Air-Ground Teamwork on the Western Front

Elwood Richard Quesada

Image via Wikipedia

The U.S. Army Air Corps, and later the Air Force, have always viewed what is known as “attack aviation” as a tertiary function following air superiority and strategic bombardment, and probably behind tactical air transport. One only need look at the history of the Army’s eventual development of its own aviation branch to find the evidence.

I suspect, therefore, that the Air Force is attempting to combat this perception with the publication of accounts of its history as a ground-support force. In their defense, when some of their number have dropped out of the clouds to focus on providing direct support to ground troops, (most notable among such aviators is General Elwood Richard “Pete” Quesada, pictured) they have done well. That’s why this book is such a worthy read.

2 thoughts on “Air-Ground Teamwork on the Western Front

  1. Thanks for this post and the pdf on ground attack; I’ve been looking at this issue in connection with the New Guinea airwar during spring ’42, when an “uninterested” AAF brass appear to have sacrificed c. 100 A-24 dive-bombers and crews on unescorted missions against Japanese targets on the north coast…all glossed over in the Craven and Cate Official Version. Looks like an interesting site overall, and I hope you keep developing it.

    • Thanks for the note. The New Guinea debacle is more proof that Arnold was leading the AAF with a coterie of officers who bought into the doctrine of Victory through Strategic Bombing. The result, of course, was that not only did attack, pursuit, and transport get short shrift, but that combat doctrine for attack was never developed at the force level. A despicable failure, frankly, and one that officers like LeMay repeated after the war.

      Thanks for your comments on the blog. I hope to continue it for a long time: at a rate of three posts per day, I’ve already got two years worth of material waiting to be posted.

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