944 a n served as a basis for target selection thereafter. 8. In view precise plans for and as such are a i t is worth-while of the fact that t'.ese plans represent the f i r s t railway interdiction in North-Central ITALY, clear-out fore-runner of Operation "Strangle", to examine them in some detail.

a_. The plan called for the isolation from supplies of only a limited zone in the R K Area. Consequently, CE the r a i l lines chosen for interdiction are purely those in the western part of North Central I A Y T L which feed into R M itself, and these were to be O E interdicted at points south of what was later to be known as the SIEZIA-RD'INI zone. b. The 42nd Wing selection of targets clearly points out that attacks on marshalling yards results in only temporary interdiction versus the semi-per

menent interdiction to be achieved by cutting bridges. Yet in spite of this a marked prefer ence is indiceted for marshalling yards as tar gets, primarily because they are both larger and easier to identify as targets. The target selec tion drawn up by the Wing gives thirty-one mar shalling yards out of the total of fifty targets listed. _c. Interdiction of roads and highways is mentioned nowhere in the planning. It was strictly a pro gram for attack on rail lines.

OPERATIONS BEFORE *D' DAY. 9. Railway I n t e r d i c t i o n . In the period 1 January to 22 January, by f a r the greater part of the medium bomber operations were directed along the line of the railway i n t e r d i c t i o n program outlined above. Out of a t o t a l of 91 bombing missions flown in t h a t period, 41 were against t a r g e t s named in the 42ncl Wing s e l e c t i o n , and an edditional 13 against other railwey t a r g e t s . 10. Not a l l of the t a r g e t s selected were the subject of a t t a c k s . Many of these t a r g e t s had already been the object of sporadic attacks by both the mediums and the heavies as far back as October 1943. Consequently a t the time the plans were pub lished for Shingle, a number of the targets had already been dam aged and some, l i k e the CECINA Bridge, completely destroyed. 11. Out of the t a r g e t s selected by the 42n<* Wing, a t o t a l of eleven marshalling yards and seven bridges were attacked by a t o t a l of 26 missions against marshalling yards and 15 against b r i d g e s . Cut of those t o t a l s the greatest concentrated efforts were against yards a t CHTE, FCLIGNO, and TERNI, the bridges a t OHVISTO North and South and TERNI Viaduct. These s i x t a r g e t s account for l 6 of the raids on yards and 11 of the raids against railway b r i d g e s . 12. To these must be added nine missions against s i x mar s h a l l i n g yards not named by the 42nd Wing, end four missions against three railway bridges. Three of these were missions flown by the 42nd Wing against t a r g e t s l i s t e d as a l t e r n a t i v e s in the Directive, two against the marshalling yards at FICMBINC, one against a bridge in Southern FRANCE. The other missions flown by the B-25's, were primarily attacks on the FESCARA-FAL COHARA l i n e along the ADRIATIC Coast and on the SULKONA-RCLE line w>ich passes through AVEZZANO and TIVOLI, except for two missions against the yards a t FABRIANO and one on the yards a t CPXARAVALLE.

13* In the i n t e r d i c t i o n program as a whole, attacks by B-25's and B-26's are f a i r l y even, 25 missions for the 2^'s versus 30 f o r the 26<s. The 26's were responsible for a s l i ^ i t l y l a r g e r proportion of the attacks made on bridges in t h i s period. However, out of the six t a r g e t s at which/the main weight of the bombing was leveled, TERNI end FOLIGNO marshalling yards and the TERNI Viaduct were, with the excep t i o n of one out of the fourteen raids concerned, targets for the B-25's. 14 Results of the I n t e r d i c t i o n Program, t h i s bombing program were as follows: a . The results of

Cn the FLORENCE - AREZZO - CRVIETC - CRTE l i n e the main points of i n t e r d i c t i o n were the OHVIETG bridges and the CRTE yards. On 22 Jan uary the CRTE yards were open end had been so since the 20th though they had been hit hard on the 17th. CRVIETO Bridge South was serviceable, but CRVIETO North was closed by a raid of 21 Jan uary. Prior to that date t'-e bridge had been open for three days. On the AREZZO - FCLIGNO - TERKI - CRTE line the main points of i n t e r d i c t i o n were the TERKI and FOLIGNO marshalling yerds end a bridge at the OnTE yards. The TERNI yards were open on 22 Jan uary though they had been closed for several deys previous. The FOLIGNO yards were probably s e r viceable. The bridge at CRTE which had been a t tacked at the same time as the marshalling yerds there and WES located almost at the yards wes cut and had been so since the 17th. On the LEGHORN - CIVITAVECCHIA - R M line the C E main points of i n t e r d i c t i o n were the CECINA and the ?:0NTALT0 DI CASTRO bridge. The f i r s t of these had been t o t a l l y destroyed in December 1943 en<* was no longer subject to a t t a c k s , remaining closed throughout the period. The second bridge was in t e r d i c t e d on 18 January and remained so on D' Day. The TERKI - S L O A line had been attacked only at UM N the TERNI marshalling yerds as discussed above. The line from SUIMONA t o ROME, however, had been at tacked at the AVEZZANC marshalling yards and the CAUSCLI bridge. The main point of i n t e r d i c t i o n on the VITERBO by pass lines was the VITERBO marshalling yards which

b .

_c.

d. ~"

c. "~

were blocked on 17 January arid reclined so on 22 January.


%

Out of the four f i r s t p r i o r i t y lines attacked before 'D1 Day, at least cne point of interdic tion existed on eacl- of them on 'D' Day. Out of nine primary points of interdiction four bridges out of five were unserviceable on that day, whereas only one out of the four marshalling yards was so considered, although a l l hed been damaged and much rolling stock destroyed,

15. Counter Air Force Operations* Within t h i s same period of 1 to 22 January, a considerable number of missions were flown on projects quite separate from the railway interdiction plan, some of which were equally concerned with the preparations for "Shingle". In counter a i r force operations a t o t a l of 14 missions were flown against the enemy airdromes at PEHUGIA, GUIDCNIA, CIAMFINC, GENTCCELLE, KEETI, and VITE7-60. Twelve of this t o t a l were flown on the two days, 13 and 19 January, six on each day. Although l6 enemy aircraft were damaged or destroyed in these op erations, the main purpose was to render the airdromes unservice able, in order to prevent enemy e i r action against the approaching landing. 16. Operations in the LIRI Valley. Eleven missions were flown against two road bridges at E C A E C and F N E O V in the O G SC A O TC K O LIRI "Valley, Also on 12 January, four missions were flown against the LIRI River and ISGLETTA Dams in the same valley. In both in stances while road approaches were destroyed, the Dams were not themselves h i t . These operations served a double purpose. They gave support to the Fifth Army drive against CASSINC, which was the key to the LIRI Valley, and they created road blocks against the transfer of German troops from the CASSINO front to the AKZIO beachhead when the landings were made. 17* Other Operations. Beyond these operations, a l l of which bear a close relationship to the "Shingle" plans, the B-25fs flew six bombing missions into J G S A I in support of Partisan activ U O L VA i t i e s there, and one mission against shipping et the A C N docks. NCA Also one small mission of three sorties was flown by B-26fs against a blast furnace at JTGMBINO. 18. Non-Bombing Missions. In addition to these bombing missions, the B-25's flew fourteen mickelling missions in ITALY and JUGOSLAVIA, normally consisting of three sorties etch, and in the same period the 42nd Wing flew twenty-two weather reconnais sance missions of a single sortie apiece.

10

RCCC/SECCi. Road Bridge bombed by the


319th Bcmb Group, 8 January, 19U

11

0IE7&TICN FRCM 'D' DAY TEiROUGH k FEBRUARY* 19. General. In the two-weeks period that opened with D1 Day, 22 January 1944, the missions of the medium bomber were governed by two factorsr the needs in the ANZIO Beachhead, area for close support, and a period of very poor flying weather. 22 and 23 January were devoted t o close support. 24 January was non-operational, except for a single 'vetther reconnaissance s o r t i e . On the 25th, missions were divided between c l o s e - i n support and a return to the railway i n t e r d i c t i o n program. The 26th was nonoperational. On the 27th the return to railway i n t e r d i c t i o n was more marked, and the following two days were devoted s o l e l y t o t h a t . From 30 January through 4 February the weather kept a l l B-26's grounded. On three days the B-25's were able to give a l i t t l e support in the Beachhead area, end on 31 January the B-25's flew a n i c k e l l i n g mission* 3 an^ 4 February were non-ope r a t i o n a l for a l l of the mediums. 20 Support to Ground Troops. Forty-five bombing missions were flown in the two weeks period* Of these, 15 were directed toward creating road-blocks in the COLU LAZIALI a r e a . These h i l l s were to have been the immediate objective of- the ground troops, though i t was to be a number of months before t h a t ob jective was attained* The main objectives f o r the medium bombers were road junctions at VELLETRI and VALMONTCNE, but other points attacked were road junctions a t GENZANO. FRASCATI, ALBAKC, MARIKO, FALESTRINA, KANCINI, and LARIANO, thus covering the greater part of the area involved. 21. Three missions were flown against t a r g e t s in the area lying between the Beachhead and the German troops defending the entrance into the LIRI Valley. These were against the roads a t SEZZE, the road junctions and the railroad junction at COLLEFERRO. In addition, s i x missions were flown attacking the road bridge a t CEFRAKC, well inside the LIRI Valley itself* All of these taken together made up a t o t a l of 24 missions which may be considered close support to the ground t r o o p s . Of these, i t i s notable that a l l but one were directed against road t a r g e t s . 22* Intermediate Support. Closely a l l i e d to the missions devoted to close support of the ground troops were three missions, a l l flown on 23 January, against t a r o e t s in the AVEZZANO area* This was the center of a complex of roads supplying the LIRI Valley and the RCME-AKZIO area, as well as the SUIl/IONA-RCftfE r a i l r o a d . Two missions were a ^ i n s t the railway junction at AVEZZANO i t s e l f , and the t h i r d against a road at BALSORANO. While these a t t a c k s were desi, ned t o i n t e r d i c t supplies and troop t r a n s f e r s , they were aimed for more immediate effect than the longer range railway i n t e r d i c t i o n plan proper, hence forming an intermediate sta^e of support.

12

13

23 Railway Interdiction. The remainder of the bombing missions in this period were devoted to the railway interdic tion plan which had previously engaged the attention of the Bomb Wings. a. F O E C - R M Line* Out of a t o t a l of eighteen L RNE O E interdiction missions, eight were flown against the three prime interdiction targets on the F O E C - O E l i n e , which had been the main t a r L R N ER M gets of the previous period. Five of these were attacks on the O T marshalling yards, three on RE 27 January, two on 28 January. They were suc cessful in putting the yards out of commission for a period of three days. On 28 January, two missions were flown against the bridge at O V E C R TT North, which had been reported as probably open the day before. These attacks closed the bridge again, and i t remained so until sometime around 10 February. On the seme day an attack on the bridge at O V E C South temporarily closed that R TT bridge by damage to the approaches. TERNI Lines. The TERNI marshalling yards, which were an interdiction target for both the AKEZZO O T by-pass line and the TERNI-SUH'CNA line were RE attacked by a t o t a l of three miseions, on 25, 27 and 28 January, which rendered them unserviceable from 25 January through 30 January. One addition a l mission was flown against the TERNI-SUI&ONA line when the RIETI marshalling yards were attacked on 25 January. VITERBO Lines. The VITERBO By-pass l i n e s , which had previously been cut only in the marshalling yards at VITERBO i t s e l f , were attacked by three missions on 29 January. Two attacks on the bridge at CVT O S E L N closed one track by p a r t i a l I IA ATLA A destruction of the bridge and cut both lines at the approach. An attack on the bridge at K N I N cut A ZA A the line south of the bridge which was i t s e l f un damaged. F L O A AP S A A Line. The ADRIATIC Coast line AC N R -EC R was attacked by three missions on 29 January against the S N B N D T O marshalling yards. Hits A E E ET were scored but without rendering the yards com pletely, unserviceable.

t>.

e_. Twelve out of the ei^iteen t o t a l of mission against railway targets were against marshalling yards

Rail bridge et CIVITA CASTELLANA bombed


by the 17th Bomb Group, 29 January 1944.

TSRNI marshalling yards bombed by the


321st Bomb Group, 28 Jenuary 1944*

in t h i s period, while only s i x were bridge t a r g e t s . 24. Non-Bombing Missions, No missions were flown i n t o YUGOSLAVIA in t h i s period, and n i c k e l l i n g and weather r e c o n n a i s sance missions dropped in number t o t h r e e of each. OPSTUTICMS F O 5 FEBRUARY 2k FEBRUARY. RM 25. General* This period opens with the resumption of op e r a t i o n s following the period of non-operational weather d i s c u s s ed above. Weather, although improved was s t i l l not good for f l y i n g . Of the 20 days in t h i s period., four were completely nono p e r a t i o n a l , and the B-26s were grounded on four a d d i t i o n a l days, plus a s c a t t e r i n g of incomplete missions for both Wings throughout. I t was notably a period of close support t o the ANZIO beachhead, marked e s p e c i a l l y in the period of German build-up and probing a t t a c k s from 9 through 13 February, and in the period of the a l l out German a t t a c k from 16 through 20 February. Support t o the LIRI Valley operations was limited t o the bombing of the Monastery of M N E CASSINO on 15 February, and communications were attacked by OT the Bomb Wings only when t h e i r services were not demanded by more immediate needs* 26. Support of the AKZIO Beachhead. Out of a t o t a l of 33 bombing missions flown within t h i s period, 24 were in" close support of the beachhead against t a r g e t s in that immediate a r e a . . Ten of these missions were flown in the period from 6 through 13 February, in s p i t e of the f a c t t h a t 10 and 11 February were n o n - o p e r a t i o n a l . Of t h e s e , eight were a t t a c k s on road junctions or on towns with the object of c r e a t i n g road b l o c k s . FRASCATI, CISTERNA, CECCHINA, and t h r e e pin-pointed l o c a t i o n s near the COLLI LAZIAU were the t a r g e t s , with CISTERNA r e c e i v i n g three separate a t t a c k s . A gun and assembly area near CAMPOLEONE and a v e h i c l e and s t o r e s park were the only other two t a r g e t s . On 9 and 12 February, these close support missions were the only ones flown by the bomb wings, marking the peak of t h e i r e f f o r t against the German b u i l d - u p . On 16 February, the German build-up exploded i n t o en a l l - o u t effort against the ANZIO beachhead. On t h a t day the only mission i n t o beachhead area flown by the mediums was one a t t a c k on enemy s t o r e s a t CAMPOLEONE, However, on the 17th, 19th, and 20th (the 18th was non-operational), the e n t i r e e f f o r t of the medium bomb wings was thrown against the German a t t a c k s . Thirteen missions were flown on tfhese three days, four against supply 4umps, two against

b .

16

the towns of LAMJ7IC and CAYPOLEOKE, and seven


specifically against enemy troop concentrations
in which whole stretches were covered with frag mentation bombs:
The high point of air support in the period of
the all-out German attack on the beachhead was on
17 February, since on that day all available type
of aircraft were used, including the heavy bombers.
For the mediums it marked the first instance of
close support on the immediate front lines, rather
than in supply and reserve areas near the front
line. The B-26's on that day dropped strings of
fragmentation bombs along enemy troops only 4CC
yards from the allied front lines. The following
excerpt from a Fifth Army report on the influence
of the bombing effort shows the comparative role
played by the mediums and the effect of the day's
bombing*
'Bombing Program
"The following table indicates the air effort
made available and carried cut under continuous
Spitfire fighter cover. It is believed to repre sent the heaviest weight of bombs ever dropped by
Allied aircraft in close support of ground troops.
No. of A/C Type of A/C Tons of Bombs

351
151

60 196
813 A/C

55

Heavies Mediums Wellingtons (Night) Light Bombers ) Fighter Bombers )

156 48
115
972 Tons

G-2 Evaluation of Results Obtained.


Bomber effort against well-selected targets of
17 February furnished continuous support throughout
the day, which contributed greatly in keeping enemy
attacking troops pinned to the ground, retarding
movement, preventing full power of attack from being
felt by front-line units and interfered with battle field supply. During air attacks, enemy artillery
did not change positions end gun crews went into and
stayed in dugouts. Air attacks created fear among
enemy personnel.

17

.The Abbey of M N E CASSINO e f t e r the OT bombing of 15 February 44

18

Troop assemblies, supply service instal lations, vehicles and armored fighting ve hicles were successfully attacked. Estimated
that many casualties to personnel and much dam age to vehicles and loss of supplies resulted
in weakening offensive effort. Wire communica tions were interrupted, causing confusion and
some loss of control. Communication centers,
such as VELLET3I, were heavily damaged, inter rupting end slowing down movement. Prisoners
of war state bombing was very effective.
Bombing contributed greatly to morale of own
troops, giving confidence in defensive effort
and to the success of stopping the German
attack."
27* Counter Air.Force Operations. The collapse of the
enemy ground attack against the beachhead on 20 February did
not bring to a close the enemy air attack which had been in tensified on 16 February end the days thereafter. The need
crested by this situation resulted in a series of counter air
force operations, only two of which fall in the period under
discussion here, two missions flown by the B-25's on 2 j Feb /. ruary against the enemy landing ground at FABRICA DI ROMA.
28. Destruction of MONTE CASSINO. The only close sup port given to the troops in the LIRI Valley was a group of
three missions flown by the 319th, 321st, and 340th Groups on
15 February in the muchly publicized destruction of the Monas tery of MOOTE CASSINC, While the 340th scored only near misses,
the other two groups ecored direct hits on the buildings which
had long been in use by the. Germans as an observation post.
29. Railway Interdiction. The interdiction of the rail
lines leading into ROME continued with a total of 22 missions
in this period, plus one closely allied attack on the harbor
and dock facilities at PORTO SAN STEFAITO, one of the centers
of the coastal shipping on the TYRRHENIAN Sea, which the Germans
were using to supplement their supplies.
<a. The direct line between FLORENCE end RCEE again
received the greatest number of attacks on any
one line, with a total of eight missions against
three targets. The marshalling yards at CKTE
were hit by three missions, one of which was pin pointed against the bridge at the ed^e of the
yards. The railway bridge at ORVIETO North was
again hit twice, end the BUCINE Viaduct was
attacked by three missions which caused enough

19

damage t o render the viaduct u n s e r v i c e a b l e for about f i v e days. b . The AREZZO-CRTE l i n e was attacked by five mis sions in addition t o the above named a t t a c k s on the CRTE y a r d s . Single mission a t t a c k s were made on the marshalling yards a t TERNI and FCL IGNO and the railway bridge a t MCOTE MOLINC, and two a t t a c k s were made on the yards at PER UGIA. The PISA-ROME c o a s t a l l i n e was a t t a c k e d by t h r e e m i s s i o n s , single ones each on the b r i d g e s a t KOKTALTO DI CASTRC and ALBINIA and on the small yards a t MONTE PESCALI. A s i n g l e mission was flown against the yards a t SIENA i n t o which s u p p l i e s funnelled by the EMFOLI-SIENA l i n e . The VITERBO by-pass l i n e s , which had received i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n , were attacked four times on the t a r g e t s previously h i t , twice a t t h e VITERBO marshalling yards, end one each on the bridges a t MANZIAKA and CIVTTACASTSLLANA. In a d d i t i o n one of the marshalling yards a t R M E i t s e l f , the 0STIEN5S, was h i t by the 17th O Group on 22 February. I t was an i s o l a t e d ex ample, but one prophetic of the next p e r i o d .

d. ~ e_.

Non-Bomb ing Miss i ons. Among the non-bombing missions 30 flown in t h i s period, three were weather reconnaissance, but the number of n i c k e l l i n g missions flown over ITALY by the B-25 f s rose again t o seven in number, a l l of them in the beachhead and LIRI Valley a r e a . OPERATIONS F O 25 FEBRUARY THROUGH 18 MARCH. RM 31 Bombing D i r e c t i v e No. 1 . On 25 February, MATAF issued Bombing D i r e c t i v e No. 1 t o the two Bomb Wings in which a d e f i n i t e i n t e r d i c t i o n program was l a i d down as t h e i r p r i n c i p a l job, a p a r t from such counter a i r force and d i r e c t support operations as MATAF might order from time t o t i m e . The objective wes t o reduce the enemy's flow of supplies t o a l e v e l which would make i t impossible f o r him t o maintain and operate h i s f o r c e s i n Central ITALY. 32. In order t o accomplish t h i s the following s p e c i f i c t a s k s were assigned t o the two Wings 1

20

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a.

42nd Wing. (i) The primary task of the 42nd Wing will be to destroy marshalling yards, railroad repair fac i l i t i e s and other railroad targets South of, but including, the PISA-RB1INI line, and West of the TERNI-FOLIGNG-AKCONA l i n e . Alternative targets on the VENTBJIIGLIA-CEROA-SFEZIA line will be attacked when weather precludes operations in Central ITALY. (ii) Secondary objectives for the 2j.2nd Wing will be ports on the West coast of ITALY which are being used as terminals for the coast-wise shipp ing supporting the German forces in ITALY, at pre sent S N S E A C and FIG&5BIN0. These objectives A TF N will normally be nominated as weather alternates only.

b.

57th Wing. (i) The primary task of the 57th Wing will be to destroy marshalling yards, railroad repair fac i l i t i e s and other railroad targets on the ORTE-TERNI FOLIGNC line and TERNI-FERUGIA l i n e . (ii) Secondary objectives for the 57th Wing are the same as specified in/subpara . a . ( i i ) .

33 No attacks were to be made on R M , FLORENCE, VENICE, O E FIESOLS, or T R E L without the specific authority from T I T F OCLO vA A . 34 Discussion. This directive i s the f i r s t clearly avowed intention of the Air Force to interdict the Central ITALIAN zone completely and i s in that respect the predecessor of Operation "Strangle". "Strangle" primarily increased the amount of force to be utilized in the seme project by adding XII Air Support Com mand and Desert Air Force to the attacking forces. There was no over-all change in intention. However, the method of operation under-went a complete s h i f t . The period of operation under t h i s Directive, like those preceding in the "Shingle" period, was one in which the interdiction effort was thrown primarily against marshalling yards, and only secondarily against railway bridges. Consequently, this brief period i s lumped in with the "Shingle" operations, not only because i t belongs there in type of mission performed, but in order to more clearly demonstrate the actual change in tactics which marks "Strangle". 35 Weather. Operations under this directive were severely hampered by a stretch of extremely bad weather. Between 25 Feb ruary and 7 March, only one day was operational for a l l of the

22

mediums, O seven days no bombing missions whatsoever could be n flown, end on the other three days one or the other of the Wings was grounded. From 7 through 18 Kerch, however, the weather turned and only one day wes non-operational in that period. O n a l l other days both Wings were able to complete missions. 3^ Counter Air Force Operations. The counter a i r force operations which had been started at the close of the previous period were continued at the earliest dates that weather per mitted, even though the enemy a i r offensive against the beachhead wes tapering off. O 28 February, the B-25's^succeeded in making n two attacks on the German landing ground at G MN , though only 9 A I O out of the t o t a l 36 sorties were effective. O 29 February, how n ever, the 42nd Wing sent a mission of each of i t s three groups against the airdrome at VITEHBO, a combined attack amounting to 73 effective s o r t i e s , and the last of tLe counter a i r force opera tions in this period. 37 Support to the AKZIO Beachhead. Support to the beach head was limited to the early days of the period. O 28 February, n the 34Qth Group flew e small mission against troops end an Yjn park at CISTERNA. O 29 February, however the Germans began a n sharp attack against the beachhead which wes repulsed only by determined counter ettecks. All indications pointed to a resump tion of this attack end as a result a heavy a i r attack similar to that of 17 February wt.s laid on for 2 Kerch. XII Air Support Com mend, Desert Air Force, and the Fifteenth Air Force es well es the Bomb Wings participated to fly a total of 79& sorties, out of which 77 sorties were flown by the mediums, specifically against troops and gun areas in the immediate vicinity of CISTERKA. Cut of en approximate t o t a l of 6cO tons of bombs dropped, 958 tons were dropped by the Bomb Wings. The front-line units were high in t h e i r preise of the effort, and the menace to the beachhead wes sufficiently countered so that no further calls for support were made en the mediums in this period. 38. Railway Interdiction. In spite of the fact that opera tions under the new Bombing Directive mi^ht have been expected to consist primarily of interdiction missions, only 38 o u - t f t n e t o t a l 64 missions flown in the period were actuelly allocated to that program. Fowever, there were in addition two a1tacks on harbor and dock f a c i l i t i e s at P R O S N S E A C again. It is not OT A TF N able in marking the essential difference of this period end the "Strangle" period which wes to follow that of the 38 attacks on railway targets flown 28 were against marshalling yards. a. " Twelve ihissions were carried out against targets on the F O E C - O E line, three against the O T mar L R N ER M RE shalling yerds end four against the O VE O bridge, E IT both of which had been attacked frequently before.

23

Two views of the FRENESTINA marshalling yards in


ROME, bcmbed by the 42nd Wing on 12; March 19kh.

Two views of the destruction in the CSTIEKSE marshalling yards


in HOME, bombed by the i 2 d Wing on 3 and 7 March 1944*
;n

The small marshalling yards et CHVTETO were attacked twice, and on 11 March, the B-26s ran t h r e e missions against the mars h e l l i n g yards a t FLORENCE i t s e l f . b. ~ Four missions were run against t a r g e t s on the AREZZC ORTE l i n e , a l l of tlem against marshalling yards, one each against the yards at PERUGIA, TERNI, FCLIGNO, and SK)LETC. The PISA-RCKE line received three a t t a c k s , one each a ^ i n s t the railway bridges a t CECINA ( r e b u i l t since the e a r l i e r raids of December) and MONTALTO DI CASTRO, and one against the yards at MCNTEPESCALI.

c. ""

<i. The EMPOLI-SIENA line again received a single a t t a c k , t h i s time against a railway bridge a t PCGGIBONSI. "" Attention in t h i s period was a l s o directed towards the NICE-GENOA-PISA line which had only a second p r i o r i t y One mission was flown against the bridge at VIAHECGIO and two against the bridge a t SARZANA, both lying between SPEZIA and PISA. Of the greatest note in t h i s period, however, ere the attacks on the marshalling yards in RGMB. On the five days of 3 , 7, 8, 10, and 14 MarGhj a t o t a l of f i f t e e n missions were run against the four yards of OSTIENSE, FREKESTINA, LITTCRIO, and TIBUETINA, s i x against the 0STIEN5E yards alone. All of these, with the excep tion of the three raids against the LITTORIO yards, were the work of the B-26s of the jj.2nd Bomb Wing. In e l l , within those five days, a t o t a l of 690 tons of bombs were dropped on the R M yards. O E

39* Support of the LIRI Valley. Close ground support to the LIRI Valley was limited to the period of the attempt of the ground forces to create a break-t-rough at GASSING. This attempt opened with the spectacular bombardment of the town of GASSING which i s thoroughly analyzed in the MATAF report of t h a t operation. On that morning of 15 Kerch, the medium wings sent a t o t a l of five missions, one from each group, against the town i t s e l f . Later in the day the two B-25 groups sent an additional mission apiece against gun posi tions in the GASSING a r e a . On the following day five missions, one by each group, were flown against gun positions at CASSINO end the neighboring l o c a l i t i e s of PIEDMOKTE, FEGNATARO, and AQUINA. And on the 17th, two f i n a l missions were flown against troops aid supplies et RCCCASECCA end CASTRGCIELO. After t h a t i t was c l e a r that the attempted breek-t^rough had f a i l e d , and the bomb wings re turned t o t h e i r i n t e r d i c t i o n program.

26

The bombing of CASSINO, 15 *terch 1944.

27

40. Kon-Bciabing Missions* Aside from the bombing missions, there w^s one weather reconnaissance s o r t i e , and seven n i c k e l l i n g missions t o such pieces as AV3ZZANC, CKTETI, FONTECOEVO, CASSINO, and C35TERNA. TACTICS 41* Sorties* Throughout t h i s e n t i r e period of 1 Januarythrough 18 March, the B-25's used a 24 s o r t i e mission as the norm. While occasionally the number dropped to 18, t h a t usually occurred only when a i r c r a f t were being used on n i c k e l l i n g mis sions on the same day* The 24 s o r t i e mission was almost equally common with the B-26 f s. However, in t h e i r major attacks on mar shalling yards, such as the R M and FLORENCE raids and on days O E of intensive close support to ground troops the B-26's increased the number of s o r t i e s per mission t o 36. 42 Bombs and Fuzingg. Both wings used the same types of bombs end fuzings. The standard bomb s i z e s and fuzing for a t t a c k s on r a i l and road t a r g e t s were the 500 and 1000 pound bombs armed with a nose fuze delay of ,1 and a t a i l fuze delay of ,025. Fragmentation bombs armed with the M-41 Fuze were used in a t t a c k s on troops and airdrome d i s p e r s a l a r e a s . STO5ARY
43* The total missions flown by tie medium bomb wings in
the period 1 January through 18 March are summarized as to type
in the following table.
Railway interdiction - 133 missions (Marshalling Yards missions.
(Railway Bridges missions
Road interdiction (not close support) - 2 missions.
Harbors and docks
- 4 missions.
Close Ground Support 86 missions (ANZIO Beachhead missions.
(LIRI Valley missions.
Counter Air Force
- 21 missions*
JUGOSLAVIA
- 6 missions.
Blast furnace
- 1 mission.
Nickelling
- 33 missions.
Weather Reconnaissance
- 29 missions.
Total number of missions - 315 - 90
- 43

- 48
- 38

(Bombing -253 missions.


(Non-bombing - 62 missions.

28

Rail bridge near CRTE, bombed by the


17th Bomb Group on 17 January

Locomotive destroyed by a raid on the


ORTE marshalling yards.

29

44. I t should be noted that the only t a r g e t s l i s t e d as road i n t e r d i c t i o n missions are the two a t t a c k s on road junc tions near AVEZZ/J\T0. While many road junctions and two road bridges were attacked in t h i s period, a l l except the two named above were in e i t h e r the ANZIO or the LIRI Valley sectors and were designed as close ground support and are so l i s t e d . 45. Railway i n t e r d i c t i o n amounts to more than half of the t o t a l number of the bombing missions flown, and i t is worthy of note that attacks on marshalling yards amount to &775% of a l l the railway interdiction missions flown. Seventy-three targets in a l l were attacked, out of which forty-five were marshalling yards amounting t o 6l64# a* The most bombed single t a r g e t was the ORTE mar shalling yards, which bore the brunt of sixteen separate a t t a c k s . Closest t o i t were the TERNI marshalling yards and the bridge north of CRVTETC, each of which was attacked by eleven missions. t>. The r a i l lines themselves were attacked very largely in accordance with the p r i o r i t y , as shown below* FLCRENCE-ROM E line - 42 missions against 7 t a r gets. AREZZO-ORTE line - 26 missions against 6 t a r g e t s . PISA-ROME line - 10 missions against 6 t a r g e t s . PISA-FLO PENCE, EMPOLI - SIENA, B L N - FLORENCE OG A lines - 7 missions against 5 t a r g e t s . VITERBO by-pass lines - 9 missions against 3 t a r gets. NICE-GENOA-PISA line - 6 missions against 5 t a r gets. ADRIATIC Coast l i r e - 7 missions against 4 t a r gets. TERNI-SUUJONA line - 1 mission. ANCONA-FCLIGNO l i n e - 3 missions against 2 t a r gets. S I O AR M line - 6 missions against 2 t a r g e t s . UM N - O E R M Marshalling yards - 16 missions against 4 O E targets* I t i s of i n t e r e s t in view of the forth-coming Strangle* Operation that on 7 March 1944, M T F AA published the following statements among the Lessons Learned from the "Shingle* period. Bombing attacks on marshalling yards proved

30

effective, but rarely for periods of more than 24


hours. By the end of this time a single line was
generally in working order.
Attacks on bridges were difficult but effec tive. When successful, the damage done was usual ly sufficiently serious to dislocate or close the
line for long periods. This type of break is par ticularly valuable in covering bed weather periods,
when the continued systematic attack of communica tions is impracticable."

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OPERATION "STRANGLE" 19 M R H TO 11 MAY.


AC

On 19 March 1944. Headquarters MATAF published Bombing D i r e c t i v e No. 2, which gave the plan f o r the operation which was t o become known as " S t r a n g l e " . This defined the mission of MATAF as one of i n t e r d i c t i o n of enemy communications apart from what e v e r counter a i r force and d i r e c t support a c t i v i t i e s might be deemed n e c e s s a r y . The i n t e r d i c t i o n zone s e l e c t e d was t h a t of Cen t r a l ITALY, and t h i s zone was f u r t h e r subdivided among the various components of MATAF. 2. The two medium bomber wings were a l l o c a t e d the area South of but i n c l u d i n g the PISA-FLCRENCE-PONrASSIEVE l i n e and West of, but i n c l u d i n g the FOOTASSIEVE-ABEZZO-OHVIETO-ORTE l i n e . Al t e r n a t i v e t a r g e t s on t h e VEOTB/HGLIA-GENOA-SPEZIA l i n e were t o be a t t a c k e d by the.42nd Wing when weather precluded operations in C e n t r a l ITALY. Secondary t a r g e t s , normally t o be nominated as weather a l t e r n a t i v e s cnly, were the enemy p o r t s on the West cosst of ITALY. TMB WEATrlER 3. Weather throughout t h i s period was not good. I t was a r a r e week which WcS not broken by one or more non-ope r a t i o n a l d a y s , and the f a c t t h a t 204 missions were flown by the wings in t h i s period, e x c l u s i v e of weather reconnaissance s o r t i e s , wcs achieved only by the groups sending out as many as five missions in one day. The a c t u a l number of days on which the groups were n o n - o p e r a t i o n a l or missions were a b o r t i v e or on which the 42nd Wing flew only weather reconnaissance s o r t i e s varied somewhat. For the B-25's t h e s e days ranged between 21 and 23, f o r the B-26s between 23 and 2 8 . Out of a t o t a l of S3 days in the e n t i r e per i o d , t h i s was a l a r g e percentage. ^# one f a c t o r o t h e r than weather did influence the above t o t a l s . Oh 20 March 1944. VESUVIUS exploded i n t o e r u p t i o n , and t h e r e s u l t a n t f a l l of ashes and cinders severely damaged a large number of the planes of the 340th Group located a t FOMJEI, with t h e r e s u l t t h a t the Group wes non-operational f o r s i x days, a w a i t i n g r e p a i r s and replacement a i r c r a f t from North AFEICA.

1#

33

Two views of the eruj-tion of VESUVIUS which "began on 2C ITarch 19H. in which planes of the 340th Bomb Group were damaged

OPERATIONS 5! . Railway I n t e r d i c t i o n . Out of e t o t a l of 196 bombing missions, 176 were against railway i n t e r d i c t i o n t a r g e t s . tfore ^ U t f t h 8 e 1 7 6 1 1 3 w e r e f l o w n afiaiMt t a r g e t s on the FLOTENCE-RCME Directissima Line. a_. This all-important r a i l line was attacked by both Wings with a rough division of the northern section OTN t o the 42nd Wing end the section south of C R O A t o the 57th Wing. Between FLORENCE end OHTE t h i s line was attacked at 22 individual i n t e r d i c t i o n p o i n t s , 19 of which were bridges. (i) Of the 14 missions flown against marshall ing yards, twelve were attacks on the O MO DI AP M R E yards at F O E C itself, culminating in nine AT L RNE missions flown on 1 and 2 May by the 42nd Wing, in which 176 aircraft dropped 295-75 tons of bombs. (ii) Among the bridge targets, those receiving the most attention were two bridges near INCISA, two near AREZ20, two near FICULLE, the familiar ORVIETO bridges, and one north-west of ORTE. Eighty missions were flown egainst those nine tar gets alone. t>. The line receiving the next greatest number of attacks was the IERUGIA-TERNI-OHTE line with twenty. It is noticeable that this iine merks en extension of the eree attacked by the medium bombers over the territory assigned to them by the directive. Crginelly assigned to DAF, this line was attacked by the 57th Wing from 26 March on. Five points of interdiction were attacked, only one of which wes a marshalling yard, that t t TEHtfl which was attacked by one mission. The pri mary interdiction points were the bridges at PERUGIA East, ?.!ARSCIANC North and M N E MOLINO OT (sometimes celled the TCDI North Bridge). The EMTOLI-SIENA line received 17 attacks e ^ i n s t five points of i n t e r d i c t i o n , twelve of which were against the railway bridge South of POGGXBONSI. Only one concerned marshalling yards, when the yards and bridge at CERTAIDO were h i t simultane ously. The PISA-ROME coast line was attacked by 15 s i o n s , levelled against nine separate t a r g e t s be tween LEGHORN and MCNTALTO DI CASTRO. Marshalling

c . ""

d. ""

35

yards received four attacks, three against the yards a t LEGHORN i t s e l f , ' e q u a l l i n g the attacks against the bridges at GROSSETC and AL3INIA. This line sew the only low-level bombing attack by the mediums, when on 15 April, four B-25's of the 310th Bomb Group mede a bombing run at 400 feet a l t i t u d e against a railway bridge tunnel north of SAN VINCENZC. No other r a i l lines received major attention from the omb Wings during the "Strangle" period. The 42nd Wing ran four missions against three bridges on the RIVIERA line between MARSEILLES and GENOA. The yards at PRATO and a bridge at PONTEDERA were each h i t once. The small line between SINALUGA and CHIUSI was cut by two missions against bridges near ACQJJAVIVA. The marshalling yards at AVEZZANO were attacked once by the B-25's, and a bridge at FAftO on the Adri a t i c Coast l i n e once by the B-26's.

6. Attacks on Harbor I n s t a l l a t i o n . Closely a l l i e d to the i n t e r d i c t i o n of r a i l l i n e s were the attacks on harbor i n s t a l l a tions on the West coast of ITALY. These had been nominated as secondary t a r g e t s and received a t o t a l of eleven attacks against the three ports of LEGHORN, PICMBINC, and SAN STEFANC. LEGHORN, with s i x missions outweighed the other two put together. 7. Counter Air Force Missions. Counter a i r force opera t i o n s were very s l i g h t * The B-25's sent two missions each time against the airdrome at VTTERBO on 29 March and 14 April, and two against the airdrome at PERUGIA on 6 April, covering runways and d i s p e r s a l areas in each case. 8. pumps and Close Support. Fuel dumps at R-353002 and W-359994 were attacked once. The only close support missions were two flown by the 321st Bomb Group on 24 March against biv ouac and supply areas a t CASTROCTELO and PIEDMONTE in the LIRI Valley. 9. Non-Bombing Missions. Among the non-bombing missions, the 57th Wing sent out seven nickelling missions, normally of three s o r t i e s . The l e a f l e t s were dropped over such areas as GHIEri, MANOFELLO, FROSINONE, AVEZZANO, VELLETRI, and CEPRANO. The 42nd Wing flew a t o t a l of 51 weather reconnaissance s o r t i e s , almost one f o r every day of the period. The only other mission flown in t h i s period wes a sea-search of four s o r t i e s flown by the 310th Bomb Group on 6 April, in the course of which no bombs were dropped.

37

TACTICS

10. Target, Bomb, and Fuze Selection* the following generalities were accepted: a*

Through experience,

Whenever possible, bridges were attacked that were not flak defended. That would permit a long and uninterrupted bomb run, reducing the mission to an unopposed theoretical bombing problem* The terrain in ITALY had produced a r a i l system that was ex tremely vulnerable to air attack at i t s many via ducts and large bridges. The enemy could not poss ibly defend a l l the vulnerable points on a given line - consequently when he moved flak into a bridge target that had been consistently attacked, another bridge on the same line was picked out. Whenever possible bridges of masonry construction were attacked as opposed to bridges made of s t e e l . Steel structures were much more difficult to knock out as they required a hit in the r i ^ i t spot; nor mally at one of the piers or abutments. Hits on the span itself produced blast effects end cut the r a i l tracks in some cases, but did not destroy the span. Direct hits on a masonry bridge would pene trate and upon explosion knocked out large chunks, and in cases where the bombs were of sufficient size destroyed the bridge by knocking down the span* The masonry bridges of long span length were by far the prime t a r g e t s . When hit, they collapsed easily. Frequently spans other then those actually hit f e l l , apparently due to oscillations or to the wave motion set up by the bomb exploding while imbedded in the concrete. Generally speaking, the best bomb employed was the 1,000 pound G Smaller bombs did not have the P required destructive force to accomplish the de sired r e s u l t s . Whereas 500 pound (JP'S will chip masonry structure the 1,000 pound G would destroy P i t . The 2,000 pound G was sometimes required in P the cases of massive structures, but were avoided if possible due to the small number of bombs carried and the reduced probability of a direct h i t . After the bridge had once been squarely hit and sustained severe damage (span down, pier knocked out, e t c ) , the 500 pound GF bomb was carried to again knock E out the bridge after the enemy had completed re pairs. The repairs were always temporary and were easily destroyed by the smaller bomb. In this con nection each aircraft carried twice as many 500 36

])

pounders as 1,000 pounders and, therefore, the probabilities of a hit were doubled. d. The most effective fuse had been found to be the 025 t a i l fuse. This fuse had consistently pro duced good results when a hit we.s secured. This delay permitted the bcmb to penetrate well into the masonry before detonating without passing completely through. As a safety measure to pro vide positive detonation a .1 nose fuse was added. Instantaneous and .01 fusing had been tried but with less success than the .025. The instantane ous had been tried particularly against steel bridges, but without success.

11Method of Attack. Aside from differences inherent in the combat flying of each of t he Groups, the following general practice had been adopted by a l l : a_. A 24 ship formation had been consistently used throughout the "Strangle" period as being the most easily handled and es carrying the neces sary quantity of bombs. The formation bombed from a javelin or four 6-ship flights, each flight lead bombardier solving the deflection for the entire flight while a l l ships having a bombsight solved for rate. The axis of attack was normally 90 to the bridge. A certain amount of deflection error was made and s t i l l secured direct hits, as each of the four flight lead bombardiers aimed for the center of the bridge the permissible deflection error was one-half the length of the bridge. As for rate, the "bridge i t self wes an excellent index to superimpose the horizontal crosshair upon. Intervalometer settings were dependent on the width of the bridge and were varied to produce a good distribution of bomb s t r i k e s . Wing ships that carried toggle bombard iers decreased their settings from the setting used in those ships carrying bombsights to compen sate for the small delay in the release of bombs due to human reaction. Preset date in the bombsight or the placing of the horizontal hair just short of the bridge once the rate had been killed started the strings of bombs just short of the target. Where the bridge being attacked was short in length, the axis of attack was often determined by terrain

Jb.

c. "~

R a i l b r i d g e N o r t h - W e s t of OKVTETO

i l b r i d g e S o u t h - E e s t of ORVIETC BRIDGES ATTACKED IN OPERATION "STRANGLE'

features, availability of a good IP, and other factors outweighing the desireability of attack ing on an axis 90 to the span. 12. Variations of the 310th Bomb Group. T,he 310th Bomb Group had, prior to this period, been a part of M G F and be A A, gan operations with the 57"t& Wing on 20 March 1944* Since i t had less experience with interdiction bombing than the other groups, i t accounts for a number of variations frcm the normal pattern. a_. ]3. . d. . The isolated example of a sea-search was flown by the 310th.

0
Six out of the eleven attacks on port f a c i l i t i e s were made by this one group. The isolated example of a low-level bombing attack was made by the 310th. It showed a tendency to use more sorties per mission then the other groups. Leaving out of the consideration the attacks on the F O E C marshalling yards (12 out of the 21 L RNE against marshalling yards), which were a special project and one requiring the greatest precision, the 310th Bomb Group with four attacks against marshalling yards made twice as many against that type of targets as any other group.

SUMMARY Division of Effort. The operational effort of the two


Bomb Wings for the period from 19 March 1944 to H Kay 1944 is
summarized in the following table:
Railway interdiction - 176 missions (Marshalling Yards
21 missions*
(Railway Bridges
155 missions.
11
missions
Harbor installations Counter Air Force 6 missions
Close Support 2 missions
2 missions
Fuel Dumps Sea Search 1 mission
7 missions
Ni eke11ing Weather Reconnaissance 51 missions
Total number of missions - 255 (Bombing - 196 missions
(Non-Bombing - 59 missions

42

ZSPXTSL

Bombing of the CARIPC- DI I.^.RTE m e r s h a i l i n g yard in FLCRErCE on 23 March 1944 by the 319th Bcmb Oroup

43

14 Results* I t i s iinnedietely apparent that t h i s period i s almost wholly one of railway i n t e r d i c t i o n , and that i t v a r i e s d i s t i n c t l y in type from the program followed in the period of 1 January through 18 March. In that period two-thirds of a l l the railway attacks were a ^ i n s t marshalling yards, in the "Strangle" period, that figure, including the special a t t a c k s on FLORENCE, f e l l t o 11.8% "Strangle", though not so s t a t e d in the d i r e c t i v e , was above a l l a bridge-busting program. . t). . d.. . The FLORENCE-ROME Directissima Line was blocked every day of the e n t i r e period. The EMPOLI-SIEKA Line was blocked from 25 March tnrou^hout the remainder of the period. The PISA-POKE Coast Line wes blocked for the e n t i r e period. The SIENA-SIKALUNGA-CHIUSI Line wts blocked from 25 March throughout the remainder of the period. Of the principal r a i l lines in Central ITALY, including those outside the Bomb Wings area, only one wes open on 11 R5ay and that was the s t r e t c h of l i n e between PERUGIA and FCLIGNO, not in the Bomb Wings area, and even thet had been closed from 30 March to 7 May.

IV. THE FDLN

CI'ERATICK "DIACEL!" 11 I.^Y 1944 TC 23 JUTE 1944

Background. Cn 11 :.-ey 1944* the ground forces opened a major offensive against the enemy line alnng the HAPIDC-GAR TGLIAFC Rivers, with the immediate objective of securing a break-through, of establishing union with the forces in the ANZIO Beacnheed, and of effecting t;.e capture of RCt'E. The Air Forces had already laid the ground-work for t h i s offensive by t h e i r thorough i n t e r d i c t i o n of enemy supplies in Operation "Strangle". 2. Flan. In order to f a c i l i t a t e the ground forces offen s i v e , VJSFAF published on 1C May, Operational Directive No. 11 on Operation "Diadem", which gave not only the over-all a i r p o l i c y for the offensive, but a detailed bombardment schedule for D plus 1 and D plus 2. a. In the over-all policy, apart from counter a i r force operations, the principal task of the bomb wings wes to maintain t i e destruction end d i s ruption of the enemy lines of connr.uni cat ions. The f i r s t p r i o r i t y a i r mission in direct support of the army was the i s o l a t i o n of the immediate b a t t l e area on the 5th Army front. No s p e c i a l a i r effort we3 allocated for 'D' day. However, the following schedules were published for D Plus 1 end D plus 2.
D plus 1 - 42n^ Bomb Wing
Time Scale of Effort

1#

.b. ""

Road Block (G 577C07) Bridse (G 562210) Div. C/F (G 668169) Ifera. Div. c/P (G 751255) Enemy concentration areas

Early as possible " " " " " "


H I I H

1 1 1 1

mission mission mission mission

3 missions
(includes French Squadron)

45

D plus 1 - 57th Bomb Wing.


Target
Time Scale of Effort
2
missions
2 missions
2 missions
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission

Early as possible ITRI Town road block N N VALLECORSA Town road block
M N PASTENA road block (G 5718) AM PICO Town, road block
41 * 94Div. C/P (G 615027) n i i t t Div. C/P (G 638I67) Afternoon ITRI Town road block VALLECCRSA Town road block * (Bridge (G 562210 (If destroyed by 42nd Wing, substitute PASTENA Town
road block)
PASTEN4 Town road block
D plus 2 - 2.nl Bomb Wing
j2c Target OHVIETO-FLORENCE rail line Time Early as possible ITRI Town road block VALLECORSA Town road block PICO Town road block 1 PASTENA Town road block N I I I Tunnel mouth (G 613985) Demolition targets Afternoon (details later) WEATHKH
Time

1 mission

Scale of Effort
6 missions
Scale of Effort
1 1 1 1 2 3 mission mission mission mission missions missions

3 Weather for t h i s period was excellent by comparison with the e a r l i e r p e r i o d s . Alternative bad weather t a r g e t s had been named for D plus 1 and D plus 2, but were not necessary. Over the e n t i r e period herein discussed the number of non-opera t i o n a l days ranged only between seven and nine for the various groups, f a l l i n g primarily in two periods: 20 through 23 May, and 17 throu&h 20 June. OPERATIONS - D PLUS 1 A D D PLUS 2 N 4 'D 1 Day. 'D' day, in accordance with the d i r e c t i v e , saw no s p e c i a l effort on the part of the bomb wings. Railway t a r g e t s in North-Central ITALY were attacked i n accordance with previous p o l i c i e s . However, for the two succeeding days the

- ^ Winp, D plus 1 . on D plus 1, the directive called for e t o t a l of seven missions from the 42nd B m Wing o b against five targets elong the QARIGLIMC-RAIIDC line. O f these celled for, three missions were ectually flown. The 17th Bomb Group attacked the roed bridge at G-56221C with a t o t a l of forty-eight sorties, dropping 42.5 tons of bombs which successfully destroyed the bridge. The 319th Bomb Group attacked a troop concentration area in the LIRI Valley with forty-nine s o r t i e s , dropping 88.75 tons of bombs. The 320th Bomb Group attacked troop concentrations at FCKDI and ITRI with fortyseven s o r t i e s , dropping 65.28 tons of bombs. It is immediately noticeable that although only three missions as such were flown, each one consisted of double the number of normal sorties per mission, and that the 42nd Wing thus flew the equivalent of six out of the seven called for by the directive. However, these do not include attacks on the ccrTmand posts l i s t e d , the only important deviation from the dir ective. 7' J7th Wing, D plus 1. The 57th B m Wing was called on o b for thirteen missions against six targets, of which number ten were actually flown. In the course of the day the 310th B m o b Group flew four missions: three were for the purpose of creating road blocks at I S E A end totalled sixty sorties, with a total ' TM A of 59*75 tons of bombs dropped; the fourth was to create road blocks at PICO, consisting of twenty-four sorties, and 48 tons of bombs dropped. Three missions were flown by the 321st B m Group: o b two in order to create road blocks at V A L C R A totalling forty LE O S , four s o r t i e s , dropping 50*75 tons of bombs: the third was an attack of twenty-six sorties, against the enemy Division Conmand lost at G-638167, on wfiich 30.9 tons of bombs were dropped. The 340th Bomb Group flew three missionst two were against the 94 Division Conmend Fost at G-6l5027t a second mission being flown because only six out of twenty-three sorties were effective out of the f i r s t mission. Eighteen of the twenty-four sorties of the second mission were effective, end in both a total of 3I.67 tons of bombs were dropped. The third mission was for the purpose of creating ro*d blocks at ITRI, a mission of twenty-four sorties, in which 48 tons of bombs were dropped. 8 There are no major deviations here from the published schedule. AH targets celled for were h i t , though in three in stances by fewer missions than scheduled, and in one instance by an extra mission. In a l l cases missions were normal in the number of sorties contained.

MlllB(,

47

9# Summary, D plus 1. The two bomb wings taken together


on D plus 1 flew the equivlent of sixteen missions against nine
t a r g e t s out of the twenty missions against eleven t a r g e t s called
for by the d i r e c t i v e . These t o t a l l e d 369 s o r t i e s , of which 266
were effective, dropping k&5& *ons of bombs.
10. 42nd Wing, D plus 2 On D plus 2, the 42nd Bomb Wing WES scheduled t o r e t u r n to railway i n t e r d i c t i o n t a r g e t s with s i x missions a ^ i n s t the ORVIEtO-FLCRENCE l i n e . Actually one mission again wes flown by each group, s t r i k i n g at bridges a t C0RT01IA, AREZZC, and SAN GIOVANNI VALDARNO, the missions t o t a l l i n g 23, 2\ and 23 s o r t i e s r e s p e c t i v e l y . 11. These were normal sized missions, and thus t o t a l l e d
only half the scale of effort called for by the d i r e c t i v e . On
the other hand, the t a r g e t s were part of a long-range s t r a t e g y
and not d i r e c t l y related to the ground push at the GARIGLIANO.
12. 57th Bomb Wing, D plus 2. The 57th Bomb Wing continued i t s close support a c t i v i t i e s of the day before, being called on for s i x missions against five named t a r g e t s and three missions against t a r g e t s t o be determined l a t e r . Three missions were flown by the 310th Bomb Group; one of twenty-four s c r t i e s t o create road blocks at PASTENA; a second of the seme number t o create, road blocks et PICO, and a t h i r d of eighteen s o r t i e s , against the tunnel mouth of the r a i l r o a d at ITRI (G-613985), dropping a t o t a l of 124*5 tons of bombs. Three missions were flown by the 321st Bomb Group: one of nineteen s o r t i e s to create road blocks at ITRI; a second of twenty-five s o r t i e s against the tunnel mouth at ITRI; and a t h i r d of seventeen s o r t i e s t o create road blocks at VALLECORSA, dropping a t o t a l for a l l of 104.25 tons of bombs. One mission of twelve s c r t i e s was flown by the 340th Bomb Group against the tunnel mouth at ITRI, dropping 17.75 tons of bombs. 13. The apparently poor showing of the 340th Bomb Group, was, to the contrary, an amazingly valiant e f f o r t . On the night of 12/13 May, the a i r f i e l d at ALESAN, CORSICA, occupied by that group had been hit by 15 German a i r c r a f t , which dropped frag bombs and strafed parked a i r c r a f t and bivouac a r e a s . As a r e s u l t of t h i s a t t a c k , 15 men died, 92 were injured, 8 B-25s were burned out, 12 B-25's were severely damaged, and a fuel dump was blown up.. I t wes in spite of t h a t , that the 340th sent out a mission on the day of the a t t a c k . Thereafter, the group used patched-up a i r c r a f t , which had been damaged by the eruption of VESUVIUS and r e t i r e d from combat use, u n t i l replacement a i r c r a f t could be flown t o them from NORTH AFRICA. H In spite of t h i s blow, however, on D plus 2 the 57th Wing managed to f u l f i l l the required s i x missions against the five t a r g e t s named in the d i r e c t i v e . Of the three a d d i t i o n a l

missions to be celled for, only one, a third attack on the tunnel mouth, was actually carried out.
1_5 SumiLary, D p l u s 2* The t w o w i n g s c o m b i n e d c a r r i e d o u t

t e n of the f i f t e e n missions c a l l e d f o r by t h e d i r e c t i v e f o r D plus 2 and e l l t a r g e t s specified by name were a t t a c k e d . In a l l a t o t a l of 371,3 tons of bombs were dropped by 187 e f f e c t i v e s o r t i e s out of 209 s o r t i e s attempted. RAILWAY INTERDICTION 16. Extent of I n t e r d i c t i o n . The railway i n t e r d i c t i o n p r o gram continued i n t h i s period t o account f o r the l a r g e r p a r t of the bombing e f f o r t of the two wings i n s p i t e of a l a r g e number of missions devoted t o close s u p p o r t . Cut of a t o t a l of 403 bomb ing missions, 212 were expended against the r a i l l i n e s . In two ways the railway i n t e r d i c t i o n program showed new developments. F i r s t , more small cross l i n e s and connecting or by-pass l i n k s were attacked than i n the "Strangle" p e r i o d . In a l l , twenty-two r a i l l i n e s were attacked and cut i n t h e s i x weeks p e r i o d . And second, the SIEZIA-RIMINI zone of i n t e r d i c t i o n was now opened t o r e g u l a r a t t a c k i n a d d i t i o n t o the North-Central Zone. The f i r s t a t t a c k s in t h i s new zone were made on 18 May and continued i n force t h e r e a f t e r . Figures cited i n the following d i s c u s s i o n include a l l railway a t t a c k s made i n the f i r s t t h r e e days a s w e l l as t h e r e mainder of the p e r i o d . NORTH-CENTRAL ITALIAN ZCNE 17 FLORENCE-ROME Directissima Line. The g r e a t e s t number of a t t a c k s against any one r a i l l i n e was again a g a i n s t the FLORENCE-ROrE Directissima Line, which accounted f o r 73 of t h e t o t a l number of m i s s i o n s . Of these only two were against m a r s h a l l ing yards, i n t h i s case a combined r a i l r o a d j u n c t i o n and small marshalling yard a t TERENTOLA. The t a r g e t s which received t h e g r e a t e s t a t t e n t i o n were f a m i l i a r ones: the bridges near AKEZZO with s i x t e e n a t t a c k s ; the BUCINE Viaducts with twelve a t t a c k s ; t h e bridge a t CASTIGLIONE FIORENTINO with seven a t t a c k s ; and the bridges a t SAN GICVAKNI and PONTASSIEVE with five a p i e c e . I t i s n o t i c e a b l e t h a t the major t a r g e t s are a l l a t t h e northern end of the l i n e . The most f a m i l i a r bridges a t CRVTETO, f o r i n s t a n c e , received only s i x a t t a c k s t o g e t h e r , the l a s t ones on 27 May, although ORVIETC did not f a l l u n t i l 14 June. The railway a t t a c k s were a l l f a r i n advance of the Allied push. 18. PERUGIA l i n e s . Three of t h e four r a i l l i n e s which meet a t IERUGIA were a t t a c k e d , only one of which had been a t a r g e t f o r the bomb wings in t h e "Strangle" p e r i o d . a. The FEHJGIA - TCDI - TEPNI Line was attacked by

50

of BUCIKE South-East r a i l viaduct on 10 April by the 320th Bomb Group.

single missions against the r a i l bridges a t MAKSCIANO end MCKPE KOLINO, as well as twice against a bridge at TERNI i t s e l f . ID. The FERUGIA - FOUGNC - TEENI Line received five a t t a c k s : two against a bridge a t SFCLETO, and three against one at FOLIGNO. c. The small line between PERUGIA and TEHENTOLA running along the north shore of Lake TRASI M K WS attacked once against a tunnel a t EO PASSIGNANO.

19. TERNI l i n e s . In the same way the two l i n e s leading south from TERNI received light a t t e n t i o n . a. b . The TERNI - ORTE Line was attacked by a single mission against a r a i l bridge near NARNI. The TERNI - SUIMCNA. Line received four a t t a c k s , three against a bridge a t STIFCNE, and one against a bridge a t RIETI.

20. SINALUNGA - CHUISI Line. The SINALUNGA - CHUISI Line was again attacked by two missions: one against the bridges a t ACQJJAVIVA, and the second against a bridge at TCRRITA. 21. VITERBO - RCflE Line. The VITERBC - ROKE Line r e ceived only two a t t a c k s , both against the bridge a t CIVITA CASTEL LANA, the second on 3 June, when the Germans were beginning t o flee the R M area by every available means. O S 22. FISA - R M Line. The FISA - R M Line along the O E C E coast also received but two a t t a c k s : one on the bridge at MON TALTO DI CASTRO, the other on a bridge a t CASTIGLIONCELLO. How ever, three missions were run against a bridge at FISA i t s e l f for the f i r s t time. a_. CECINA - VOLTERBA Line. Moreover the short l i n e between CECINA and VOLTEFRA. was cut by two attacks on a bridge a t TABIKELLO.

23. FISA - FLORENCE and EUTCLI - SIENA Line. In the north ern part of the North-Central zone, the FISA - FLORENCE Line was attacked by two missions against a bridge at FCNTEDERA. In add i t i o n heavy a t t e n t i o n was given to the EMPOLI - SIENA Line with eleven missions: two against the Dridge et CEETAIDC, and nine against that at FOGGIBCNSI. The a t t a c k s at FOGGIBONSI ranged from 11 May through 14 June, c o n s i s t e n t l y maintaining the cut against enemy repair e f f o r t s .

53

VADO Vi&duct before and during bcmbing by the


320th Bomb Group on 19 May 1944.

a. b .

The FABRIANO - UT'TBERTIDE Line was cut by two mis sions against a bridge at FOSSATG. The FANO - FABRIANO Line was h i t by five missions against four bridges, those at BELLISIO, SASSOFER RATO, ACQJJALAGNA, and FEEMEGNANO, a l l between 9 and 13 June.

SFEZIA - RB'INI ZONE Extent of I n t e r d i c t i o n . Six r a i l lines only cross the zone of i n t e r d i c t i o n . Prior t o 18 tfay the only ones which had been attacked by the bomb wings were the coast line between PISA and GENOA, which had received a few scattered attacks, p r i marily on days when other t e r c e t s were weathered i n , and the ADRIATIC Coast Line, which had been h i t at FANO. On 18 May, how ever, the e n t i r e zone wes opened t o the mediums, end a t o t a l of 89 missions were flown against r a i l tar^oets in that area, most of the missions taking place in June and accounting for the majority of the a t t a c k s on r a i l lines in those three weeks.
SEEZIA-RIMINI

25

26. RITINI -ANCCNA Line, The R3KIU-ANC0RA Line wts struck by seven missions between 4 and 14 June: four against a bridge at PESARO, two against one et CATTOLICA, and one against the marshall ing yards a t FANO. 27. FLORENCE - FAENZA Line. The FLORENCE-FAENZA Line r e ceived eleven a t t a c k s : five against the bridges' at B R O SAN OG LORENZO, and s i x against the RONTA Viaduct. Of the eleven attacks, seven were between 13 end 16 June, though the bridges at BCR30 SAN LORENZO had been h i t as e a r l y as 19 May. 28. PRATO - BOLOGNA Line. The PRATO-BOLOCNA Line received twenty-five a t t a c k s , the heaviest number of any of the s i x l i n e s in the SIEZIA-RBflKI zone. Nine targets were h i t ; ; the greatest a t t e n t i o n going t o the bridges at VERNIO with ten missions between k and 22 June, the bridge at GRICIGLIANO with four missions be tween 8 end 22 June, and the V D Viaduct with three missions be AO tween 18 and 28 May. Attacks en t h i s line were well dispersed over the e n t i r e period between 18 May and 22 June, such t a r g e t s as the bridges a t LAGARA, GRIZZANA, and LISSONO being hit both in May and June. In addition, one mission was flown on 2? May against a bridge at BOLOGNA i t s e l f .
PQ PISTOIA - ^:T.OGNA L i n e . The PISTOIA-BOLOGNA L i n e r e

ceived seveltlen attacts between 18 tt, and 22 June, nine of them

55

against the bridges in the v i c i n i t y of PTTECCIO. Six a d d i t i o n a l t a r g e t s were a t t a c k e d , the bridges a t C B O E end MARZABCTTO r e MRN ceiving two apiece, LIRANO, FIANO, CASTAGNO, and SAVICIA one each. As i n the case of the other r a i l l i n e s in the SPEZIA-RIMIM 2one, the tempo of a t t a c k s increased markedly toward the end of the period, nine of the seventeen missions being flown between 14 and 22 June. 30. SrEZIA - PAB1A Line. The SFEZIA-PAFMA Line received the l e a s t a t t e n t i o n of any of the s i x l i n e s in t h i s zone, being a t t a c k ed by five missions only, one each ageinst the two bridges at AULLA, and the bridge at PCNTREMOLI, VALLAFRANCA, and BOCCHETO, the f i r s t two on 18 May, the t h i r d and fourth on 15 June, and the l a s t on 22 June. 31PISA - G N A Line* EO The PISA-GENOA Line was h i t by twenty-two a t t a c k s , showing the same p a t t e r n of increasing i n t e n s i t y which was apparent in the other l i n e s , twelve of them occurring between 15 and 22 June. Of the eight bridges h i t , t h a t at VIAREGGIO with s i x a t t a c k s and t h a t a t MASSA with a l i k e num ber were the p r i n c i p a l t a r g e t s , in both cases the a t t a c k s being spaced throughout the e n t i r e period. Targets such as the bridges across the l^AGRA River, at BOGLIASCO, and RECCO were added l a t e in June, while the bridges at FIETRASANTA and PISA-ALBA.V0IA were s t r u c k both in May and June. 32. GENOA - FAVIA Line. In addition to the l a t e d mission was carried out on 21 June against a PONTECURONE on the GENOA-PAVIA L i n e . This was the in t h i s period of a s t r i k e at t a r g e t s north of the zone of i n t e r d i c t i o n . above, one i s o bridge at only example SPEZIA-RIMIIH

33. Summary. There was no c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n in areas be tween the two bomb wings in the railway i n t e r d i c t i o n program in t h i s period. All of the main l i n e s and meny of the individual t a r g e t s were attacked by both the B-25's and the B - 2 6 ' s . However, i n terms of numbers of missions, the bulk of the railway i n t e r d i c t i o n in t h i s period was carried on by the 57th Wing, which flew 131 of the t o t a l 212 flown, as against 81 flown by the 42nd Wing. CLOSE SUPPORT 34* Allocation of Effort. This period saw a considerable proportion of the bombing effort of the two bomb wings devoted t o close support with t o t a l of 175 missions out of the 403 bombing missions carried out in t h i s p e r i o d . This close support f a l l s i n t o three general periods:

a.

12 through 25 May

- close support to the break through in the LIRI Valley


and adjacent areas,
- attacks on the German re treat from the LIRI Valley
and support to the Allied
attecks against the German
stand in the COLLI LAZIALI.

b.

21 May through 2 June

c.

24 May through 16 June - attacks on the highways


forming the lines of the
German withdrawal north of
ROME.

35 LIRI Valley. The major blows in support of the LIRI


Valley break-through were struck on the two days of D plus 1 and
D plus 2, when 20 of the 31 missions of that nature were flown.
Of the remaining eleven, a l l but three were flown by the 42nd
Bomb Wing.
3 Following D plus 2, no close support missions were flown u n t i l 17 May, the day on which CASSINO f i n a l l y f e l l to the Allied Amty. On that day four missions were flown, one each against a road junction a t FROSINCNE, a highway bridge at CEPRANO, highway bridges at FONTANI-LIRI, and a road defile at FROSINCNE, I t was the f i r s t example in the "Diadem" period of what was to became a major feature, the effort of the mediums t o block the path of the r e t r e a t i n g enemy. On 18 May, the highway bridge at CEPRANO was again attacked. Thereafter, came a two day l u l l in close support operations by the mediums. On 21 May, the support was resumed with another a t t a c k on the highway bridges at FONTANI-LIRI On 22 May, the highway at CAVE and a road junction a t nSRENTINO were s t r u c k . The road junction at FERENTINO was h i t again on 24 and 25 May, plus an a t t a c k on a roed bridge at ANAGNI on 25 May. The ground forces by that date had taken PCNTECORVO and were p r e s s i n g on up the valley in the direction of CEPRANO and FRQSINCNE. 37. Blocking the Enemy Retreat from the LIRI Valley. The main German escape l i n e s from the LIRI Valley were Highway #6, which hed already been subjected to heavy a t t a c k s , and, the road through the mounteins connecting FROSINONE with Highway #5 at ARSOLf. From ARSOLI the German r e t r e a t streamed east to AVEZZANO end west through TIVOLI t o strengthen the defence of ROME. 38. Between 24 May and 2 June, the bomb wings flew nineteen missions against these escape routes, working primarily on the FRGSINONE-ARSOLI road end on Highway #5*

a.

24 May sew the f i r s t mission against roed junctions a t SUBIACC and CARSOLI. On 25 May two more mis sions were flown against the same t a r g e t s and a third against the road junction at CARSCLI. On 26 May, two missions were flown to create road blocks a t TIVCLI, end one each for the same purpose at CARSCLI and at SUBULCO. These missions indicated the p r i mary blockage p o i n t s : SUBIACC, on the escape road from FRCSINONE to Highway #5; CARSOLI, on Highway #5 between ARSOLI and AVEZZAKO: and TIVCLI, between ARSOLI and the R & S area on Highway #$ In add C3 i t i o n t o the above, Highway #82, another escape route from the LIRI Valley leading t o AVEZZANO, wes attacked by a single mission on 26 May against a road junction at CAPISTRELLO. After 26 May, t h i s area was neglected u n t i l 30 May when three missions were run against points on the FROSINONE-ARSOLI road: a highway bridge a t AGOSTA, one et SUBIACO, and one to create road blocks a t GUARCINC. On 31 May a r a i l bridge at CAVE in the Valley wes bombed and a mission to create road blocks at SUBIACO. Cn 1 June, more road blocks were created a t SUBIACO, a road bridge a t TIVOLI attacked, and a third mission against troop concentrations e t CAVE, On 2 June, two f i n a l missions were run gainst the FROSINONE-ARSOLI road, to create road blocks e t SUBIACO and PISOKIANO. The cepture by the Allies of FROSIKCJNE on 1 June and of FERENTINO on 2 June e f f e c t i v e l y ended the LIRI Valley as a t a r g e t area for the mediums and marked the end of t h e i r a t t a c k s on the escape routes from that area.

39 Support of the COLLI LAZIALI Area. On 25 May, p a t r o l s of the 5"th Army advance up the West Coast met with p a t r o l s from the ANZIO beachhead, and thereafter the two groups were joined. This shifted the center of the Allied a t t a c k from the LIRI Valley and coastal area to the COLLI LAZIALI, where tbs Germans continued t o put up b i t t e r resistance at the l a s t natural b a r r i e r t o R M and C E the TIBER F l a i n . In a l l , the mediums flew 19 close support mis sions against t h i s area over a period which extended from 21 May throu^i 2 June. Of these, however, 1/j. were flown on the two days of 31 May and 1 June alone, days when the a t t a c k wes being pressed most b i t t e r l y . 40. The i n i t i a l attacks by the mediums' in t h i s area were s l i g h t : single missions on 21, 25, end 26 May at VAIMONTONE t o create road blocks; and on 2tf May at 1ACNGL0 f o r the same purpose.

58

59

31 May was the day of peak effort with both wings p a r t i c i p a t i n g in a t o t a l of 10 missions. One mission WES flown t o create road blocks at GROTTCFERRATA, but a l l of the r e s t were against troop concentrations, in the CCLLI LAZIALI near the various points of FRASCATI, MARINC, ALBANO, GENSANO, and ARICCIA. On 1 June, the a t t a c k tapered to 4 missions: one against a road bridge a t FRASCATI; the other three a,iainst troop concentrations a t ALBANO, GENZANO, and FAUESTRINA. On 2 June, the only a t t a c k in the area was one on a highway bridge southwest of RCH*E. VAIMONTCNE f e l l on 2 June, and on the evening of 4 June, Allied troops entered R M O E i t s e l f , accomplishing the f i r s t great objective of the Allied push. 41The work of the mediums in t h i s area was primarily done by the 42nd Wing, which accomplished 14 out of a t o t a l of 19 missions, a l l except four on 31 May and one on 1 June. 42. Highway I n t e r d i c t i o n North of RCME. 24 Hflay through 3 June. Before 30 May, Highway i n t e r d i c t i o n north of R M received O E only l i g h t and somewhat scattered a t t e n t i o n from the medium bomb e r s . On 24 May, highway bridges were attacked at ACQJJAEENDENTE and at PCGGIBONSI; on 25 I'ay, bridges at CRVIEro and TODI; on 26 May, a road junction at M0NTER0SI and road defiles at VZTERB0; while on 27 I^ay, the a t t a c k was carried as f a r north as a bridge at MASSA on the coast highway above FISA; and on the next day at a pinpoint closer t o GENOA. 43 On 30 3/tey, however, the bomb wings flew seven missions against road bridges, and the attacks on highways began t o resolve themselves into a more d e f i n i t e pattern of i n t e r d i c t i n g the enemy escape routes north of ROME. A bridge on Highway #3, a few miles north of R M was attacked; two missions were run against a bridge O E at BORGHETTC on Highway #3; and two against a bridge a t TORRITC on the road p a r a l l e l i n g Highway #3 and connecting TERNI with Highway #4 a* M N E FAGGIORE. In addition, bridges were attacked at MCNTE OT RGTONDO and BUFALACA, further from the immediate scene. 31 May saw only one mission against roads north of ROME; but on 1 June, six such missions were run, a l l against the highways between R M O E and PERUGIA. The bridge at T0RRIT0 was attacked again; three a t t a c k s a ^ i n s t bridges near NARNI;. one against a bridge at CRTE; and the sixth against a bridge a t MALIGNANC on Highway #3, close to BORGHETTO. On 2 June, a bridge at CIVITA GASTELLANA continued the a t t a c k in t h i s area; and on both 2 and 3 June, missions attacked a bridge at STAZIONE DI FARA SABINA on Highway #4, close t o i t s junc t i o n with the connecting road at TERNI. kk* High-way I n t e r d i c t i o n North of ROME, k throusk 16 June. ROUE f e l l on 4 June, and t h e r e a f t e r the ground action resolved i t self for some time into a pursuit of the fleeing enemy. In t h i s s i t u a t i o n the highway i n t e r d i c t i o n a t t a c k s by the bomb

Two views of the TIBER River Itoed Bridge North of VCKTERCTCNDC destroyed by the 320th Bomb Group on 3C Tey 1944* Pontoon bridge shown wes constructed by the Eighth /.rroy.

61

"' "

Jr JH fir *

Two views of a Roed Bridge North of RCFE destroyed by the 32Cth Bomb Group on 3C Kay

62

become a major e f f o r t . Seventy-eight mis.ions against road t a r gets were flown between 4 and 13 June, Two further missions on lb June closed the attacks on roads during t h i s period. 45. Seven missions were flown on 4 June, against targets in the area under previous attack except for one cut on Highway #1 near RdOE. Highway #3 WES the center for the attack with one mis sion against a bridge near IXKE, two against bridges at CIVITA CASTSLLAKA, and one at NARNI. Paralleling roads were cut with an a t t a c k on a bridge at CRTE and on one near 1/ASSA M R A A in the ATK s e c t i o n near TODI, 46. 5 June was the peek day of attacks on road t a r g e t s . Twenty-three missions were flown, amounting t o 396 effective s o r t i e s , in which 785.5 tons of bombs were dropped. Of these t o t a l s , 15 missions of 260 effective s o r t i e s were flown by the 57th Wing, the remainder by the 42nd. The area under attack was also enlarged. The i n t e r d i c t i o n area between R V S and PERUGIA was ex C3 tended somewhat t o the e^st, cutting roads between AVEZZANC and PSRUGIA. In addition, eight of the missions attacked roads in the area between R M and VITERBO, a new area which to a certain ex O E t e n t overlapped the old. fa. Highway #3 alone received eight attacks on bridges at CIVITA CASTELLANA, B M I , TERNI, and SPOLETO. P a r a l l e l i n g roads were hit again with an attack at MASSA KARTANA, one at OSTERIA, two at ORTE, end one a t AMELIA, a l l against bridges. J^ore closely con nected with escape routes from- the AVEZZANO area were the two attacks on road bridges at RIETI and
ANTRODOCO. b . "" The a r e a between RCME and VITERBO overlaps with t h a t d i s c u s s e d above i n as much as s i d e roads from High way #3 l e a d i n t o t h e VITERBO a r e a as f a r n o r t h as CRTE. However, 5 June saw a t t a c k s concentrated t o t h e west of Highway # 3 . Attacks were made on a b r i d g e and a road j u n c t i o n a t VETRALLA, on b r i d g e s a t RONCIGLICNE and VITERBC, and road blocks c r e a t e d a t VEIAKO, SORIANO, and VITERBO.

47. On 6 June, t h e number of m i s s i o n s a g a i n s t road t a r g e t s was lowered t o 1 3 , which made up, however, the t o t a l number of bombing m i s s i o n s flown by t h e mediums on t h a t d a y . Between ROME and PERUGIA on t h e w e s t , b r i d g e s were a t t a c k e d a g a i n a t TERNI, NARNI end CRTE. On the e a s t between AVEZZANO and PERUGIA, a b r i d g e end a road j u n c t i o n a t RIETI were bombed. In t h e VITERBC a r e a , road b l o c k s were c r e a t e d a t VETRALLA and VITERBO, and a b r i d g e a t TARQJUINIA on Highway # 1 , whence Highway #1 b i s l e a d s t o VITERBO was a t t a c k e d . I n a d d i t i o n , two missions were flown

n o r t h of VITERBC, c r e s t i n g road blocks a t I.-'ONTEFIASCCNE, and a t t a c k i n g a road bridge e t CHVIETO. 48. By 7*June t h e Allied ground forces had swept through RCME and pushed as f a r north as CIVITAVECCHIA and CIVITA CASTEL LANA. The bomb wings now be^an t o r e t u r n in p e r t t o r a i l i n t e r d i c t i o n , though continuing t o i v e considerable a t t e n t i o n t o road t a r g e t s . However, with the ground advance roads were now a t t a c k e d ^ i n new a r e a s . Highways #1 and #74 were a t t a c k e d on 7 June by two missions a g a i n s t bridges a t CECINA and t h r e e a g a i n s t bridges near ALBI2\TIA. In a d d i t i o n , b r i d g e s a t FTTIGLIANO and ACQ.UAFENDENTE, t o the west and north of Lake BOLSEKA r e s p e c t i v e l y , were a t t a c k e d . 49. On 8 June, t h e r e was only one a t t a c k on a road t a r g e t , a bridge on Highway #1 near FIGMBINO, but an i s o l a t e d example of an a t t a c k on an ammunition dump, located near MONTEIESGALI, occurred on the same day. 9 June saw a resumption of t h e a t t a c k s on roads with e i ^ t such m i s s i o n s . Four were a g a i n s t bridges on Highway # 1 , a t ALBINIA, GROSSETC, MCNTEFESCALI, and LEGHORN. High way #2 came in f o r two a t t a c k s , a t CASETTA and CEKTENC, n o r t h of Lake BCISENA; a bridge a t CHVIETO was bombed; and one a t ROCCASTRADA on Highway #73. TARQUINIA and VITEEBO f e l l t o the ground forces on the same day. 50. On 10 June, Highways #1 and #2 accounted f o r five out of the e i g h t missions, being s t r u c k e t CALOFURIA, GROSSETO, RADICO FA1TI, and a bridge 14 miles south of SIENA. Two m i s s i o n s , however, marked a r e t u r n t o a t t a c k s i n the FERUGIA a r e a , where t h e enemy was now beginning t o gather i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r a s t a n d . These were a t t a c k s e t SFOLETO and a bridge a t FERUGIA. There were no road operations on 11 June, but on 12 June, t h e mediums devoted a l l e i g h t of t h e i r missions against road t a r g e t s t o t h i s FERUGIA a r e a . Bridges were s t r u c k e t FOLIGNO, MARSCIARO, COLLEFEIE, and four a t t a c k s on bridges i n the v i c i n i t y of PERUGIA. On 13 June, two more missions were flown against bridges i n t h e immediate v i c i n i t y of PERUGIAj and a t h i r d mission s t r u c k a t a bridge on Highway #1 a t CAMPIGLIA. 51 By 14 June, t h e ground forces had advanced t o t h e capture of ORVIETO and TERNI, and t h e a t t a c k s of t h e mediums on road t a r g e t s had p r a c t i c a l l y ceased. On 16 June, bridges were a t t a c k e d a t VERGATO and a t CASALECCHIO DI RENO. These were- t h e l a s t such a t t a c k s made during t h i s p e r i o d . OTHER OPERATIONS 52* Attacks on Harbor Installations. The principal bombing effort of the mediums aside from those already discussed was attacks on harbor installations, which was in itself a part of the

general i n t e r d i c t i o n program. SAN STEFANO was attacked on IS May;; PORTO .FEHRAIA on ELBA on 11 and 1$ May. e n d FICMBINO on 15 and 16 May. LEGHORN came in for p a r t i c u l a r and heavy atten t i o n . On 13 and 14 June, the 42nd Wing sent three missions each day against two 400 foot ships which were sunk in order to block the harbor. Single missions on 21 and 22 June by the 57th Wing insured the continuance of these blocks, 53' Counter Air Force Operations. Counter a i r force opera t i o n s were extremely l i g h t , being limited to two missions against Landing Ground #2 a t V3TERB0 on 17 Hay. The only other bombing missions within the period was a single s o r t i e submarine search flown by the 321st Bomb Group, during which no bombs were dropped, 54 Non-bomb ing Missions. sions were flown: Three types of non-bombing mis

a_.- The 42nd Wing flew a single weather reconnaissance of one s o r t i e on 11 May. t>. The 57"th Wing flew tiiree photo reconnaissance mis sions of a single s o r t i e apiece over the islend of EI3A on 17 June, the day of the landings t h e r e . _c. TACTICS
S3* Tactics remained substantially the same as in previous
periods. Bomb types and sizes and fuzings had been studied and
stabilized for the various types of targets as shown in a chert
appearing et the end of this study. Numbers of 3orties per mis sion showed some new developments:
a. Thirty-six sortie missions were increasingly rare,
" " occurring primarily in a few attacks on troop con centrations, the attack on the FANO marshalling
yards, counter air force missions, and in a few
instances against railway bridges.
b. The 24 sortie mission remained normal for attacks
" ~ on railway bridges, though the 42nd Wing in the
later part of the period frequently cut the number
to 18, and occasionally even to 12.
c. Early attacks on road bridges were made by 24
" sortie missions. However, in the period when the
great emphasis was on ro&d targets the number of
sorties per mission became stabilized at 18, with

Fifteen nickelling missions were flown by the 57th Wing.

occasional drops t o 12 in the 42nd Wing. StMARY


56. The operational effort of the two Bomb Wings for the
period from 11 May through 22 June is summarized in the follow ing table:
Railway interdiction 212 missions (Marshalling Yards
3 missions
(Railway Bridges
209 missions

Close Support

(LIRI Valley 31 missions (LIRI Escape Routes 19 missions 175 missions - (COLLI LAZLALI 19 missions (Hoed I n t e r d i c t i o n 106 missions
13 missions. 2 missions 1 mission 3 missions 1 mission 15 missions

Harbor I n s t a l l a t i o n s Counter Air Force Submarine Sea Search Photo-Reconnaissance Weather Reconnaissance Nictelling Total number of missions

422 (Bombing missions (Non-bombing missions

403 19

66

V OPERATION "DIADEM, 23 JUKE TO 5 AUGUST DEFINITION OF THE PERIOD PO Valley. No new JUTAF Bcmbing Directive d i s t i n guishes t h i s period from the previous one. Attacks on lines of
communication remained the primary task of the medium bomb
wings. However, on 22 June, Vjjtf issued a directive which
opened the PO Valley t o the mediums as a new area for operations.
While a t t a c k s on the SPEZIA-RBOTE zone of interdiction continued
for a while, the bulk of the operations were now in t h i s new area,
and in the coastal area between G N A and NICE
EO 2 "Mallory Major*. The one iv^TAF Operational Directive which referred to the mediums in t h i s period was No. 15 for Opera t i o n "Mallory Major", published on 11 July 1944. This dealt sole l y with the i n t e r d i c t i o n of the FO River bridges, specifying them by name, and dividing them for i n i t i a l i n t e r d i c t i o n between the two bomb wings. The MATAF report on the operation deals with i t in de t a i l , and as a r e s u l t "Mallory Major" w i l l be summarized only in t h i s work. 3. "Dragoon". This section closes with the operations of 4 August 1944 since on 5 August the bomb win^s began operations under the plans for "Dragoon", the invasion of SOUTHERN FRANCE. This involved a transfer of a t t e n t i o n from the ITALIAN area to that of SOUTHERN FRANCE, and marks a definitive change. In add i t i o n , the f a l l of FLORENCE t o the ground forces on 4 August 1944 marks an equally convenient stage in the ground effort in the ITALIAN campaign.
WEATHER 4. Weather was distinctly poorer for bombing in this period
than in the earlier part of "Diadem". In the period of 23 through
30 June, only one day. 29 June, was operational for all of the six
bomb groups. The only other day on which bombing missions were
flown was 30 June, on which two of the groups were able to complete
missions. Non-operational days were spotted throughout the entire
month of July and the first days of August. Out of the total of
43 days in the period of 23 June through 5 August, on 14 days no
bcmbin* missions were flown by any of the groups, on 17 days at
least three groups were unable to complete bombing missions, and

1#

67

on 34 cut of the 13 <3ays at l e a s t one croup out of the s i x was unsble t o complete a bombing mission. Among the groups, the 34Cth, which flew no bombing missions on 16 days, and the 310th, which flew none on 22 days, represent the extremes between which.the other groups f a l l . Under these circumstances t h e r e was a n a t u r a l and necessary reduction in the bombing e f f o r t . INTERDICTION 5# General. The two bomb winis flew a t o t a l of 2C1 bomb ing missions in t h i s period, of which 182 were a t t a c k s on com munications t e r c e t s . In the e a r l i e r part of "Diadem", a t t a c k s on highway bridges as a whole were in z quite separate zone from a t t a c k s on railway t a r g e t s and were c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o the ground e f f o r t . That p a r t i c u l a r e f f o r t stopped on l 6 June and does not appear a ain in t h i s p e r i o d . Highway bridges are ettacked in t h i s l a t e r period, but in exactly the same areas subject t o r a i l way i n t e r d i c t i o n . Attacks ere made against a l l l i n e s of corrmun i c a t i o n in the given a r e a s . As e r e s u l t ro&d and r e i l i n t e r d i c t i o n are discussed t o g e t h e r . 6. Moreover, once the FC Valley wes opened t o a t t a c k , the number of r a i l l i n e s end highways becomes so enormously increased that i t i s considered preferable t o discuss areas r a t h e r than i n dividual l i n e s , except in & few i s o l a t e d c a s e s . Interdiction entered i n t o a new and f a r more complex s t a g e , of wLich t h i s per iod sew only the be i n n i n g . SPEZIA-HB'IKI ZCKE 7. General. The a t t a c k s on the r a i l l i n e s lying witi.in the SFEZIA-RIKINI zone of i n t e r d i c t i o n continued i n t o the e a r l y t a r t of t h i s p e r i o d . Twenty-nine missions were flown against f i v e of the r a i l l i n e s . The s i x t h l i n e , t h a t between KDVIKI and AKCGNA, received no a t t a c k s whatsoever by the bomb wings. Twenty-seven of the 29 missions f e l l within the period of 2? June through 7 J u l y . Thereafter the a t t a c k moved i n t c the x 0 Valley. 6. FIO'EKCE - FAENZA Line. The l i n e between FLCREirCE and FAENZA received cix a t t a c k s j two on JC June against the r e i l bridges near T.'ARRADI; two on 1 July a - a i n s t .he viaducts at RCNTA; and two on 2 July a.-.ainst the b r i d e e s at BCRGO SAN LORENZO. The only fur t h e r a t t a c k in t h i s aree wts a mission on 23 July against a highwas bridge at RCVIGO, near the northern p e r t of the l i n e . 9 PRATC - B L G A L i n e . Seven missions were flown a g a i n s t OO N the FRATC-ECLOCKA l i n e , a l l within the f i r s t s i x days of J u l y . Two a t t a c k s were m. de on tunnel at CAKKETO on 1 July, on 2 J u l y a bridge was struck s l i g h t l y north of FRATC, on 3 J u l y the tunnel

68

a t GANEETO was ettacked a ^ i n as well as a bridge in the same v i c i n i t y , and on 6 July b r i d e s were struck at V D and PIANCRA. AO ' . riSTCIA - B L G A Line. The PISTOLA-BCLOGNA line was OO M subject to somewhat l i g h t e r and more scattered attack by the med iums than the above two. I t was h i t by four missions: one on 1 July against a viaduct at 0,-5149^8, one on 2 July a-einst a bridge a t TESSCNC, one on 7 July against a bridge at SASSC, and a f i n a l one egainst a bridge et MARZABCTTO on 10 July. SPEZIA - AULLA - TAWA Line. Six attacks were made against t h i s l i n e , a l l within the southern half of i t . Cn 1 July, missions were flown tgainst bridges at AULLA and VILLAFPANCA, and the seme t a r g e t s were attacked again on 5 July. On 2 July, a bridge at ECRGO VAL DI FARC wts attacked, and cn 7 July, the med iums flew t h e i r l a s t mission against t h i s line with an atteck on a b r i d e at P-775608. 12. PISA - G N A Line. Six irissions were flown a e ainst four EO t a r g e t s on t h i s l i n e . Four of these were flown coincident with the a t t a c k s on other l i n e s in the SPEZIA-RIMINI zone: two on 29 June against bridges at 7ECCC and LICNEGLIA, two on 30 June against a bridge et PIETRCSANTA, and e t h i r d on 3 July against the seme t e r c e t . One l a t e r mission was flown against t h i s line during the per iod when a l l of the l i n e s leading into G N A were being subjected EO t o p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n , a viaduct et P-C75443 n 17 July. 13. Summary. Of tr.e t h i r t y missions flown into the SFEZIA RIMINI zone by the mediums, twenty-two were flown by the B-25's, the vast majority against a l l of the individual lines except for the l i n e between PISTCLA end BOLOGNA, where three of the four were flown by the B - 2 6 ' s . With the advence of the ground forces and the opening of new f i e l d s in Central ITALY, i t became possible t o leave i n t e r d i c t i o n of t . i s zone to the attacks of the fighterbombers. RIMINI - BOLOGKA - PIACENZA LINE 14. The Rr:m-BCLCCKA-riACENZA line i s one of the main I t a l i a n r a i l l i n e s , running d i r e c t l y through the main c i t i e s which l i e within the P0 Valley at the foot of the Appennines, and i n t e r s e c t i n g a l l of ti-e r a i l lines running through the SPEZIA-REII-M zone with the exception of the line between PISA end GENOA. On 6 July t h i s line wes subjected to six e t t e c k s , three by each bomb win-, against five t a r g e t s , a l l located between BCLCGNA end PIAC^NZA- brid-es located et HJBISRO, PART/A (two missions), FIOaENZDOLA, FIDEKZA, end PIACE^A. Cn 7 July, one more target on t h i s l i n e , a brid.fl at SANTA KAHtt, was attacked by the B-25's.
11 1C

70

T h e r e a f t e r , the bomb wings flew no f u r t h e r missions against t h i s l i n e p r o p e r . However, on 19 July, a single mission was flown a ^ i n s t a bridge a t SAS5UCLA, which i s on the by-pass l i n e between KDDEKA and RE7GIC KEIX EMILIA, p a r a l l e l i n g the main l i n e * "MAILCRY MAJOR* 13 The P l a n . On 11 July 1^44, MATAF published Opera t i o n a l D i r e c t i v e No. 15 on "Mellory Itejcr", announcing the de c i s i o n of the Commander-in-Chief, Allied Armies in ITALY that a l l bridges over the FO were t o be c u t . This job was a l l o c a t e d p r i m a r i l y t o the mediums, fighter-bombers t o be used as a supplement and follow-up o n l y . I n i t i a l l y , the a t t a c k was t o be launched a g a i n s t the bridges East of FTAGEKZA t o the ADRIATIC, and t h e d i r e c t i v e assigned a specific area t o each of the bomb wings. The 42nd Wing was assigned i n i t i a l l y 10 bridges extend ing from PIACEKZA t o BORGCFCRTE, but exclusive of the bridges a t BCR'^OFCFfTE. The 57th Wing was assigned 13 bridges extend ing from BCKGCFORTE t o TAGLIO. lo Operations, General. Operations under t h i s plan be.^en immediately on 12 July and remained intensive through 16 J u l y . Thereafter the a t t a c k s on the FO bridges received l e s s complete a t t e n t i o n from the bomb win^s, but continued t o be r e - v i s i t e d f r e q u e n t l y through 27 J u l y , end one l a s t a t t a c k appears on 1 Aug u s t . In a l l , 5 2 missions were flown against bridges named in the d i r e c t i v e , and 13 more egainst FO River bridges not named t h e r e i n . The amount of e f f o r t thrown i n t o t h i s operation by the two wings i s summarized below by days. 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 20 July July July July July July July July 10 13 4 8 6 2 3 4 missions missions missions missions missions missions missions missions 22 23 24 25 26 27 30 1 July July July July July July July Aug. 1 3 1 1 2 5 1 1 mission missions mission mission missions missions mission mission

17. Operations t 2i2nd Wing* All of the 10 bridges named in the directive for the 42nd Wing were attacked by them by a t o t a l of 17 missions. In addition, two missions were flown against bridges allocated to the 57th Wing, one at B0RG0F0HTE and one at CSTIGLIA, and seven missions were flown against three bridges west of PIACENZA, those at CASTEL K N E R T , TCRREBER O FRAO ETTI, and BRESSAKA. Most bombed single targets were the bridges at FIAGENZA which received ten attacks.

71

Bombing of the CASAD/IAGG1CRE combined road and r a i l bridge by the 320th Bomb Group on 12 July 1944.

72

Bombing of the combined rail and rc&d


bridge et TCRREBERETTI by the 57th
Bomb Wing.

73

18. Operations. 57th Wing. The 37th Wing flew 33 missions


against the 13 bridges named in the d i r e c t i v e . In addition,
five mis Lions were flown against t h e bridge at CFIVASSC and one
on 1 August against the Highway bridge at BCLCSSA. Most bombed
single targets were the bridge at CSTIGLIA with e i ^ h t a t t a c k s ,
the bridges at rCNTELAGCSCURC with e i g h t , the bridges a t BCRGG FC^TE with seven, and the bridge at CHIVASSC.
CIEPJlTICKS IN KCKTK - EASTERN ITALY. 19. With the exception of the T.'allory I&jor" attacks in
t h i s area, l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n was given t o North-Eastern ITALY by
the bcmb wings in t h i s period. The f i r s t attack wts a mission
on 7 July against a railway bridge at S. GIOVAMII IK lU&ICETC
en the IJCLCGI^ - CSTIGLIA - VERCKA l i n e . A bridge at VERCNA
i t s e l f was attacked on 26 July. The marshalling yards a t FERRARA
were attacked on 8 July, the HOVIGO -fcCANTUAl i n e was h i t by an
attack on the marshalling yards at RCVIGG on 10 July and by an
a t t a c k en the bridge crossing- the ADIGE River at LEGKANC on 25
J u l y . All of these, were carried cut by the 57th Wine% to whom
t h i s north-eastern erea wts generally a l l o c a t e d .
CI-ERATICrS IF THE CTflTRAL 10 VALLEY 20. Operations in the Central 0 Valley were l a r g e l y con fined t c the attacks on the RHaxi - BCLOG&A - JIACEKZA line and the PC River bridges as already discussed, the greet majority of which f e l l into t h i s general area. However, in addition to those, the bomb win.^s flew t h i r t e e n other missions in t h i s a r e a , four by the 42nd and nine by the 57"th. Three highway bridges were attacked one at PARIS/CC on Highway #45 near PIACEFZA, one at !.TCI\T?ICELLO on Highway #10 between JIACEKZA. and CPEHCKA, and the t h i r d at KAOTUA.' L'lAKTUA, in addition, received three attacks ag&inLt r t i l t e r c e t s , two on the reilwa: bridge, and one on a choke p o i n t . The VERCKA - BISSCIA r a i l line received three t t t a c k s , two on a bridge at IISCHIEPvA, and one on a bridge r-t DESETTZA^O, The CRET/CiJA f'AITUA line was attacked twice at a bridge at EO?,GCLC, end by a raid en the marshalling yards at C E . - A in addition t c the attacks R TXN at J'AOTUA. And f i n e l l y , the HHESCIA - lAH.lA l i n e was attccked on 1 August by a mission against a bridge at CAKKBTC. CFSPATICIS IN KCPTH - WESTEPU ITALY 21 General. North-Western ITALY as a general erea, ex tending a c t u a l l y s l i g h t l y across the f r o n t i e r into- FRANCE, r e ceived the greetest number of attacks by the mediums in t h i s period of any of the a r e a s . Exclusive of t'he FC River a t t a c k s , such &b t'.jose at CI1IVA0SO, which extended into t h i s area, the mediums flew 6l missions against i n t e r d i c t i o n t a r g e t s in Morth

74

Western ITALY, 36 of which were flown by the 42nd Win. general, these attacks f e l l into the following p a t t e d !
a . b* 29 June through 3 July 7 July through 2 August -

In

attacks on the G N A EO NICE Line. attacks on r a i l lines leading into C N A ex EO, tending after 17 July to attacks on other lines north and west of GENOA. renewal of strong a t t a c k s on the G N A - NICE r a i l EO l i n e end the coest high way*

2 August through 4 August -

E a r l y Attacks on the G N A - NICE Line. The f i r s t day EO of f l y i n g weather in t h i s period wss 29 June, and on t t e t day the 5 7 t h Wing flew s i x missions against t h i s l i n e , a t t a c k i n g the b r i d g e s a t ALBSNGA, PIETRA LIGUEE, VENTIMIGLIA east and west, CEKVC, and BTERIA. The p r e c i p i t o u s nature of the RTVERIA coast made this 1 l i n e extremely d i f f i c u l t t o r e p a i r , e s p e c i a l l y as only two r a i l l i n e s i n t e r s e c t e d i t , both a t SAVGHA, and highways were almost a s r a r e . As a r e s u l t , the cuts effected on 29 June were s u f f i c i e n t i n number t o permit the bomb wings t o t u r n t h e i r a t t e n t i o n e l s e w h e r e . The only o t h e r mission i n t o t h i s area in the e a r l y p a r t of the period was an a t t a c k on a road bridge a t SAVOIANA on 3 J u l y . 23 I s o l a t i o n of GENOA. Five r a i l l i n e s e n t e r GENOA. Two of t h e s e a r e t h e coast l i n e s already mentioned, the one between FISA and GENOA, and t h a t from NICE t o GENOA. Three l i n e s lead north through t h e mountains: one small l i n e leeds t o GVADA; the other two a r e main l i n e s which p a r a l l e l each otber and occasionally merge up t o a point south of NOVI LIGURE where they d i v i d e , one l e e d i n g t o ALESSANDRIA, the other t o TORTCNA. The c o t s t l i n e s had been under a t t a c k from time t o time i n previous p e r i o d s , more p a r t i c u l a r l y i n June However, s t a r t i n g on 7 July, a t t a c k s began on the mountain l i n e s , which, combined with those on the coastal EO r o u t e s , s e t up an i s o l a t i o n of the G N A a r e a . The i s o l a t i o n of GENOA was, i n f a c t , a p a r t -of the o v e r - a l l plan f o r Operation . "Dragoon", which involved c r e a t i n g a s i t u a t i o n which would lead the enemy t o expect a sea-borne a s s a u l t a t that p o i n t . The de t a i l e d "Dragoon" p l a n , beginning with D-10, concentrated fur t h e r on t h e i s o l a t i o n of GENOA, but t h i s period sew the s t a r t of the p l a n .

22

15

76

maintain the cuts already created.

Utl

J!\l

?S

* X t quired relatively f w missions to e

- G N A Line. Only one mission were sent EO against t h i s l i n e a f t e r 7 July, an attack on a bridge a t F-075443 on 17 J u l y . G N A - NICE Line. The attacks of 29 June had a l EO reedy succeeded in c r e a t i n g a number of c u t s . Fur t h e r a t t a c k s , however, were made between l 6 and 27 J u l y , four i n a l l against the bridges a t IMFERIA, CERBO, PIETRA LIGURE, and one et 0-754477.

25* G N A - O A A Line* Six missions were flown against EO VD t a r g e t s on t h i s l i n e . On 10 July, the 57th Wing attacked the bridges e t EISCOCCIA and a t ACQJJASANTIA. Most frequently attacked, however, was a bridge near CVADA, against which the 42nd Wing flew four missions, on 24, 26, 30 July and 7 August. 26 Main Lines from GENOA North. The p r i n c i p a l point of i n t e r d i c t i o n on t h e s e l i n e s were bridges neer ROIXC SCRIVIA, where the two l i n e s were close t o g e t h e r and both had t o pass over b r i d g e s . Seven missions were flown against these bridges, making and main t a i n i n g t h e c u t s . The f i r s t missions were two on 7 J u l y . Thereafter one o r t h e o t h e r o r both were r e - e t t a c k e d on 1 1 , 22, 24, 26 July end 1 August, a l l t h e missions but one being flown by the 42nd Wing. Aside from t h o s e , one mission was flown on 8 J u l y against a bridge a t NOVI LIGURE, end a number of a t t a c k s were made a t and i n t h e v i c i n i t y of ALESSANDRXAi were severe 1 r a i l l i n e s , including t h a t from GENOA, converged. On 8 J u l y , the m a r s h a l l i n g yards were h i t ; on 11 J u l y , the yards were h i t again and an a t t a c k was made on llj/T, t r e c k , and r o l l i n g s t o c k t h e r e ; and on 17 and 22 J u l y two r a i l b r i d g e s were attacked i n t h e v i c i n i t y of ALESSANDRIA. 27 # Highway A t t a c k s . The i s o l a t i o n of GENOA, as f a r a s t h e medium bombers were concerned, was l i m i t e d t o a t t a c k s on the r a i l l i n e s . Only one mission was flown against road t a r g e t s anywhere neer t h i s a r e a a t t h i s t i m e . This one was an a t t a c k on a read bridge a t CARASCO on 26 J u l y , a bridge located on t h e highway between CHIAVARI and FAHMA. not f a r from t h e c o a s t . 28 Operations North and West of t h e GENOA L i n e s . In add i t i o n t o t h e a t t a c k s around GENOA, nine r a i l l i n e s t o the north and west of GENOA, both i n t h e P0 Valley and i n the mountains, were a t t a c k e d by 18 m i s s i o n s , 13 of which were flown by the * * * . and f a l l i n g i n date between 11 July and 3 August. The ALESSANDRIA

77

SAVCHA line was attacked by three missions, two against a bridge


at BISTAGNC and one against a bridge at ACQJJI. The TURIN MCFBCVI line was attacked by a single mission against a bridge
at FCSSAKA. The CEVA - MOKDCVI line was attacked by three mis sions one against the bridge at CEVA end two against those at
LESEGNO. The ORMEA - CEVA line was attacked twice at a bridge
at MCLLERE. A bridge et ASTI on the ALESSANDRIA - TURIN line
was hit by three missions, two on 1? July, one en 26 July. The
ALESSANDRIA - ALBA - BRA line was attacked by one mission
against a bridge at ALBA. The NICE - CUEEO - TURIN line was
hit by attacks on 24 and 25 July and 1 August against a bridge
at BORGO SAN DODSAZZA and by an attack on 1 August against a
combined rail and road bridge at H-865010. And the CEVA - BRA
line was attacked on 30 July by a-mission against a bridge at
CHERASCO,
29. Late AttecKS on the GENOA - NICE Line. The last three
days of this period, 2 through 4 August, saw a strong renewal of
the attacks on the coast routes between GENOA and NICE. These
attacks, while not falling in the period of time covered by the
Dragoon" directive, were actually a part of the general "Dragoon"
plan of isolating the coming battle area without indicating its
location, for these attacks isolated GENOA as well as the
"Dragoon" area,
30. Twelve missions in all were flown against the coast
routes, six against rail targets and six against highway targets,
four missions on each of the three days, and equally divided in
number between the two bomb wings. Rail, targets included the
two bridges at VENTIMIGLIA, and bridges at NICE, TAGGIA, and
LEVENS, which received an attack on each of the three days. The
other road targets were bridges #2 and #3 across the VAR.
ATTACKS ON DIMES
31Aside from interdiction the only bombing missions
flown by the mediums in this period was a concerted series of attacks
on supply dumps of various types. This marked a separture from all
previous periods: first, in that there were no missions in close
support of .round troops, counter air force missions, or attacks on
harbor installations; and second, in that dumps for the first time
were treated as a major type of target.
32. Sixteen attacks were made against dumps, all occurring
between 29 June and 8 July, and covering almost every day in that
period. Both wings participated, eleven missions being flown by
the 57th Wing and seven by the 42nd Wing. In addition, and closely
related was an attack flown by the 42nd Wing on 7 July against an

78

R a i l b r i d g e a t BORX SAN DAU!AZZ0 bombed by the 319th Bomb Group on 25 J u l y 1944

79

ammunition f a c t o r y a t AULLA. Most of t h e dumps a t t a c k e d were o i l s t o r a g e o r fuel dumps end they v a r i e d widely i n l o c a t i o n . Dumps were a t t a c k e d a s f a r e a s t as RAVENNA, a s f a r west as SAVCNA, as f a r south as PORETTA TEflME, immediately above PISTOLA, and a t various p o i n t s in the PC V a l l e y i t s e l f . NON-BOMBING OPERATIONS 33, All of the non-bombing missions in t h i s period were flown by the 57th Wing, 17 n i c k e l l i n g missions, and five weather reconnaissance s o r t i e s . The n i c k e l l i n g missions covered e wide area, including FLORENCE, various centers in the TO Valley, and along the RIVERIA c o a s t . The weather reonnaissence s o r t i e s came l a t e in the period, four being in August, in the NICE or G N A areas. EO TACTICS 34* The 2j.2ncL Wing had already s t a b i l i z e d i t s t s c t i c s . The 24 s o r t i e mission remained normal throughout t h i s period for i n t e r d i c t i o n t a r g e t s . On the other hend, the 57th Wing cut the number cf s o r t i e s for bridge t a r g e t s down t o e norm of 18, oc casionally increased to 24* Attacks on mershe11ing yards and dumps, however, frequently saw missions of 36 s o r t i e s , and the a t tack on r o l l i n g stock a t ALESSANDRIA saw a mission of 50 s o r t i e s , the l a r g e s t mission flown in the e n t i r e p e r i o d . StMCARY 35* The operational effort of the two bomb wings f o r the period of 23 June through 4 August i s summarized in the follow ing t a b l e . Interdiction - 162 missions (Road bridges - 22 missions (Railway bridges -154. missions (Marshalling "Sards- 6 missions

Dumps Factory Nickelling Weather Reconnaissance

- 18 missions - 1 mission - 17 missions - 5 missions

- 182
T o t a l number of missions - 201 - (Bombing (Non-bombing - 19

80

VI THE PLAN

OPERATION "Dr&GCON"

! General. Operation "Dragoon" wes the amphibious a s s a u l t on t h e southern coast of FRANCE, The Air Plan covering t h i s o p e r a t i o n was a highly d e t a i l e d document dividing the a i r e f f o r t i n t o various c l o s e l y defined phases beginning with D-10. MATAF's "Report on Operation Dragoon" gives e c l e a r picture of t h e planning and of the o v e r - a l l a i r e f f o r t , and reports on l e s s o n s learned w r i t t e n by the two bomb wings are annexed t o t h a t volume, hence w i l l not be repeated h e r e . However, the medium bombers pleyed such an important part in the a i r effort t h a t a d e t a i l e d account of t h e i r operations w i l l be made h e r e . 2. P h a s e s . P a r t i c i p a t i o n by the 42nd and 57th- Bomb Wings in the a s s a u l t on Southern FRANCE was divided into the following p h a s e s : Phase I Aug. 5 - Aug 9 i n c l (D-10 through D-6) Fhase I I , "Nutmeg" Attacks on coastal defenses.
Counter a i r force operations and i s o l a t i o n of the b a t t l e area.

Aug 10 - Aug 14 (D-5 through D-l) Phase III, "Yokum"


Aug 15. 0350 - H hour. incl. (D1 day)
Phase IV, "Ducrot"
Aug 15, fHf hour on
(D1 day)
Phase V
Aug 16 - Aug 20 incl

Attacks on landing beaches.

Isolation of the battle area

('D + 1 through D + 12;

81

Isolation of the battle area


and close support.

TF.ASE I 3. The plan. The plan for Fhase I affected the mediums in two ways: (e) i t called for c e r t a i n counter a i r force operations; (b) i t called for continued i n t e r d i c t i o n in Northwestern ITALY and of the ccastal r a i l system plus the destruction of the r a i l bridges across the RHONE River south of VALENCE, s p e c i f i c func tions of the mediums. Eleven bridges were named for destruction in FRANCE. Rail Rail Rail Rail Rail Rail Rail Rail Rail Rail Rail bridge over ti,e RHCNE at ARLES bridge over the RECNE at TARASCCN b.idge over the RHCNE at AVIGNCN bridge over the RHCNE at LAVCULTE bridge ever the DRCLE at LIORCN bridge at N-827224 (FONT ST. ESPRIT) bridge over the YSEKE at R M N B 7 G C A S CR bridge N.W. of GRENOBLE bridge near rONTI/ELIAN bride.e on M N CEvIS route at ORELLE OT viaduct over DTtCZX, C-477&O6

4 Execution, General. The a t t a c k s en the coastal r a i l system between NICE and G N A had a c t u a l l y been s t a r t e d by the EO, mediums with the re ids of 2, 3, and 4 August described in the pre vious section, which had creeted enough cuts to allow the bomb wings to concentrate on the French t a r g e t s . The f i r s t day, however, of the scheduled Dragoon plan was rendered completely non-opera t i o n a l by weather with the exception of a n i c k e l l i n g mission flown by the 340th Group over the FLORENCE a r e a . This loss of a day necessitated some changes in planning, end f o r t u n a t e l y no further ncn-operational days occurred within t h i s phase, though the weather was poor throughout. 5 6 August. On 6 August, the committments under phase I were begun with attacks on four of the RHCNE b r i d g e s . A mission against the LAVOULTE bridge scored several d i r e c t -hits on the center of the s t r u c t u r e . The AVIGNON bridge and that at AKLES were also attacked by single missions, in etch case with some h i t s being scored. However, the major a t t a c k of the day wes a s e r i e s of five missions flown by the 42nd Wing against the r a i l bridge a t TARASCCN wl ich knocked i t out of corunission completely. One hundred f o r t y - s i x s o r t i e s were sent against i t , of which 126 were e f f e c t i v e , dropping 225 tens of bombs. In addition t o these a t t a c k s against the RECNE bridges, two missions of B-25 f s success f u l l y attacked three bridges across the VAR on the coastal r o u t e s . 6. 7 August. On 7 August, weather obscured some t a r g e t s and aborted some missions, but six missions each scoring some

82

rte bridge a t TARASCON destroyed by the 42nd Bomb Wing on 6 August 1944

success were flown by the mediums. Four of the RHONE bridges,


those at LAVCULTE, AVIGNON, FONT ST. ESPRIT, end LIVRCN, were hit
by B-25's, destroying spans at LAVCULTE and LIVRCN. The 42nd
wing flew one mission against a road bridge at LES CERlbES and
another a^einst the rail bridge at VENTBTIGLLA as a secondary tar get, scoring hits and reporting it impassible.
7. 8 August. The attack en the RHCKE bridges was continued
on 8 /ugust by the 57th Wing with two successful missions each
against the rail bridges at rCITT ST. ESPRIT and AVIGNON, In add ition, a roed bridge over the VAJR was attacked by the 321st Group
as an alternate target. The 42nd Wing, however, switched back to
targets in northwestern ITALY, where a rail bridge at ASTI end
two rail bridges near ALESSAMDRIA were successfully attacked with
a number of direct hits in each instance.
8. 9 August. The only counter air force missions of the
pre Dl day phases flown by the mediums were flown on 9 August
by the 42nd Wing against the airdrome at BERGAMO/SERIATE, which
was being used as a base for reconnaissence aircraft by the Germans.
Three missions, one from each group, were flown, amounting to 99
sorties which dropped 45 tons of 25C lb. bombs and 63 35 tens of 20
lb. fragmentation bombs. As a result,- 4 enemy planes were destroyed
and 13 damaged. Weather interfered with 57th Wing missions into
FRAI'CE with the result that only one successful mission was flown,
and that against the alternate target of a rail bridge at VENTIMIG LIA.
9. Phase I, Summary. Of the task allotted to t em for Phase
I, the bomb wings, in spite of poor weather, had completed the major
portion. The only c unter air force mission deemed necessary had
< been successfully fulfilled* The interdiction of the coastal routes
wes maintained and wss complete. Attacks into Northwestern ITALY
had been maintained successfully. Of the 11 assigned bridges in
FRANCE itself, all six of those over the RHONE, the most important,
hed been attacked, successfully interdicting the two rail lines
involved. The other five bridges had net been attacked and marked
the only deviation from the original plan.
PHASE II.
1C. The Plan. Phase II, which was given the sub code name
of "Nutmeg", wts devoted as far as the mediums were concerned
solely to neutralizing the main coast defense batteries which would
threaten naval craft during the landings. Since it was necessary
to accomplish this without jeopardizing tactical surprise the
entire coast line between BEZISRS and GENOA was divided into four
areas in which identical targets were to be neutralized, so scaled
that a satisfactory degree of neutralization would result, in the

and Boad
b\| "the "Bomb

"Dragoon" area, where the actual assault wt-s to tale piece. The
plan was highly detailed, but again the opening day, 10 August
was ncn-operational, and revisions had to be made.
11. The Execution. The attacks on gun positions flown by
the mediums everaied 12 sorties per mission for the B-25's and
24 sorties per mission for the B-26's, though frequently the 57th
Wing used more then one group on the same target, so that tie
strength of the attacks were roughly equalized. During the four
days of operational weather in Fhase II, the 37th Wing flew 4^
missions against gun positions, and the 42nd Wing flew the equiva lent of 24 missions of a like number of sorties. A total tonnage
of 1796,5O tons of bombs was dropped by the six groups in ell.
Various types and sizes of bombs were employed, the most common
being 500 and 1000 pound G.P. However, some 2000 pounders end
some 260 pound fre^mentation bombs were also used. The areas
allotted to the mediums for this part of the operation were the
key areas. On 11,, 12, and 14 August, all of their attacks were
within the "Dragoon" area itself, while on 13 .August their mis sions were against gun positions in the MARSEILLES area.
PHASE III. Y0KUl/..
The Plan, phase I I I , which bore the code name of "Yokum", 12* lasted only approximately an hour and a half, from about O6co to 0730 hours on 15 August, fD' day. I t wes the final a i r assault .upon the selected landing beaches, scheduled to immediately pre cede the amphibious landings which began about 080C hours. The mediums were given two specific tasks: (a) small attacks on gun positions, followed by (b) heavy concentrations on the actual beaches themselves with the purpose of blasting under water ob structions, clearing barbed wire, and detonating land mines. 13 The Execution. Ground fog over much of the coast of Southern F A C obscured some of the target areas with the result RNE thet t . e attacks on gun positions were somewhat lighter than the plan had called for. Only three groups succeeded in locating their tercets and t eir effective sorties totalled only 27. The beach attacks were considerably more successful. The 42nd Wing had been allocated B A H 259, and the 319th and 32Cth Groups flew EC a total of 126 sorties e.ainst the defelises thereT^dropping 168 tons of 100 lb bombs. A T E R B A H had been allocated to the NKC E C 57th Wing; and, while ground fog s t i l l presented d i f f i c u l t i e s , the three 3-25 groups dropped 108.85 tens of bombs there. This bombing of the beeches was eminently successful in cletrin^ the wire ent-ntj.ements, but the ICO l b . bombs were less successful at detonating land mines l;han previous experimentationj KfojL ri them to believe.

66

PHASE IV. "DUCPOT The Plan. p h a s e i v , Operation "Ducrot", was limited


^ by the d i r e c t i v e f o r the two bomb wing t o the period from H'
hour on for the remainder of D' day only. Their mission was

r a i l 8 n d r C a d b r i d e A ^?L S s over the RECNE, YSERE, and D R K E Rivers, which would complete the isolation of the UAC battle front.

5* The Execution. The r a i l bridges across the R O E were HN s t i l l out of commission from the phase I bombings with the single exception of the bridgB at AVIGNON. Consequently t r a t wes the only r e i l bridge attacked during "Ducrof, by a single mission flown by the 34cth Bomb Group. Road bridges, however, were h i t hard. ei^ht in a l l were attacked, seven across the RPQ^, and one acrotss the DURANCET The road bridge at SISTERON on the D R N E was UAC only temporarily put out of commission, but several of the RHONE bridges, including those at AHLES and ARAJJON, were completely demolished. In t h i s phase T the two bomb wings flew a t o t a l V of 222j. s o r t i e s , dropping 288 tons of bombs. I t marked the close of a day on which a t o t a l of 514 effective s o r t i e s had been flown by the two wines and 636.85 tens of bombs dropped. PHASE V 16. General. The "Dragoon" Directive contained no plans for the medium bombers a f t e r 'D' day, but in actual fact they continued t o be used in support of the landings through D i 12 both in a con t i n u a t i o n of t h e i r i n t e r d i c t i o n program and in close support by a t t a c k s on gun p o s i t i o n s . Through D 4- 5 a l l medium bomber a c t i v i t y was cenfined t o targets in FRANCE. Thereafter they began t o r e turn t o ITALY, operations which w i l l be described in a l a t e r work, t h i s one being limited t o the end of the period of operations in FRANCE, and dealing solely with French t a r g e t s in the t r a n s i t i o n period of 20 through 28 August. 17. 16 through 20 August. During t h i s period of D + * through D + 5 , the bembing effort of the two wings remained f a i r l y d i s t i n c t . 3y f a r the greater number of the attacks on gun positions were flown by the 42nd Wing, while the weight of the interdiction pro gram was carried by the 57th Wing. Five types of missions in a l l were flown. a . "" Gun Tar p e t s . Twei-ty-three missions against gun pos i t ions were flown by the 42nd Wing in these five days, involving the t o t a l bombing effort of the Wing on 18 and 20 August end a considerable share of i t on the other days. The size of the individual missions varied widely, but amounted t o an over-all number of 243 s o r t i e s in which 478.5 tons of bombs were dropped,

87

The Battleship STRASBOURG and the Cruiser LA G/LISSQTIER e f t e r the bombing by the 321st Bcrab Group on 18 August 1944*

88

a l l of the 1000 end

lnvesti

^ t i o D to.4 that to scored

and a submarine were sunk. R a i l B r i d e s . The a t t a c k on r a i l b r i d e s was con tinued oy eleven missions a;.ainst ten t a r e t s O f H C f ^ m i S i ? n s teia6 f l by the 57th Wing. Of the ondges, only that at AVIGNON had been em**^ e a r l i e r - T h e n e w t a r g e t s were at LE FCUZIF, ST. JULIEN, MCNTPELLIER, O A G (two missions) RNE
CHAVBORIGAUB, LONGEAVCUS, LIVRON, TUSSEL/.GE, and P-3162. A l l of t h e missions were of 18 s o r t i e s except f o r two of 17, amounting t o t o t a l figures of 19o s o r t i e s i n which 358.5 tons of bombs were dropped. Road Bridges. T h i r t e e n missions we're flown against road b r i d e s , eleven by the 57th Wing. Nine bridges i n a l l were bombed, MGNEELBlftR by three missions, and BCUPG ST. AKDEOL end Iv'OETFAUCON by two each. The bridges a t TARASCCN and AVIGNCK were attacked again, and the e t h e r t a r g e t s were a t TUSSELAGE, VALENCE, LE ICUZIN, and EStBHCN. The 57th Wing mis sions held t o a norm of 18 s o r t i e s , but the a t t a c k s of t h e 42nd Wing on the bridges a t TAiRASCCN and EvTJHUN were of ^ end 28 s o r t i e s r e s p e c t i v e l y and damaged both, leaving a 2 j ) foot gap in the bridge a t ZX TARASCCN. In a l l , road bridges accounted for 244 s o r t i e s in which 4&2 tons of bombs were dropped.

d..

Counter Air Force. Only two counter a i r force mis sions were flown in these five days, both by the 57th Wing on 20 August a ,ainst the airdrome a t VALENCE/ TRESORERIE. The missions amounted t o 71 s o r t i e s in which 95*34 tons of bombs were dropped across the t a x i s t r i p and d i s p e r s a l e r e a s . Nicke 11 ing Missions. The n i c k e l l i n g missions, eech

e.

89

"Roed bridge at BOURG ST. ANDEOL destroyed by the


321st Bomb Group, 16 August 1944*

Rail bridge at LOYES destroyed by the 321st Bomb Group, 25 August

90

of s i x s o r t i e s , were flown over of Southern FRANCE by the 321st 17th, 19th, and 20th of August, an average of 2,000,000 nickels
18-

the coastal areas Bomb Group on the dropping loads of each time,

21 through 28 August, This was a period of t r a n s i t i o n for the medium bombers during which operations were carried out both in FRANCE end in ITALY. On 21 and 22 August, a l l bombing missions were flown against ITALIAN t a r g e t s . On 23 August, the 57th Wing returned to FRENCH t a r g e t s ; and thereafter through 27 August, both wings flew aost of t h e i r missions into FRANCE. On 28 August, the 42nd Wing returned completely t o the ITALIAN cam paign, followed on the next day by the 57th. Only the missions i n t o FRANCE ere here discussed. a_. Gun Targets. Attacks on gun positions in support of the advence of the ground forces continued t o be one of the major efforts of. the bomb wings. Nineteen such missions were flown between 24 and 27 August, eleven by the 57th Wing. However, while 12 s o r t i e missions were normal for the B-25's, the 42nd Wing tended to use a 24 s o r t i e mission with a r e s u l t that the B-26's flew 167 of the t o t a l 305 s o r t i e s in which 5995 tons of bombs rere dropped. Ra4-1 Bridges. The railway interdiction program in Southern FRANCE was continued with 14 missions against 11 r a i l bridges, a l l but three being flown by the 57th Wing. The bridge at AVIGNON was again attacked by three missions; but the other t a r g e t s were a l l new ones, bridges at ivIONTFELLIER, ST. ALBAN (two missions), GIVORS, CULOZ, ROOT D'AIN, LOYES, BIANCUX, AISS, BCIS DIEU, and TARARE. The attacks in a l l amounted to a bombing effort of 265 s o r t i e s , dropping ip-308 tons of bombs. Road B r i d r e s . Attacks against road bridges were very s l i g h t , since the progress of the ground forces was so rapid that further disruption of the highways would serve more to impede our own troops than to cut off the enemy. Only three missions were flown a Binst roed bridges: two against a bridge at LUKEL and one e-ainst that a t MCNTELBfAR. The t o t a l * s o r t i e s amounted t o 53 with 100 tons of bombs being dropped. ^ . f i l i n g Missions. The l a s t nieke 11 ing missions into FRANCE were three flown on 22 August by the 310th Bomb Group.

t>.

c. ~*

d. "

SUMMARY
19. The following table shows the distribution according to
type of target of the bombing effort of the 42nd and 57th Wings in
Southern FRANCE campaign.
Interdiction 74 missions (Railway bridges 45 missions (Road bridges 29 missions.

Gun positions Beaches Counter Air Force Nickelling

115 missions 12 missions 5 missions 6 missions - (Bombing - 206


(Non-bomb ing 6

Total number of missions - 212 missions

92

VII ALLOCATION OF EFFCRT

CONCLUSION

1General, The major tesk of the medium bombers within


this period of 1 January 1944 through operation -Dragoon" was
clearly the interdiction of enemy lines of communication, and
more specifically railway interdiction. Out of e total of 124c
bombing missions flown by the mediums in thtt period, 726 were
attacks on railwEy tercets. All of the directives, with the ex ception of the pre D' day operations for "Dragoon", specify
interdiction as the main effort for the mediums except when they
are called on to perform such counter air force and close support
Fissions as prove necessary,
2 Counter Air Force Missions, The fact that counter air
force missions (34 out of the 1240 bombing missions) added up to
such a slight percentage of the medium effort is due primarily to
the weakness of the Luftwaffe in tbe ITALIAN end Southern FRENCH
areas. Attacks on enemy air fields were clearly regarded as a
vital function of the mediums, since at such times as enemy air
effort appeared to present a real threat, es at ANZIC, or might
present a threat, as before "Dragoon", the mediums were iraooediete ly diverted from interdiction to counter air force measures.
3 Close Support Activities* While the mediums did not
normally act es a close support weapon, they were continually
available for such missions whenever circumstances mi^ht call for
additional support to that of the fighter-bombers. Close support
as far as the mediums is concerned is here used to mean those
missions, the effect of which was, or was designed to be, relative ly immediate in relation to the ground effort as opposed to the
longer term strategy of rail interdiction. As such, the close sup port of the mediums fell into four general categories:
a_. Pre-invasion neutralization of fixed defenses. The
"" great example of this in this period was, of course,
the pre fDf day "Dragoon" attacks on gun positions
and the attacks on the landing beaches imnedietely
prior to the assault.
b. Close support of the immediate front line of battle.
"" This type of support is extremely rare with the med iums and appears only in ceses of emergency, es in

93

the I? Februery effort tc halt the German offensive e-.ainst the AT I beachhead, or in instances of I ZO intense combined eseault against a fi'ont line strong point, as in the attacks on GAS5I1CC. jj. Isolation of, and sup;ort within, the immediate battle zone. This WLS the normal close support activity of the mediums in this period. By iar the greater per centage of ti;e support given to the M11ZI0 and Llltt Valley sectors fell into this classification. The road blocks, attacks on supply and troop areas, and attacks on gun positions in the post 'D' day "Dra_conH period are a l l examples of this type of activity. Interdiction of the enemy retreat. This is a type of support which appeared only when the ground situation was extremely fluid end the enemy were being pressed into rapid and at times disorganized r e t r e a t . As mis sions, i t shows entirely as highway interdiction, since r a i l traffic had already been rendered useless to the enemy. Moreover, the attacks appear in a zone well in advance of the bomb l i n e . Eowever, in the fluid situation prevailing, these attacks had an effect on the ground situation within periods of a few days, not weeks or months as was the case with r a i l interdiction. The f i r s t phase of "Diadem" is the finest example. However, the immediacy of the effects of such interdiction upon ground troops is best shown in Dragoon", where the mediums were called off this type of mission because they were impeding the Allied advance.

d^.

k' Altogether, within these four categories, the mediums flew 392 support missions, which amounted to almost a third of their total bombing effort. 3* Other Activities. Aside from r a i l interdiction, close support, and counter a i r force activities, there are no other out standing fields of effort for the medium bombers within this per iod* Attacks on harbor and dock installations accounted for 28 missions, but those were distinctly a part of the interdiction of communications program. Attacks on dumps showed si^is of develop ing into a field of effort of some importance, yet accounted for only 20 missions in the period as a whole. The only other field of effort of some importance was the nickelling missions of the 57th Wing. Seventy-eight were flown, but i t is impossible to gauge accurately the effect of this type of effort.

94

RAILWAY INTERDICTION 6. General. Railway i n t e r d i c t i o n was not a new idea in t h i s p e r i o d . I t had been used in a limited way in the invasion of SICILY, end l e t e r . However, t h i s period sew i t developed i n t o a ir.ost important strategy end one in which the key role was played by the medium bombers. Rail interdiction f e l l mid way between the a t t a c k s on sources of supply carried out by the heavies end the close support of the b a t t l e area which was the primary task of the fighter-bombers. Moreover, i t was a task for which in range, bomb load, and bombing accuracy the mediums were well f i t t e d . Operation "Strangle" was the c l a s s i c example of how such e program extended over a period of time isolates a lar^e area for a sweeping ground a t t e c k . 7 Phases of Development. Throughout t h i s period of approximately ei^.ht months, the use of mediums in railway i n t e r d i c t i o n went through three various phases of development. a_. Thase I . This phase lasted from 1 January through 18 March 1944 and was the period in which the prin cipal i n t e r d i c t i o n t a r g e t s were marshalling yards. The fact that marshalling yards did not form a s a t i s f a c t o r y answer to railway interdiction was c l e t r l y recognized and stated within the period. Both the 42nd Bomb Wing Study on Communications in North-Central ITALY and the KATAF report on "Shingle" have been quoted to that effect in t h i s work. Both s t a t e p r e c i s e l y that i n t e r d i c t i o n of a marshalling yard r a r e l y 1; sts more than 24 hours as opposed t o the simi-permanent i n t e r d i c t i o n resulting from bridge busting. Railway bridges, however, r e quired a far more compact bomb f a l l pattern and greater accuracy then attacks on marshalling yards. The B-25's during that period were not as yet equipp ed with the Norden bomb-sight,, and neither Bomb Wing hed at t h a t time achieved the bombing precision which they were to develop. However, i t was the work on bridges in t h i s phase which led to the adop t i o n of the new t a c t i c s which marked phase I I .

to. phase I I . This second phase WLS marked by the complete ~" s h i f t in emphasis from marshalling yards to bridges which began on 19 Werch, and was the dominating fea ture of "Strangle". The success of the mediums against bridges was c l e a r l y demonstrated and set the p a t t e r n for future i n t e r d i c t i o n . However, in Operation "Strangle" the mediums were only apportioned one cut of several areas marked for i n t e r d i c t i o n and allocated

95

to the B m Wings, XII Air Support Co: niand ( l a t e r o b redesi^nated XII Tactical Air Command), Desert Air Force, the 57th Fighter Group, and even to Coastal and Strategic Air Forces. I t i s true that the largest and most important area went tc the mediums, and within thet area they were responsible for both creating and maintaining cuts. . Phase i n . Fhase I I I is less cletrly marked than the shift from marshalling yards to bridges which dis tinguishes the other two. Brids continued to be the primary targets. However, a shift in respon s i b i l i t y begins to appear in the later stages of "Diadem" and is clearly stated in "Kallory Major". In J.:allory Major", instead of being given one area out of several which were to be interdicted simul taneously by various commands, the mediums were a l located the task of creating a l l of the i n i t i a l cuts elong the entire line of chosen interdiction. The responsibility for maintaining the cuts so created was allocated to the fighter-bombers. To a less well defined degree this was already taking place also in the SIEZIA-RH.IINI zone. As a whole i t demonstrated the key position of the mediums in the entire inter diction program, though no one responsibility out weighs any of the others in the final product.

TACTICS

8. Bombing Technique. Bridges were normally attacked from


altitudes of 9000 to 120C0 feet on an axis of 90 degrees to the
length of the bridge; this axis allowed the bombardier to make de flection errors half the length of the bridge and gave him an ex cellent reference line on which to synchronize the horizontal cross
hair of the bomb sight. In most cases deta was pre-set to cause the
first bombs to strike just short of the bridge with the pattern ex tending across it. A six ship formation was normally used as the
basic bombing unit with the lead ship carrying a Norden bombardier
sighting for range and deflection end the remainder of the flight
releasing when the bombs of the leader were seen tc drop. There
were several variations of this practice, some units bombing from
three ship flights and some from nine ship flights. At other times
the bombardiers in a flight sighted for range only, following the
flight leader completely as to deflection. Constant experience
with pinpoint bridge targets taught the units the proper position ing of aircraft vertically tc compensate for the bomb release time
difference in the wing aircraft.

9Ordnance. Months of experience in bridge bombing bed determined the sizes and fuzing to be used against the various types of bridge t a r g e t s . The results of this experience are shown in the included tc-ble on roed and r t i l bridges which was drawn up by the 42nd Bomb Wing.

SITHAHY;.

1C. The ope rational effort of tie two Bomb Wings over the en tire period of 1 January 1944 through Operation "Dragoon" is sum marized according to type of ter^-et on the following teble.
Railway interdiction - 726 missions - (Marshalling yards
120 missions
(Bridges
7C6 missions.
5 1 missions
392 missions
(AIJZJO - 68 missions.
(LIRI Valley 71 missions.
(Gun Positions'(FRAKCE)
115 missions.
(Beaches (FRANCE)
12 missions
(Road Interdiction
I27 missions.

Road interdiction Close support

Harbor installations Counter Air Force


Dumps
Factories

28 missions
34 misLions
20 missions
2 missions
6 missions
2 missions
78 missions
86 missions
3 missions

Jugoslavian OperationsSea Search


Kicks11ing
Weather Reconnaissance photo reconnaissance Total number of

97

ROAD BRIDGES

T1FE OF TAR'TST

DESTRUCTION DESIRED

WIDTH

LE17GTH OF SPAN

Vasonry arch I/asonry erch

: cutting of rdway : cutting of rdway

; 25' or less : over 25' : 25f or less j over 25f t 25' or less : over 25' : 25 or l e s s : 25' or less : over 25' : over 25' : Any t Any

: : : : : : : i : : j t

Any ^Y Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any

Reinforced masonry : cutting of rdway concrete Reinforced masonry : cutting of rdway concrete Suspension Suspension Steel t r u s s Stell truss Steel t r u s s Steel truss Wooden 7/ooden : cutting of rdT/ay : cutting of rdway : complete span : cutting of rdway : complete span : cutting of rdway : piers ; cutting of rdway RAIL BRIDGES

Masonry arch Masonry arch

: center of bridge : center of bridge

: s g l track : dbl track : s g l track ; dbl track : s^.l track : sgl t r a c k t sgl track : s ^ track : sgl track

: : :
s

Any Any Any Any 100' or l e s s

Reinforced concrete: center of brid-e Reinforced concrete: center of bridge Steel t r u s s Steel truss Steel truss Wooden trestle Wooden trestle : complete span : complete span : complete span : center of bridge
:

over ICC : : Any Any Any

center of bridge 98

HCAD BRIDGES

to

center of bridge t 500 lb center of bridge , 10C0 lb center of bridge , 5C0 lb center of bridge : 1000 lb center of bridge center of bridge top of piers roadway
: s :

TAIL 0.C1
0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 non-del. non-del 0.01 non-del. O.Cl non-del

NOSE"
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.01
0.01
0.1
0.01
0.1
0.01
0.1
0.1
0.1

TAIL
.025
.025
.025
.025
0.01
0.01
.025
0.01
.025
0.01
.025
0.01
. .025

, 0.01
: 0.01
: 0.01
$ 0.01 : 0.01 : 0.01 j 0.01 : 0.01 : 0.01

500 lb 1000 lb

: 500 lb
:

500 lb

top of piers be- : 1Q00 lb tween spans


roadway piers ; 1000 ib
:

0.01 500 lb t 0.01


non-del. center of bridge : 500 lb : 0.01
center of bridge x ICO lb t 0.01
RAIL BRIDGES
0.01

center of bridge t 500 lb center of bridge : 1000 lb center of bridge : 500 lb center of bridge r 1000 lb top of piers top of piers top of piers 1 500 lb J 1000 lb : 1000 lb

: 0.01 : 0.01 1 0.01 : 0.01 j 0.01 : 0.01 : 0.01 : 0.01 : 0.01

0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01

0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1

.025
.025
.025
.025
.025
.025
.025
.025
.025

center of bridge : 500 lb center of bridge : 1000 lb

99

ANNEX 'A1

Reference: TAF/60/AIR TO: 4t.h January 1944,

A i r O f f i c e r Carinanding, T a c t i c a l Bomber Force OPERATIONAL DIRECTIVE FOR OPERATION "SHINGLE" Mo. 4 .

1. I t i s e s t i m a t e d t h a t d u r i n u t h e period "DH Day t o D p l u s 3 t h e enemy i s capable of opposing t h e A l l i e d Lending south of ROME w i t h a f o r c e of t h r e e o r more d i v i s i o n s . 2# i n o r d e r t o prevent o r reduce enemy b u i l d up i n the, a s sault area i t is essential that we intensify our effort against en emy lines of communications.
3. The primary mission of forces under your command will be
to interdict r a i l communications in */est end Central Italy south of
44 degrees N to the Rome area.
4. Operations of the 42nd B m Wing from Sardinia will be
o b scheduled by directive from your Headquarters to cover the period
from t h i s date up to D" Day. Selection of targets will be in ac cordance with the following priority unless specific targets are
nominated by t h i s Headquarters.
a. b. c. d. Florence - Arezzo - Crvieto - Crte - Rome l i n e . Arezzo - Foligno - Terni - Orte l i n e . Pisa - Leghorn - Civitavecchia - R m line. o e Alternative routes through (Empoli-Siena) and (fisa Pistoia-Florence). By-pass lines through Viterbo to Rome.

e.

taining the "cover Plan which infers that t i e assault lending will be in the Leghorn-Genoa area). c KO attacks will be .ade on Bo^ or Florence without speci

fio authority from this Headquarters.

& The B-25 force will continue to be employed against tar gets in support of the armies in the Balkans and Italy, with the major portion of the effort directed against the enemy r a i l com cunications in the Rome area. Daily directives and bombing pro grammes will be issued by this Headquarters in accordance with es tablished policy. 7 Counter Air Force operations will be as directed by this Headquarters in co-ordination with the Strategic Air Force. 8* I t will be your responsibility to ensure that your daily intentions for the 42nd B m Wing are passed to this Headquarters o b without delay and that the daily operational and intelligence sum mary of a l l units under your comr/nd i s forwarded as early as practicable daily. Acknowledge. Air Mar shalt Air Officer Commanding N.A.T.A.F. Distribution: Copy No. C.G X I I A 0 C A.O C . , D .A .G. Internal A.O.A. (2) S.A.S.O. C.S.O. G/S Ops. Ops. Record Book (2) File Spare 4 &5 6 7 8 9 & 10 11 12-20 2

-2

ANNEX B8

M.A.T.A.F,

A . 9 8 8

1 5 JANUARY I 9 W .

SHINGLE* (. )
PARA. ONE ( . )

SHH^V
QN ASSUMPTION STRATEGIC AIR FORCE I S COMMITTED TO

THE TASK OF DISRUPTING EJEMY RAIL COLSjfflJNICATIQNS IN NORTHERN ITALY DURING THE EKE D DAY PHASE OF SHINGLE(.) IN VliVi OF THIS THE

FOLLOWING AMENDMENTS TO OPERATIONAL DIR3CTIVE FOR OPERATION SHINGLE" No. l\. DATED k JANUARY, 1%}\. WILL BE EFFECTIVE BlffiDIATELY(.) THE PRIMARY MISSION OF FORCES UNDER YOUR CQ^MAND DURING

THIS PHASE WILL BE TO ACCOMPLISH ISOLATION OF THE BATTLE AREA BY DISRUPTING ENEttlY RAIL COUOJiJ I CATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING HilQKITYi (A) ( 3 ) (C) AREZZO - ORVIETO - QRTE - ROME LINE AREZZO - FOLIGNO - TEKNI - QRTE LINE LEGHORN - CIVITAVECCHIA - ROME LINE (ONLY IN THE EVENT IT JS RE-OPENED) TERNI - ST3LMONA LINE BY-PASS LINES THROUGH VITERBO TO ROME SECOND PRIORITY TARGETS TO BE ATTACKED I F WEATHER

(D) (E) PARA. TWO ( . )

IRECLUDES STRIKING PRIMARY OBJECTIVES, ARE AS FOLLOWS 1 (A) CCflMUKFICiTIOJ SOUTHERN COAST OF FRANCE FROM NICE GENOA-PISA. OBJECTIVES SOUTH OF R0i*E IN SUPPORT OF TKE FIFTH ARMY WHICH WILL BE NOMINATED BY DAILY SIGNAL FROM THIS H.Q. EAST COAST RAIL LINE PESCARA TO FALCONERA. PIOMBINO HARBOUR AND L1ARSHALLIN3 YARDS.

(B)

( C ) (D)

- 1

P.ARA. THREE ( )

COUNTER AIR FORCE OPERATION WHX BE CARRIED OUT

ON OR ABOUT D KENOS ONE BY COMBINED EFFORT OF SSRATHJIC AND TAC TICAL AIR FORCES, AND WHENEVER N2DS3SARY|PRIOR 1I&RETO ( ) PARA. FOUR ( . ) ON "D" DAY AND SUBSEQUENT THERETO, IT WILL BE

NECESSARY FOR THIS H . Q . TO NOMINATE SPECIFIC TARGETS, BUT PRIOR TO THAT TIME, SELECTION OF TARGETS WHOSE DESTRUCTION WILL ACCOM PLISH TOE MOST EFFECTIVE BLOCKS OF WBM RAIL LIN23 JiS INDICATED IN PARAS. OITE AND TWO WILL BE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY ( ) 1DST miEDIATE TO T . B . F . IMMEDIATE t o X I I A . S . C . ADV & HMF AD7. B]7 Sjpecial C o u r i e r t o 1 5 t h Air F o r c e . TOO 1 5 / 1 2 0 9 A Signature Colonel.

DISIRIBUTIONt

A.O.C., T.B.F. (2) C . G . , X I I AS.C. H . Q . , K . A . A . F . (AIV) H.Q., 15th Air Force A.O.C., D.A.F.

A.O.A. (2) S.A.S.O.

C.S.O. G/C Ops. Ops. Record Book (2) File Spares (8)

-2

ANNEX C*

TOi FROM,

M.A.A.F. ADVANCED M.A.T.A.F.

(R) M.A.S.A.F.
A -994

(R) T.B.F. 15 January 1944.

SHINGI - SECRET Para. 1 T In r e f e r e n c e t o your JO 85 LN and our A. 988 both of 15 January. I t i s requested that S t r a t e g i c Air Force be employed during t h e pre D-Day phase against enemy l i n e s of communications i n Northern ^ t a l y with the ooject of i n t e r f e r i n g with and delaying movement of r e - i n f or cements and supplies t o the Rome area. I h i s w i l l a l s o a s s i s t i n maintaining the Cover Plan and enable us t o concentrate a h e a v i e r weight of a t t a c k on communications i n Cen tral Italy, Para. 2. W consider that effective blocks on the following e lines of comznuni cat ions in Northern Italy in order of priority as listed will have the most direct effect on the forthcoming operation, (A) (B) (C) (D) FLCRErtCE - A E Z LINE RZO EKPOLI - SIENA - A E Z LINE RZO PISA - P13T0IA - fRATO - FLORENCE LINE RIMINI - FALCCNERA LINE

Para. 3 . By night request Wellingtons of 2Q5 Group be employed O E in area PISA - FLORENCE - R M against principal marshalling yards and v u l n e r a d e points attacked by day with object of disorganising railway operation by night and hampering repair of damage i n f l i c t e d by day attacks. Recommend a l l attacks both day and night include percentage long delay bombs. Propose t o undertake attack on enemy air on Dog minus p^ra, ^ two and request employment of a l l Strategic resources during this operation. Par^ 5 O Dog Day and following days request we may c a l l on n Strategic for assistance on f i r s t priority b a s i s , u n t i l such time as inmediate outcome of Shingle i s clear.

- 1

Para. 6 If you ag^e&'t'OTagoing* request we may co-ordinate direct with Strategic as considered essential in view of weather and time limitations that this bombing programme be implemented without de lay* Priority:IMEDIATB

-2

ANKEX

HEADQUARTERS MEDITERRAKEAfli ALLIED Ti-CTICAL AIR FORCE

Reference: TAF/3/2/Air 25 February, 1944 TO: Comnending General, 42nd Wing. Commanding General, 57th Wing. BOMBING DIRECTIVE NC 1 1. Apart from counter a i r force operations and operations in d i r e c t support of the Army, the principal role of the Tactical Bomber Forces during the present phase of the Campaign is t o des t r o y and disrupt enemy r a i l end sea coir muni cat i o n s . The object of these attacks i s to reduce the enemy's flow of supplies t o a level which will make i t impossible for him t o maintain and operate his forces in Central I t a l y . To accomplish t h i s aim the following specific tasks are assigned t o the 42nd and 57th Bomber Wings: a. 42 WING
(i) The primary t&sk of the 42nd Wing will be to
destroy marshalling yards, railroad repair facilities
end other railroad targets South of, but ^eluding, t h e
VISA - RIMINI line, and T7est of the TEHNI - FOLIGM) ifne. Alternative targets on the VENTIMIGLIA GENCA - SIEZIA line will be attacked when weather pre cludes operations in Central Italy.

o?)S&

SiU nonaelly be nominated aS

weether a l t e r n a t e s only.

l i n e and TERNI - PERUGIA l i n e .

- 1

(ii) Secondary objectives for the 57th Wing a*e the same as specified in sub para ( i i ) . 2. Whenever possible, attacks made with-fee object of in terfering with current traffic will be directed against points about 100 miles from the front, So as to impose the maximum strain on the enemy's already inadequate motor transport. 3. U attacks will be made on ROLE, FLORENCE, VENICE, FIE 6 SOLE or T R E L without specific authority from t h i s Headquarters, OCLO 4* Instructions regarding counter air force operations and for the attack of specific close support or other targets will be issued to Wings by t h i s Headquarters whenever such action i s re quired. Ac knowledge, 3/ for C. H# Pottenger Ivajor-General Commanding General A:, A . T . A . F .

Copy t o : C.G., XII Air Support Command A.O.C., Desert Air Force Operational Records (2 copies) File:- TAF/7/Air (for information)

-2

ALJKEX

HEADQUARTERS 1BDITERRANEAN AT.T.TTEn Reference: TAF/3/2A.IR COPY KC,

19
TO: Cor.Tiianding G e n e r a l , 42 Wing. CoiruiEnding General, 57 V/j. ng . Cciuir.nding General, XII A i r Supjort Coiiirnand. A i r O f f i c e r Ccrcmandinfi, Desert A i r Force. EC!v3ING DIREC?TIVE No, 2 .

, 1944.

1. Apart from c o u n t e r e i r force o p e r a t i o n s end o p e r a t i o n s i n d i r e c t support of t h e Army, t h e p r i n c i p a l t a s k of t h e T a c t i c a l A i r Force d u r i n g t h e p r e s e n t phase of t h e campaign i s t o d e s t r o y and d i s r u p t enemy r a i l end sea communications. The object of t h e s e a t t a c k s i s t o reduce t h e enemy's flow of s u p p l i e s t o a l e v e l which w i l l make i t impracticable f o r him t c m a i n t a i n and o p e r a t e h i s Torcea i n C e n t r a l I t a l y . I n g e n e r a l t h e p r i n c i p a l m a r s h a l l i n g yards i n Central I t a l y have been s o e x t e n s i v e l y damaged t h a t only through l i n e s a r e now b e i n g m a i n t a i n e d , and r e c e n t i n d i c a t i o n s show increased use of the smaller stations end r a i l sidings. To meet these conditions, the smaller yards and other interdiction targets along the lines in open country will be allocated to the fighter bombers. The medium bombers will continue with their task of creating and main taining the major blocks in the system, and the destruction of supply concentrations. To accomplish this aim the following specific tasks are
assigned:
a. \\2 WIKG and 57 WINS (i) The primary task of the medium bomb wings will be t o destroy active marshalling yards, railroad repair f a c i l i t i e s and other railroad t a r g e t s which w i l l effect i v e l y disrupt r a i l movement South of, but including PISA FLOHEIJCE - PCIMSSIEVE l i n e end West of, but including

- 1

F0KTA3SISVE - AREZZO - QRVI2T0 - GRTE l i n e . Alterna t i v e t a r g e t s on t h e VENTII.IGLIA - GENOA - SPSZIA line w i l l be attacked by 4 2 Wing when weather precludes op erations i n Central Italy* (ii) Secondary objectives for medium bombers will be ports on the West coast of Italy which are being used as terminals for the coast-wise shipping support ing the German forces in Italy. These objectives will normally be nominated as weather alternatives only. &. XII AIR SUPPORT C M A D O MN The primary task of your f i g h t e r bomber forces in t h e i r a t t a c k s on communications w i l l be t o i n t e r d i c t the following railways:
(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) South of R M to the battle areas, O S HOVE - QRTE - TERNI l i n e , ORTE - QRVIETO l i n e . Loop l i n e through VITERBO t o ROME. ROLE - MDNTA1D0 DI CAOTRO l i n e .

DESERT AIR FCBCE The primary task of your fighter-bombers and bomber force i n t h e i r a t t a c k s on communications w i l l be t o i n t e r d i c t the following r a i l w a y s : (i)
(ii) (iii) (iv)

TERNI - PERUGIA l i n e .
TERNI - FOUGNO - FABRIANO l i n e P S A A - A C N line. EC R NO A TERNI - S L 3 A - P S A A l i n e . U MN EC R

2. The scale of effort on which fighter-bombers are to op erate against railway communications must be governed largely by the demands for close support received from the 5th and 8th Armies respectively. Sufficient effort i s to be diverted from the battle area however, to ensure that at least one cut i s maintained in each of the routes enumerated in paragraph 1 b, and jc above.

-2

Whenever possible any damage caused by attacks on com munications i s to be confirmed by photo cover. Since t h i s i s not always possible, p i l o t s should be impressed with the importance of submitting accurate visual reports, as the success or failure of their missions may effect the employment of the medium bomber force, 3# No attacks will be made on R I ~ , FLORET! , VENICE, FIE Ov 2 SOLE or T R E L without specific authority from t h i s Headquarters, OCLO 4 Instructions regarding counter air force operations and for the attack of specific close support or other targets will be issued separately by this Headquarters whenever such action i s re quired* 5 .Acknowledge

s/ for

E. C. Hudleston, Rajor-General Commanding General M A. T. A, F. , _

Distribution* Operations M.A.T.A.F.


Ops. Record BOok (2)
File :- TAF/3/2/Air.

Copy Ko.

r
KEADr.UARTERS A I L E D Ti.CTJCiX AIR FCRCE

Reference: TAF/8C/5/AIR
TO:

1C r t y , 1944.

CQEir-ending General, 42nd Bombsrdmer.t Wing, Commanding General, 57th Bombardment Wing, Commending Officer, 87th Fighter CfERATICK "DIADET.:* C1ERATICNAL DIHIC'IVE i;o. 1 1 .

1. Apert from counter e i r fcrce o p e r a t i o n s , during the forthcoming major offensive by the Allied Armies in I t a l y , the p r i n c i p a l t c s k of the **editerranean Allied T t c t i c a l Air Force w i l l be t o mt-.ir.tain the d e s t r u c t i o n end d i s r u p t i o n alrecdy caused t o the enemy's land end sea ccrmnunicetion. 2. The f i r s t priority a i r mission in direct supjort of the army operation is the i s c l t t i c n cf the immediate battle area on the 5th Army front and the neutrelizeticn cf enemy &m positions cormending observation of the crossings over the Papido River on the 8th Amy front, o j, number of Genian Array headquarters h?ve been located 'and will be cttacked on 'D1 Ley, with the object of disoranising the control of the enemy forces. h The fcllowinc schedule outlines the i.ervy and medium bom oer effcrt^fcr D t 1 end D t 2. M special a i r effort is allocated o D' Day. TP U P event of bad weather in ti:e battle area on C t 1 and/or D ^2% those medium bomber rissior.s which are suitably loaded will oDera4 at normal effort e ^ i n s t communications in rorthern ^tely. T+2 i i n T " u attack't::e iiXCPEIiCE/^ffiC line and 57th Win^ the CRVIEPC/ A E Z line and E ICLl/SISM^ l i n e s . HZO Strategic >ir Force. Dey (D -i 1) for
(

San

c-tefano - l a b o u r and shipping

Urly

cs possible

As ae

- 1

(Strategic Air Force - Day (D t 1) cont'd) TARGET Jiombino - Farbour and shipping
tt

TP/E Early as possible

H II

SCALE CF EFFORT As decided


Force

Torto Ferrajo - Harbour end shipping Leghorn La Spezia Genoa faenzc Bologna !.Todena Fornovs Di Taro ?T/Yds ferme - T-f/Yds " " " "
B
N N

- Htrbour and shipping - Harbour and shipping - Earbcur and shipping - I'/Yds

" " " "


H fl

Genoa - La Spezie r a i l line (Block) Viterbc Fo. 2 A/D 10 An.:y C.P. (G.5C89) Kesfcelring Headquarters (A.7&CC6o)

"

Fiffht D t l / P t 2. San Stefeno portc Ferrajo Ilombinc 42nd Bomb Day (D TARGET Road Block (G.577OC7) Bridge (G.J6221O) TBffi Eerly a possible SCALE OF EFFORT 1 mission 1 mission Immaterial

- 2

(42nd -Bomb V.ing - D a y (D * 1) cont'd)

TE.E Div. c . l . (G.0&8169) I t r e . Div. C.i . (G.7:1255) Early t s possible " "
M

LCi.LE C? EFFCHT
1 mission 1 mission 3 missions (includes French Squadron) .

Enemy concentration areas FCIDI, No. 1,2,4'end 5 on t e r c e t photo.

37th Bomb Wing


(Day (D ? 1;
TARCZT Itri Town roed block Vallecorsa Town roed block Pastena Road block (G.5718) Pico Tovn reed block 94 Div. c. r. (G.615027)
Div. C F . (G.638I67)
Itri Town read block
Valecorse Town reed block
SCALE CF EFFCFiT
Early as possible H * M H Afternoon 2 missions
2 missions
2 missions
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission

w 1 mission
(Bridge (G.56221C)
(If destroyed by 42 Wing attack morning of D * 1, substitute
pastene Town (Road Block).
lastera Town road block
Afternoon 1 mission

87th Fishter Wing


Dav ( D t D

ZONE 2

First light ermed recce. Normal Spit effort.

Tighter/ bombers operate against lines of communications in accordance vith currentdirectivej

-3

Stratef7ic Air For


Day (D t 2)
Communication t a r g e t s in the PC Valley.""l ; * ' Kipht (D 2)/b f 3) ? Same as night B * l/D * 2.
ij.2nd Bomb Wi (Day (D * 2 ) TARGET

if

TEE

SOfcUE OF EFFORT 6 missions 1 mission (French)

Crvieto - Florence r a i l l i n e Erapoli - Siena r a i l l i n e 57th Bomb Wing (Day (D 2)

TARGET Itri Town ro&d block Vallecorsa Town roed block Pico Town roed block Pastena Town ro? d block Tunnel mouth (G.613985)

TE.1E Early as possible t n " n * 9

SCALE CF EFFORT
1 mission
1 mission
1 mission
i mission
2 missions
3 missions

Demolition targets (Details later) Afternoon 67th Fighter Wing


(Day ( D 2^

Operations to be conducted in accordance with current


directives,
5 No filter escort will be provided for medium bombers
operating over the battle area. XII Tactical Air Command will be
responsible for furnishing cover.

6.

ACKNOWLEDGE.

/s/ for C.H. Pottenger, Ma j or-Ge ne ra1, Commanding Genere1, M.A.T.A.F.

Distin b u t i o n :
CG i,

Copy No. 1 &2 3 & 4


5
& 6
8

C.G., ,
CC , i H.Q.. , H.Q,. i, E.Q..,,

42nd Bomb Wing 57th Bomb Wing 87th Wing T.A.C. D.A.F. X Air Force V

7 9

Internal

ops :Record Book


File

10 & 11 :2 1

AiflEX

MEDITERRANEAN ALLIED TACTICAL AIR FORCE ************

Referencej TAF/3/2/AIR
TOt

11 July, 1944.

Couzaandiog General, 42nd Bombardment Wing.


Conmanding General, 57th. Bombardment Wing.
Copy tot Commanding General, XII Tactical Air Command.
Air Officer Commanding, Desert Air Force.

OPERATIONAL DIRECTIVE NO. I S .


OPERATION 'MALLQRY

1. The Commander- in -Chief, Allied Armies in Italy, has re viewed the situation regarding the attack of communications over the PO River, and has decided that a l l road and r a i l bridges in cluding pontoon bridges, w i l l be destroyed. I n i t i a l l y attacks will be confined to those bridges East of PIACENZA* 2. The operation to affect the destruction of these bridges w i l l be known as ' A L R MAJOR1. MLOY The medium bomber forces will be primarily responsible
for the destruction of the PO River bridges.
3# The allocation of bridges as between the 42nd and 57th Wings i s shown at Appendix ' A \ the more' westerly oridges being the responsibility of 42nd Wing. This allocation of targets will be reviewed periodically. k Rail and combined rail/road bridges will be the priority targets. I n i t i a l attacks w i l l be made in sufficient strength to ensure a high probability of destruction before heavy flak concen trations are established. Normally constructed road bridges will be second prior i t y and pontoon bridges third priority targets.

- 1

The above p r i o r i t i e s are t o be regarded as a guide r a t h e r than as a r i g i d r u l e t o be followed on a l l o c c a s i o n s . V a r i a t i o n s may be introduced by Wing Commanders, where weather or t a c t i c a l reasons make t h i s d e s i r a b l e . 3. Fighter-bombers w i l l be employed to supplement t h e a t tacks of the medium bomber f o r c e s . Normally, however, they w i l l be used with the object of preventing r e p a i r t o damaged b r i d g e s . They w i l l be r e s p o n s i b l e a l s o for the d e s t r u c t i o n of the r e s e r v e pontoons l o c a t e d in the v i c i n i t y of e x i s t i n g b r i d g e s . The type of pontoon used in the PO i s a he.vy c r a f t and t h e i r replacement i n large numbers i s l i k e l y t o be d i f f i c u l t , 6, Operation 'MALLGRY IvIAJOK1 w i l l be i n i t i a t e d forthwith and a t t a c k s w i l l be co-ordinated by the Wings concerned, 7 Separate i n s t r u c t i o n s w i l l be issued regarding the a t tack of other bridges in the PO Valley. 8* Acknowledge by s i g n a l .

/s/ E.G. Hudleston,


for Major-General,
Commanding General,

M.A.T.A.F. Distributions C.G., 42 (B) Wing C.G., 37 (B) Wing C. G. , XII T. A. C. A. 0. C. , D. JL F. Internalt Ops Record Book Files
CODY No.

1-- 4 3 -8

9-12 13
14 - 1 3 16

- 2

.APPENDIX 'A*.

ROAD AND RAIL BRIDGES OVIjrt THE FO RIVER FRCivi PIACEWZA TO THE SEA ( i n c l u d i n g t h e b r i d g e s over the TREBBIA a t 1. 42 (B) V,ing Area. PlACEi-JZA t o BCRGOFURTE i n c l u d i n g b r i d g e s over the TREBBIA a t PlCSIZ but e x c l u s i v e of b r i d g e s a t BCRGGFGRT2. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. 2. R a i l Bridge over River TREBBIA 14/R K.565166. Road Bridge over River TREBBIA iVR K.565165. R a i l Bridge a t PIAC3WZA V R K.623169. Road Bridge a t PIACSNZA W& K.62II65. Road Bridge a t IvIR K.7&9176. Combined Road & R a i l Bridge a t GRSXNA i^/R K. 853231. R a i l Bridge a t CASAL MAGGIOKE 14/R F.I75049. Road Bridge a t CASAL LJIGG1ORE F.175049. Road Bridge n e a r V D W K/R L. 267975. AA A Road Bridge n e a r GUASTALIA VR

57 (B) Wing a r e a . A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. R a i l Bridge BCRGGFCRTE i^R k

Road Bridge BGRGOFORTE l^/R F. 447114. Road Bridge a t S. WICOiiC La/R F . 5 1 5 H 3 . Road Bridge North of BENEDETTO i^R F.5^7140. Combined Road and R a i l Bridge a t 0STIG1.IA i^R F . 7 4 5 1 H . Road Bridge a t SERl^IOE L/R F. 670065, Road Bridge a t FICCROLO i / R L. 970984. R a i l Bridge at P0i^r?iAGOSCUR0 iL/K M. 117915*

- 1

A1 57 (B) Wing area cont f d)


I. J. K. L. M. Road Bridge a t PONTELAGCSCUHO M/H M.112916, Road Bridge a t P0LE3SLA tt/B. M.23O59O. R a i l Bridge n e a r CCttBOLA VS/B. G.484Q5C Road Bridge n e a r CORBOLA i^R G,48lQ5O. Road Bridge a t TAGLIO IQ/R G.596Q39.

'

- 2

Jk STUDY OF BCMBING RESULTS IK THE INTERDICTION


OF THREE SELECTED ITALIAN RAILRCAD LIKES

1-

IKTRODPCTICK;

In pest oreret ions i t has become evident thet the bonding of railroad l i n e s it a continuous struggle between the bombing effort end the enemy repair e f f o r t . If r e i l transport is to be interdicted for a period of weeks, or even months, not individual attecks, but a continuous sequence of attacks is necessary. The darr.a-e dene by an individual raid w i l l generally be repaired so f t s t that, if bombing i s not p e r s i s t e n t l y repeated, the only effect will be en occasional delay of enemy supplies. Strong evidence supporting these observations was recently obtained in discussions with the Chief of Engineers of the I t a l i a n Railroads and with members of his s t a f f . According to t h e i r exper ience, the following development hes been a not uncommon occurrence: The enemy prepares against possible a i r - a t t a c k s of an important r e i l connection by keeping the necessary repair equipment in readiness. The bombing begins and soon the line is blocked. The enemy s t a r t s with the r e p a i r wcrk. The supplies wl ich are held up by the block age are kept in readiness, loaded en t r a i n s in nearby stations and s i d i n g s . In s p i t e of the repair effort, the line is badly cut after a s e r i e s of r a i d s . The bombing stops. Within a few undisturbed days the l i n e is repaired. When at this time the bombing is net immediate l y renewed, the accumulated stock is rushed through the vulnerable connection at a maximum r a t e , thus compensating, within a couple of days, for the loss during the e n t i r e blockage. To document these q u a l i t a t i v e observations with accurate, q u a n t i t a t i v e examples, three reilroed l i n e s were selected which had been involved in the recent strangle operations in Central I t a l y . Detailed records of the t r a f f i c on these l i n e s were obtained from the I t a l i a n Railroad Offices. 2. THE
BC!.:BING

CF THE THREE SELECTED LIKES.

The following railroad l i n e s were chosen as examples.- The l i n e from Arezzo t o Florence, the line from Florence to Bologna, and the F i s t o i a Bypass. The f i r s t two lines ere sections of the doublet r a c k "Diritissima", a fast.and important route connecting Rome with Bologna. The p i s t o i a Bypess leads from Frato, a s t a t i o n on the Dir i t i s s i m a north of Florence, by way of r i s t o i a to Bologna. This s i n g l e - t r a c k l i n e can be used to relieve the Flo re nee-Bologna sector of the D i r i t i s s i m e . The main bombing t a r g e t s on these lines were masonry bridges, including some large viaducts. The bombing data were taken from the "Target and Duty Sheets of the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces, compiled by the 23rd and 28th S t a t i s t i c a l Control Units. The bomb tonnage dropped on the l i n e s by other then American units was found to be so small as to be n e g l i g i b l e . The bombing of the large terminel marshalling yards in

- 1

Arezzo, Florence, and Bologna have not been included. However, the bombing of the smell yerds in Fontessieve, between Arezzo end Florence, and in Freto, between Florence and Bologna, mostly by heavy bombers in the e a r l i e r months, has been included. The daily bombing tonnages for each of the three lines ere given in appendix ' A ' . The largest portion of the t o t a l tonnage wes dropped by medium bombers, 3 THE TRAFFIC O THE THREE SELECTED LINES: N

For the Arezzo-Florence l i n e , a detailed record of a l l movements was available in the Sezione yovimento of the railroad offices in Florence. I t was found that the d a i l y number of throught r a i n s , t r a v e l l i n g the e n t i r e length of the line,, i s a good measure of the t r a f f i c volume. In Appendix A'f the t o t a l number of throught r a i n s i s given for every day. On deys where the table shows one or two through-trains, the line i s not necesserily open a l l the way, since a small amount of through-traffic can be erranged for passengers occasionally by t r a n s f e r r i n g them from a t r a i n on one side of a cut t o a t r a i n on the other side of the c u t . For the two lines north of Florence, the detailed records of a l l movements are kept in Bologna, which i s s t i l l in enemy hands. Therefore, a number of s t a t i o n s on the southern sections of these lines were searched for local records. Some of these s t a t i o n s were found burned or demolished, but at Vaiano on the Diritissima and at Pitecchio on the Fistoia Bypass, the s t a t i o n records were found, s l i g h t l y burned, but readable. These records contein every t r a i n passing the s t a t i o n and, hence, may include a few local movements, even on deys when the line was blocked. Such p a r t i a l t r a f f i c on cut l i n e s , however, w i l l generally be very small. The t o t a l number of t r a i n s per day, extracted out of these records, i s given in Appendix A*. In June, the Germans took over the railroads in the Florence Area completely. At the same time, the I t a l i a n s discontinued the keeling of the railroad records. This i s the reason for the lack of t r a f f i c data in the l a t e r p&rt of June. 4. EFFECT OF BOMBING C THE TRAFFIC: K

All compiled bombing and t r a f f i c data are presented in the chert on the following page. Each of the three sections of the chart shows the history of one l i n e from February (at the l e f t ) t o June (at the r i g h t ) . Each section contains the bombing date in the upper por tion end the t r a i n data in the lower p o r t i o n . All data represented in the chart have been added in t h r e e day i n t e r v a l s .

- 2

Feb.
o o

-arch i s -ii I T i

April a

yy

June (3

. 2 . . 8 . .*. . . > , . y r

* * u i a * * i - r

is

C O

42 tons ?8 tens per day

per usy
^

c;j

o
CO

[T1 nn

C O O H rH

Kumber of Trains,

j.rezzct-?-iCv

0)

2
O

n
O

fn

n-v-n

i-i
O

Bomb Tonnage, Florence-Bologna

CM

12 tons j e r d&y

<M

pq

o o

1 rfi fin

nfkJfl
"uir-ber of Trains, ylcrei
j)

o o

rH

U FO

^> o gCM
CQ

C O

Bomb Tonnage, ristoia Bypass

11 tcr.b per dty

C O

CQ

<1H

O
CO

O O rH

in n
Kuir.ber cf Trains, r i s t o i a Bypass

C0

s
o June

In February end March, the chart shows occasional attacks on the Diritissime, both in the Arezzo-Florence sector and in the Florence-Bologna sector. These attacks are regularly reflected in the traffic deta by a drop in the number of trains. Since, however, these attacks are not followed up by continuous bombing, the traffic recovers quickly every time end the total effect is smell. O the night of 2-3 March, a train was wrecked by fire on n the Florence-Bologna line, probably by partisan action. The loss of traffic produced by this incident and by the raid on 7 March was largely compensated for by a doubling of the traffic on the Pistoia Bypass for a few days, as is shown in the bottom graph of the chert. At the end of R'arch, a persistent strangle operation was started on the Arezzo-Florence line. During the f i r s t month of this operation, an average of 28tons of bombs were dropped daily. This bombing effort seems to have been just sufficient to block the line effectively, since the smell number of trains which passed the line during this period hardly represents a useful traffic volume. In the following two months, the bombing effort wes increased to an average of 42 tons daily. It appeers likely that a smeller bombing tonnage would have effectively kept the line cut. O the two northern lines, the strangle operation started n in the middle of May. During the first month of this operation en average of 12 and 11 tons, respectively, were dropped daily on the l i n e s . The chart clearly shows that this effort was insufficient, even for the single-track Fistoia Bypass, since en appreciable traf fic volume kept flowing over the l i n e s .

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APPEKDIX A DAILY RECORD OF THE BCMBINB AND THE TRAFFIC FOR TEHEE H/ JUKfD LIKTI/ IF CEITRAL ITALY 1.- Daily records are given in the following table for three r a i l r o a d l i n e s . The f i r s t two l i n e s (Arezzo-Florence, F l o r ence-Bologna) are sections of the double-track "Diritissima" which i s the main connection between Rome end Bologna. The t h i r d l i n e ( P i s t o i a Bypass) i s a s i n g l e - t r a c k from Prato via P i s t o i a t o Bologna. 2 . The d a i l y bombing tonnages for each of the three l i n e s a r e given s e p a r a t e l y for d i v e , medium, and hetvy bombers. Each value given r e p r e s e n t s the complete tonnage dropped on the e n t i r e l i n e during the day. The l e t t e r behind the ton nage gives the bomb s i z e which made the l a r g e s t contribution t o the tonnage, F meaning 5 0 0 - l b . , T meaning ICOO-lb., and L meaning 2000-lb. P r a c t i c a l l y nothing but G.P. bombs were used a g a i n s t these l i n e s . 3 . For the Arezzo-Florence Line, complete records were a v a i l able i n a r a i l r o a d office in F l o r e n c e . The d a i l y number of t h r o u g h - t r a i n s as shown by these records i s given in the following t a b l e . For the two l i n e s north of Florence, only the l o c a l s t a t i o n records of Vaiano on the D i r i t i s s i m a and l i t e c c h i o on the P i s t o i a Bypass were a v a i l a b l e . The d a i l y number of t r a i n s passing these s t a t i o n s a r e l i s t e d in the f o l lowing t a b l e . For e l l t h r e e l i n e s , the t r a i n numbers are given s e p a r a t e l y for t r a i n s going north and t r a i n s going south.

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Date

1944
Feb. 1

: ATezzo - Florence : Florence - Bologna : list01a Bypass


: Bombing iTr Lin
: Trains : Bombing :Trains: Bombing b:D ive !'ed. Yea : N
:Dive Ted. Hea : N ;Bive Med. Hea: K :
*
:

2; 3: 4: 5 :
6
: 7
:
8.

I 1 3 12
: 14 11 : 17 26
: 22

. 82F :

H
U

17 25

: :26
35:

:2C

: :

' 5
5 6
7

6 6
: 5 6
4
6 .
3 4

25:

20:

5
19
16
12
;

:29 29:
:19 17:

:26

:21

9J

10 11 12

21 ,

? i 21 19 17 21

3C-.

21:

:25 21:
:24
23:

:2C

13: 14:
15

16
: 17* 18 19

20
21
22

85T 96F

: 9

1
:
1

6
2

7 : ?

4
ry
1C :

23 :
24
25
26 :
27
28
29

Mar. 1;

18
19 : : 16
23
16
17 .
: 13
21 j
1 19
24
18
15 :
: ' O
25
l : 13
14
1 19
11 !

30F :l6 16:


:15 19:
?4F : 3 7:
: y 12:
:19
17:
:23
18:

28:

:*25
26:
:28
30:

:24
22:

23:
29:
:24
18:
:22
27:
:25 27:

:22
:21

17

19 J

3 4

30 17 i : 16.16 , ; 20 27 ; : 22 15 1 18
21 j

s 20

:24 20:
:23 26:

:l6 20:

5 4 5 3
4 5
6 5 6 3 9 3 6 5 6 4 5 5 5 4 4 5 7
5 8
3 4 5 4 5
4

11 10
12 16
17 12
12 15
12 13
14 10

4 3 4 3 4 3 3 5 4 3 4

5
6

5 5 7

: 7 10:

15 .
21 5

6 7:
8

16
7CF 5 12

:
4 6: : 5 5: : 6 5:
76F :11

: 4 7:
13 >
20 : 18 s

8: 27:

9
10 11 : ' 12

13 : 16 55F : 9

15: :19 19:


:23 25F :14 :13 :17 :13 :23

:2C

8 13

4
.

5: 0

15:

16:

20:

: 6
12

13 14 15 16 .
17: 18. 19
20 . 21 :

83 16 , : 13 ; 11 14 1
t 16

17:

18:

5 5 5 7 4 5 6 5
5 10 3 6

6 10

?
36T
ll6T
i 10
j

15 . 14 '

:22 16:
:20 29:

:19
23:

:22 20:

14
16 , : 8 6 :
- 2

:23 29:
:21 19:

4 5
5
10 s 5
5
3
6 : 3
4

"Datf

1944 Mer.

: Arezzo - Florence : .!'lo rer.ee - I.c leaps is "Pa s s Bcirbin^ : Bombing :Treins : :Treins : * Treins, Bentins :Dive Tied. Yea: N S :Bive !:e^. Fee : 1: S :Dive :: "ed. Hea: K S
23: 24:
25: 26: 27: 26: 29: 3C: 31:

22:

4L 2cT 31T L39T

: C : C
. 0

Apr.

1:
2 :

6F 6F

9CT 46T

3: 4: 5: 6: 7:
8 :

: : : : : : : : : :

C C C C C C C ? 0 C

C C ? C C C C

: : : : : : ;

ill

16:

: 7
:1C

1 : C

0 : ? :
C C 0 2

: 0
: C

6F IO6F

: 1 3 : 0 1

: 5
56T

9:
10: 13F 1 1 : 5F 1 2 :

13: U: 15:

18F 15F

81T

May

1 6 : 1 7 :
1 8 : l 6 F 1 9 : 5F 2C: 8F 32T 2 1 :
22: 6F 54T 13&T 2 3 :
118T 24: 25: 5F 1C7L 26: 27: 28: 94F 126F 29: 113F 30: 1: 9F 2: 9T

: : : : : : : :

0 0
? ? C 0
0
C

1 0

c
?
?

c c c
2 0 2 2 0

: 3 3
: C x 0 : C :
0
: 0 : 0
: 0 : 0 : C : C
:
0
: C
: C : C : 0 : C : C : 0
: C
: 0
: 1
: C
: 0

c
1 0

c c c c c
0

3:

c c
0 0

5:
6:

4*
It 8:
9:

134F
70F

c c 1 c
0

: 9 7: tl2 13: :14 12: s!2 1C: :17 17: :15 19: :14 13: :18 16: :18 21: : 9 8: :15 15: :14 12: :17 26: :19 18: :20 24: :11 10: :11 19: :19 12: :13 16: :14 17: :12 13: :14 18: :14 12: :13 14: :17 15: : 9 14: :14 16:
:15 13: :1C 15: U6 17: :12 17:
:18 15: :17 19:
:16 19: :18 19: :17 19: :23 21:
:15 20:
:20 19:
:18 18: :13 19: :12 17:
:19 15: 24: :l6 :21 18: :23 22: :l6 22: :23 22:
:25 21:
- 3

3 1C

7
6

:5 : 4
: 7
: : : : : :
:

6 6 6

4 4 6 4 4 3
0

5
6 9

7 3
8

: : : : : : * : : :

3 4 3 7 5 6 6 7 3 \ 11
8
7 6
3 4
3

7 6 7

: 5
: 4 : 4

: 3
5
: 3 5 : 3 5 : 4 5 : 3
6
: 3 3 : 4 4
: 5 6 : 4 10 : 3 4 : 5 6

4
5

: : : : :

4 5 5 5 4

: 6

: 4 : 4
: 5 : 4 : 5 : 4

4
5
4
5
5
5
4
3

6 6 6

1 0 :

: /.rezzo - Florence : Florence - BolOf-iia j Pistoie Bypass icmbing : Bombing Bomb in,^ .Trains :Trains: E :Trains :Dive T?ed. yea 1 N s :Dive . r e d . Tea : N S :Dive v e d . He 6 1944 s ?.<ay 11 : 2 2 28! : 0 c Ik 6 12 : 2 1 17: : C c :3 8 3CT :14 16: : 0 c 13 :3 3 :1C 1C : 8 7: 76F : 0 c 14 : : 6 7: ; : 0 c :14 H 13 : 0 16 ; : C c : 11F 6 :14 13: 6F 2 2 8: 6F 12 . : C 0 6F 17 13 : :. 6 3: 48F : 0 c : 10F 32T 44T 3 3 2 2 68T ifiT : 0 c 173T : 19 7 u: 20 : 6 4: : ? ? 3 4 21 ? ? ! 3 3: 3 3 10 10 22 0 1 . 3 7: J 12 11 1 ? ? : 4 3: 23 10 0 : 134T 24 7 12 : 4 3: 12 14 0 0 : 42T 23 4 4: 48F 18 26 : 37F . c 0 3: 4 r. 88F 0 c . 293F 8 27 : 7: 4 6 ? ? 30F 3 2 3 28 : 38T 6: 12 1 3 ? ? : 8: 48T 94T 29 : 10 0 c 34T 48T 9: 3C 4 8 2 3 0 : 6 14: c 31 2 1 June 1 13 7: 2 7 6: 3 3 114F 0
139T 34T ;
3: 1 1 7CT 48T 4 0 c 3

Date

rH

8: 9 10 :
11 12 :

6 7

36F 36T
70F

6T

1CT 22T 12T

13 : 14 : 13 : 16 : 1CF 17 : 18 19
2C 21 : 22 :

36T

34T
6F 72T 22T 66T

3k? 5k*
36F

7T
6F 4F 16CT

4F 4F

23

24 : 23 : 7F
26 27 28 29

; : : : : : ; : : : : : ; : : : : :

c c
0 0

4 3 7 7 7 7
8 8

6 6 6 7
8 8
2 2 C C 0 C c

,8 9
IC8T I6T 68T

. 9 8

6 3

3F 4F 4F

COMBINED ARMS RESEARCH LIBRARY FORT LEAVENWORTH, KS

- k

3 1695 00491 4636

REPRODUCED BY 941 ST ENGR BN. FEBRUARY 1945