By Mike Garbett
Army aviation. a great softcover reproduction. mild put on. Sunned backbone. Tight binding. fresh, unmarked pages. now not ex-library. Shipped Weight: below 1 kilogram. class: Aviation; ISBN: 0668021179. ISBN/EAN: 9780668021173. stock No: 013149.
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On 19 July 1916, within the northern French village of Fromelles, Australia suffered its worst-ever army defeat while a British officer ordered 15,000 of our greatest and bravest to move 'over the top' and assault the German strains. 8 hours later, greater than 5500 Diggers lay useless or wounded: the an identical of all Australian casualties from the Boer, Korean and Vietnam wars mixed.
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Army officers, normally conservative by nature, tend to distrust radical innovation, and efforts to reform any large bureaucratic institution often meet with failure anyway. In nineteenth-century Spain, the constant political turmoil, frequent civil wars, and deep involvement of leading officers in politics made it especially difficult to affect significant changes. Furthermore, to affirm that counterinsurgency merits as much attention as traditional strategy and tactics is to acknowledge something about the basic identity and purpose of an army that many military leaders are not willing to concede.
Part of the problem stemmed from the nature of Spanish military culture then, which emphasized personal bravery to an absurd degree while discounting the guerrilla tactics used by Carlists as cowardly. Such arguments help drown out those officers who advocated serious, rational study of Spanish campaigns from the recent past, thereby hindering doctrinal development. 28 At first, the infantry showed itself completely unprepared for the enemy’s guerrilla tactics, and in some cases it took only forty or fifty Moroccans to tie down an entire Spanish battalion.
36 In any case, it was the infantry that played the most important role in deciding battles. Once again, infantry officers began a new war with doctrine and an institutional culture in general more apt for regular European warfare than fighting guerrillas in mountainous terrain. As they soon discovered, the traditional European tactics that their leaders had emphasized were simply not possible given the conditions, a state of affairs from which they ironically benefited in at least one way. During the second half of the nineteenth century, defensive firepower increased tremendously, as the American Civil War had already made clear.
Avro Lancaster in units service by Mike Garbett