The role of mathematicians in the Allied carpet raids on the main goal of the Third Reich

The main targets of the air raids on the Third Reich were not the factories of weapons (tanks, planes, naval ships) or ammunition, as it might seem, but FACTORIES OF BEARINGS. The bombing plan was developed by a specially created cell in the USA, which included MATHEMATICS (Abraham Wald). The Applied Mathematics Panel was established in late 1942 as a division of the National Defense Research Committee to solve mathematical problems related to the world’s military effort.
Schweifurt is a small town in Bavaria with a population of less than 60,000 during World War II, but its role and importance for the industry of the Third Reich was much greater. The factories located in the city produced half of the ball bearings produced in Germany.
On August 17, 1943, the Americans carried out a carpet raid on the ball bearing factory in Schweinfurt, the so-called the bottleneck of the German arms industry. After this raid, the production of ball bearings in the Reich fell by 35%. Speer alarmed at the end of July that if the Allies maintained the current scale of the air raids, the German economy would collapse within 20 weeks !!!


March 16th, 2021