8. letecká armáda [1942-1944]

Eighth Air Force
8. letecká armáda Eighth Air Force
Originální název:
Original Name:
Eighth Air Force
Datum vzniku:
- -
Datum zániku:
Velitelství strategických vzdušných sil Spojených států v Evropě United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe
Nadřízené velitelství:
Higher Command:
19.01.1942-DD.MM.RRRR Bojové velitelství vzdušných sil
19.01.1942-DD.MM.RRRR Air Force Combat Command

28.01.1942-05.05.1942 Duncan, Asa North ( )
05.05.1942-01.12.1942 Spaatz, Carl Andrew ( )
01.12.1942-05.01.1944 Eaker, Ira Clarence ( )
Náčelník štábu:
Chief of Staff:
Podřízené jednotky:
Subordinated Units:
Čestný název:
Honorary Name:
- -
Craven, Wesley Frank - Cate, James Lea: The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. I: Plans & Early Operations, January 1939 to August 1942, Office of Air Force History, Washington 1983
Craven, Wesley Frank - Cate, James Lea: The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. II: Europe: TORCH to POINTBLANK, August 1942 to December 1943, Office of Air Force History, Washington 1983
URL : https://www.valka.cz/8-letecka-armada-1942-1944-t189635#549354 Version : 0

1. The origins

1.1 Formation and training to the GYMNAST
the Emergence of the first task and the first unit
8. army aviation and became famous as one of the main tools of allied strategic bombing. However, it was originally destined for another task. Count with her as with the air part of the anticipated Fredendallova Mobile backup choir, which had performed the landing in Northwest Africa. 2. January 1942 general Henry Arnold decided that the new air army will command the colonel Asa North Duncan, who at that time commanded the 3. the headquarters of the air support. The unit should first bear the number five, but this number was after a few days abandoned to the intended air army in the Far east and the group should receive the number eight. To 8. January, it was foreseen that the army gets on the early available in 17. bomber group (medium), 48. bomb group (light), 20. fighter group (overflow), 52. fighter group (overflow), 68. the observation group and 7. photographic squadron. Additional units should be gradually activated by the commander of the Martial velitelstí air force (AFCC), which was tasked to oversee the formation and training of 8. the air army. 19. January 1942 Ministry of war ordered, that the AFCC has established a headquarters and command squadron 8. the air army, 8. the headquarters of the bases of the air force, 8. command bomber air force and 8. headquarters of a commando force. This day is considered the day of the official formation of Mighty eight, although still a few days before the actual activation.

Deployment of subordinate units and headquarters
The air staff planned, around 1. February a number of units moves to a designated area of concentration to the training, which had formed the states of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Since the army was intended to perform the operation GYMNAST, gotten the degree of importance D. This meant that before her there were only three important units - these were Task force X in Australia, Task force FIVE ISLAND in the south Pacific and Task force BR in the United kingdom. AFCC has delegated the establishment of the major command units of the new army on the 1. and 3. air army. Veliteleství and command squadron 8. the air army were activated 28. January 1942 on the Army air base Savannah in the state of Georgia. Most of the staff headquarters moved as well as the commander of the army of the 3. the headquarters of the air support. Similarly, 3. the headquarters of the bases of the air forces provided the initial staff of 8. the headquarters of the bases of the air forces. 8. command bomber air force was activated through the 1. air army 1. February, at Langley airport in the state of Virginia. On the same day it was activated on Selfridgově airport in Michigan activated 8. headquarters of a commando force. 8. the headquarters of the bomber of the air force, according to the plan promptly moved to Savannah, and 8. headquarters of a commando force to Charleston. Their units are across after airports in the Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, Columbia, Florence and Augusta. 8. army aviation should remain in the subordination of the AFCC until the embarkation, where appropriate, to the beginning of the training with the Mobile reserve corps. From the point of view of supply and administration was 8. air army associated with to the 3. air army, which continue to operate as the mother of most of the new units 8. the air army in the meantime, before this, after a few months moved to the United kingdom.

1.2 the Abandonment of the preparations for the GYMNAST
the End of the gymnast
Already around 12. February was Duncan's clear that 24 of the 123 members and 621 aircraft is not enough to ensure the functioning of the 8. the air army as part of operation GYMNAST. My supervisor recommended the strengthening of the army of the three bomber group (heavy), one bomber group (medium) and three fighter groups (overflow). But the free group were not available, and hence would be transferred from other operations. Division of air war planning, therefore, 25. February recommended that the project was GYMNAST on the contrary taken out of the priority tasks. It psotupně happened, since the pacific theater of war badly in need of additional air reinforcements. At the beginning of march Associated committee of the joint chiefs of staff decided that SUPER-GYMNAST will continue to be conducted only in the plane of academic study. Until the events in North Africa didn't come in the form of operation TORCH, has ceased to influence the development of the 8. the air army. During February and march, the army was severely weakened. 19. February received an order to set aside twenty B-25 bombers with osádkami from the state of 17. bomber group (medium) for the needs of lieutenant colonel Doolittle, who was about to perform his famous strike on Tokyo. During the march training was 8. the headquarters of bomber command air force palpably disturbed by the urgent needs of the anti-submarine campaign in the Atlantic in the area of the southeast coast. Another they've done pilots then was deployed outside the territory of the continental US. Finally they were at the end of march all combat groups included in 8. the air army was transferred under the 3. air army in the context of administrative preparations for the allocation of the new task and new units.

Proposal for a new task
Eight remained only own headquarters and the headquarters of the 8. the headquarters of the bomber force and 8. headquarters of a commando force. Leaving the plan GYMNAST namely has left 8. air army without an assigned task. The commander of AFCC Spaatz, the intended commander of the air forces in Britain, has sought to command and command squadron, AFCC were quite moved to the United kingdom, thereby securing at least a head element that doesn't yet exist in the group. This is his efforts to frustrate the decision to move staff staff of the AFCC on the Headquarters of the air forces of the Army of the United states (AAF). Spaatz, therefore, now was trying to take advantage of the fact that 8. army aviation now had no assigned task or assigned units. 31. march successfully suggested its use as a bud headquarters in the Uk. Since February, moreover, in England there was general Ira Eaker with a small crew. Their current preparatory work is now intended to evaluate.

2. New mission

2.1 General preparations for a new task

Allocation of new units
A new assignment meant a radical change of character 8. the air army. While in the framework of the plans of the GYMNAST and SUPER-GYMNAST with her was envisaged as a mobile tactical air force formations, now she was given the role of the strategic bomber force. To her could perform, has received no small amount of units. In April below it from 3. the air army again passed 8. headquarters bases the air force and 12th Replacement Control Depot. Back got i 2d Air Depot Group and a variety of other their original units. In the same month it was decided that she will be allocated a number of fighting units. It was about twenty-three bomber groups (heavy), four bomber groups (medium-sized), five bomber groups (light), four groups of dive bombers, and thirteen fighter groups. However, the first wave should consist of only 1. fighter group, 31. fighter group, 97. bomber group (heavy) and 5. photographic squadron. Than reached its projected strength devětačtyřiceti groups, had to 8. army aviation and tolerate the fact that many of these groups were first assigned to other air armies. The main responsibility for reorganization of the 8. the air army and prepare for her move to the United kingdom carried Spaatz, although its commander became the to 5. may 1942. Duncan was by then the commander of the army, but practically the answer Spaatzovi.

Distribution headquarters on the two parts
At the beginning of April, the headquarters was divided into two parts. One remained in Savannah and provide the administrative and operational needs of several subordinate part, while the second part of the set up in Bollingově airport in Washington, dc near the seat of the headquarters of the AAF, with whom he worked intensively. This group on the basis of the results of a series of conferences and studies prepared a detailed elaboration of the organization, tasks and training of the reorganized army. 28. April was established 8. headquarters air support of ground forces and 4. July 8. mixed air command, which should serve as a training component. At this time, and during the following months there was the renaming of the spill headquarters to the fighter command, headquarters bases on the headquarters of the service and headquarters air support of ground forces at hq air support. Spaatz also faced with general lack of experienced staff officers. The situation has been addressed so that experienced professionals from civilian areas, who voluntarily offered their services, allocate staff functions and the officer's rank. Most often it was the headquarters of the service, where was the lack of experienced professionals the most pressing. Most of whom were residents of the states of the southeastern united states. Many of these individuals had no previous military training, and yet shortly after entry into the armed forces were transferred to Britain. Up to here, this was their deficit gradually removed. Another method was the promotion of non-commissioned officers, who already from the nature of things, military experience, into the higher staff positions. A number of them so had a pretty fast promotion.

the Fulfilment of the conditions and the training of
Gradually also filled in the units states team. Even so, but some units have reached the planned numbers and in port just before embarkation. Moreover, it happened that some units went for the sea, without have all the expected equipment. The main focus was on the spring at all levels 8. the air army training. Intensive preparation of the aircraft and their crews took place in the operational training units 2. and 3. the air army. Special attention was paid to the training of the collection of bombers and fighters in formation after takeoff from the airport, as Arnold and Spaatz right at the beginning we agreed that the fighter units 8. the air army will be used primarily to protect their own bombers. Ground staff had training directly from their own units, a portion was sent to specialized training in technical schools.

Eakerův shadow staff in Uk
The movement in the sea was preparing also an other side of the Atlantic. To Britain at the beginning of may as a staff vanguard gradually left 39 officers and 348 members of the team from army headquarters and each subordinate headquarters, who are involved in the work Eakerova called the shadow staff. Eaker, which in the Uk was already active since February, should beginning of may appointed commander of the staff detachment 8. the air army, while they remained the commander of the 8. the headquarters of bomber command the air force. During may and June arrived in Uk other staff officers, to here in a timely manner to ensure material conditions for the transfer, accommodation and activity units. Not everything went far from smoothly, however at the end of may were created the conditions for the adoption of the first units. You were indeed on the way.

2.2 Training in the United kingdom

a Lot of techniques on a small territory
In the United kingdom was the largest part of the units of the british RAF, and in this space, the size of which was smaller than the Alabama, will soon have to move another large air formation. And in addition, the vast majority of the units 8. the air army was to be stationed in England. In other parts of Britain should be only a minor part. Problems with large concentrations of airports and heavy air traffic would soon multiply. To ensure that everything worked, it was a herculean task, which on both sides has requested the deployment of the persons with administrative skills and experience and also a large dose of patience and the ability emaptie. The AAF in the initial stage of this process was represented by general Eaker. This could build on the existing work of Chaney Special observation group, which, together with the actors of the RAF dealt with some problems associated with the possible accommodation and ensuring the activities of u.s. air forces in Uk. 31. January 1942 received the Eaker from Arnold for the job, to his forward staff group prepared the conditions for the arrival, accommodation, training and operational activities of bomber command. Eaker, together with six other officers arrived in England 20. February and reported to general James Chaney, who since January, he held the position of commander of the forces Command of the Army of the United states in the British isles (USAFBI).

Command bomber air force USAFBI
22. February was on the basis of Chaneyova order established the Headquarters of bomber command air force USAFBI with Eakerem in the lead. The from him given the task to come into contact with Command bomber air force RAF for the purpose of production of its staff activities. After that he had to develop recommendations for training, equipment and method of deployment of the american air forces from the United kingdom. Also had prohlédnotu british airport earmarked for the american air units and develop a plan for their preparation and assignment of individual bases the bomber units and also for their administrative and logistics security. In the first place it concerned two bomber groups (heavy), which should arrive first. A few weeks shared the american officers, whose number over time has increased by a further eleven, shared office and accommodation spaces are štábními officers Command bomber air force the RAF. Only up to 15. April earned the Eaker property located on its own premises in the evacuated selective girls ' school in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Habitat received the code name PINETREE.

Eakerův plan and Detached command 8. air army
20. march gave Chaney a detailed study of the problems associated with the deployment of the u.s. air force in the United kingdom. Eakerův plan partly based on the conclusions, which has already developed a Special monitoring group and forces Command of the Army of the United states in the British isles, mainly in the logistics area. According to this plan, then except for some correction actually followed. Regarding the organizational structure of u.s. air forces in Britain were long-term disputes between Chaney and Washington and those haven't been solved until June, when England reached the headquarters of the 8. the air army. For now, shared Eaker responsibility for the preparation for the arrival of the air army, together with the air officer of USAFBI colonel Alfred Lyon. To Britain have come forward staff groups of various air headquarters, to participate in the preparations. The diversity and multiplicity of activities of the AAF in England led to a flow that Chaney ordered Eakerovi, in order to ensure effective centralized control. 19. may therefore be set up Detachment command 8. the air army, led by general Eaker, who then took over until the arrival Spaatzova staff, which was up to 18. June, the management of all components of the us army air forces in the british isles. Preparatory work can be in a certain simplification, divided into two parts. One related to operational matters, the second of those logistics. In both cases, it was necessary to address short-term and long-term plans.

2.3 Operating training

Operational co-operation
The americans have had the opportunity to study the rich british operating experience. The basic decisions in the field of operational planning adopted in the spring and early summer of 1942 paved the way for large-scale us-british combined air cooperation. British officials tended to view the untested american theory somewhat paternalistically, and showed them quite understandable tendency to direct their new allies after the move, which had proven of have already been lítých aerial battle. On the other hand, they understood and respected the american organisational capacity and their fondness for experimentation. The americans were in favor of the establishment of a fully independent air force, which would not be younger, but an equal partner in the strikes on nazi Germany. For more as two years have drawn from the valuable experience of the RAF. These experiences in addition confirmed their own assumptions. Different view on some issues persisted for the entire duration of the war, but in principle there was between the british and american airmen mood positive cooperation.

Cooperation in the selection of targets
Eakerův plan of 20. march assumed that the process of selecting targets for bombing will be based on meetings between the british and american commanders. In the organization's headquarters in High Wycombe to Eaker tried as much as possible to copy the organization of the british Velietlství bombardvacího of the air force, which should facilitate the future cooperation. 18. may could Eaker inform Spaatze that the headquarters of the bomber the air force should be prepared to manage and supervise the blasting operation from 1. June 1942. The slow arrival of the first combat units but made it impossible to verify the promise. Spaatz arrived in the second half of June and swiftly were signed formal cooperation agreements. At the beginning of July, officials of the RAF invite your colleagues from 8. the air army to cooperate in its main operational committees. It was the committees, composed of top staff officials, which address the selection of targets, operational research, or the planning of bombing operations. These committees are now converted to the combined organization. The situation of simplifying even a good relationship on a personal level between the general Eakerem, which continue to command 8. the headquarters of the bomber force, and air marshal Harris, who stood at the head of the british Headquarters of bomber command the air force. Together they agreed that Eaker or his representative will participate in his daily operational briefings and that the two headquarters will coordinate the selection of targets and the issuance of press releases. Similar cooperation has been established even between the hqs of the fighter force.

Operational deployment of american fighter units
Regarding the deployment of us fighter jets to lead the discussion. The british suggested that the american fighter units integrated into the british system of fighter defence of the islands, while the British assigned to AAF operational management of several whole defense sectors. this solution should have clear administrative advantages, but the Americans would have taken over the responsibility for the defense of the british isles. AAF preferring, to its fighter units to concentrate on offensive action against Germany. A defensive action, which would include the protection of american airports, like to keep in the experienced hands of the british the Headquarters of the czechoslovak air force. Spaatz wanted, that its fighters accompanied the bombrdéry and not to vindicate England. General Arnold and the chief of the air staff chief air marshal Charles Portal finally agreed on a compromise. American pilots had to go through training, which would allow for their eventual deployment to defensive operations in case that would create a crisis situation. However, the RAF retained the responsibility for the air defense of even the sectors in which it was an american airport. The american fighter units should focus on the escort of the bombers. American air units should, in accordance with the previous agreement on the division of the production programmes of the two states, to assume primary responsibility for transport capacity, including the coverage of the needs of the british airborne divisions.

Ground defense bases
The british are also committed to ensure the defense of american bases anti-aircraft and infantry units. However, as the growing number of u.s. airports, it turned out that the british forces is not enough. In August came the first american anti-aircraft and infantry units. But he was not there not nearly enough. It wasn't enough even to supplement the british forces, let alone their replacement. Only after a year took over the Americans full responsibility for the protection of its bases, but only at roughly the same level, as before, to provide the British. The germans, fortunately, no big strike on the american base had been done.

Military intelligence and meteorological service
A particularly large shortage of Americans felt in the field of military intelligence. In pennsylvánském Harrisburg was opened in march 1942, the intelligence school, but it could not quickly remove the lack of military intelligence. Not to mention, it turned out that the original estimates were significantly undervalued and there will be a need for much more. The americans had to in this area rely on their british allies. However, may arrived the first american intelligence officers, who in High Wycomb went through the basic weekly indicative rate and then boarded the british schools. Eaker anyway, demanded a still greater numbers. Needed because officers who would be preparing information on the possible objectives, evaluating the captured photographic images, they interrogated captured soldiers, the processing of information about the structure of the enemy units, had a library of collected intelligence information, produce intelligence reports and ensure contacts with the media. Americans over time could, thanks to the british help to set up their own Central evaluation unit. As far as working in a hostile background and the acquisition of data about potential targets, they were relying on the Americans throughout the war primarily for British. After a long time the Americans were on the British dependent also in the field of meteorological services. Eaker after Washington demanded the arrival of the american experts. He complied, left in may to set up 18. a weather squadron, and in August sent it to England. Subsequently, in High Wycombe established meteorological school, which has established close cooperation with the British. A large part of the training was held by an introduction to the british organization, processes, techniques and terminology, as despite the arrival of u.s. personnel, remained British for the Americans the main source of information about the weather.

communication systems
For the smooth progress of the deployment of the 8. the air army was also necessary to solve the problems associated with the integration of connecting sytémů. The british had an elaborate system of air traffic control, which was based on radar and radio contact. It was necessary to air force oboou states were controlled from a single point. From the logic of things it was easier to adapt the us training and equipping highly efficient british system. Since January, american engineers examined the british system and prepared a list of requirements that will need to meet each plane, than it will be able to operate in british airspace. This allowed to be in the summer of 1942, american aircraft equipped with at least basic facilities for communication with the ground when travelling across the North Atlantic. The last part of this journey from Iceland to Prestwick already fell under british control. A large part of the necessary equipment delivered to the Americans just the British. The airport, which settled the american troops, of course, were equipped with british coupling equipment. It was in large part continue to be serviced by technical staff and those officers of the RAF. Americans are gradually introduced vlastníz device, while the British had to edit my phone and dálnopisnou network. Until deep into the year 1943 used the Americans also british radars and radios. Their maintenance to ensure the Civilian repair organization, which fell under the control of the british Ministry of aircraft production.

Ensure the training of u.s. crews
Joint operational deployment alongside british units required adaptation to the american training program, which was the process, which was in the spring of 1942 received considerable attention. Already in September 1941, the Americans proposed that the British provided the equipment and staff that would meet an american fighter squadron in the U.S. with british methods. Eakerova march report on it again to put the emphasis. Between the two sides was created and maintained close liaison activity. The preparation of the training programme was put in charge of colonel Frank Armstrong and his section G-3 on bomber command. Instruction was in June sent to the USA, where she served for the operational training, and to the units, which gradually came to the Uk. Eaker had already developed plans for a training course on the islands. First, it should fully ensure the bomber command, which should take over the almost finished base in the Bovingdonu along with a satellite airport in the Oakley. Eaker demanded one more base for training fighters. This became a nearby Cheddington. In may, it turned out that the training will involve much more units. Eaker, therefore, now demanded for the training needs of a total of eight airports. The five had to train bomber groups, three pursuit groups. The british were reluctant to provide much-needed operating airport in England and was offered instead of seven airports in Ulster. It is agreed by both parties. Since it was assumed that the tactical units after the arrival to Britain deployed straight to their permanent bases, to familiarise themselves with the environment and have undergone the last training before deployment, he should have training in Ulster relate primarily to the forces which were to replace combat losses. Eaker, on the basis of the british experience estimated losses of us bombardovaích forces on average at the level of 5 per cent on a mission in the 10 missions per month. In the case of fighters expected 3 percent in the 12 missions per month. To still ensure the full capacity of all operating units, the British had to provide for the training of crews of eight airports to September 1942 and a total of sixteen airports for April 1943. Agreement then gradually crystal. When in June 1942, 8. army aviation and settled in England, was true, that the British will provide during the year 1942, the headquarters and seven bases in Northern Ireland, while the Americans take over Bovingdon and Cheddington. These two bases but without the satellite airports. Eaker planned that both the English base will serve bombardovacímu and stíhacímu velilství to the final of the advanced operational training and as a distribution centre, which will ensure the allocation of crews, which will be the closing loss for the operational units. Eaker originally in may of thought that the headquarters of the bomber force and fighter force would have had a training wing. But when the agreed Northern Ireland, suggested instead that there was established a training headquarters. Spaatz with this view he agreed, and sent him to Ministry of war. It also agreed to and to 4. July 1942 was on the Bollingově airport established VIII. mixed air command. But in the end not for a period of more than one year, much work to do, as the crew of the bombers began to Northern Ireland come an vácvik in September 1943. It was caused by the decision to perform the landing in Northwest Africa, which meant that for 8. air army had only a minimal amount of free spare crews. On their training then sufficient Bovingdon and Cheddington.


fleshed out.
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