Interdiction Bombing of Northern France 1944


Map Code: Ax00494

As part of the Transport Plan, interdiction bombing aimed specifically to limit the movements of German forces to the front line following the D-Day landings by cutting key bridges and rail routes, whilst minimizing civilian casualties. Due to the importance of the element of surprise for Operation Overlord’s success, interdiction bombings had to be carried out in a way that did not show an obvious pattern towards cutting off Normandy. Therefore key targets, such as the numerous bridges traversing the Seine and the busy Paris-Orléans gap, were bombed shortly before the landings. Many policymakers considered interdiction bombing to be of secondary importance to bombing aimed at rail hubs, however data suggests that it was key targets such as bridges that primarily hampered the German response to the Normandy landings. The campaign was so effective that rail traffic in northern France dropped by 75 per cent in the three months before D-Day.

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