The Command of the Air is the greatest military treatise on air war ever written – a dogmatic manifesto promising victory through strategic. 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 . Reprinted in by the Office of Air Force History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. Douhet, Giulio, The command of the air.

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In his book The War of he described a fictional war between Germany and a Franco-Belgian alliance in which the Germans launched massive terror bombing raids on the populace, reducing their cities to ashes before their armies could mobilize.

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. Nonetheless, even a false prophet often preaches partial truth. He was a key proponent of strategic bombing in aerial warfare.

The term strategy derives from the Greek strategos, an elected general in ancient Athens.

Aviation in World War I. When World War I began, Douhet began to call for Italy to launch a massive military build-up — particularly in aircraft. The Allies’ Plan of Operation pp.

The Command of the Air by Giulio Douhet : a Military Times Classic – Military History Monthly

Air power could break a people’s will by destroying a country’s “vital centers”. Aircraft could go anywhere within their radius of action, flying over giu,io lines to bomb industry, infrastructure, and workforces. As soon as one side lost command of the air it would capitulate rather than face the terrors of air attack. Assigned to the General Staff shortly after the beginning of the new century, Douhet published lectures on military mechanization. Posted by Military History Monthly.


Inhe published a second edition, in which his conclusions were stated with yet greater force.

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. Douhet died in in RomeItaly. Douhet continued to write about air power from his cell, finishing a novel on air power and proposing a massive Allied thw of giuli in communications to ministers.

But his theories would be unproven and therefore unchallenged for another 20 years.

Giulio Douhet

His severe criticism of the conduct of the war resulted in his court-martial, imprisonment, and retirement. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Thank You for Your Contribution! 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.

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

Giulio Douhet | Italian general |

The strategoi were mainly military leaders with…. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Project MUSE promotes giuloo creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. 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.

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. Largely because of his efforts, the three-engine Caproni bomber was ready for use by the time Italy entered World War I.


The Command of The Air p. Controversial though his ideas were, many were adopted, in part at least, by the major powers before and during Aif War II.

Thank you for your feedback. He teamed up with the young aircraft engineer Gianni Caproni to extol the virtues of air power in the years ahead. More than 70 years on, many of his predictions have failed to come true, but some of his concepts gaining command of the air, terror bombing and attacking vital centers continue to underpin air power theory to this day. Please try again later.

He believed interception of these bombers was unlikely, but allowed for a force of escort aircraft to ward giulko interceptors. He proposed an independent air force composed primarily of long-range load-carrying bombers.

May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Kohn, Book Published by: Air force, military organization of a nation that is primarily responsible for the conduct of air warfare. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. In late July and early Augustthe great powers of Europe embarked on a course of action that would claim millions of lives, topple empires, reshape the political structure of the continent, and contribute to an douet more destructive conflict a generation later.

World War II would prove giuloo of his predictions to be wrong, particularly on the vulnerability of public morale to bombing. There was a problem with your submission. Contact Contact Us Help.