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Attaining air superiority over the German Air Force in 1944 did not in and by itself win the war in Europe, but it did make possible those operations that did. Had the Luftwaffe been able to maintain air superiority over the Continent from 1943-1944, the successful ground invasion at Normandy never would have taken place. Consequently, with his air force in control of the skies over the battlefield, Hitler would have been in a much better position to consolidate his territorial gains and negotiate a favorable peace with the Allies.
The thesis of this paper is that the Luftwaffe was Germany’s strategic center of gravity in 1944 and it was the recognition of this, combined with the Allied leadership’s use of air power in accordance with the principles of war, that gave the U.S.-British alliance its war-winning strategic advantage. Defeating the Luftwaffe and winning air superiority over the skies of Europe stripped Germany of the ability to protect itself and was the key event that led to the eventual collapse of Germany’s armaments industry and military.