Arthur Harris

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet, GCB, OBE, AFC (13 April 1892 – 5 April 1984), commonly known as "Bomber" Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as "Butcher" Harris, was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of RAF Bomber Command (from early 1943 holding the rank of Air Chief Marshal) during the latter half of World War II. In 1942 the Cabinet agreed to the "area bombing" of German cities. Harris was tasked with implementing Churchill's policy and supported the development of tactics and technology to perform the task more effectively. Harris assisted British Chief of the Air Staff Marshal of the Royal Air Force Charles Portal in carrying out the United Kingdom's most devastating attacks against the German infrastructure and population.
Harris' preference for area bombing over precision targeting in the last year of the war remains controversial, partly because by this time many senior Allied air commanders thought it less effective and partly for the large number of civilian casualties and destruction this strategy caused in Continental Europe. While the Butt Report found that in 1940 and 1941, only one in three attacking aircraft got within five miles (eight km) of their target, many technical and training improvements such as H2S radar and the Pathfinder force were implemented later on in the war.
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Documentary Episodes that cover Arthur Harris

Whirlwind - Bombing Germany

The World at War: Whirlwind - Bombing Germany

The British bombing force is being reduced due to losses during bombing raids. Sir Arthur Harris takes over as Commander-in-Chief at Bombing Command with the ambition to win the war with, the morally questionable technique of, area bombing. While the Americans have heavily armed bombers and fly in close formation the British have lighter armed bombers and fly in solo formations. The American and British air forces combine and become more affective as a whole.
The Air War

Al Murray's Road to Berlin: The Air War

The Allied war effort relies on crippling the German heavy industry in the Ruhr Valley. The smog over the Ruhr Valley prevents the Allies from hitting strategic targets. To help the bombers navigate 'Oboe', a radar navigation system, is developed. Arthur Bomber Harris organises area bombing within the Ruhr Valley involving thousands bombers in a single raid.