posted on Jul, 9 2003 @ 12:43 AM
Estragon, acutally the Ju 52 started changing views of air power back in the Spanish Civil War. The Germans sent a group of Ju 52's modified to be
bombers to Spain at the start of the Spanish Civil War. However, before they performed any bombing missions, the Ju 52's were used to airlift 7,350
troops from Morocco to Seville in 461 flights beginning July 20, 1936 right over the heads of the Spanish Republican Navy. The flights also carried
field guns, machine guns and other equipment. A further 5,455 troops were airlifted in 324 flights during September 1936, and an additional 1,157
troops were ferried in 83 flights in early October. The flights then terminated since the Republican Navy no longer poised a threat. Hitler stated
that, "Franco ought to erect a monument to the glory of the Ju 52. It is this aircraft that the Spanish Revolution has to thank for its victory".
That remark might of been somewhat of an over statement, but no historian has ever argued the fact that the additional troops from Morroco aided
Franco in the consolidation of his position. As far as I know, this was the first ever major military air lift. There must have been a collective
slapping of heads through out the air ministries of the world with a collective chorus "Of course, if you have transport planes, you can fly the
troops there, you don't necessarily need ships." After this feat of the Ju 52 in Spain, there were no doubters as to value of transport aircraft in
a country's avaition arsenal.