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Development of fighter aircraft technology and tactics in the Royal Air Force and US Army Air Force in the Western-European Theater of Operations during the Second World War (1939-1944)

Timothy Bronder

Abstract

In the Western-European theater of operations (WETO) in WWII the Allies achieved a number of important victories due to the combination of technical and tactical developments of their fighter aircraft. These victories (such as the Battle of Britain) or the aircraft which enabled them (like the Spitfire or P-51 Mustang) are well studied. Less-well covered, however, is exactly how the US Army Air Force (USAAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) developed and synthesized new technolgies and improved tactics, many of which came directly from combat experience. Thus, in the following work I intend to analyze the relation between technological and tactical development for British and American fighter planes in the WETO from 1939-1944, leading to a more complete understanding of the technical-tactical relationship in the case of these Allied air forces. For the USAAF and RAF, their doctrine played an important role in shaping the technical traits of these aircraft and their tactics. The RAF was characterized by a flexibility in the production and modification of their fighters, particularly the Spitfire. However, they intially fought with ill-suited fighter tactics. New tactics appeared in the course of the war among different squadrons, and were gradually adopted by the entire RAF. In spite of these developments, the RAF was eventually eclipsed by the USAAF in the WETO. In the USA, their doctrine limited the effectivness of their fighter fleet. However, they did have the opportunity to learn new tactics through the experiences of the RAF and later produced the best long-range aircraft, which ultimately achieved strategic victory.
Record ID
UAMc0693cbb9e3c46b080fac91d97eff0b3
Diploma type
Doctor of Philosophy
Author
Timothy Bronder Timothy Bronder,, Undefined Affiliation
Title in Polish
Rozwój technologiczny samolotów myśliwskich, a ich taktyka w Royal Air Force oraz US Army Air Force na zachodnioeuropejskim teatrze działań operacyjnych podczas II wojny światowej w latach 1939 – 1944
Title in English
Development of fighter aircraft technology and tactics in the Royal Air Force and US Army Air Force in the Western-European Theater of Operations during the Second World War (1939-1944)
Language
pol (pl) Polish
Certifying Unit
Faculty of History (FoH)
Discipline
history / (humanities) / (humanities)
Scientific discipline (2.0)
1.3 history
Status
Finished
Defense Date
10-06-2016
Title date
10-06-2016
Supervisor
URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10593/14696 Opening in a new tab
Keywords in English
World War II aviation, fighter aircraft tactics, aviation development, Royal Air Force, US Army Air Force
Abstract in English
In the Western-European theater of operations (WETO) in WWII the Allies achieved a number of important victories due to the combination of technical and tactical developments of their fighter aircraft. These victories (such as the Battle of Britain) or the aircraft which enabled them (like the Spitfire or P-51 Mustang) are well studied. Less-well covered, however, is exactly how the US Army Air Force (USAAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) developed and synthesized new technolgies and improved tactics, many of which came directly from combat experience. Thus, in the following work I intend to analyze the relation between technological and tactical development for British and American fighter planes in the WETO from 1939-1944, leading to a more complete understanding of the technical-tactical relationship in the case of these Allied air forces. For the USAAF and RAF, their doctrine played an important role in shaping the technical traits of these aircraft and their tactics. The RAF was characterized by a flexibility in the production and modification of their fighters, particularly the Spitfire. However, they intially fought with ill-suited fighter tactics. New tactics appeared in the course of the war among different squadrons, and were gradually adopted by the entire RAF. In spite of these developments, the RAF was eventually eclipsed by the USAAF in the WETO. In the USA, their doctrine limited the effectivness of their fighter fleet. However, they did have the opportunity to learn new tactics through the experiences of the RAF and later produced the best long-range aircraft, which ultimately achieved strategic victory.

Uniform Resource Identifier
https://researchportal.amu.edu.pl/info/phd/UAMc0693cbb9e3c46b080fac91d97eff0b3/
URN
urn:amu-prod:UAMc0693cbb9e3c46b080fac91d97eff0b3

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