Forward Air Controllers?

German Luftwaffe 1935-1945.
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Doktor Krollspell
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:16 am

Thank you Gentlemen, for an interesting thread. I've definitely learned a thing or two about Flivo's and FAC's and it's always a good day when you learn something new!

I have quite a lot of good days on the Feldgrau Forum :D :D :D

With best regards,

"Wie es eigentlich gewesen ist"
Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886)

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Post by PaulJ » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:47 pm

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 ... 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.")
Paul Johnston
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Re: Forward Air Controllers?

Post by tigre » Sun Jul 11, 2021 6:42 pm

Hello to all :D; As a result of some photos, I decided to delve into this topic .............

Close Air Support.

The Stuka was tested in very small quantities in Spain before being used successfully during the German Blitzkrieg in Poland, the Netherlands and France. However, communication between army units and air units was difficult and the process was slow, too slow. The Fliegerverbindungsoffiziere or Flivos (air liaison officer - at the army unit level) and Nahkampffuhrer (close air support officer - within the air corps) were progressively introduced to improve communication between air and ground units from the beginning and progress was made in that area as lessons were learned from campaign to campaign.

During operations on the eastern front the system reached maximum efficiency (for its time): experienced Stuka pilots (acting as Flivos) advanced with the German armored spearhead in specially adapted armored vehicles. This provided continuous and effective air assistance (almost - my note) in real time in a mobile environment (and fluid - my note). Before Barbarossa, other arrangements were made in the organization and particularly the Fliegerkorps II and the Fliegerkorps VIII were responsible for fulfilling the close air support missions.

Sources: Case Studies in the Development of Close Air Support. Editado por Benjamin Franklin Cooling (III). ... r-support/
4347 ILLUSTRIERTER BEOBACHTER WWII No. 47-1943 - November 25

Can someone contribute something with more about it? Cheers. Raúl M 8).
The Fliegerverbindungsoffizier or Flivo...................................................
image064.jpg (32.54 KiB) Viewed 97 times
The Flivo with the armored spearhead on a Sd Kfz 253 (I think).......................
image055.jpg (29.61 KiB) Viewed 97 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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