The Allies’ big idea: the largest air battle of the Second World War

For D-Day to succeed, the Allies had to wrest control of the skies over western Europe from the Luftwaffe. As James Holland recounts, the February 1944 'Big Week' raids, which collectively made up the largest air battle of the war, helped secure that aerial supremacy

American Flying Fortress bombers and a Mustang fighter practise formation flying over England, training for rain that would help break Nazi resistance. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

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