The U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II: Leaping the Atlantic Wall - Army Air Forces Campaigns in Western Europe, 1942-1945, Bombing Behind Enemy Lines, Combined Bomber Offensive - eBookCategory: Army Air Force BandProfessionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this Air Force publication covers Army Air Forces campaigns in western Europe during World War II.At the outbreak of the Second World War, the United States Army Air Forces (AAF) already possessed a broad strategic plan, designated AWPD-1, for an aerial offensive against Germany. Prepared by the Air War Plans Division in July 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the plans first priority was to attain air superiority by destroying the German aircraft industry and operational fighters. The second priority was to destroy the German electrical power grid, transportation network, and oil industry. When these objectives were accomplished, the AAF would provide direct tactical support for the ground invasion of Europe.The story of the AAF in Europe is largely one of the struggle to successfully apply the broad precepts of AWPD-1 to operational realities. The Americans first constructed a logistical infrastructure in England to sustain the strategic bombardment of occupied Europe and Germany. The AAF and the Royal Air Force (RAF) then launched a combined bomber offensive, striking the enemy day and night. By the spring of 1944, the AAF had accumulated enough heavy bombers and long-range escorts to achieve air superiority. With the invasion of Normandy imminent, the air arm turned its attention to the tactical support of ground forces breaching the Atlantic wall. With Fortress Europes westernmost barrier penetrated, the AAF continued to bombard Germanys few remaining strategic targets and to support Allied ground troops until the surrender of Nazi Germany in April 1945.The AAF began to implement AWPD-1 as soon as the United States entered the war in December 1941. Almost immediately, Allied military leaders started to amass forces in the United Kingdom, with an eventual goal of invading Nazi-occupied Europe. As part of the buildup known as Bolero, the War Department ordered the Eighth Air Force to the United Kingdom. Comprising the VIII Bomber Command, the VIII Fighter Command, the VIII Air Support Command, and the VIII Service Command, the Eighth Air Force was dedicated from its establishment to the strategic bombardment of Germany.