By Kenneth P Werrell
Dr. Kenneth Werrell’s background of ground-based air safeguard plays an immense carrier either to scholarship and, extra importantly, to the safeguard of our nation’s freedom. it really is probably human nature that we have a tendency through the years to lose sight of the teachings of the earlier, specially once they don't agree to definite adored preconceptions of ours. That such myopia should be risky, if now not downright disastrous, Dr. Werrell’s learn richly illustrates. with no sentimentalism, he chronicles a development of classes realized and too speedy forgotten because the wonder of air strength used to be reminded time and again of its barriers and vulnerability. In Korea and in Vietnam, the yankee humans have been stripped in their illusions of nationwide and technical omnipotence. the sad end result of these conflicts used to be doubly lamentable as the classes of global battle II were—or must have been—fresh in our minds. In that global warfare, as Dr. Werrell indicates, rather affordable ground-based air safeguard did make a distinction: at Ploesti, at Antwerp, and on the Rhine bridges. and it'll make a distinction day after today. the best price of Dr. Werrell’s paintings is that it offers guideposts and information for us as expert squaddies and aviators charged with upholding American protection. we've got taken history’s classes to middle as we plan and application our ground-based air defenses into the following decade and past. In either the ahead and the rear parts, we now have emphasised the regular ideas of mass, combine, and mobility. not anyone weapon, now not even today’s smooth plane, can do the task by myself. The truism applies with specific strength to antiaircraft security. And a minimum of another truism emerges from Dr. Werrell’s and our personal reviews: potent air safeguard calls for a joint and mixed attempt. Our making plans has been predicated at the assumption that counterair will play a crucial position in safeguarding our floor forces from air assault. at the floor, the air safeguard artillery will expect the cooperation and suggestions of our colleagues within the infantry, armor, and box artillery. On our good fortune or failure in operating jointly to satisfy the demanding situations of the following day will leisure our nation’s destiny.
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Extra resources for Archie to Sam: A Short Operational History of Ground-Based Air Defense
However, primarily because of weather and enemy opposition, only 10 percent of these bombs fell on the plant complex. 5 percent in September. On three missions in October, the Germans reported that no bombs fell on the plant. 59 German cities were also heavily defended by flak. Hamburg’s defenses included 400 heavy guns, while almost 300 defended Munich, and 327 protected Vienna. The Allies hit the Austrian capital on 47 raids and lost 361 heavy bombers, 229 (63 percent) to flak. On 7 February 1945, the Fifteenth Air Force lost 25 of the 689 aircraft sent against Vienna (19 to flak).
The AAF sent 5,236 bomber sorties, and the RAF sent 1,394 sorties that dropped 18,092 tons of bombs on the target. However, primarily because of weather and enemy opposition, only 10 percent of these bombs fell on the plant complex. 5 percent in September. On three missions in October, the Germans reported that no bombs fell on the plant. 59 German cities were also heavily defended by flak. Hamburg’s defenses included 400 heavy guns, while almost 300 defended Munich, and 327 protected Vienna. The Allies hit the Austrian capital on 47 raids and lost 361 heavy bombers, 229 (63 percent) to flak.
For increased mobility, the Germans mounted about 5 percent of their 105 mm and 128 mm flak guns on railroad cars. Germany’s best flak gunners, who were correctly considered the cream of the flak arm, manned these potent guns (fig. 54 In the early years of the war (1939–41), flak protected German troops from the few Allied aircraft that the Luftwaffe had not destroyed and supported the advancing armies as an antitank and direct support weapon. In the Western European campaign of 1940, flak units claimed 854 of 2,379 aircraft destroyed and over 300 armored vehicles.