By late January 1944, Eighth Air Force had received sufficient numbers of P-51D Mustangs and P-47D Thunderbolts, both fitted with external fuel tanks, to resume the bombing of Germany. These fighters now had the range to escort the bombers all the way to their targets in Germany and back to home bases. Operation Argument was scheduled for late February, with the goal of establishing air supremacy over Western Europe prior to the invasion of France scheduled for late May or early June.
During the week of Feb. 20-25, 1944, what became known as “Big Week” in Air Force history, Eighth Air Force and the Royal Air Force from England and Fifteenth Air Force from southern Italy conducted strategic bombing raids against German aircraft factories and other industrial targets.
These raids, Operation Argument, marked the restart of the strategic bombing of Germany, halted in October 1943, and the beginning of the end of the German air force (Luftwaffe).