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Flight Plan Africa: Portuguese Airpower in Counterinsurgency, 1961-1974 (Wolverhampton Military Studies)

Flight Plan Africa: Portuguese Airpower in Counterinsurgency, 1961-1974 (Wolverhampton Military Studies)
Autor: John P. Cann
Data publikacji: 2014-06
ISBN: 9781909982062
Wydawca: HELION & COMPANY
Język: angielski
Oprawa: miękka
Liczba stron: 296
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Opis produktu:

Following the 1952 reorganization of the Portuguese Air Force from the army and naval air arms, Portugal now had an entity dedicated solely to aviation that would bring it into line with its new NATO commitment. As it proceeded to develop a competence in modern multi-engine and jet fighter aircraft for its NATO role and train a professional corps of pilots, it was suddenly confronted in 1961 with fighting insurgencies in all three of its African possessions. This development forced it to acquire an entirely new and separate air force, the African air force, to address this emerging danger. This is the story of just how Portuguese leadership anticipated and dealt with this threat, and how it assembled an air force from scratch to meet it. The aircraft available at the time were largely castoffs from the larger, richer, and more sophisticated air forces of its NATO partners and not designed for counterinsurgency. Yet Portugal adapted them to the task and effectively crafted the appropriate strategies and tactics for their successful employment. The book explores the vicissitudes of procurement, an exercise fraught with anti-colonial political undercurrents, the imaginative modification and adaptation of the aircraft to fight in the African theaters, and the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures for their effective employment against an elusive, clever, and dangerous enemy. Advances in weaponry, such as the helicopter gunship, were the outgrowth of combat needs. The acquired logistic competences assured that the needed fuel types and lubricants, spare parts, and qualified maintenance personnel were available in even the most remote African landing sites. The advanced flying skills, such as visual reconnaissance and air-ground coordinated fire support, were honed and perfected. All of these aspects and more are explored and hold lessons in the application of airpower in any insurgency today.

 

 

About the Author

John P. Cann is a Research Fellow at Marine Corps University, a Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Virginia, an adjunct research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and a retired professor at the Marine Corps University. He earned his doctorate in War Studies at King's College London in 1996, published Counterinsurgency in Africa in 1997 (revised 2012), Memories of Portugal's African Wars, 1961-1975 (ed.) in 1998, The Brown Waters of Africa in 2008 (revised 2013), The Flechas in 2013, and numerous articles on small wars over the years. He is a retired naval captain and flight officer specializing in open ocean reconnaissance aviation and served in a variety of aviation assignments, including command. He has been awarded the Portuguese Navy Cross Medal and the Medal of Dom Afonso Henriques for his writings on conflict in Lusophone Africa.

 



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