Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: "Precision Bombing," what an Oxymoron

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Precision Bombing," what an Oxymoron

Fussell opens up chapter 2, of Wartime, with saying it was a natural thing to believe in a panacea for the war, when in actuality, there is none except for more men to be killed. Though, Americans believed that the "technological expedients" would be a remedy for winning the war. The introduction of the B-17 the Flying Fortress, a precision instrument, was "the mightiest bomber ever built" and was "equipped with the incredible acurate Norden bomb sight, which hits a 25 foot circle from 20,000 feet."

However, this precision instrument could have been more precise. The whole notion of these planes being able to fly great altitudes during the day, would "make daylight raids with a greater margin of safety than any other bombin plane" but Americans couldn't have been more wrong. These planes had "the poorest target yet developed." The fact that these bombings proved to be entirely inaccurate.

"Precision bombing" became to be known as an oxymoron within the the air force, as well as humorous. But the humor was not seen nor undestood by the people at home reading in Life or The Saturday Evening Post.

The Allies and the Germans were both horrible at precision bombing, however, the Germans were the first to propagate the belief that they could hit any target they set forth. The American air forces were slow into catching on to this propaganda, up until the practicing of "area bombing."

After the introduction of "area bombing" more and more targets were hit, such as Buckingham Palace, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


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