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Flygunderstödet i samband med "Operation Overlord" - byggde det på flygteoretiska grunder eller på krigserfarenheter?
Swedish National Defence College.
2005 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka med vilka grunder det direkta flygunderstödetunder ”Operation OVERLORD” genomfördes. Min undersökning studerar USAAF (UnitedStates Army Air Force) och dess flygunderstöd i den europeiska delen av andra världskriget.Detta innebär att uppsatsen avgränsas till det direkta amerikanska flygunderstödet på deneuropeiska arenan.Mitt intresse för ämnet väcktes i somras när det var exakt sextio år sedan landstigningen vidNormandie genomfördes. Detta uppmärksammades stort med olika evenemang. Som flygareär det av naturliga skäl särskilt intressant vilken roll flygstridskrafterna spelat i olika insatser.När landstigningen genomfördes under sommaren 1944 var andra världskriget inne på sittfemte år. Det amerikanska deltagandet började dock under 1941 och var splittrat med deltagandei Europa och mot Japan. Under 1944 var det amerikanska deltagandet inne på sitt fjärdeår. De amerikanska flygstridskrafterna började sitt deltagande i det europeiska kriget meden doktrinär grund som modifierades något under 1943. Jag kommer att undersöka om dennadoktrinära grund var vägledande under krigets gång eller om det efterhand blir de gällandekrigserfarenheterna som blir styrande.Min uppsats kommer att studera tre olika operationer med syfta att påvisa om det finns någonförändring som inte är doktrinärt förankrad. Eftersom min studie fokuserar på OVERLORD kommer jag att redovisa de två första operationerna mer översiktligt jämfört med OVERLORD.De tre olika operationerna blir i Nordafrika med ”Operation TORCH”, på Sicilienmed ”Operation HUSKY” och sist landstigningen i Frankrike med ”Operation OVERLORD”.

Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to examine under what basic doctrinal foundation theAmerican Air Force worked during Operation OVERLORD in the role of supportingthe ground forces. I will also examine if the Air Force followed the guidelines writtenin the doctrines or if the lessons learned became the guidelines.The American Air Force doctrinal base before the Second World War was developedthrough many reorganisations and discussions about how to use the Air Force in anoptimal way. They were a part of the Army until after the Second World War andthis always led to a difference in opinion between Army and Air Force officers. TheAir Force officers argued for independence and the Army officers saw the importanceof having the Air Force under their supervision, as it’s main purpose was tosupport ground battle. The main theoretical influences in the USA were primarilyMitchell, Douhet and Trenchard. They saw strategic bombing as the main missionand thought that this would change future warfare. The heritage of Mitchell was exercisedand developed at the Air Force officer’s basic school “Air Corps TacticalSchool”. Many of the American Air Force leaders were educated at this school duringthe war. The basic messages in the doctrines were filtered through the ArmyGeneral Staff and most of the basic writings were distillations of First World Warexperience.The American participation in the European war started with TORCH. At this timeFM 31-35 was the guiding doctrine. In this doctrine a ground officer always had thefinal say in how to use aviation in support of ground forces. Lessons learned andcooperation with the British troops brought about the production of a complementarydoctrine. This was FM 100-20, dated 21 July 1943. This doctrine made all servicescoequal and independent. Air Force missions were prioritised. Air superiority wasthe highest priority, isolation of the battlefield was priority number two and supportto the ground forces was priority number three. Even though FM 100-20 was publishedafter the start of HUSKY, the messages in it were used from the spring of1943.The doctrinal foundations during OVERLORD was followed closely and eventhough new ways of handling air support aviation were invented, this was well coveredin the doctrine. The constant influx of inexperienced and untrained personnelinto the battle area was a problem. This was extremely obvious in the air supportsystem because different services were cooperating. In spite of this, the highestcommanding levels were well trained, as they were on the whole the same peoplethat started in TORCH. The chemistry between some officers did not work and theacceptance of one’s role in the operation was in some cases inadequate. The strategicAir Force commanders didn’t want to assign resources to air support and some evenquestioned the need for an invasion. The ground units didn’t allocate enough personnelto liaison duties. One of the reasons of the overall success was the resolve to do agood job and the use of common sense. If you had a staff that cooperated well andwillingly, you had great advantages and at the same time could create a climate forinnovative thought. A good example of this is Quesada and Bradley and their cooperation.They made it possible to put an air liaison officer in the front armoured unitswith radio equipment. Above this unit they attached fighter-bombers that wereguided via radio against targets. This way of fighting was used in forthcoming battlesby many units in the advance against Germany.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 63 p.
Keyword [sv]
Flygunderstöd, Flygvapnet, USA, Uppsatser, Chefsprogrammet, Chefsprogrammet 2003-2005
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-1567OAI: diva2:427529
Educational program
Chefsprogrammet. (ChP)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Avdelning: ALB - Slutet Mag 3 C-upps. Hylla: Upps. ChP 03-05Available from: 2011-06-29 Created: 2011-06-28 Last updated: 2011-06-29Bibliographically approved

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