During World War II, operational groups were stationed at over 100 separate airbases, from which each squadron undertook their sorties as instructed by the centralized Bomber Command, which was formed in 1936. Bomber Command played a vital role in the destruction of German invasion barges in the channel ports during the Battle of Britain in summer 1940, but it was felt that British planes were still not capable of launching raids deep into enemy territory. Pilots were further hindered by poor night-flying capacity and bombing inaccuracy so, in 1942, Bomber Command expanded, restructured and accessed better planes such as the Halifax and Lancaster. Strategy changed too, with more targeted attacks, including the bombing of Cologne, as well as specialist operations such as the Dam Busters. The objective was to target Germany’s industrial targets and to shatter civilian morale. In 1942 the United States Army Air Force arrived and were stationed mainly in the east of England; the 8th Air Force were the largest striking air force ever committed to battle.
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