Not Implying, stating a fact, that very few came back.
Total loss of Stirlings for the entire War, in all capacities, was 913 aircraft out of 2383 built, or about 38%. However, I believe this figure also includes losses of aircraft by training squadrons, which flew them after they were withdrawn from bombing operations.Not Implying, stating a fact, that very few came back.
Sorry, but you're not quite right. Harris's stated and fiercely-defended policy was area bombing - he was adamant and confident that Germany could be beated by destroying its cities piecemeal. Even when it was obvious he was wrong he still stoutly defended this policy and made himself highly unpopular as a result. He called precision raids 'panacea targets', and was highly reluctant to allow the Dam Busters raid to go ahead. However, he was forced to toe the line, policy-wise, and to go after such targets as oil-production, submarine pens, railway networks, etc.Big Gee,
Air Chief Marshall Harris did not set the bombing policies. The Air Council under Lord Portal did that. Harris has for too long been blamed for 'his policies'. Harris carried out the Air Council directives and he fought tooth and nail for 'his boys'. When he was critised by his bosses for not carrying out certain instructions he reminded them that they could remove him from office when ever they liked. They didn't.
Ultimately the blame, if you can call it that, for the area bombing strategy lay at the feet of the government of the day. That is why the politicians of today won't allow the striking of a campaign medal for the thousands of brave boys of Bomber Command- it is convenient to let people go on thinking that ACM Harris invented the policy.
See a post hereSteve,
Unfortunately these images, together with many others, were lost during a Forum hacking disaster some years ago. Many Forum images have been replaced by their owners but it does seem that Ann B's membership has lapsed in which case replacement of these seems unlikely, very regrettably. Let's hope that another member took a copy of them and/or can offer something similar.