Author Topic: A new AFC is formed as part of the 2nd AIF in WWII  (Read 1667 times)

Offline Volkodav

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A new AFC is formed as part of the 2nd AIF in WWII
« on: May 22, 2015, 11:16:48 PM »
In WWII the 2nd AIF was raised to send troops to support Britain as had been done in WWI.  The Militia, which had taken on the identities of the 1st AIF was, initially, restricted to operations within Australia and its territories, what if the RAAF faced the same restrictions?  New air elements would have to be formed specifically to support the 2nd AIF and the RAN while the existing RAAF was restricted to Australia.

There were RAAF units formed under RAF control but my thinking here is the existing squadrons would be restricted to operations in and around Australia with the airpower requirements of the 2nd AIF being met by new Aviation Regiments of the newly formed Army Air Corps, with one regiment being numbered and assigned to each division, in the same fashion as the Cavalry Regiments were, i.e. 6th Aviation Regiment to the 6th Division, 7th Aviation to the 7th Division and so on.  At the same time the RAN FAA could have been formed, initially to provide ships flights, training and logistics, but later stretching into carrier operations.

The Aviation Regiments would have comprised of a number of squadrons, including fighter, attack (perhaps dive bombing), reconnaissance, liaison and transport, maybe even a medium bomber capability.  This would have worked out quite well as the structure could have been duplicated for the Militia divisions, while the RAAF could have concentrated on continental defence, not only air defence, but also anti shipping strike, general reconnaissance as well as more traditio9nal bombing.

I actually like the idea of the 2nd AIFs Divisions becoming more combined arms in nature, Cavalry and Aviation Regiments, but also replacing one of their Infantry Brigades with an Armoured Brigade.  The idea I am toying with is they become more rounded and flexible like a Panzer Grenadier Division, or a modern USMC Marine Expeditionary Force (but not specifically amphibious).

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Re: A new AFC is formed as part of the 2nd AIF in WWII
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 02:54:47 AM »
Not sure if this matches your thinking or not, but there were many new RAAF units established in the war that were essentially confined to Australia and/or its immediate surrounds.  Many of these were primarily focussed upon close support of the ground forces and/or anti-shipping.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: A new AFC is formed as part of the 2nd AIF in WWII
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 12:18:04 AM »
Sort of, I suppose I am heading down the same rabbit hole as my Antipodean Armour Fest, multiple independent, or at least semi independent airforces covering many different bases.  The RAAF proper would be a continental air arm, perhaps even the premier service in DOA (Defence Of Australia), while the AIF would have its own organic airpower much as the USMC does, as would the RAN with its own FAA, as well as the real world RAAF 400 series Article XV squadrons serving, initially, with the RAF.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: A new AFC is formed as part of the 2nd AIF in WWII
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2015, 08:13:17 AM »
Excuse my very imprecise knowledge of the Australian armed forces between the wars but, I think, your big problem will come from the Army still being primarily a militia-based force, with a small number of professionals training a much larger group of amateurs, while the RAAF & RAN were principally professional services, with (relatively) large cadres of professionals training small numbers of reservists. Politically, there is also the residual angst between the RAAF & Army after the creation of the new service.

If you can find a way of getting the Army to retain some small, semi-professional Air Corps capability between the wars, I think you'd have a better chance of creating a 2nd AFC for overseas conflict without it being a RAAF entity.

To do that you'd probably need some kind of acknowledgement of the difference between ground support (CAS), tactical (front line) air defence, strategic air defence & strategic strike/bombing roles in 1919, whan the AFC was disbanded, or 1921, when the RAAF was formed.

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: A new AFC is formed as part of the 2nd AIF in WWII
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2015, 11:06:07 AM »
Interestingly Blamey was instrumental in the creation of a separate air force in the years following the First World War, it was latter the government attempted to disband the RAAF but fortunately failed.

My thinking is that some of the massive expansion of the RAAF in WWII goes to the Army instead, to form a tactical element, specifically supporting the expeditionary AIF, leaving the RAAF to defend Australia and reinforce the RAF.