Foreword

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey was established by the Secretary of War on November 3, 1944, pursuant to a directive from the late President Roosevelt.

The officers of the Survey were:

Franklin D'Olier, Chairman.
Henry C. Alexander, Vice-Chairman.
George W. Ball,
Harry L. Bowman,
John K. Galbraith,
Rensis Likert,
Frank A. McNamee,
Paul H. Nitze,
Robert P. Russell,
Fred Searls, Jr.,
Theodore P. Wright, Directors.
Charles C. Cabot, Secretary.

The Table of Organization provided for 300 civilians, 350 officers and 500 enlisted men. The Survey operated from headquarters in London and established forward headquarters and regional headquarters in Germany immediately following the advance of the Allied armies.

It made a close examination and inspection of several hundred German plants, cities and areas, amassed volumes of statistical and documentary material, including top German government documents; and conducted interviews and interrogations of thousands of Germans, including virtually all of the surviving political and military leaders. Germany was scoured for its war records, which were found sometimes, but rarely, in places where they ought to have been; sometimes in safe-deposit vaults, often in private houses, in barns, in caves; on one occasion, in a hen house and, on two occasions, in coffins. Targets in Russian-held territory were not available to the Survey.

Some two hundred detailed reports were made, including an Over-all Report, of which this is a summary. During the course of its work, the Survey rendered interim reports and submitted studies and suggestions in connection with the air operations against Japan.

While the European War was going on, it was necessary, in many cases, to follow closely behind the front; otherwise, vital records might have been irretrievably lost. Survey personnel suffered several casualties, including four killed.

The Survey is now studying the effects of the air attack on Japan. When that study is completed further reports will be submitted to the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy.