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Old 19th July 2008, 08:13
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: Book on French AF 1939-40?

Originally Posted by Nick Beale View Post
Did they have much in the way of early warning and command/control, i.e. the infrastructure of a modern air-defence system?
Yes they did, but nothing comparable to RAF Fighter Command's advanced system for home defence based upon RDF. So, along with most other air forces of that period, they relied on forward observation posts, radio intercepts, AA target marking, standing patrols, and ground-control by radio etc. It was a thoroughly workable system for the time but other better-informed members of this forum will be able to advise you further I'm sure.

Alex, for a 'less simplistic' account and details of all losses suffered by each air force involved you will, I believe, find answers to most of your questions in my own The Battle of France Then & Now published by After The Battle earlier this year. Grozibou's first paragraph above encapsulates nicely the main reasons behind the appalling collapse of the Allied armies in France in 1940. When the German offensive opened on May 10, 1940, they were simply unable to counter or contain German Blitzkrieg methods of rapid mobile warfare backed as it was by an audacious, decisive, and staggeringly effective strategy.

Last edited by Peter Cornwell; 19th July 2008 at 08:46.