The 1939 German invasion of Poland
revealed for the first time to all nations
the decisive outcome that results when
fast moving armor teams up with
friendly ground support planes firing
Blitzkrieg comes to full bloom in France
where concentrated firepower was rapidly
deployed to pierce the enemy's defense
then run havoc through their backfield
much as a cavalry would in previous times:
on battlefields with similar terrain
laced maybe with roads amidst trees,
over hills, across streams and rivers.
Motorized armor gives one greater speed
in maneuvering troops but is otherwise
constrained by the conventional obstacles
provided by terrain and distance.
A I R P O W E R - THE REAL REVOLUTION OF WORLD WAR 2
Warfare has added the third dimension of vertical
position as part of the fluid, rapidly changing battlefield.
The chess match has gone 3D. Armies unprepared
for overhead attack have their valuable military assets
quickly picked off like fish shot in a barrel.
The German's Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber provided much
of the offensive power that gave blitzkrieg its global
reputation. A well-placed bomb on an enemy position's
head saves ground forces from a potentially costly
s t r a t e g i c b o m b i n g
total war - everyone is a legitimate target
The German Army brass wasn't all that keen
on making the Luftwaffe Hitler's centerpiece
of future military strategy. For starts, the
strategic bomber with its necessary four engines
costs too much to develop.
Germany's greatest military asset is its army.
Renowned worldwide. You don't dump
a sure thing for untested technology.
Most Luftwaffe generals agree the
proper role for German air power
is to be in support of the nation's army,
which, interestingly, is the service they
once belonged to prior to the Luftwaffe.
This decision means an air force of tactical
planes with limited range and small payload
yet able to provide deadly results when closely
coordinated through radio communications
with troops on the ground.
B - 17 Flying Fortress
T H E B O M B E R W I L L A L W A Y S G E T T H R O U G H
STANLEY BALDWIN / BRITISH PRIME MINISTER - 1932
A V O I D C O S T L Y B A T T L E S
A T T H E F R O N T.
Crush enemy's ability to wage war through strategic bombing
destroy military factories and the laborers manning them
modern militaries require free flow of industrial output
cut off petroleum and prized military hardware
without energy becomes junk just lying around.
What if you're the U.S. military and you find you are
up against the German Army with an American Army
that is currently little more than a military police manning
a friendly border. Maybe technology provides the fast-track
catchup to fending off world-class militaries. Possibly
a strategy heavily invested in air power is the way to provide
necessary defense without rousing suspicions of an isolationist
American voter rigidly opposed to foreign entanglements.
The U.S. Army Air Force's faith in daytime strategic bombing
as a feasible, worthwhile endeavor was severely tested
when raids targeting heavily defended industrial sites such as
at Schweinfurt, Germany and Ploesti, Rumania resulted in
an unacceptably high loss in planes and their crews.
H e r m a n n G o e r i n g
L U F T W A F F E C H I E F
Second only to Hitler in power.
I PLAN TO HAVE BRITAIN DOWN ON ITS KNEES
SO THAT THE ISLAND'S OCCUPATION BY
OUR TROOPS CAN PROCEED WITHOUT RISK.
Goering is confident of the Luftwaffe's victory
in the coming conflict with Britain's RAF,
an air force outnumbered and outmatched
as was proven in their recent encounter
with German planes over France.
WHO CONTROLS THE AIR WINS THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
Victory is decided by planes - not tanks, not ships.
R A D A R
The Germans have it but don't quite know what to do with it.
They will learn its value through their experience with the Brits
in the near future.
i m m u n e t o d e f e n s i v e c o u n t e r m e a s u r e s
1 5 Y E A R S L A T E R
w e f a c e
M U T U A L A S S U R E D D E S T R U C T I O N
O U R B E S T C O N C E I V E D P R E V E N T I O N
F R O M A T O M I C H O L O C A U S T
M A D
a murder / suicide pact between
the globe's two most powerful nations
Each armed with missiles pointing to the other's cities
Ready to fire their nuclear volley upon sign of
the other's attack
galactic nihilism is, almost