In 1941 New Zealand troops on Crete were minced up by German forces backed by air supremacy. Thereafter in the second world war Labour Prime Minister Peter Fraser insisted the army would not fight without air cover.
He woke up a bit late. Two decades earlier Labour’s hero of the left, John A Lee, who lost an arm in the first world war, had argued the same point. Cannon fodder in Lee’s war, our troops met the same fate initially in Fraser’s war after defence spending was heavily cut in the 1930s.