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PostSubject: Air interdiction   Air interdiction I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 08, 2011 6:56 pm

Air interdiction is a core airpower mission that has been conducted since World War I by virtually all air forces. In that war, the goal was to isolate the battlefield by strafing and bombing enemy supply lines. Favorite targets were railroad lines, bridges, and truck convoys. Due to the primitive state of aircraft and weapons technology, as well as the undeveloped nature of air doctrine and tactics, air interdiction missions in World War I were of limited utility.
The potential of air interdiction was clearly[citation needed] recognized, however, and during World War II it once again became a major mission of air forces. Although air interdiction operations were conducted in all theaters, the most extensive and thoroughly analyzed were those of the United States and United Kingdom against the Axis. Specifically, the Allies launched major air interdiction efforts in the North African, Italian, and Normandy campaigns. The venues for these three campaigns were markedly different in terms of weather, terrain, the enemy’s supply and transportation infrastructure, and the availability of intelligence regarding the enemy. As a consequence of these differences, the results of air interdiction also varied. The greatest success was in the desert terrain of North Africa, where Axis forces also relied heavily on vulnerable and visible sea convoys across the Mediterranean Sea. The Italian campaign, by contrast, was characterized by mountainous terrain, poor weather conditions, and shortened German supply lines. The diverse results of these two campaigns taught air planners differing lessons.

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