Giulio Douhet, The Command of The Air (/). Credit to Nicholas Morrow. Giulio Douhet, an Italian army officer who never learnt to fly. 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 .
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Except for a few months as the head of aviation in Mussolini’s government inDouhet spent much of the rest of his life theorizing about the impact of military air power.
In other projects Wikimedia Commons. The Material Preparation—France and Belgium pp. The same year he completed a hugely influential treatise on strategic bombing titled The Command of the Air Il dominio dell’aria and retired from military service soon after. Operations of June 17 pp. The last category was particularly important to Douhet, who believed in the principle of total war.
These would vary from situation to situation, but Douhet identified the five basic target types as: He was wrong on both counts, as British experience in was to demonstrate. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. 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.
His whole conception of air war rests on the assumption that the bomber will always get through, and that the damage it can then do will crush the resistance. Neither anti-aircraft guns nor fighter aircraft could provide effective defence, and resources devoted to them drained strength from the decisive arm: Nonetheless, even a false prophet often preaches partial truth.
He harboured an apocalyptic vision of the war to come: Armies became superfluous because aircraft could overfly them and attack these centers of the government, military and industry with impunity, a principle later called ” The bomber will always get through “.
The Command of the Air
But his theories would be unproven and therefore unchallenged for another 20 years. The Material Preparation—Germany pp. The Command of The Air p.
In “Rivista Aeuronautica” in Julyhe wrote that he believed that tons of bombs over the most important cities would end a war in less than a month. Editors’ Introduction Download Save. The following year, he published his masterwork, The Command of the Air. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. In his second edition of The Command of the Air he maintained such aviation was “useless, superfluous and harmful”.
On the contrary, the battlefield 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.
He teamed up with the young aircraft engineer Gianni Caproni to extol the virtues of air power in the years ahead.
First would come explosions, then fires, then deadly gases floating on the surface and preventing any approach to the stricken area. Instead, a million ordinary Londoners, mobilised in a plethora of volunteer roles, kept the city alive and breathing.
Project MUSE – The Command of the Air
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. Douhet wrote a report on the aviation lessons learned in which he suggested high altitude bombing should be the primary role of aircraft. In his book Douhet argued that air power was revolutionary because it operated in the third dimension. Because bombing would be so terrible, Douhet believed that wars would be short.
The Command of the Air remains a visionary conceptualisation of the potential power of massed strategic bombing. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
This emphasis on the strategic offensive would blind Douhet commmand the possibilities of air defense or tactical support of armies.
Giulio Douhet – Wikipedia
The logic of this model is that exposing large portions of civilian populations to the terror of destruction or the shortage of consumer goods would damage civilian morale into submission. Fighters had the problem of getting aloft and finding their enemy before damage could be done.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. What defence was possible against the destruction of cities by aerial bombing?
Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Outside Italy, Douhet’s reception was mixed. Additionally, the numbers of guns needed to cover every potential target made this form of defence enormously expensive. Attacks would not require great accuracy.
The Intellectual Preparation pp. A supporter of Mussolini, Douhet was appointed commissioner of aviation when the Fascists assumed power but he soon gave up this bureaucrat’s job to continue writing, which he did up to his death from a heart attack in The Organization of Aerial Warfare pp.
The three-dimensional vastness of the sky and the speed with which aircraft moved through it precluded effective anti-aircraft gunnery. Navies were restricted to the sea and slowed by the heavy medium of water. Targeting was central to this strategy and he believed that air commanders would prove themselves by their choice of targets.