Command of the Air [Giulio Douhet, Charles a. Gabriel] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Reprint of the translation by staff of the. The Command of the Air is the greatest military treatise on air war ever written – a dogmatic manifesto promising victory through strategic. Credit to Nicholas Morrow Giulio Douhet, an Italian army officer who never learnt to fly, first published one of military theory’s most recognized.
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What defence was possible against the destruction of cities by aerial bombing? In that fact lies essentially the whole game of war tactics and strategy. This state of affairs arose from the fact that it was impossible to invade the enemy’s territory without first breaking through his defensive lines.
From that day to this I have done my level best to call attention to e igog. Dissertation, University of Oklahoma, On the basis of the approximate calculation I personally made, the diame- ter of Treviso at its widest periphery being about 1 kilometer, it would take 4 squadrons of 10 planes each, or 40 planes in all, each carrying 2 tons of bombs, or 80 tons in all, to wreak that much destruction.
Pennsylvania State University Lt. In other countries, both Allied and enemy, the same thing happened. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Aircraft could fly over surface forces, relegating them to secondary importance. The crew, naturally, should be kept to an indispensable minimum, allow- ing for possible losses in personnel.
Everything else was o to speed and maneuverability, the first requisite for gaining even tempo- rary superiority over the enemy in the air. A plane based at point A, for example, is a potential threat to all surface points within a circle com,and A for its center and a radius of hun- dreds of miles for its field of action.
In so doing it of necessity created a new battlefield; for wherever two men meet, conflict is inevitable. Aircraft could go anywhere within their radius of action, flying over enemy lines to bomb industry, infrastructure, and workforces.
It can therefore be accomplished only by aerial means, to the The Command of The Air 29 exclusion of army and navy weapons. Their douhwt was thus more colorful, less restricted, less monotonous, and even, in a certain sense, less dan- gerous than the operations of other types of plane. But during all that time nothing effective was done by our aerial defense forces to prevent the bombings except to take note of the places bombed; so the attacks went on until the very end of Octoberor until the Armistice 24 The Command of The Air of November 3, in spite of our claim, especially toward the end of the war, to the command of the air.
From one point of view, douyet is better to have as few planes as possible to simplify the organiza- tion of the unit. In the French government established an army balloon unit for the pur- poses of reconnaissance. Therefore, if we have a tendency to deviate as little as possible from the beaten path, we will find ourselves diverging from reality, and we will wind up far removed from the realities of our time.
The better to oppose the advance of the enemy, he tries to deploy his forces where the terrain is in his favor or along lines of obstacles most difficult to pass. When I wrote tue first version inmore than ten years had passed since I first voiced the ajr expressed there. All this should be kept in mind when we wish to estimate the potential power of aerial offensives possible even today.
douet In the days before the World War the opinion was current in military circles that combat in the air was an impossibility, and, except in rare instances, the first planes used in the war were provided with no armament suitable for combat. Up to the very last days of the war, in fact, all belligerents carried out aerial operations against each other.
But aerial com- bat is a reality and is here to stay.
It means to be able to cut an enemy’s army and navy commanc from their bases of operation and nullify their chances of winning the war. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
It is right or it is not right.
No enemy offensive could menace them beyond that predetermined distance, so xir life could be carried on in safety and comparative tran- quillity. But I think there is a need for it, and here are my reasons for reprinting what I wrote then and adding to it a second part: Douhet neglected almost entirely the issue of target selection.
So that even if they are not absolutely exact, they furnish us with a reasonably accurate estimate which cannot be far from the truth. Fighters had the problem of getting aloft and finding their enemy before damage could be done. Kennett, A History of Strategic Bombing, This is merely a matter of increas- ing the amount of the plane’s armament and its ability to concen- trate fire in any given direction. To be defeated in the air, on the other hand, is finally to be defeated and to be at the mercy of the enemy, with no chance at all of defending oneself, compelled to accept whatever terms he sees aiir to dictate.