Author Topic: Alternate RAF evolution  (Read 231 times)

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Alternate RAF evolution
« on: May 18, 2020, 08:42:06 PM »
We've had scenarios of separate Fleet Air Arms earlier, separate army air corps, no RAF at all etc. which sort of makes sense as the RAF has a history of delusion, i.e. the bomber will always get through, strategic bombing will destroy the enemy populations will to fight and result in the over throw of their government, air power can win wars alone, you can buy a thousand bombers for the cost of one battleship, bombers will sweep the seas of battleships.  This has traditionally led to some air forces at times (or even most of the time) ignoring joint operations and the needs of the other services.  In fact there is a rough pattern or cycle in which air forces seem to become more delusional the greater the time since the last major conflict, they become convinced that bombing / strategic strike is paramount and everything else is secondary or even expendable if money is limited.

In a way this is odd as the theorists who came up with this garbage were mostly ex army officers who cut their teeth employing tactical airpower in support of ground and sea forces, who were serving in an organisation that was specifically created because of a Royal Commission into the ineffectiveness of air defence of London in late WWI.  In every conflict tactical airpower has been critical and strategic airpower, if required at all, secondary.  Even when air forces get their way and concentrate on bombers and bombing, when the shooting starts, they pivot back to tactical very, very, quickly.  Believe it or not even Bomber Harris was an advocate of tactical airpower employed in joint operations with motorised forces during the 20s, this was when he was given operational control over the land forces concerned, but the second it was suggested an Army officer could have tactical command of theatre air power he was straight back on the bomber is supreme band wagon, i.e. joint is only considered when the RAF is in charge, or the inconvenient truth of the needs of a shooting war dictate otherwise.

Now my scenario:

Following the success of joint operations in suppressing uprisings in the empire post WWI, and the antipathy of old army to new technology such as tanks, mechanisation, motorisation, etc. it is decided to combine the RAF with the RAC as well as forming mechanised and motorised support forces.  The success of this grouping leads to an experimental airborne military capability, designed to form "Airheads" which the mechanised force will then punch through and rush to join up with.  Tactical airpower becomes key and to achieve high rank within the new Royal Mechanised Force (covering the fact that aircraft are machines), an officer must have qualified as a pilot, a tank or armoured car commander and a paratrooper.

So successful is this new arrangement that by the early 30s it is decided that the semi separate FAA should become an integral part of the RMF and should have full operational command over the RNs aircraft carriers, i.e. all carrier captains should be pilots.  Further to this, the Royal Marines are transferred to this new super service and begin developing amphibious warfare concepts, using new mechanised solutions to the conduct of assaults from the sea, again, fully integrated with airpower.

Basically the scenario is, instead of splitting the RAF and trying to limit it, give them responsibility for all the new, non traditional, difficult stuff. Give them actual missions and make them so busy doing real soldiering and sailing that they don't have time to invent alternate realities where airpower alone wins the day. Force them to sort out the nitty gritty joint operations, instead of just relying on them to provide capability they have no interest in because they don't control it..
Anyway after