Best Defense

Two WWII bombing facts I didn’t know: A British-German exercise in the summer of 1945 & the postwar redesign of the B-47

In the summer of 1945, the Royal Air Force conducted a bombing exercise against the Germans.

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In the summer of 1945, the Royal Air Force conducted a bombing exercise against the Germans. This was done “complete with the German air defense staff,” writes Stephen Peter Rosen, in Winning the Next War. This made me wonder how often former foes have been enlisted to actually participate in exercises.

Another interesting fact from the book: Boeing’s 1944 plan for a new bomber was re-designed in 1945 after a postwar review of a captured German documents on aeronautics research. This led to the creation of the B-47, the first swept-wing bomber.

Photo credit: Dryden Flight Research Center/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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