In the film, Captain America: The First Avenger, the Red Skull (SPOILER ALERT) attempts to attack the United States by flying over it and attacking from the air. While fictional, the plot line bears resemblance to a real-life Nazi plot. What was the mysterious Amerika-Bomber project? And how close did it come to achieving its goal of leaving New York in flames?
The Amerika-Bomber Project?
Even before America’s entrance into World War II, Adolf Hitler was intrigued by the idea of attacking New York City via long-range strategic bombers. On May 12, 1942, a formal plan, coined the Amerika-Bomber Project, was submitted to the Minister of Aviation, Hermann Göring.
The plan was to fly planes to the Azores, refuel, and then take off again, on course for America’s east coast. Along with New York City, the Nazi’s hoped to drop bombs on nineteen strategic American targets and two additional Canadian targets. Most of these targets built aircraft parts so it seems probable that the goal of the Project was to cripple America’s air force capabilities.
Numerous planes were considered for the Project. Ultimately, the Ju 390 (pictured above) was selected for production. However, before it could be produced in mass quantities, the Nazi’s abandoned their efforts.
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
While the Amerika-Bomber Project appears feasible in retrospect, it lacked the necessary resources and aircraft parts to become a working operation. Even if it had been green-lit, its ultimate impact on the War would’ve been minimal since Germany lacked the ability to deploy atomic bombs.
The idea of Nazi’s attacking New York City seems fanciful today. And yet, it came close to reality…far too close for comfort. The Amerika-Bomber Project was put into motion, a feasible plan was developed, and an aircraft was selected. Only lack of time and intense Allied bombing raids on the Nazi supply chain kept New York City safe from flames.
(This is the third article in a three part series. Go here for Part I: Captain America and Suspended Animation and here for Part II: The Nazi Super-Soldier Program).