Lorenz wrote:Like you, PaulJ, I'm not trying to nit-pick here, and this is getting a little off-topic, so I will bring my participation in this thread to a close.
Don't quit now, its just getting interesting!
The modern definition of CAS (NATO) can be found at
http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/doddic ... 00264.html
"Air action against hostile targets which are in close proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces."
ie, the key point is not that it is air support for a land campaign, but that it is against targets right at the front, so close to friendly forces that "detailed integration" is required.
Air strikes against targets far enough to the enemy rear that fratricide is not as much of a concern, is known as "Air Interdiction" or AI, which includes air attacks up to the full depth of the enemy rear, including strategic attack.
Until recently, NATO doctrine included an intermediate category between CAS (right in contact at the front) and AI (deep attacks), which it called "BAI" (Battlefield Air Interdiction). BAI was attack against targets behind the enemy front (so it was not CAS), but still of a tactical nature, for instance enemy corps level reserves, supply lines in the battle area, or movement choke points in the battle area.
Now ... back to WWII -- British doctrine of the time identified two categories of air support, what they called:
- Direct Support; and
- Indirect Support.
Direct Support was all attacks against enemy ground forces in the general battle area, be they right at the front, or in the depth up to, say, Army level rear area. It was, in essence, a combination of both CAS and BAI.
As I said earlier in this thread, my area of expertise is Anglo-American tactical air power, not German, so anyone with better knowledge, correct me if I am wrong please, but my impression of Luftwaffe tactical air support is that they, like the British, practiced not just CAS but also (and perhaps more so) what NATO used to call "BAI".
This is why I object to the use of the term "CAS" to describe all Second World War tactical air support generally.
(Somehow, writing that last line I suddenly hear in my head the lines from Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance", when the Major General says "I object to pirates as sons in law," and they reply, "We object to major generals as fathers in law.")