In Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 14, p. 8, the question of putting up a
defense against attacking enemy aircraft indicated how the use of every weapon
capable of pointing skywards was found to be the best means of meeting such attacks.
According to a translated German document, reprinted below, emphasis is
placed on the heavy losses occasioned in men and materiel by fire on low-flying
aircraft by infantry weapons, including the rifle. The translated document reads
* * *
Attacks by low-flying hostile aircraft have repeatedly caused serious losses. Despite
this, units often fail to take advantage of the opportunity to destroy hostile
aircraft. Lack of a defense of any kind often facilitates the enemy's accomplishing
Yet it has been proved that heavy losses in men and material are caused by fire from
infantry weapons. Aircraft are very fragile and are grounded for a considerable
time by hits in the motor, fuel tank, magazine, wiring etc. A considerable defensive
effect is already accomplished when the pilot is impeded in directing his fire, or
when his aircraft is damaged.
Hostile pursuit bombers frequently approach in low flight and start to gain
altitude only shortly before their attack. Therefore, they cannot be picked
up by our air raid warning sentries early enough to permit our own fighters
to arrive on time. The fire of all available weapons, including
the rifle, is at that time and in these cases, the most effective
How is the attack by low-flying aircraft repulsed?
The coordinated fire of all weapons not being employed in the ground fight
offers the greatest possibility of defense.
Officers of all grades are responsible for the immediate and energetic
defense against attack by low-flying aircraft. They are the first to open
fire on the flying target. Antiaircraft fire is best opened with a salvo. The defense
is continued with rapid rifle fire. The attacking aircraft is thus met by a hail of steel.
No aircraft is invulnerable! Therefore, here, also, attack is the best defense.
Rifle fire directed at aircraft flying above 2,000 feet is not effective and
only serves to reveal your own position to the enemy.
Every soldier - no matter what arm of the service - must be indoctrinated with
the firm will to shoot the attacker out of the sky.