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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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 “. In his book Douhet argued that air power was revolutionary because it operated douhrt the third dimension.

On a tactical level he advocated using three types of bombs in quick succession; explosives to destroy the target, incendiaries to ignite the damaged structures, and poison gas to keep firefighters and rescue crews away.

The Moral Preparation p.

Giulio Douhet

This would unravel the social basis of resistance, and pressure citizens into asking their governments to surrender. 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. The Causes of the Conflict p. A decisive victory here would hasten the end of the war.

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: However, subsequent conflicts would largely discredit Douhet’s theory.

He harboured an apocalyptic vision of the war to come: The Material Preparation—Germany pp. Meilinger, The Paths of Heaven: The Douhet model rests on the belief that in a conflict, the infliction of high costs from aerial bombing can shatter civilian morale.


After an incident in which he ordered construction of Caproni bombers without authorization, he was exiled to the infantry. The Command of the Air. 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.

Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. The Paths Of Heaven: Heavy losses forced the Germans to switch to night bombing. He was a key proponent of strategic bombing in aerial warfare. The only defense was a good offense. 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.

Command of the Air – University of Alabama Press

But neither the infrastructure nor the morale of London was broken by the Blitz. This page was last edited on 11 Novemberat Views Read Edit View history. First would come explosions, then fires, then deadly gases floating on the surface and preventing any approach to the stricken area. The three-dimensional vastness of the sky and the speed with which aircraft moved through it precluded effective anti-aircraft gunnery.

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. Born in CasertaCampaniaItalyfrom a family of savoyard exiles who had migrated there after the cession of Savoy to France [1] he attended the Modena Military Academy and was commissioned into the artillery of the Italian Army in The Aerial Battle pp.

What defence was possible against the destruction of cities by aerial bombing? 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. The Independent Air Force pp. 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.


Posted by Military History Monthly. The chief strategy laid out in his writings, the Douhet model, is pivotal in debates regarding the use of air power and bombing campaigns. Operations of June 17 pp. The last category was particularly important to Commqnd, who believed in the principle of total war.

DouhetÂ’s Theory

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 believed in the morale effects of bombing. InItaly went to war against the Ottoman Empire for control of Libya. He was exonerated in and promoted to general officer in The Battle of June 16 pp.

The Command of the Air

This iar uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. He was an army officer, reaching the rank of general, but trench-war stalemate had turned his mind to alternatives.

His theories were discussed and disseminated in France, Germany and America which were very receptive; In America, Billy Mitchell was a strong advocate.

As the hours passed and night advanced, the fires would spread while the poison gas paralysed all life. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

More than 70 years on, many of his predictions have failed to come true, but some of his concepts gaining command of the thf, terror bombing and attacking vital centers continue to underpin air power theory to this day. Kohn, Book Published by: The Organization of Aerial Warfare pp.