Air Doctrine

Air Doctrine - World War I and its effect on Air Power...

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World War I and its effect on Air Power doctrine in 1939 Many ask what role did the dogfights and bombing campaigns of the Great War have on World War II. The answer is that the successes and failures of the armed forces during World War I had a definite impact on air power doctrine twenty years later. The major powers of the world didn’t want to fight another war in the trenches and this heavily factored into their air power strategies in 1939. National doctrines either called for the tactical support of the armies, the bombing of strategic targets, or a mixture of the two. The French and Soviets followed predominately tactical doctrines designed to support their armies. The British and Americans believed that the way to victory was through taking away the enemy’s ability to wage war. The German doctrine was a combination of both tactical support and strategic bombing. The theory behind tactical support was that the air force would closely follow and provide support for the ground forces and take command of the air. The French and Japanese developed their respective air forces knowing that their main mission would be to support their armies. The French army leaders believed that in future wars there would be a “period of defensive, attritional warfare, backed by economic blockade and preparatory to another remorseless advance akin to 1918.” 1 This is why they thought strategic bombing was not the route to take in the development of the air force. They wanted to use the air force for reconnaissance and to screen the French armies from air
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course PWAD 203 taught by Professor Cadell during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Air Doctrine - World War I and its effect on Air Power...

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