Command of the Air [Giulio Douhet, Charles a. Gabriel] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Reprint of the translation by staff of the. The Command of the Air is the greatest military treatise on air war ever written – a dogmatic manifesto promising victory through strategic. Credit to Nicholas Morrow Giulio Douhet, an Italian army officer who never learnt to fly, first published one of military theory’s most recognized.

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The Allies compelled Germany to disarm and to scrap her standing army. In my opinion, the number of planes in a bombing unit should be between 4 and The Causes of the Conflict p. There are planes at present under the direct command of land and sea forces. To get an idea of the nature of future wars, one need only imagine what power of destruction that nation would possess whose bacteriologists should discover the means of spreading epidemics in the enemy’s country and at the same time immunize its own people.

The struggle for the command of the air will be bitter; and the so-called civilized nations will strive to forge 28 The Command of The Air the most telling means to wage the conflict.

Giulio Douhet

This was the first success won by my long and arduous labors. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

In their war preparations the Germans took into account the value the increased power of firearms might give the defensive. But that is not all; something more is needed.

Reaching an objec- tive is an aerial operation which always involves a certain amount of risk and should be undertaken once only. His ideas were rejected, and for criticizing Italian military leaders in memoranda to the cabinet, he was court- “Lee Kennett, A History of Strategic Bombing New York, This means that they need not have the speed to outdistance enemy pursuit planes; a fact of utmost im- portance because it makes it unnecessary for bombing planes to enter a speed race, the outcome of which is bound to be uncertain.


Observation planes directing artillery fire are useful observers in aerial form, no more.

Full text of “The command of the air”

We have seen also that, in order to conquer the command of the air, all aerial means of the enemy dounet be destroyed whether in air combat, at their bases and airports, or in their production centers; in short, wherever they may be commnd or produced. Ddouhet Washington, The assumptions upon which this computation is based are not pure speculation; they are derived from existing condi- tions.

The defender naturally deploys commaand forces along the line of the enemy’s advance in an effort to bar his way. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and should not be construed to represent the policies of the United States Air Force or the Depart- ment of Defense. Therefore, an aerial force is a threat to all points within its radius of action, its units operating from their separate bases and converging in mass for the attack on the designated target faster than with any other means so far known.

A quarter of it would have been sufficient if it had been wrought in eight days. It is right or it is not right.

Comnand believed in the morale effects of bombing. On one side is the party who wants to occupy a certain portion of the earth; over against him stands his adversary, the party who intends to oppose that occupation, if necessary by force of arms.

From this it is obvious that those nations which have the means to mass their forces rapidly and strike at whatever point they choose of the enemy’s forces and supply lines are the nations which have the greatest potential offensive power.


If we look at the map in “The Martyrdom of Treviso” which shows the distribution of bomb hits and the photographic reproductions of the damage done, we can readily see that if those 75 or 80 tons of bombs, correctly appor- tioned among explosive, incendiary, and poison-gas types, had been dropped in one day, Treviso would have been completely destroyed and very few of her inhabitants saved.

However, subsequent conflicts gijlio largely discredit Douhet’s theory. Reasoning from the facts along the lines of logic, this is the con- clusion we have reached. A thou- sand such planes, estimating the cost of each at a million lire, would be a round billion lire, or about the cost of a single dreadnought.

Crowl Annapolis, Maryland Gen. So that even if they are not absolutely exact, they furnish us with a reasonably accurate estimate which cannot be far from the truth.

Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Tje this increased power of firearms, the offensive must, in order to win, upset this equilibrium by a preponderance of forces.

A supporter of Mussolini, Douhet was appointed commissioner of aviation when the Fascists assumed power but he soon gave up this bureaucrat’s job to continue writing, which he did up to his death from a heart attack in That fact is so self-evident that in our discussion of aerial war- fare we have come to the inescapable conclusion that an Inde- pendent Air Force functioning completely independent of the army and the navy is of paramount importance.

At this point I ask my readers to stop with me and consider what I have been saying— the arguments are worth while— so that each may come to his own conclusion about it. Command of the air meant victory.

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