Gunships: A Pictorial History of Spooky (Vietnam studies group 6032)
By Larry Davis
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1982 68 Pages
PDF 9 MB
INTERDICTION - in military terms, is ihe use of armed force io slow down or stop the flow of supplies and personnel needed by an enemy to continue hostilities. It is one of the most important aspects of modern warfare. If you can dry' up an enemy's food and ammunition, he will lose his ability to fight and will eventually be forced to lay down his arms.
During World War II (he conflict was spread over the entire globe and the interdiction of Axis supplies took many forms. Strategic interdiction was accomplished through two major means - naval blockade (primarily by submarine), and aerial attack by heavy bombers. Both US and German submarine forces were very successful at interdicting supplies being (ransporlcd by sea. The aerial imcrdiciion of strategic materials by Allied heavy bomber forces was so complete that by war's end both the German Air Force and the-Japanese Air Force were virtually grounded for lack of fuel.
Tactical interdiction, the subject of this book, was accomplished by fighter-bombers and/or light and medium bomber forces. The daylight interdiction of German supplies in the European Theater was accomplished through these means. "Operation Strangle", during 1943, cut off supplies to the German front lines in Italy so effectively thai (he capture of Cassino and the eventual liberation of Rome were a direct result. Field Marshal Kcssclr-ing's troops simply did not have (he ammunition and supplies needed lo carry out effective defense. Interdiction of the Normandy coastal areas, and a little stupidity on the part of Hitler, kept Ihe Germans from mourning the counter-offensive needed to push the Allies back into the sea. With total air superiorly. American P-47s and British Tempest fighicr-bombers were able lo roam freely over (he French road and rail net behind the invasion beaches, bombing and rocketing German supply (rains and armored columns bound for Normandy. The end result was, of course, the successful interdiction of Ihe Normandy Invasion beach and an eventual Allied victory in Europe.
In the Pacific the situation was entirely different. Japanese troops and supplies were moved almost exclusively by ship. And while the American submarine forces extracted an enormous toll of Japanese shipping they simply couldn't cover enough area. Allied fighicr aircraft were called upon to fill (he breach bui were not heavily enough armed to do (he job. Neither were (he standard light and medium bomber aircraft, unless they could gel a good bomb hit. and hitting a (wisting, turning ship with a bomb is not easy. To solve these problems an idea was born which would eventually lead to the Kunship concept.