If Strike Witches was closer to real world history
Liberion would have such a fucked up military. I mean seriously, the Air Force only became a separate service after World War II and only after General Billy Mitchell argued, based on experiences in the Pacific theatre, that aircraft could sink a battleship on their own, thus earning him the wrath of the Navy. To this day, there would be two separate corps of Strike Witches competing with each other, one in the Air Force and one in the Navy, and they would have competing weapons development programs in some kind of redheaded stepchild-like sibling rivalry. The only way I could see it changing is if the Air Force never split from the Army and the military cooperated a lot more closely. I mean, there’s no need for a CATOBAR system for the striker units since they’re turboprops and don’t seem to have trouble landing on aircraft carriers or even battleships. Therefore, the argument that Air Force pilots can’t land on carriers wouldn’t exist (they can).
Now, if that’s the way the problem is solved, great, but as development into jet strikers continues, the Air Force would end up being forced to use the equivalent of the Navy’s F-4E Phantom II, which was a pretty heavy plane by the standards of the time. If we assume that the Neuroi also continue to evolve over time to develop jet-propelled units, the changes in tactics might evolve in a similar fashion to the real world. Dogfights become difficult and dangerous, so countries start investing in beyond-visual-range missiles which become problematic because they’re unreliable, which forces scientists to design striker units more suited to dogfighting.
Since the Witches are more or less the most effective way to take down Neuroi I could see them being pretty dominant in the Air Force and I have little doubt that they would drive strategic thinking. I could foresee it developing into a “Witch Mafia” situation mirroring the Fighter Mafia that only really ended when Secretary Gates replaced the previous Chief of Staff of the Air Force with General Norton Schwartz, a non-fighter pilot. This is a rich drama mine for conflict within the military, but unfortunately I think the whole interservice rivalry thing is most pronounced in the US military, so it would only really apply to Liberion characters/stories.
I would be interested in hearing from other countries about their militaries during World War II and the Cold War for insights into how these rivalries would play out. Certainly the Fuso military seems to have its shit together, although because the timeline changed so drastically, there’s plenty of license to alter the details. For example, I heard that during the real life WWII the Imperial Japanese Navy had a bitter feud with the Army and would write after-action reports in such a way as to make them look bad.