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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 New Form of War pp.

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.

If the defence has proved more innovative and resilient than Douhet envisaged, the threat is real enough, and millions have indeed perished since in the holocausts of aerial destruction predicted in The Command of the Air.

For going over the heads of his superiors, he was court-martialled and imprisoned for a year. During that war aircraft operated for the first time in reconnaissance, transport, artillery spotting and even limited bombing roles. Aircraft could fly over surface forces, relegating them to secondary importance. Command of the air meant victory. Douhet saw the pitfalls of allowing air power to be fettered by ground commanders and began to advocate the creation of a separate air arm commanded by airmen.

He believed interception of these bombers was unlikely, but allowed for a force of escort aircraft to ward off interceptors. Uploaded by associate-caitlin-markey on June 25, Assigned to the General Staff shortly after the beginning of the new century, Douhet published lectures on military mechanization.

Office of Air Force History. Douhet believed in the morale effects of bombing. In his second edition of The Command of the Air he maintained such aviation was “useless, superfluous and harmful”. Digitizing sponsor Library of the Marine Corps. The chief strategy laid out in his writings, the Douhet model, is pivotal in debates regarding the use of air power and bombing campaigns.


The command of the air

Knowing that transpired after Douhet wrote, we can test our understanding, find the assumptions and conclusions of Comnand that proved false, and read with wonder those that proved true. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. The Independent Air Force pp.

Retrieved from ” https: But neither the infrastructure nor the morale of London was broken by the Blitz. The three-dimensional vastness of the sky and the speed with which aircraft moved through it douhrt effective anti-aircraft gunnery. In fact, he may never have learnt to fly. This page was last edited on 11 Novemberat The command of the air Item Preview. When World War I began, Douhet began to call for Italy to oof a massive military build-up — particularly in aircraft.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply. The Causes of the Conflict p. First would come explosions, then fires, then deadly gases floating on the surface and preventing any approach to the stricken area. Posted by Military History Monthly. Though the initial response to The Command of the Air was muted, the second edition generated virulent attacks from his military peers, particularly those in the navy and army.

Coward-McCann, Douuet bibliographical references Book one. Navies were restricted to the sea and slowed by the heavy medium of water.

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 “. There are no reviews yet.

In many cases, he had hugely exaggerated the effects of bombing. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. But his theories would be unproven and therefore unchallenged for another 20 years. 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.


The Command of the Air remains a visionary conceptualisation of the potential power of massed strategic bombing. This emphasis on the strategic offensive would blind Douhet to the possibilities of air defense or tactical support of armies. In his book Douhet argued that air power was revolutionary because it operated in the third dimension.

Neither anti-aircraft guns nor fighter aircraft could provide effective defence, and resources devoted to them drained strength from the decisive arm: He was exonerated in and promoted to general officer in After an incident in which he ordered construction of Caproni bombers without authorization, he was exiled to the infantry. 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.

The Command of the Air. 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.

Giulio Douhet – Wikipedia

A decisive victory here would hasten the end of the war. Editors’ Introduction Download Save. Some of what he wrote today seems almost timeless, ‘principles’ perhaps of the employment of aircraft in war. Inhe published a second edition, in which his conclusions were stated with yet greater force.