By Daniel R. Mortensen, ed.
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Extra info for Airpower and Ground Armies: Essays on the Evolution of Anglo-American Air Doctrine, 1940-1943
Which of the Americans needed teaching? What was the role of Gen Carl A. Spaatz, the senior American airman involved in the process? Is the standard interpretation of the RAF's contribution to the campaign in Tunisia and the genesis of American tactical air doctrine subject to readjustment? The working hypothesis for this essay, then, can be expressed thusly: The set of ideas that constituted the framework for the US tactical air doctrine as expressed in Field Manual (FM) 100-20, Command and Employment of Air Power, and all subsequent USAF doctrinal manuals is often thought to be of British origin.
F. 17 48. 7 Tedder, 158-62, 209-10: Maj Gen George H. Brett to Gen Henry H. , Arnold Papers, box 41. “The British are in a very tight spot and unless somebody wakes up to the situation they’re sure as the mischief going to get caught. ” 8 Tedder, 156-58. 222-24; Brig Gen Robert Olds, Head, USMC Ferrying Command. Washington. , to Brig Gen Elmer E. S. Military North African Mission, Cairo, letter, 14 February 1942, Bolling AFB, Washington. , Microfilm A. 1748. 9 Roderic Owen, Tedder (London: Collins, 1952), 165-67; Tedder, 354-55.
7 One complicating factor may have been that the humiliation at Kasserine and the reorganization of the Allied air forces in Africa were so closely associated in time that an unwarranted assumption of cause and effect was made by many. Through the last three weeks in 32 December and in all of January in 1943, the 33d Fighter Group was suffering at Thelepte airfield, heavily engaged both on the ground and in the air. No sooner had the unit been deployed to the plain beneath the western dorsal range than the Luftwaffe began to contest the turf.