BATTLE OF THE SKIES: Vanishing Points

For three days & nights Allied planes had worked over 53 target areas in the Ruhr-Westphalia sector, north and east of Field Marshal Montgomery's points of attack. Crossroads villages became the rims of great craters. Towns burned like torches for a night, smoldered for a day, then lay blackened and dead. The rain of bombs knocked out cities' antiaircraft defenses, and the flak vanished. Then the cities themselves vanished under clouds of flame-streaked smoke.

For the Allied air masters each day was a "record": 7,000 planes went out, then 8,000 planes. But all this was only a prelude to air...

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