Skip to comments.BRITAIN IS SEEKING WAR PLANES HERE (Real Time + 70 Years)
Posted on 04/14/2008 6:42:45 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
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Now you're testing me? OK, no problem ;-)
We should begin by noting that the Brits & French invented tanks, and first used them in the First World War.
The first great combined arms battle is said to have been Amiens, in August 1918, where the allies fielded 532 tanks and 1,900 aircraft.
The first serious "tank theorist" is said to be Britain's JFC Fuller:
"In the inter-war period tanks underwent further mechanical development and, in terms of tactics, J.F.C. Fuller's doctrine of spearhead attacks with massed tank formations was the basis for work by Heinz Guderian in Germany, Percy Hobart in Britain, Adna R. Chaffee, Jr. in the U.S., Charles de Gaulle in France, and Mikhail Tukhachevsky in the USSR.
"All came to similar conclusions, but in the Second World War only Germany would put the theory into practice on a large scale, and it was their superior tactics, not superior weapons, that made blitzkrieg so formidable."
That is interesting. I had an uncle who was a navigator on a B-17. He also had a short career. His crew arrived at their base in early December 1943 and they were shot down on Jan. 11, 1944. That was their fourth mission. The 8th Air Force was not an employer with good long-term prospects.
I think it’s great that his memoirs are starting to come together!
Here’s an interesting one that never made it to full production....but did fly to within 12 miles of Manhattan in 1944.....the JU-390...a 6 engined monster...
I'd say, to be considered true "combined arms," those 1,900 planes would have needed to do more than just scout around.
Well, I can't find where they actually bombed enemy positions, but they did definitely strafe enemy troops caught in the open.
So, yes, the first major "combined arms" battle.
It took a genius like Germany's Guderian to figure out that if you put radios in tanks and aircraft, and got those guys talking to each other, you could have a revolutionary war-winning combination.
In the mean time, after a promising start, the Brits wandered off into the clouds somewhere, trying to figure out how airplanes could make infantry obsolete. It didn't happen...
One comment I heard more than once in the UK when discussing WW1 & WW2, "the experts didn't think they'd find enough lads willing to sit and die in dugouts or charge machine guns like they did in the First War".
(In my first comment, I wasn't trying to be a smart aleck, I just never realized the Brits and French could put together a combined arms ops.)
When time permits, I'm going to spend a bit of time looking more at that era, my Grandfather was gassed and shot at the First Battle of the Somme - w/ the 36th Div.
No doubt, that was a critical problem for the democratic allies then, just as it is today. A problem that neither the Nazis, Japanese nor Communists faced.
No problem when you challenge if my conclusions are based on facts. If they are not, then shame on me. And I ought to be able to show where I got my facts.