Spare Them the Fate of Warsaw! The Role of Coercive Airpower in the Capitulation of the Netherlands, May 1940
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB
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This study comprises a historical analysis of the use of coercive airpower by the Luftwaffe during the invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940. A weakness is much of the existing scholarship on the invasion and the bombing of Rotterdam specifically is that authors tend to present binary views on the role of airpower within this operation. On the one hand, there is the common view that the German forces overwhelmed the Dutch defenders and airpower played a supporting role, executing a strategy of denial. On the other hand, some historians view the bombing of Rotterdam as an example of a German strategy of punishment. This debate is indicative of a larger debate in the discourse on airpower theory, which is historically divided in a strategic school and a tactical school. Through his research, the author finds middle ground in both the discussion on the German use of airpower in May 1940, as well as in the theoretical debate.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Humanities and History