AvStop Magazine Online
Section III. COUNTERATTACK IN THE AIR
Theoretically, the defender's best method of defense against air landings is the employment of air forces to attack the enemy while he is still approaching and to annihilate him or force him to turn back. In 1944-45 during the Western campaign, it was a foregone conclusion that victories were out of the question in view of the hopeless inferiority of the Luftwaffe. To repeat, mastery of the air by the attacking air force will always be the prerequisite for successful airborne operations. The attacker endeavors, by means of bombing attacks, to destroy the defender's air forces on the ground and to protect the approach flight with superior numbers of escort fighters. If the attacker is unable to accomplish this, he will of necessity abandon the idea of an airborne operation altogether.
Only in exceptional cases and under particularly favorable conditions will it be possible for the defender to launch an air attack against approaching air formations with any chance of success.