By Martin van Creveld, Kenneth S Brower, Steven L Canby, Air University Press
268 pages - Manneuver struggle in motion - Germany - Russia - pictures - Israel - Air energy in Nineties
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Attempts were made to remodel the Luftwaffe on the British pattern with separate commands for fighters and bombers ; by then, however, the days of operativ warfare were long over. The Luftwaffe's record in Poland was mixed. It opened the campaign with a surprise blow at dawn 1 September 1939, the first time in which any country had employed this tactic that was later to become standard in the hands of all attackers . However, fog and clouds covered many of the targets of Luftflotte 4 (East Prussia) in particular ; 41 moreover, the Poles had expected the German move and had dispersed or hidden many of their own aircraft.
If the Germans had hoped to make Spain into a showcase of modern operativ warfare, they were disappointed. Spain, by virtue of its geography, was not a single theater of war but several . The various provinces are separated by mountain chains . They have a markedly dissimilar character and are often linked solely by a handful of roads that twist and wind their way through high passes. During wintertime some of the passes are usually blocked by snow. Much of the terrain is very broken and rugged, offering little scope for sweeping operations by large mechanized forces even if such forces had been available to either side.
As the invader advances, his numbers diminish due to the need to leave garrisons and occupy the country. As the victor moves farther and farther away from his bases of supply, the defeated party falls back on his own. According to the doctrine of the "culminating point," the winner might even end up by finding himself in a worse situation than at the beginning. In essence, the problem consists not so much of gaining a battle as turning a victory into a decisive one by preventing the enemy from making good his retreat.
Air power and maneuver warfare by Martin van Creveld, Kenneth S Brower, Steven L Canby, Air University Press