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Posted Sunday, February 15, 2004
From Eisenhower Library, file 102, 'Spaatz. C'

24 August 1944



TO: General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander
Allied Expeditionary Force, APO 757

1.   I have received from the Air Ministry a plan entitled "THUNDERCLAP". This plan envisages the complete destruction of the administrative centre of Berlin, an area of two and one-half square miles, by 5,000 tons of H.E. bombs dropped by the Eighth Air Force visually in daylight followed by a similar weight of attack on Berlin by the R.A.F. at night. This blow is aimed at enemy morale and would not be delivered until the time is considered ripe. Operationally the plan is feasible in suitable weather.

2.   The U.S. bombing policy, as you know, has been directed against precision military objectives, and not morale. I am opposed to this operation as now planned. We are prepared to participate in an operation against Berlin, but in so doing will select targets for attack of military importance.


Lieutenant General, U.S.A.,

From SHAEF Advance C.P.
Office of the Supreme Commander,


28 August 1944

to Lt.General Carl Spaatz, Hqs,
United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe,
AP0 633, U.S. Army.

The operation under discussion [THUNDERCLAP] is one that is to take place only under a very special set of circumstances. While I have always insisted that U.S. Strategic Air Forces be directed against precision targets, I am always prepared to take part in anything that gives real promise to ending the war quickly. The policies under which you are now operating will be unchanged unless in my opinion an opportunity arises where a sudden and devastating blow may have an incalculable result.


Please bring this paper to me for discussion when you return from the Mediterranean.

General, U. S. Army


. . . on this website:

Index to this dossier on Allied bombing strategy
David Irving: Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden (free download)
Sept 14, 1944: JCS minutes that British object to Combined Chiefs of Staff recording their decision that Germany should be bombed for morale purposes
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