Air Power Midterm

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Air Power Midterm Ever since the creation of heavier-than-air powered flight in 1903, many theorists and strategists have studied the vast technological improvements of airplanes and their potential uses in civilian and military applications. After the experiences of World War I, British and American strategic planning was influenced during the inter-war years by visionaries such as Douhet, Trenchard, and Mitchell, all of whom contributed thoughts and ideas to the development of airpower strategies used during the Combined Bomber Campaign (CBO). Though the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) adopted different strategic approaches to the CBO against Germany, the USAAF approach represented a more effective way of utilizing…show more content…
First, Douhet earned the title of the “father of airpower” due to his early ideas regarding the offensive nature of airpower and the required “command of the air”, his arguments for independent air forces and uses of civil/auxiliary airpower, as well as his theory behind mass bombings of strategic targets (vital centers) to include blatant attacks on civilians. Douhet believed the bloody wars of WWI were a thing of the past if strategic bombing campaigns were focused on civilian populations when he said, “Mercifully, the decision will be quick in this kind of war, since the decisive blows will be directed at civilians, that element of the countries at war least able to sustain them.” This example is very likely one of the contributing influences that led the RAF toward a strategy of punishment through night-time area and city bombings of civilian support…show more content…
To guide our fight the War Department created AWPD-1 which clearly outlined the requirements and target sets of the U.S. air missions in WWII. It incorporated many of the theories and recommended target sets that Douhet and Mitchell had advocated for to include the disruption of the major German electric and transportation systems (vital industrial centers), the destruction of the German oil systems (supply and war-making capabilities), and undermining the German morale by air attack of civil concentrations (will of the people). The U.S. pre-war preparedness and USAAF ability to convert the AWPD-1 directives into effective high altitude day-light bombing campaign that denied German war making capability is why the U.S. approach was a more effective method of utilizing airpower as an instrument of national

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