World War II Strafing Video:
Come along in a P-47 and see how it was on
Fighter-Bomber Strafing Missions in the ETO.
Please click on link below.
Video: Cockpit View of Strafing in
World War II
First, this is a few words about strafing. It has a valiant history in a major role in air
war since World War I. In the deadly low-altitude skies, pilots and aircrews have fought
with their aircraft guns/cannon in battle with the enemy and his weapons on the ground,
in a great legend of duty, valor and sacrifice.
Yet, strafing remains unsung. It is one of the least known and most misunderstood
flying and fighting operations in all air warfare. Strafers can accurately say: "We
learned a lot of things about strafing and strafers that we did not know before we did it
-- and that we would not know now if we had not done it." That is a lot of things that
books, the media, and even video games have not told or shown.
Certainly, movies have shown strafing in wars from the 1920's; but, unfortunately,
strafing in movies has been a source of misinformation. In movie sets; vehicles, troops,
trains, ships, and other targets on the ground are often shown being strafed by
low-flying aircraft. And in this "movie strafing," almost without fail, the aircraft "fires" a
long line of bullets that impact on the ground across the set.
As a result of "movie strafing" many people of all ages believe that strafing means to
"spray" or "stitch" a path of bullets on the ground. This also supports other bad history,
such as a jet fighter is no good for strafing because its great speed sprays the bullets
too far apart.
Thus, please note the difference in these six minutes of actual gun camera film from
WW II shown here. It is from P-47s on a variety of targets in the European Theater.
This shows, most of the time the bullets are put directly on a target -- not moving
across the ground at all -- "pin point" shooting on the target. This is the real history.
Note. In this video, the GI cameras of the P-47s did not come on until the trigger was
pulled to fire the guns; thus the approach to targets is not filmed, just the round
impacts, what they hit, and a short overrun.