M965.199.2257 | The Big Push
The Big Push
December 13, 1943, 20th century
Ink, crayon, graphite and opaque white on card
38.4 x 28.2 cm
Gift of Mr. John Collins - The Gazette
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , war (1452)
Keys to History
From the time Russia entered the war in June 1941 until the Allies landed in northern France in June 1944, the air war was the Allies' best option for a second front. Canadian, British and American fighter pilots and bomber crews played an important role in the defence of England and attacks on Germany. Their goal was to limit German industrial production, disrupt communications and destroy German morale. They sought to divert valuable German resources away from the eastern front and force Germany to defend its cities. Hitler was forced to devote material and manpower to build and man anti-aircraft guns and interceptor aircraft, and to build offensive weapons, in order to retaliate against bombing raids on Germany. In 1944 the Allies strove to gain mastery of the air and destroy communications systems and defensive coastal positions prior to their invasion of Normandy.
Civilian casualties in Germany were high in areas hit by Allied bombs, and morale was low. This cartoon by John Collins, published on December 13, 1943, depicts the impact that the air forces of the United States (U.S. Air Force), Canada (RCAF) and Great Britain (RAF) were having on Germany.
Bomber Command decided to concentrate its efforts on area bombing of large German industrial cities.
The Allies' first "thousand bomber raid" was on Cologne on May 30, 1942.
The Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force concentrated on night area bombing missions, while the United States Air Force conducted daylight "precision" raids.