Air war

the air war is a form of the war guidance, with which military operations are accomplished mainly from air. One differentiates between

  • war from air: Clearing-up and fight against ground targets by reconnaissance planes and bomber
  • war in air: Fight of hostile airplanes by own Fighters
  • war against air forces: Fight of hostile airplanes by ground-based air defense.
Propagandistic representation of aerial engagement - the USA, June 1942

table of contents

the beginning

The first martial use of the air space existed in the use from balloons to reconnaissance purposes and for the steering of the artillery fire. In the American civil war isolates balloons for clearing-up begun.

FirstAir raid led to 22. August 1849 the Austrian army out, by throwing incendiary bombs off on Venice from hot-air balloons. In Venice, which belonged since the Viennese congress to Austria, 1848 Italian freedom fighters had proclaimed the independent „Repubblica di San Marco “. In August the Austrians conquered 1849Venice back.

A Etrich pigeon

the first employment of an airplane for the war guidance was the flight of an Italian Etrich pigeon, to 22. October 1911 of Tripoli (Libya) from a Turkish military camp cleared up and with 2-kg-Bomben and a handgun attacked.

The ItalianGeneral Giulio Douhet justified thereby his theory of the bombardment, with which airplanes should be built particularly for bombardment. Thus it is considered as a founder of the air war theory. Its plans to prepare Italy completely for an air war encountered however large resistance. As it unauthorized the building of bomber aircraftassigned, shifted one him after the Disziplinarrecht to the infantry. Later one arrested it even and only than Italy into the First World War occurred and devastating defeats experienced, recalled one him into its position.

All great powers however still develop themselves air units, inArmy or the navy was embodied.

the First World War

clearing-up picture of a French flier during the battle of Gallipoli

in the First World War most of the air war concepts were developed, which partly also beyond that constituted the air war up to the Viet Nam war and.

See also: Air war inAir reconnaissance

at the beginning of the war

the Central Powers and the Entente concentrate the First World War [work on ] mainly on the operational long-range reconnaissance. In the course of the war row image sets were developed, which put the basis of the photographic reconnaissance.

Like already before the war also pigeons with cameras becameequipped, which were coupled to a time switch clock. During the war by a Swiss even a gas mask for pigeons was sketched.

The first crucial success of the air reconnaissance existed in the messages of the British Royal Flying Corps (RFC), which it made possible, the German raidto intercept toward the Marne. This ensured for the fact that the Schlieffenplan was no longer fulfillable and the war developed at the west front to a long trench warfare.

When the position warfare initiated itself, Fesselballons and two-seat airplanes equipped with radio were used for the steering of the artillery fire.Particularly to set off it from the British of attempts undertaken with balloons and airplanes of feeler gauges behind the hostile lines.

air superiority

it developed the realization that balloons and reconnaissance aircraft had to be attacked directly from air, there it at sufficient and practical possibilitieslacked the air defense from the soil. The development of genuine fighters, with which a pilot without the assistance toward airplane longitudinal axis could fire along-flying protecting, proceeded from the French pilot Roland Garros . It fastened a machine gun directed forward to a Morane Saulnier L andstrengthened the propeller back, so that it could fire by the propeller circle through, without damaging the machine. A circuit breaker transmission developed by Fokker represented a meaningful advancement of this method. The Fokker E-III equipped with it is considered as the first fighter of the world manufactured in series.

On alliesOne made do to side first with a pusher propeller arrangement, later with rigidly installed, away weapons aligned over the propeller circle. The structures for the guidance of federations in the fight were taken the Kavallerie and developed further continuously. The English pilot Lanoe Hawker sat down early for a disciplinedFormation flight with the RFC. On ally side one remained during the allocation in Schwadronen (English. squadron), on German side it came to the list of relays, which corresponds in terms of figures to a Schwadron, and squadrons, that summarized several relays.

The allied ones placed their federations inProcess of the war as separate armed forces up, which were allowed to operate independently of the army command. Regular patrol flights were added a little later, by which the Frenchmen and the Britisher could control the entire west front.

The Germans answered to it with the execution of “patrol flights”. With this tactics those hadGerman crews close of the front to be stationed, in order to close the air space by constant monitorings. However a great many fighters were necessary for such a procedure, which operated concentrated in a close area and were not available therefore for other actions.

In October 1916 took placeon suggestion of the experienced combat flier Oswald Boelcke a restructuring of the Luftwaffe, which was set up now as an independent armed force beside army and navy. The moreover Boelcke selected some outstanding fliers in the own rows, which he trained personally in the aerial combat and in the legendary“Fighter squadron 2” to the employment brought. In order to pass its experiences on, it summarized the most important bases of the aerial combat in the Dicta Boelcke.

When 1918 the Americans arrived, allied air forces could do the Germans by their numerical superiority back urge. The Air Force had to be limited to it, at least into achieve a limited area the air superiority.

strategic Bombardements

naval airship Zeppelin L20 fallen after a bomb attack on England

bombs and propaganda material was already thrown off airplanes at the beginning of the war over hostile cities.

As first cities 6 became to. and 24. August1914 respectable.Lüttich and Antwerp of a German Zeppelin bombard. The first successful German bomb release over British soil succeeded to a flier to 24. December with Dover. To 19. January 1915 was flown the first bomb attack on London.

Nearly at the same time the first sights for bomb were developed,like the Dorana Bombenzielgerät and the Lafay sight. They were still very primitive, but the probability of hit could be substantially improved thereby.

1916 was strengthened the bomb attacks. Now additionally to the high-explosives bomb also incendiary bombs were used, with which in England large damage was particularly caused. The most devastatingAttacks led the Germans in the time of 31. March up to 6. April through, whereby the British were forced to collude or quiet-add their working places completely with danger.

First the Germans particularly used Zeppeline for bombardment. Starting from 1917 large airplanes became in Germany, later also giant airplanes, than strategic bombers built. They replaced the Zeppeline as the most important means for bombardment. The large airplanes were faster and more difficult to intercept.

Altogether regarded, bombardments had a military and strategic use, which went the far beyond material damage. Great Britain hadsubstantial means into the structure of an air defense put and a large number of air control units for the homeland defense instead of for the fight at the front use. The losses of production by bomb alarms were likewise larger than the directly caused damage.

See also: Zeppeline in the First World War

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Ground-combat engagement support with battle airplanes

US bomber attack on German lines
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In the First World War fighters were already used for the fight against infantrymen and tanks. In order to attack opposing soldiers, the hunt pilots made use not only from the board mg, but threwevery now and then for a long time, thickens nails, flier arrows so mentioned (French: Fléchettes), from the airplane. In the employment against tanks the hunt pilots used bombs, which threw her manually first on their goal. In the later process of the war the bombs were released by the lower surface of the airplane.

In the war yearone set up battle relays so mentioned, whose airplanes were particularly for the employment meant against ground targets to 1917 on German side. The airplanes of the battle relays were armored at their lower surface and intervened low-flying in Bodenkämpfe. Was by its specialization on the support of the infantry thatUse of the battle relays however limits. On allies side one used regular fighters for such purposes, which intervened additionally in aerial engagement.

air defense

before the war only in Germany at air defense cannons , the front soldiers were researched there had to improvise, up to all sides correspondingWeapons were available.

With simple machine guns it was missing at the possibility to aim correctly to be able. One could shoot particularly hostile balloons badly, why the fight in air had first a greater importance.

To 22. August 1914 became the first British airplane of rifle firemet, on which it fell over Belgian area. Manfred von Richthofen fell allegedly rifle fires from the soil to the victim.

naval pilot

Eugene B. Ely before the landing on the USS Pennsylvania

the British ignored several warships briefly during the First World War already early in addition,to convert to water airplane tenders. These were however only suitable for water airplanes, which started from the deck and landed after terminated employment in the proximity of the tender. Special cranes carried it then on board. The HMS Ark Royal (II) is considered far away as the first aircraft carrier, was however onlyequipped with water airplanes, and participated to the Dardanellenschlacht .

Of the HMS Furious, a converted English cruiser, 1917 an attack on the Zeppelinhallen started in Tondern. A back landing was not possible however.

Although already 1910 in the USA the first start of oneShip, and 1911 the first landing on the USS Pennsylvania succeeded, could only to 1918 with the HMS Argus, a converted passenger liner, which first for takeoff and landing suitable aircraft carriers are finished. This came for a war employment in the 1. World war however too late.

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Romantic hero picture

lieutenant colonel W. A. “Billy” Bishop, 60. Schwadron of the Royal Flying Corps, before its Nieuport 17 Scout

in the First World War was coined/shaped by the French press the term flier ASS for pilots with at least 5 air victories. The first flier ASS was Adolphe Pégoud, thosethe First World War was Manfred von Richthofen (Germany) would eat three prominent, René Fonck (France) and Billy Bishop (Great Britain). The press (later also the film) created the romantic picture of flier-eaten as modern knights of air. The most famous example of it is the report of Ernst Udet over its fight against Georges Guynemer.


Die von 1914 bis 1918 entwickelte Luftkampftaktik bildete den Grundstein der kommenden Luftkriegsführung. The strategy of the air war became of theoreticians such as William L. Mitchell and Giulio Douhet again considered and saw thoseExecution of unrestricted bomb attacks as means to decide the war fast and without the heavy losses experienced in the First World War at the own troops. The Air Forces of several great powers, among them the USA, Great Britain and Germany, took such considerations as a basis with the structure of their air fleet.

Between the world wars becameAirplanes particularly used in the colonies. Thus the Italians in the Italian Äthiopi war of 1935 poisonous gas shells of airplanes threw on äthiopische civilians.

The industrial nations promoted technical developments, and the execution of international competitions like the cutters Trophy led to a technological head on head situation of the former world war opponents.

The substantial achievements are: Liquid-cooled row engine, jet engine, rocket propulsion, radar, retractable landing gear, all-metal construction, on-board radio, pilot academies.

Spanish the civil war used the Soviet Union to test Germany and Italy around their airplanes and troops. Particularly Germany used the war around the pilot combat experience to sendand a unit set up with the Legion CONDOR, in which by a rotation procedure up to the end of the war about 20,000 German soldiers fought. The civilian population substantial was likewise bombarded. The city Guernica was destroyed by German bombers and stands until today as symbolfor the frights of the war.

the Second World War


beginning of the air war in Europe

Junkers Ju of 87 fall combat bombers (dive bomber)

as the Second World War began, was it a priority goal of Luftwaffe, the sovereignty in the air over Polandto attain, in order the own troops in their blitzkrieg - to support campaign. The experiences of the pilots from the Spanish civil war were the Air Force here from use.

With the case so mentioned white, which was attack on Poland, two German air fleets involved. Already in firstIt succeeded to shoot hours of the war a flier of the second dive bomber squadronImmelmann “a Polish airplane. It was the first firing in the Second World War. Likewise in the first hours of the war the city Wielun was to a large extent destroyed by bomb attacks.

Into the followingDays could attain the Germans the sovereignty in the air. Propaganda announced even the total destruction of the Polish Air Force, although this was quite still operational. However their airplanes had mostly hopelessly become outdated. Many of the Polish bombers, like the Karás - machines, were not able, thoseto fight German armored units effectively. Only some few modern airplanes, like the Łoś - bombers, could bombard tank columns in a limited surrounding field. The losses on Polish side were expressed high thereby since particularly the German air defense worked very effectively.

With the reason, the own soldiersto preserve, one decided to force the Polish capital Warsaw with a fire for effect to the surrender. Beside solid bombardment by the artillery naturally also the dive bombers were involved. Due to the heavy attacks Warsaw, that had in the first war weeks already approx. 10% of its built volumes losthad, to 28. Septembers 1939 capitulate.

Tod in den Trümmern einer abgeschossenen Maschine
Death in the rubble of a shot machine
effects of the attacks on London

the British Vorkriegskonzept for the air war had planned long-distance bomb attacks on hostile goals at day. The German radar developed in the meantime to the operational readiness permitted however successful to LuftwaffeInterception missions, so that the RAF had to turn into after initial losses to night operations.

During 1940 the Germans the blitzkrieg used west campaign - tactics, thus the combination of air and created ground forces and it France to defeat in such a way.

After the defeat of France Great Britain should by one large-scale invasion to be conquered or by the Air Force into the knees be forced. The resulting air battle around England led however to a defeat of the Air Force. Nevertheless it gave over 20.000 dead ones alone in London. The destruction of the built volumes was enormous, however in the Londoner city centre were thousandsBuilding concerned. From November 1940 on the attacks were expanded also on other cities - above all industrial centres -: Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Sheffield and 1941 also on Clydebank, Liverpool and Plymouth. With the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 the air raids on England becamesubstantially more rarely.

After the Air Force had later, in the course of the operation Barbarossa mostly the air superiority, it had to accept a defeat with massed air raids on Moscow again. The goal of destroying the city or at least important supplying junctions such as force and water companies became only to small extentreached. As consequence-fraught false estimate also Hermann Görings announcement must be considered to be able to supply an encircled army in Stalingrad one winter long from air.

bomb attacks on Germany

Ally bomb attack on Hamburg
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B-17 bomber

The attacks of the RAF on German cities began with the attack on Moenchengladbach at the night on the 12. May 1940 with 35 bombers. As answer to the end the RAF began 1940 accomplished German night attacks to the end yearly one, large-scale, up to then in thisTo fly extent against civilians arranged not yet surface attacks on German cities, dagewesene in the Second World War. Since military actions on the European mainland for the British were no longer possible after the occupation of France by German troops, air raids appeared as the only possibility, Germany tooharm. Apart from attacks on industrielle and military goals also the civilian population should be met, in order to break their moral and the resistance against the Nazi regime strengthen starting from 1942. This was called “moral bombing”. High victim numbers of the German civilian population became thereby not only inPurchase taken, but were one of the primary goals. Precise daylight attacks were not possible because of the air defense, so that bomber COMMAND of the RAF accomplished nocturnal surface attacks against German cities. For a high percentage fire-setting bombs were used, the one devastating effect in the residential areas thatcities concerned showed.[1]

When Arthur Harris took over the guidance bombers of the COMMAND, it developed the plan to a thousand-bomber attack by means of bomber stream an s, which should maximize the effect on the goal. At the same time a saturation or an excessive demand of the German night fighter control system should reduce the British losses.

The first thousand-bomber attack took place to 30. May 1942 on Cologne. With altogether 1,455 tons bombs were completely destroyed in 90 minutes over 3.300 houses and 474 humans were killed. The RAF lost thereby clearly fewer airplanes than with its usual attacks. Considerably at the attacksthe airplanes were involved of type Vickers Wellington, in addition, the long-range bomber Avro Lancaster was used against Cologne.

US bombers over Europe

in the war year 1942 occurred also the American air fleets the air war. They flew on the day on view precision attacks on goals to north France, sufferedbut 1943, when they changed to attack goals into the German Reich for lack of escort heavy losses by the German aircraft interception. In particular with the attacks on meals as well as Regensburg and pig ford 1943 there were large losses (see also operation double Strike).

The conference of Casablancain January 1943 led to a definition of the further procedure way, which concerned the bomb attacks against Germany. Despite reservations on the part of vienna clay/tone of Churchill a common procedure British and American strategic bomber (combined bomber offensive) was agreed upon. The Americans wanted to accomplish precision attacks at day andthe British the attacks at night intensify. As result one promised oneself bomb attacks on Germany “around the clock”. This is considered as political basis of the inconsiderate procedure way in the following years.

In February 1944 Americans and Briten started, the so-called bend Week (dt.: Large week), a number of allies of air raids on particularly selected goals of the German armaments industry. Between that 20. and that 25. February 1944 became for it approx. 6,000 bombers and 3,670 escort fighters assigned. Those bend Week was the beginning of the crucial section of the allied strategic air waragainst Germany. Americans and Briten intended to destroy Luftwaffe according to plan by wear.

In the further process of the yearly 1944 the allied ones attained the sovereignty in the air finally by substantial employment of long-distance fighters of the type North American P-51 finally. The German (arms) industry was forced in consequence,still larger parts of their production in caves, tunnel o. A. to shift. Nevertheless production could be partly even still increased by war goods by the use of prisoners of war , forced laborers and KZ-prisoners.

Dresden nach der Bombardierung
Dresden after bombardment

with the bombardment of Hamburg (operation Gomorrha) setthe allied ones 1943 the first time deception techniques (release of aluminum foils) against the German radar facilities. Large parts of Hamburg were destroyed in the fire tower - the first high point of the bombardment against Germany. Also the air raids on Dresden 13. , 14. and 15. February 1945, as well as on Kassel, Braunschweig , Würzburg , Darmstadt, Pforzheim and Nürnberg attained sad celebrity.

The historical and the international-law evaluation of the allied air war strategy in the Second World War - to today most important use of bombardments - are today disputed until. The controversy over the historical estimate of Arthur Harris'Is for this symptomatic statements.

For social controversies in the year 2002 the book “the fire ” ( ISBN 3549071655), published by the private scholar Jörg Friedrich, provided, the attacks of the allied ones on the civilian population as war crime designation.

Also the British historian Frederick Taylor has itselfwith the bombardment employs in detail. The RAF and USAF perfected and intensified for its part the bombardment also against the German civilian population. Already 1941, four years before the surrender of the National Socialist dictatorship, the destruction strength of the air Forces was larger than those the Air Force.

airborne landings

US soldiers land paratroopers during the operation Market

guards during the Second World War used the Germans for the first time. The parachutists permit to set it off troops behind the front, which the Germans used for the support of their blitzkrieg tactics. Largest success was thereby the conquest of the Belgian away even Emael.But paratrooper employments demanded losses, since the soldiers in air are being met easily, in obstacles hanging remain and no heavy equipment can be transported. In addition the soldiers land far absent-minded and it last a certain time, to itself the units in a combat-effective conditionfind.

The Germans undertook a last large use of paratroopers with the air landing battle around Crete. It could conquer German Crete but the losses were enormous, why Adolf Hitler did without the use from paratroopers to conquest purposes during the remaining war.

The allied ones took offthe battle around Crete and even paratrooper units develop other conclusions. These were used during the landing operations in Sicily (operation Husky) , normandy (operation Overlord) and the operation Market guards.

Beside paratroopers for the airborne landing also transport glider was used.

By the developmentfrom helicopters after the Second World War smaller meaning came to the parachute landings.

new weapons

V1 beim Anflug auf London
V1 during the approach on London

in the war from air were used from Germany 1944 with the cruise missile V1 and the surface-to-surface rocket V2 new weapons, by means of oneprimitive inertial navigation system a spacious goal like the city London to meet knew. By the losses in the civilian population (8,000 victims) these weapons spread an enormous fright, contributed however few to the war process. For the war in air unguided became, toward end of the war thoseremote-controlled Ruhr steel X-4 Luft-Luft-Rakete develops. Without success the development the Wasserfall air defense rocket for warfare was tried against airborne targets.

The Messerschmitt ME 262

likewise promoted the realm aviation Ministry the development nozzle and rocket-powered airplanes, with which the Germans wanted to advance toward the increasing allied bomb attacks. Many thatmodern airplane technologies were used however during the war too late or not at all.

As miracle weapons this of propaganda were useful, in order to keep upright the holding out will in view of the situation hopeless within all ranges.

See also: Messerschmitt ME 262, Heinkel He 178, Heinkel He 280

Pacific war

air war in the Pacific

a Japanese torpedo airplane explodes, after a direct hit

in the Pacific war changed the air war the complete maritime war guidance. The war was led mostly to sea and consisted of numerousLanding actions. Since many fights in hard-to-travel rain forest area found instead of and were difficult the landing of heavy weapons, also the support got a larger weight.

Japan and the USA maintained large aircraft carrier fleets, which made it possible to emerge fast before a goal a larger air raid to flyto disappear and then. This tactics surprised the Americans with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also the sea-engagements changed, the battle ships and cruisers lost always far in meaning, since the engagements was delivered now by torpedo bombers on a distance, those for the ship artillerywas too large.

Japanischer Luftangriff auf Midway
Japanese air raid on Midway

in the battle around Midway it came to the first large battle, which was led between aircraft carriers. Both sides had recognized the value of the carrier units and Japan tried in the battle US carrier fleet to smash. The USAcreated it to sink four from six large Japanese aircraft carriers to. Thus the Japanese lost the strategic predominance in the Pacific.

bomb attacks on Japan

mushroom cloud after atom bomb release over Nagasaki to 9. 1942

the Americans a surprise attack from aircraft carriers already undertook August 1945 upthe Japanese motherland, which should enter later under the name “Doolittle Raid “history. When the allied ones could conquer more and more islands in close proximity to Japan, also the possibility existed, directly with heavy B-29 - bombers to attack.

The air raids on Tokyoin February and March 1945 with approximately 100,000 victims ranked among heaviest bombardments of the entire war. Many buildings in Tokyo were built after the old timber construction method and burned down therefore fast.

The USA had developed a new bomb weapon in the process of the war, inall so far known in the shade to their effect placed and coined/shaped the following decades like no other invention: the atom bomb. The nuclear fission or nuclear fusion is used as explosion energy, contrary to a chemical reaction with conventional weapons.

In August the USA set 1945two atom bombs against Japanese cities, although Japan had already offered the armistice in February over the governments of 6 European countries. The atom bomb Little Boy was ignited over Hiroshima and the atom bomb Fat one over Nagasaki. The effects were devastating. In Hiroshima several diedthousand humans immediately, between 90.000 and 200.000 humans at the consequences of radiation sickness. 80% of the city were destroyed within seconds. The second bomb missed its goal by two kilometers, the detonation killed however nevertheless 31,000 humans. Hundredthousands died at the consequences. Those heavilyone calls ill survivor Hibakusha.

cold war

after the Second World War it came to the cold war, with which the USA stood themselves and opposite Soviet Union. This provided for a substantial promotion of the weapon and military equipment on both sides. Soalso the results of the research in Germany on both sides were used and recruited researchers (operation Overcast).

Minuteman 2 during the start

particularly the nuclear weapons played an important role in this conflict. First the employment was planned by bomber aircraft. Thus bomber formations were thatstrategic support. In order to avoid a destruction of the bombers at the soil and the loss of a setback following from it, strategic bomber fleets were held by means of air refueling 24 hours in air. Die Bedeutung der Bomberverbände änderte sich erst, als die Entwicklung der Interkontinentalrakete (Inter-Continental-Ballistic-Missile ICBM)progressed. First necessary intercontinental missiles long filling up and starting phases, so that an attack would have been already discovered before days the opponent. But in the further development the weapons became ever more effective and had opposite bombers the advantage within minutes each point on earth to reachto be able and once not be shot practically any longer stopable.

U-2 reconnaissance plane

the air reconnaissance gained therefore ever larger significance. Particularly the American Lockheed U-2 , which permitted first safe espionage flights over the USSR to the USA owing to its extreme flight performance, became famous. To 1. May 1960 created it the Russian air surveillance however to shoot a U-2 and to arrest the pilot Francis Gary Powers. But the meaning of the air reconnaissance with airplanes continued to decrease always, when the satellite technology became better and better and unmanned clearing-up directly from the universe possible became.The importance of the air reconnaissance showed up in the Cuba crisis.

In numerous deputy wars both sides used their technology against each other.

See also: Korea war

bombs, thrown off

B-26s of the air Force, supplying camps and harbor facilities in Wonsan, destroy nuclear force [work on] North Korea, 1951.
A B-29 bombardsThe possibility offered

goals in Korea the Korea war of 1950 to the USA and the Soviet Union of trying out and in the comparison begin of letting the new airplane technology. The USA supported South Korea in an official UN - mission, while the Soviet Union the North Korea niches troops unofficially among other things airplanes, teachersand pilots made available.

Propeller-driven aircraft were replaced during the war ever more strongly by jets. To 8. November 1950 came it to the first jet counter jet fight, with which a MiG-15 shot a P-80 Shooting star (BBC - 100 years war).

The Soviet MiG-15 was thatAirplanes of the UN-troops and added this high losses consider, nearly up to the complete sovereignty in the air (BBC). The UN-troops with the introduction of the F-86 could improve the situation, these approached however technically further not to the MiG. Thus the USA offered, around the MiG-15examines to be able, each opposing pilot, who landed with an intact machine on a UN-base, 100,000 dollar and asylum on.

Since the Soviet Union wanted to interfere not officially into the conflict and was allowed, the Soviet pilots were stopped, very defensive and behind the front toofly. By this circumstance and a larger number of airplanes the USA could achieve the air rule for the end of the war. After newer research from the USA the firing rate lay last with 4,4:1 for the USA. The American loss calculation counts however only the own losses, thosedirectly over the combat area were shot. Airplanes, which come down over own area or must be abgewrackt, are not taken up against it as firings to the statistics.

In order to weaken the north, the UN undertook numerous Flächenbombardements, as they were used later also in Viet Nam. InKorea war was thrown off even more napalm than in the Viet Nam war, however in the second half 1950 over 1 million gallons (3.785.400 litres). Also aimed irrigation plants and power stations were attacked; during the destruction of numerous dams it came to inundations.

As China North Korea substantial with troopssupported, demanded the American commander in chief Douglas MacArthur even to bombard Chinese cities with nuclear weapons.

Viet Nam

employment of napalm in Viet Nam
Boeing B-52 throws bombs on Viet Nam
Bell UH-1 D helicopter 1966 in Viet Nam
spraying of agent orange in the Mekong delta to 26. The USA

1965 one of the most devastating bombardments of history began July 1969 in Viet Nam. Among other things Entlaubungsmittel (agent orange) and napalm were used. The distressed Bombardements were above all humans of the civilian population. The 2000 degrees Celsius producing napalm bombs added that, those, heaviest burns did not die immediately too.

The air war against North Vietnam with up to 100.000 tons of bombs in the year 1972 destroyed industrial centres in Hanoi and the port Haiphong. The Bombardements released international protest waves and gave to the anti-war movement further inlet. Vietcong could by thoseAttacks not to be back-pushed. On Viet Nam more bombs were thrown off than during the Second World War on all theaters together.

In Viet Nam the relationship between air and soil operations changed. The air war became ever more important and operations of the army became less and less and but more strongly alsoAir impacts combines. On the one hand the air war of fewer victims demands and runs off for the soldiers more cleanly , since no direct contact exists to the enemy.

From air also the herbicide agent orange was sprayed, in order the forests to entlauben, those Vietcong protection offered and sources of foodto extract. Altogether 90 million litre of herbicides during the war were sprayed, which cause cancer and mutations in the former war regions because of their Giftigkeit.

The development of the helicopter became particularly clear in the Viet Nam war. With the helicopter troops could easily transported and in hard-to-travel area set offbecome. This made possible tactics to fight with which first from air and then infantry was bombarded be set off could, in order the remaining resistance at the soil and hold the position. In addition the troops can be evacuated easily again and withdrawn themselves. So can thatOpponent an impact to be caused, and to this to react knows, is the area already again vacated. This makes also dangerous parachute landings redundant.

the second Gulf War

F-117 Nighthawk camouflage cap bomber

the second Gulf War of 1991 was a military operation, which justifies, by a UN resolution, thoseRelease of the Kuweits to the goal, occupied by the Iraq, had. The war was decided mostly by air operations, which accomplished the USA and their allied ones. Per day more were flown as 1,000 attacks and used more weapons, than during the Second World War. Thus sat downthe development away the fact that one brings ground troops only then to the employment if all from air attainable goals is destroyed.

The war was certain of the first employment satellite and computer-assisted weapon systems, like for example precision-guided bombs, camouflage cap bombers and cruise missiles. Because of the strongMedium operational readiness level was presented by the Pentagon the air war as the cleaner solution, after napalm bombardments released violent national and international criticism during the Viet Nam war. The term of the surgical war guidance was coined/shaped, but it showed itself however as propaganda, there it nevertheless to victims under the civilian populationcame and, e.g. with the attacks on the Iraqi positions by Boeing B-52 - bombers, also numerous conventional weapons were used. Above all the employment of uranium ammunition proves as devastating for the civilian population (see also: Gulf War syndrome).

Although the process of the war the technological superioritythe USA and their allied one underlined, had within the range of the friend enemy recognition, particularly within the range of the close support of the advancing ground troops, fatal mistakes to be admitted.

military meaning

first was the air reconnaissance and artillery line the most important task of air forces. From this that followedTo throw interception of hostile aircraft and later the possibility with aircraft bombs on goals removed far. When itself the technology and industry far developed, it to be carried was devastating destruction possible large bomber fleets to be set up and into the hostile country. Tactics, by an air war thoseMoral opponents by destruction of its cities to break and the population to rebellions motivate (“counter cities”), however after the experiences from the Second World War as a little effective was rejected.

In the modern war guidance achieving serves the sovereignty in the air for beginning of an operation for it, thoseTo ensure freedom of action over the operational area, in order to then support the own ground troops by purposeful attacks on the opponent to make air landing operations possible and to attack strategic goals (infrastructure, industry).

The war against Yugoslavia (Kosovokrieg), the Afghanistan war and the 3. The Gulf War (Iraq war) make howeverclearly that substantial war goals cannot be achieved. War airplanes can reach and for the use of ground troops prepare each place of the earth, not replace these however by air refueling and aircraft carrier.

resuming information

see also

Commons: Military aircraft - pictures,Video and/or audio files
Wiktionary: Air impact - word origin, synonyms and translations

aerial engagement tactics, aerial combat, aerial engagement maneuver, air superiority, air forces, air traffic control, military aviation


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  • refuge Boog (Hg.): Air warfare in the Second World War: an international comparison, Herford, 1993 ISBN 3-8132-0340-9
  • refuge Boog: Strategic air war in Europe 1943-1944/45, in: The German Reich and the Second World War (volume 7),Stuttgart/Munich, 2001 ISBN of 3-421-05507-6
  • Federal Ministers for refugees, refugees and war-damaged: The air war over Germany 1939 - 1945. German reports and press comments of the neutral foreign country, dtv documents, Munich 1964
  • Stephan Burgdorff, Christian Habbe: As fire of the sky fell ". (2003) ISBN 3-421-05755-9
  • Roger Freeman: The MightyEighty was Diary, London 1981
  • Holger Frerichs: The bombardment in Friesland 1939 to 1945, 3. Edition, Jever 2002
  • Jörg Friedrich: The fire. Germany in the bombardment 1940 - 1945, Munich 2002
  • Werner greed-bend: 1000 days over Germany. The 8. American air fleet in 2.World war, Munich 1964
  • Olaf Groehler: History of the air war: 1910 to 1980, 8. Aufl., Berlin (east) 1990
  • kind of hitting a corner Grote: Target Brunswick 1943 - 1945. An air raid goal Braunschweig - documents of the destruction, Braunschweig 1994
  • Güth, Paul/shoe: Returned from the raid not - flier fates to the Eifel, Rhine andMoselland, Aachen 2002, Helios publishing house, ISBN 3-933608-33-3, EUR 29.70

Güth/Paul: An employment goal: Survive! - Germans and allied flier fates 1914/45 in the Eifel, Rhine and Moselland and anderern one regions, Aachen 2003 (2. Edition), Helios publishing house, ISBN 3-933608-75-9, EUR 29.70

  • Heinz Meyer: Air raids between North Sea, resin and heath.A documentation of the bomb and low attacks in word and fig. 1939 - 1945, Hameln 1983
  • Martin Middlebrook: The night in that the bombers died, Ullstein TB-publishing house, Berlin, 1985, ISBN 3-54833-005-3
  • Martin Middlebrook: Chris Everitt: The bomber COMMAND was diaries: to operational reference book,1939-1945, Leicester, 2000 (repr.) ISBN 1-85780-033-8
  • Williamson Murray: Was into the air: 1914-45, London: Cassell, 1999. - 224 S., (The Cassell history OF of throwing acres), ISBN 0-304-35223-3
  • Rudolf Pre: The red cock over Braunschweig. Air preventive measures and air war events in the city Braunschweig 1927 to 1945, Braunschweig 1955
  • Matthias Thömmes: Death in the Eifel sky - air war over the Eifel 1939-1945, Aachen 2004 (4. Edition), Helios publishing house, Aachen, ISBN 3-933608-04-x, EUR 27.61
  • walter Waiss: Chronicle combat squadron No. 27 Boelcke, part of 3: 1.1.42-31.12.42, Aachen 2005, Helios publishing house, Aachen, ISBN 3-93820-807-4, EUR49.90

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