"Bombing the European Axis Powers" by Ralph Davis
What was the RAF not bombing HARD as if Britain's life depended on it in 1940-1943?
1. Northern France
2. Belgium and Holland
3. Western Czechoslovakia
4. Southern Poland
5. Southwestern Germany
7. and Northwest Italy.
Did you know that all of those relatively unmolested areas, once conquered, doubled Germany's industrial output? (Especially southern Poland and Czechoslovakia.)
But the RAF sure were dumping a lot of bombs on the Ruhr. WHY!?!
The German aircraft industry was scattered all over but the key plants were located in east central Germany (Regensberg Schwinefurt being an example) in a tight cluster. That was in range. Why not at least try for a Luftwaffe kill there?
Then there was this target list that was absolutely vital to the allies.
That would be the U-boat factory network. Can't kill them in their ports, then hit the inland factory sites, and assembly yards why don't you? Didn't happen. Especially as those shipyards were EASY bombing targets. Right out in the open, in 1940-1943 not under shelters, poorly protected from even area bombing or parachute mining. Why not? The USAAF got around to it. The Germans started digging like gophers to move factories underground. Set U-boat production back a year... in 1944, when it was a bit too late.
But the Ruhr was beat down to dust.
Most of the panzer production (helps the Eastern Front if you knock this out) is in upper Silesia, not the Ruhr. Not even touched until 1944 (USAAF and then too late to be effective.).
The Ruhr was mostly raw industrial stock (steel and coal) and power production. That helps if you want to put the western Germans in the dark, make them cold and want to slow down their shipbuilding a little bit, but those tank and airplane factories in eastern Germany suffer ZERO effects from a Ruhr monomania bombing campaign. The Swedes were shipping STEEL to the Germans as well as iron ore. (They might need to be bombed if you can't bribe them to stop that. Two problems, weather and range.) so the excuse that the Ruhr supplied iron for the Panzers doesn't work.
How about MINING the Danube and the Rhine and the German ports with parachute mines? Germans barged oil in from Rumania and shipped in goods from across the Baltic. The USAAF got around to it after POINTBLANK, but of course by then it was too late to have the effect it should and could have.
I look at those mistakes and I see an air force that was embarked on an air campaign that makes no sense at all. Ten thousand aircraft lost and almost fifty thousand lives for what?
I let others draw MORAL judgments, but the practical outcome speaks for itself.