- USAF Academy Department of History
Luftwaffe Airlift in the Tunisian Bridgehead: Expeditionary Lessons for a Transformation Age
by Paul E. Bauman
In an age where Department of Defense policy calls for a lighter, leaner US military, the German experience in North Africa during World War II provides an interesting case study. American military transformation aims to make the US armed forces more capable of rapid, global expeditionary operations. The goals and timelines associated with US military policy make the use of airlift for shaping, deployment, employment, and redeployment for expeditionary operations absolutely essential. In short, US strategy has become dependent on the expeditionary capabilities of its military, which are in turn reliant on the speed and reach of air lines-of-communication. By studying German operations in Tunisia from November 1942 to May 1943, American strategists can gain valuable insights into the nexus between strategy and expeditionary operations conducted over strategic distances.