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Aerial Interdiction Air Power and the Land Battle in Three American Wars

Aerial Interdiction Air Power and the Land Battle in Three American Wars

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Mar 05, 2011
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11/26/2012

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SPECIAL STUDIES
Aerial Interdiction
Air Power and the Land Battle inThree American Wars
Eduard
Mark
Center for
Air
Force
History
1994
Washington,
D.C
 
Library
of
Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Mark, Eduard Maximilian.Aerial interdiction: air power and the land battle in threeIncludes bibliographical references (p.
ISBN
0-912799-74-9 (case).-ISBN 0-912799-73-0 (paper)1. United States-History, Military-20th century. 2. WorldWar, 1939-1945-Aerial operations, American. 3. Kore-an War, 1950-1953-Aerial operations, American. 4. Vietnam-ese War, 1961-1975-Aerial operations, American.
5.
UnitedStates. Air Force-History-20th century.
I.
Title.
11.
Series:Special studies (United States. Air Force. Office of Air ForceHistory)E745.M36 1992American wars: a historical analysis
/
Eduard Mark.p. cm.-(Special studies)
)
and index.358.4
00973-dc20 92-13489
CIP
For
sale
by
the
Superintendent
of
Documents,
U.S.
Government Printing Office,
Washington,
D.C.
20402
 
Foreword
This analytical work by Dr. Eduard Mark of the Center for AirForce History examines the practice of air interdiction in three wars:World War 11, the Korean war, and the war in Southeast Asia. It consid-ers eleven important interdiction campaigns, all of them American
or
Anglo-American, for only the United States and Great Britain had theresources to conduct interdiction campaigns on a large scale in WorldWar 11. Dr. Mark proposes what he considers to be a realistic objectivefor interdiction: preventing men, equipment, and supplies from reachingthe combat area when the enemy needs them and in the quantity he re-quires. As Mark notes, there has been little intensive scholarship on thesubject of interdiction especially when contrasted with the work done onstrategic bombardment.In the wake of the Persian Gulf war, the reader will no doubt beimpressed by the comparatively low performance
of
weapons in thesepre-Gulf war campaigns. DESERTSTORMshowed that recent advances intechnology had enabled interdiction to reach new levels of effectiveness,especially in night operations. Yet, as the reader soon discovers, interdic-tion in the pre-Gulf campaigns sometimes profoundly influenced militaryoperations. As is often the case in military history, the effects were oftenserendipitous-not as planned or anticipated, but present nevertheless.By the middle of the Second World War, aircraft were already demon-strating that they could have a devastating impact upon
a
military force’sability to wage war. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, for example, com-plained bitterly during the North African and Normandy campaignsabout air power that, in his memorable words, “pinned my army to theground” and otherwise denied his forces both supplies and the ability tofreely maneuver.The aircraft and weapons that caused the German commander suchproblems were, by today’s standards, primitive. The accuracy of bomb-ing was calculated in terms of circles with radii of hundreds or eventhousands
of
feet. Bridges took dozens, sometimes hundreds, of sortiesto destroy, meaning that a simultaneous taking-down of an enemy’stransportation network was impossible. A single target also requiredstrike packages of hundreds of airplanes. Target “revisiting” because ofpoor bombing accuracy meant that aircraft
loss
rates were often alarm-ingly high. Yet, even with all of these limitations, air attack still had theability to hinder, limit, and eventually help defeat a robust, well-trained,
...
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