Download Why Air Forces Fail: The Anatomy of Defeat by Robin Higham, Stephen J. Harris PDF

By Robin Higham, Stephen J. Harris

The disasters of armies, navies, or even complete international locations were good documented via historians. Air forces, besides the fact that, have bought little recognition. Why Air Forces Fail examines numerous air forces that experience suffered defeat and explains the advanced, frequently deep-seated foundations for those catastrophes.

The participants to Why Air Forces Fail think about instances of Russian, Polish, French, British, Italian, German, Argentine, and U.S. air strength defeats, having a look past in basic terms army components to discover the cultural, political, and technical reasons of failure. The e-book comprises either overviews and analytical narratives that learn greater than the aerial battlefield, and every case concludes with studying lists and proposals for additional examine. Why Air Forces Fail is a much-needed and long-overdue addition to army and aeronautical heritage.

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Extra info for Why Air Forces Fail: The Anatomy of Defeat

Sample text

Second, to prevent the rapid encirclement of the Czechoslovakian bastion and to permit the arrival of Russian troops to confront the German forces. . Finally, and above all, the Interallied Air Force should carry out massive aerial reprisal and bombardment missions. Of course, the emphasis on protecting Paris rather than Prague or Warsaw communicated an ulterior motive behind Cot’s proposal. The problems with such a strategy became obvious in the late 1930s as powerful French air fleets proved nonexistent and the German air force emerged as a potent combatant and a contender for air superiority in its own right.

By 1939 there were 38 such secret operational fields and a total of 221 auxiliary fields that served the needs of the aviation service well, except for the twin-engine PZL 37 Los bomber, which could not take off from there when fully loaded. Zajac’s views had prevailed, but too late. Poland’s air force was, in effect, caught changing horses in midstream. Orders for the Los were cut, and orders for the PZL 50 Jastrzab fighter plane were put on hold due to its unsatisfactory performance. In these last days of peace, the Polish authorities were confronted with the reality that neither the single-engine fighter nor the twin-engine pursuit plane could be produced.

The flights were then given ground coordinates to intercept German air attacks. In the initial period the brigade had forty-three victories. As the forward observation posts were overrun, a decision was made to move the brigade southeast to the Lublin region. At that point the brigade, though reinforced by a number of fighter wings withdrawn from their armies, experienced administrative chaos. Short of gasoline and ammunition, the fighter planes wasted time. The wings of the Fighter Brigade were ordered to protect the bridges over the Vistula and to carry out shallow reconnaissance for the Lublin army, which was being desperately formed east of the Vistula.

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