German Artillery at War 1939-1945 Vol.1 (Concord 7059) by Frank V. De Sisto

By Frank V. De Sisto

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Not indeed 7,000 aircraft, not even 4,000, but still 897 "bombcarriers", and about the same number of long and shortrange fighters and reconnaissance machines. It is also true that the crews were well acquainted with their targets, of which they carried remarkably detailed maps. But the great blow was never launched not, at least, at the appointed hour early in the morning of September 1st. It was stifled by fog. In it one could see the pattern the war was to follow. For months the great operation had been planned ahead.

Jeschonnek knew weU that if victory could not be gained by force of numbers, only planning and tactics could make up the deficiency. In other words the available strength should not be scattered, with a Gruppe here and a squadron there (which was precisely what was happening at the mo- BLITZKRIEG ON POLAND 17 ment). The Luftwaffe's main point of effort must be defined and its strength concentrated, if not against a single target, then against a definite group of similar targets. After much discussion the command staff had drawn up an order of precedence for Luftwaffe operations.

Was ground visibility sufläcient? Could the enemy be pin-pointed from the air? What type of aircraft was best suited for the attack: bomb- dive-bombers or "battle-planes"? Such were the questions they could decide. ers, But on the morning of September system was not were picked at random. Stukas of I/StG 76 under Captain Walther Sigel went off early to attack the Wielun defences; a Gruppe of yet in operation. The 1st this "battle-planes' " targets StG 77 was sent by 2nd Air Division against the line of emplacements at Lublinitz 23.

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