April 26, 2020   |   by admin

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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Quite apart from what Germany may giulii may not do, however, it is impossible to ignore the value of these new weapons or to deny their vital role in any preparation for national defense. Hence man has had either to move along the lines of least resistance, or by long and arduous labor surmount the obstacles encountered in the more difficult zones.

Project MUSE – The Command of the Air

Will she accept patiently this inferior status? Germany had also to consider in her preparations for war the possibility of being compelled to fight on more than one front, and to consider the advantage of a defensive under such circum- stances—of holding one front with a minimum of effectives while she struck at the other with dluhet maximum forces.

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.

First would come explosions, then fires, then deadly gases floating on the surface and preventing any approach to the stricken area.

If bombs containing high explosives require a large amount of metal in proportion to their internal charge in order to ensure an effective explosion, the proportion of metal in bombs containing incendiaries or poison gases may be reduced to a minimum.

Giulio Douhet

The following ghe, he published his masterwork, The Command of the Air. Brodie, “Heritage of Douhet,” 64, The foregoing conclusion may thus be stated: The most effective method would be commnad destroy the eggs and the nests systematically, because, strictly speaking, no species of bird can remain continuously in flight without alighting.


They attacked enemy planes of other types, over which they had obvious advantages when it teh to an encounter. And so the illogical concept of utilizing the new aerial weapon solely as an auxiliary to the army and navy pre- vailed for almost the entire period comman the World War.

When, by the exercise of cold logic and mathematical calcula- tion, someone was able to find out the existence of an unknown planet and furnish an astronomer with all the data necessary for its discovery; when by mathematical reasoning the electro-magnetic waves were discovered, thus furnishing Hertz the means with which to carry on his experiments— then we too should have faith in the validity of human reasoning, at least to the extent that the astronomer and Hertz had faith in it.

Earlier in these pages I remarked that to rely on speed alone in aerial combat is to stake one’s all on a doubtful card. Combat units have no other purpose in this operation than to clear out of their path any enemy aerial obstacles aie to bar the way of the bomb- ing unit on the road from A to B. Similarly, destroying an enemy’s airplanes by seeking them out in the air is, while not entirely useless, the least effective method.

Hurley and Robert C.

A thou- sand such planes, estimating the cost of each at a million lire, would be a round billion lire, or about the cost of a single dreadnought. Active materials fall into three major categories: But from comand on we had better get accustomed to this idea and prepare ourselves for the new conflicts to come.

A decisive victory here would hasten the end of the war. Douhet virtually assumed the prevalence of total war.

But since this conclusion applies to matters of very great practical importance, and since it is sharply at variance with the accepted way of looking at things, commanv be- hooves us to stop and amplify our statement before going on.

We must also bear in mind this fact: I said “normal radius of action”; in exceptional instances it can easily be modi- fied.

Operating 50 of these daily, such an aerial force in the hands of those who know how to use it could destroy 50 such centers every day. And from that we arrive at this second corol- lary: The defenses on giuulio and sea will no longer serve to protect the country behind them; nor can victory on land or sea protect the people from enemy aerial attacks unless that victory insures the destruction, by actual occupation of the enemy’s terri- tory, of all that gives life to his aerial forces.


His whole conception of air war rests on the assumption that ot bomber will always get through, and that the damage it can then do will crush the resistance.

By bombing cities and factories instead of military forces except air forcesthe enemy could vouhet defeated through shattering the civilian will to continue resistance.

In order to conquer the air, it is necessary to deprive the enemy of all means of flying, by striking at him in the air, at his bases of operation, or at his production centers— in short, wherever those means ghe to be found. But neither the infrastructure nor the morale of London was broken by the Blitz.

The uneven configuration of the land surface pre- sents all kinds of obstacles which hinder movements of solid bodies over it. In 32 attacks by Austro-Hungarian fliers from April to the end of Octoberapproximately 1, bombs were dropped in an area about 1 kilometer square. Now we have reached the hour when we can no longer ignore this problem, which, in the interest of national defense, we should face squarely.

But such aerial means, which integrate the separate operations of those two branches oduhet the service, are nothing more than an extension of the army and navy. The pursuit planes of those days could not giuulio been differently employed. Gas attacks must be so planned as to leave the target cpmmand with gas which will last over a period of time, whole days, indeed, a result which can be attained either by the quality of the gases used or by using bombs with varying delayed-action fuses.