The Bomber Mafia

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A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War


Proficimus more irretenti: “We make progress unhindered by custom.“


Some moral problems can be solved by human ingenuity. Even if it doesn’t work yet, it’s worth being idealistic and one day we might be that far.

Related notes:


A group of idealistic Airforce commanders, the Bomber Mafia, theorized that there must be a better way to wage war. Rather than non-targeted blanking bombing, they proposed a strategy called “high-altitude precision bombing”. Specific weaknesses of the enemy were to be taken out while innocent civilian lives were spared.

However, the technology was not ready for it at that time. Complications and unforeseen circumstances rendered high-altitude precision bombing ineffectual.

After some time, the USA adopted the British way of blanket bombing to demoralize. The height of which first being napalm in Japan and then the atomic bomb.

Still, high-altitude precision bombing is what we are able to do now. A bomb can take out a person in the room next to you without any harm inflicted on you. Technology did allow us a moral advancement; it just took time.


  • B29 Bomber: went higher and, more importantly, longer than previous bombers
  • America established airbase in the Marianas (Saipan, Guam etc) and was able to bomb Japan for the first time

Chapter 1

  • Norden Bombsite/Mark 15: Analog computer helping to aim, taking into account a lot of variables
    • third most expensive project of the us war effort

Chapter 2

  • the differences in the forces seen in the chapels
  • ”Chokepoint strategy”: Winning by breaking logistic key points (aqueducts, power grids, bridges)

Chapter 3

  • ”Area/Morale Bombing”: Breaking the morale by untargeted bombing on civilians
  • Germany attacking London: “The Blitz”.
  • authorities were worried about psychiatric breakdowns and built hospitals but none of them were used
  • It just makes people hate the enemy more and rely more on the government
    • Norden was a Christian: Destroying weapons of war rather than people - Moral advancement
    • The British on the other hand went for area bombing because of the stuff this one physician friend of Churchill made up