By Thomas Hippler
Charts how Giulio Douhet's pioneering technique of focusing on civilian populations with air strength constructed from 1884 to international conflict II.
Read Online or Download Bombing the People: Giulio Douhet and the Foundations of Air-Power Strategy, 1884-1939 PDF
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Additional resources for Bombing the People: Giulio Douhet and the Foundations of Air-Power Strategy, 1884-1939
The explanation of these characteristics of a modern war somewhat qualifies the affirmation made by Douhet in his first article, mentioned above, that the objective of war is to beat the enemy’s army and then to occupy the vital points of their territory. He discusses this issue foremost through the strategic importance of Port Arthur. 37 The ‘decisive action’ thus necessarily takes place on the ground. What can be seen here is that Douhet firmly adheres to the classic principle that navies are bound to fight against navies and ground forces against ground forces.
Douhet, ‘La battaglia di Mukden’, Caffaro (16–17 March 1905), in Douhet, Scritti 1901–1915, 69. 33 G. ’, Caffaro (2–3 June 1905), in Douhet, Scritti 1901–1915, 76. 34 G. Douhet, ‘Il temporeggiatore’, Caffaro (12–13 September 1904), in Douhet, Scritti 1901–1915, 62. 36 Bombing the People the morale and industrial strength of a nation – two other features t hat are to play important roles in his later thinking – they are only briefly mentioned in these articles, without being properly conceptualized.
Douhet, ‘Quasi per fatto personale’, La preparazione (8–9 July 1911), repr. in G. Douhet, Scritti 1901–1915, ed. A. Curami and G. Rochat (Rome: Stato Maggiore Aeronautica, Ufficio Storico, 1993), 204–7 (206–7). The early Douhet 29 of a supra-national institution, and indeed almost a world-state, that would be capable of abolishing war altogether. The problem that needs to be addressed is therefore how to explain the transition from this pacifist early Douhet, to the ruthless prophet of strategic air power that he became in the 1920s.