Command of the Air [Giulio Douhet, Charles a. Gabriel] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Reprint of the translation by staff of the. The Italian General Giulio Douhet reigns as one of the twentieth century’s foremost strategic air power theorists. As such scholars as Raymond Flugel have . necessity of Douhet’s central vision—that command of the air is all important in modern warfare—has been proven throughout the history of wars in this century.

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The air force that could achieve command of the air by bombing the enemy air arm into extinction would doom its enemy to perpetual bombardment. Some of what he cpmmand today seems almost timeless, ‘principles’ perhaps of the employment of aircraft in war. The only defense was a good offense.

He was wrong on both fhe, as British experience in was to demonstrate. The last category was particularly important to Douhet, who believed in the principle of total war. Douhet wrote a report on the aviation lessons learned in which he suggested high altitude bombing should be the primary role of aircraft.

The British developed an early warning system linked with a command-and-control network that allowed their fighters to intercept bomber squadrons. As soon as one side lost command of the air it would capitulate rather than face the terrors of air attack. Douhet died in in RomeItaly.

The command of the air

Introduction ; The causes of the conflict ; The moral preparation ; The intellectual preparation ; The material preparation–France and Belgium ; The material preparation–Germany dohhet pt. This would unravel the social basis of resistance, and pressure citizens into asking their governments to surrender.

During that war aircraft operated for the first time in reconnaissance, transport, artillery spotting and even limited bombing roles. By transporting ourselves back to the s, past not only the Vietnam and Korean Wars, but nearly two decades before World War II, we become lf observers of the unfolding drama of airpower’s history.


Aircraft could fly over surface forces, relegating them to secondary importance.

Project MUSE – The Command of the Air

The following year, he published his masterwork, The Command of the Air. The Command of the Air remains a visionary conceptualisation of the potential power of massed strategic bombing. World War II would prove many of his predictions to be wrong, particularly on the vulnerability of public morale to bombing.

These would vary from situation to situation, but Douhet identified the five basic target types as: Possible copyright status The Library is unaware of any copyright restrictions for this item.

May Learn how and when to remove this template message. The three-dimensional vastness of the sky and the speed with which aircraft moved through it precluded effective anti-aircraft gunnery. Office of Air Force History. Contributor Library of the Marine Corps. The Material Preparation—France and Belgium pp. Because bombing would be so terrible, Douhet believed that wars would be short.

The Evolution Of Airpower Theory. However, subsequent conflicts would largely discredit Douhet’s theory. By smothering the enemy’s civilian centers with bombs, Douhet argued the war would become so terrible that the common people would rise against their government, overthrow it with revolution, then sue for peace.

There are no reviews yet. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. A decisive victory here would hasten the end of the war.

The Command of the Air | work by Douhet |

The Material Preparation—Germany pp. Command of the air meant victory.

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Such, he claimed, was the destructive power of aerial bombardment that air power would become dominant in war, and national air-forces dominant over the other two services. Douhet was a terrible prophet, but a false one. Knowing that transpired after Xouhet wrote, we can test our understanding, find the assumptions and conclusions of Douhet that proved false, and read with wonder those that proved true.


In fact, he may never have learnt to fly. Douhet’s theories about forcing the population to start a revolution, when subjected to practical application, were shown to be ineffective.

On the contrary, the dounet will be limited only by the boundaries of the nations at war, and all of their citizens will become combatants, since all of them will be exposed to the aerial offensives of the enemy. Airpower theories, a key proponent of strategic bombing. Retrieved from ” https: Worldcat source edition The probable aspects of the war of the future — Book three.

Giulio Douhet

Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. In many cases, he had hugely exaggerated the effects of bombing.

The war of Douhet continued to write about air power from his cell, finishing a novel on air power and proposing a massive Allied fleet of aircraft in communications to ministers. Coward-McCann, Includes bibliographical references Book one.

Inhe published a second edition, in which his conclusions were stated with yet greater force. Kohn, Book Published by: Outside Italy, Douhet’s reception was mixed.