QUESTION: European Theater.
1. Why didn't allied forces drop arms into the forests where partisans were known to be? Seems easy enough to do.
2. Why didn't allied forces bomb concentration camps just to the extent that prisoners could escape? Especially since there wasn't any anti-aircraft defense around those camps. Or was there?
As far as I know, the official history provides that strategic targets were too important. But this doesn't wash: there was a high percentage of bombs that missed thier targets or were dropped into the sea bc the aircraft couldn't return to base and land with them. Plus, the allies didn't mind bombing civilians. How did they justify bombs to kill 10's of thouands, and yet not spare a few to give these poor souls a chance?
The Allies did support resistance movements in Europe. First the British and then the Americans dropped supplies and even special forces to aid the French resistance. Both the US and British helped the Italian resistance fighting the Germans after Italy’s surrender in 1943. Yugoslavia was another place were the Allies supplied materials mainly by air drops to the Yugoslavians fighting the Germans. If you are referring to Poland, one it was a very long flight over occupied territory and the Russians felt that Poland was in their sphere of influence.
One of the big problems with bombing the camps was that there was no intelligence from inside the death camps. Aerial photography only gave some information. Many of the camps had factories and those were protected by antiaircraft fire. Again most of the death camps were in Eastern Europe and thus harder to bomb due to range and limited intelligence as the Soviets were not the best allies. A great example was in Operation Frantic where US bombers would bomb targets in German territory and then land in the Soviet Union. The Soviet in many cases failed to protect the airfields; German aircraft would attack the airfield after the bombers had landed and on occasion the Soviets would shot down US aircraft due to poor radio communions.
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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: What about bombing the tracks to the death camps? They brought both supplies and prisoners.
The goal of most bombing was to make it harder for Germany to anything. Once D-Day had happened the rails leading west were the main focus. Again the Rails going to the camps in Poland were a long way off and bombing them would not have helped the allies’ ground campaign. I would have loved to have seen the US and British do more to limit the death camps but the Air forces were their to support ground operations and to destroy Germany cities and industry. It was hoped that rapid movement of the Allied armies would put an end to Nazi atrocities.
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