Fueling the Fires of Resistance: Army Air Forces Special Operations in the Balkans during World War II
AIR FORCE HISTORY SUPPORT OFFICE BOLLING AFB DC
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Of all the Army Air Forces many operations in the Second World War, none was more demanding or important than those supporting the activity of resistance groups fighting the Axis powers. The special operations supporting the Yugoslavian partisans fighting the forces of Nazism in the Balkans required particular dedication and expertise. Balkan flying conditions demanded the best of flying skills, and the tenacious German defenses in that troubled region complicated this challenge even further. In this study, Professor William Leary examines what might fairly be considered one of the most important early experiences in the history of Air Force special operations. It is ironic that, 50 years after these activities, the Air Force today is heavily involved in Balkan operations, including night air drops of supplies. But this time, the supplies are for humanitarian relief, not war. The airlifters committed to relieving misery in that part of the world follow in the wake of their predecessors who, 50 years ago, flew the night skies with courage and skill to help bring an end to Nazi tyranny.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics