Academic journal article Military Review

The Mediterranean Air War: Airpower and Allied Victory in World War II

Academic journal article Military Review

The Mediterranean Air War: Airpower and Allied Victory in World War II

Article excerpt

THE MEDITERRANEAN AIR WAR: Airpower and Allied Victory in World War II Robert S. Ehlers Jr., University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 2015, 536 pages

The Mediterranean Air War examines the impact of the air war in the Mediterranean theater and its effects on the larger war effort. Robert Ehlers presents both the Allied and Axis sides of the equation. The author examines not only the military aspects of the air war but also the political aspects, as well as the critical natural resources and the interplay between the military and civilian leadership. He covers the theater from the prewar strategic situation through the shaping of the air campaign that ultimately led to the Axis defeat in the Mediterranean and beyond.

The book opens with an assessment of the prewar Mediterranean theater. This assessment emphasizes the ways in which strategic choices, strengths, and weaknesses set the theater and shaped the air campaigns that centered on the Mediterranean Sea. Starting with the invasion of Abyssinia by Italy, the developing international crisis is examined--at first between Britain and Italy, and, finally, involving France, Vichy France, Germany, the United States, Greece, and the Balkan countries.

The Mediterranean air war is examined in detail, with an in-depth analysis of the turning points, joint and combined operations, and the air campaign's impact on the larger Allied war effort--not only in the Mediterranean theater but also on the Eastern Front, in France, and in the Middle East. …

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