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"Victory through air power" [Feb. 15th, 2013|08:03 pm]
Lawyers, Guns and Money posted this - here's the link they used:


(I agree strongly with the caption to the video :-) )

Bill Gawne, I'd love to know your opinion of this (but I'm not asking you to actually watch it unless you're interested).

[User Picture]From: wcg
2013-02-16 08:32 am (UTC)
I get a "file will not play" error.

As for the concept, sure, once one country added air assets to their combined arms arsenal, everyone else had to do the same to keep up. The US had a huge logistical advantage in manufacturing capacity, and could produce planes faster than enemy pilots could shoot them down. We had lots of good, smart pilots, and about as many aces as Germany and Japan combined. Beyond that we had Jimmy Doolittle, who convinced FDR to let him raid Tokyo with aircraft launched from aircraft carriers. From Doolittle's Raid to the Battle of Midway to the eventual flight of the Enola Gay, air power was crucial to the US victory.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-02-16 08:33 pm (UTC)
Well, the big thing I found fascinating was the discussion of the beginning of WWII. The basic premise was that, if you'd removed air power from the equation, Germany wasn't anywhere near as dominant. They'd understood air power better than anyone, and therefore had a better air force as part of their strategy. People were expecting at-the-time conventional warfare to hold ground, especially in France (I recall seeing it said that the swift fall of France was flat out stunning).

This is spoken of by a champion of the importance of air power, and so I was curious if that really could be said to be the deciding factor in initial German victories - that they simply had understood the overwhelming superiority of air forces over land and ocean based forces that didn't have equivalent air support.

The basic rule they establish in the film is that one can't defend land without a ground based air force. And I was wondering if modern air craft carriers change that, and how much.

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[User Picture]From: wcg
2013-02-16 10:36 pm (UTC)
I'm going to try to answer you in English, but if I drift into language you find confusing, just ask. When I discuss this stuff I typically use MilSpeak.

There are several different types of military air missions. Air Defense, Offensive Air Power Projection, and several others. A modern carrier can provide six different kinds of missions, with varying degrees of depth, limited by the size of their embarked squadrons and the ability of the fleet to support sustained air operations.

So, Naval Air can do every mission that ground based air can do, but not for as long, and not in as large numbers. Carriers are great for raids, and they provide everything necessary in terms of air power to seize and defend expeditionary air fields. But to carry out long term operations you have to seize and defend those fields, and move additional squadrons into them.
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