Initiative in Soviet Air Force tactics and decision making
Johnson, Jeffrey S.
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This thesis discusses the evolution of individual initiative in fighter tactics of the Soviet Air Force. World War II forced pilots to break from restrictive tactics and to develop and use initiative in combat. By war's end, Soviet fighters' initiative greatly resembled western fighters'. However, since WWII technology and doctrine led to an increase in control measures and a decline in initiative . Despite this, veterans of combat have consistently spoken out for realistic training and the freedom for fighter initiative. As a result, emphasis on initiative rose in the late 1970's. But current Soviet pilots do not come close to having the initiative of WWII fighters and the recent emphasis on initiative may be short-lived. Current technology gives the Soviet Air Force the choice of developing or extinguishing initiative among their fighters. History suggests that without a threat to their survival the choice against initiative will be made.
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