Anti-Aircraft Artillery in Combat, 1950–1972 (ePub)
Air Defence in the Jet Age
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Anti-aircraft artillery was extensively used in combat in the First World War, though such weapons had made their debut in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, when the besieged French used balloons for observation and communication and the Prussians used the first custom built 1-pounder gun to try and shoot them down.
It was, however, not until the Second World War that anti-aircraft artillery came into prominence, shooting down more aircraft than any other weapon and seriously degrading the conduct of air operations. In the battle between the attackers and anti-aircraft artillery, the latter had the upper hand when the war ended.
The post-war years saw a decline in anti-aircraft artillery as peace prevailed, and the advent of the jet aircraft seemed to tilt the balance in favour of the aircraft as they flew faster and higher, seemingly beyond the reach of anti-aircraft artillery. It would take all the hi-tech equipment and the guile and cunning that anti-aircraft artillery could muster to try and reclaim pole position. It is that story, of the tug of war between the aircraft and artillery, that forms the narrative of this book – as it traces the history of combat employment of anti-aircraft artillery from the Korean War, in effect the first Jet Age war, to the War of Attrition between Arab states and Israel when the missiles came of age, sending the aircraft scurrying for cover.
Anti-Aircraft Artillery in Combat, 1950–1972 is the first attempt to look at the combat performance of ground-based air defences, incorporating the views, analyses and experiences of Soviet, Arab and South Asian Armies. The book looks at the major wars between 1950 and 1972, including the Korean War, Vietnam War, the wars in South Asia in 1965 and 1971, and conflicts in the Middle East, such as the Six Day War.