From the July 14, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

Significant accounts of the devastating disruption caused to the Germans’ military supply lines by Allied bombing came from Berlin Radio yesterday—tales of desperate improvisation forced upon the Nazis, of German truck drivers getting the same, extra pay as air crews because of their constant peril.

allied bombers normandy a-20

An A-20 Havoc of the 416th Bomb Group bombs German positions in Normandy

Whatever propaganda ends the Nazis sought to serve by their broadcasts to the German people, they constituted the frankest admissions yet made by the enemy of the damage done by the Allied bombers.

One broadcast, reported by the United Press, graphically portrayed the truck drivers’ dangers and added that “on every mudguard a spotter is crouching, anxiously scanning the skies in all directions.”

Another broadcast by Dr. Christof Freiheer von Imhorn, war correspondent back from Normandy, as quoted by Reuter, said that the Allies “have adopted an utterly new strategy in their invasion of Europe which neither the German High Command nor any other command has ever before had to cope with.”

“This novel Allied strategy represents a complete breakaway from all traditional forms by which wars have been waged, either in the past or present, in Russia or Italy,” Imhorn continued.

“Hitherto our Supreme Command has been able to deploy, concentrate and send up reinforcements on relatively secure supply lines and communications. But for a month now, ever since the Allies landed and secured a relatively narrow front in Normandy, all military rules and laws of the past have gone by the board.

“Our hinterland has been under perpetual bombardment of an intensity never before matched or even dreamed of, by the enemy’s air forces, artillery, and even naval guns.

“Under such conditions no German concentrations could be built up within striking distance of the front.

Couldn’t Use Highways

“Our command could not use the highways and railways which it had counted on. Our marching columns were banned from the roads.

“We had anticipated a terrific battle of material on the model of the Eastern Front, but the new Allied strategy confronted us with an absolutely novel situation.

“Our fighting men were exposed to the peril of being cut off from their supplies, isolated and thus destroyed.

“It has required all the organizing talent of the German High Command for an improvisation of the grandest scale, for even the smallest paths and byways receive constant attention from the enemy.

“Hundreds upon hundreds of roads are being pounded continuously.

“The German High Command is therefore abstaining from concentrating striking forces behind the front and sending columns along the roads.

“Our operational reserves are, as it were, swallowed up by the earth, moving invisibly by devious ways to reach critical points in good time.

“By day our forces go to death, by night they move. This is a great achievement by the German Supreme Command.”

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  • Bill Getz says:

    There was nothing novel about the Allies targeting supply routes before and after D-day. You do not always defeat an enemy by just killing them. You make it impossible to carry out the battle by denying them food, ammunition — and sleep! I flew many of these kind of missions during the May-Aug 1944 time period, but in B-24s, not A-20s.

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