AvStop Magazine Online
Section III. ADVANTAGES OF AIRBORNE OPERATIONS
Despite the cost in men and materiel, airborne operations offer
such outstanding advantages that no future belligerent with the
necessary means at his disposal can be expected to forego using
this combat method. The following are the main advantages:
1.The airborne operation makes it possible for the attacker to carry out a vertical envelopment or to outflank front lines or lines with protected flanks; it also enables him to surmount terrain obstacles which interfere with the movements of ground troops, such as wide rivers, channels, mountains, and deserts.
2.The airborne operation can be launched from the depth of the attacker's zone. It develops with extraordinary speed and offers remarkable opportunities for surprise attacks, with regard to time and place, and thus forestalls any countermeasures by the enemy.
3.The psychological effect of vertical envelopment is considerably greater than that produced by horizontal envelopment. It can affect the enemy command and troops solely by reason of its menace-the uncertainty of when and where an air landing might take place. The consequent effect on the population of the country, either positive or negative as the case may be, should also not be underestimated.