Military

Douhet:  Still Relevant Today
AUTHOR Major Gregory C. Winn, USAF
CSC 1991
SUBJECT AREA - History
               EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
TITLE:  DOUHET: STILL RELEVANT TODAY
I.  Theme:   The Italian Giulio Douhet was the first to
envision the true potential of air power.   His book, The
Command of the Air, presents an airpower doctrine based on
the premise that armies and navies alone can no longer win
wars.  The Air Force has been accused of following Douhet's
teachings too closely.   Many feel his tenets are obsolete
and have little utility today.   Douhet's theories can be
evaluated for their applicability to today's Air Force by
examining the role of the strategic bomber in World War II
(WWII), Vietnam, and Southwest Asia (SWA).  The results will
show what the Air Force has known all along.
II.  Thesis:   The principle tenets of strategic airpower
doctrine  proposed  by  Guilio  Douhet  in  1921  are  still
relevant to the Air Force today.
III.    Discussion:   Douhet's principle tenets of strategic
airpower are: (1) in order to assure victory it is necessary
to gain air superiority; (2) an offensive air strategy must
suppress enemy air defenses); and (3) airpower should attack
the enemy's center of gravity. When these principles are
applied to the strategic bombing campaign of WWII two facts
emerge.  The early failure of daylight precision bombing was
due to the lack of long range fighters and incorrectly
identifying Germany's center of gravity.   Once long range
fighters  entered  the  war  and  air  strategists  correctly
identified the centers of gravity--energy production and
transportation, daylight precision bombing became effective.
General  LeMay's  night,   low-level,   incendiary  bombing
campaign in Japan was successful right from the start.  All
three of Douhet's principles were applied correctly.   In
Vietnam,  LINEBACKER  II  proved  that  Douhet's  strategic
bombing principles still applied in the modern age. Although
the SWA air campaign was relatively short, it too proved the
utility of Douhet's principles.  The B-52 strategic bomber
was instrumental in shaping a four day land battle.
IV.  Summary:  Douhet's strategic bombing principles played
a major role in the success of each of the bombing campaigns
presented.   When Douhet's  principle tenets of  strategic
airpower  are  applied  correctly,  the  strategic  bombing
campaign is effective.
V.  Conclusion:  Douhet's strategic bombing principles were
applicable in the 40s, 70s and 90s.  Not only is Douhet's
airpower  doctrine  relevant  today,  it  will  be  relevant
tomorrow as well.
                         DOUHET: STILL RELEVANT TODAY
Thesis Statement.  The principle tenets of strategic airpower
doctrine proposed by Guilio Douhet in 1921 are still relevant
to the Air Force today.
I.   Douhet's Principles
     A.   Description of Key Tenets--Strategic Bombing
     B.   Historical Setting: World War I Background
II.  World War II Application
     A.   European Theater
          1.  RAF Night Bombing
          2.  Daylight Precision Bombing
              a. Long Range Fighters
              b. Target Selection
          3.  Strategic Bombing Effectiveness
     B.   Pacific Theater
          1.  Night, Low-Level, Incendiary Bombing
          2.  Atomic Bomb
          3.  Strategic Bombing Effectiveness
III. Vietnam--LINEBACKER II
     A.   Purpose
     B.   High Altitude Strategic Bombing
     C.   Strategic Bombing Effectiveness
IV.  Southwest Asia
     A.   Role of the B-52
     B.   Strategic Bombing Effectiveness
                         DOUHET: STILL RELEVANT TODAY
    The statement, "Airpower has never won a war,  has been
made so often and by so many that it might as well be carved
in stone.  The comment may be right.  However, it is also
true to say landpower, or seapower, alone, has never won a
modern day war.   If it is true that airpower has never
attained victory by itself, it is equally true no war can be
won without it.
    The airplane is a relatively new weapon in the history
of warfare.  Yet, in less that 70 years, it has become the
weapon of choice in modern conflict.  From its beginnings in
World War I, where aircraft made of wood and cloth roamed
the  skies,  to  the  unseen  supersonic  composite  stealth
fighters used in Southwest Asia, airpower has gone through
more changes and advancements than any other instrument of
war.  However, for all the changes in design and aircraft
capabilities, many of the basic dictums of airpower and
strategic bombardment first written are still valid today.
    Italian airman and military strategist Giulio Douhet
was the first to envision the true potential of airpower and
strategic bombardment.   His theories have guided airpower
doctrine for the last seven decades.  However, skeptics have
admonished the Air Force for following his teachings too
closely.   There are even those who feel the only way to
break the spell Douhet holds over the Air Force would be to
exhume his body and drive a stake through his heart.  These
people hold the conviction that Douhet's axioms are outdated
and  have  little  relevance  to  todays  strategic  bombing
doctrine.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Many of Douhet's principle tenets focus on the use of
strategic air power.   These theories can be evaluated for
their applicability to today's Air Force by examining the
role of strategic bombing in World War II, Vietnam,  and
Southwest Asia.  The results of this evaluation will prove
what the Air Force has known all along.   The principle
tenets of strategic airpower doctrine proposed by Guilio
Douhet in 1921 are still relevant to the Air Force today.
    Douhet's theories were published after World War I in
his book, The Command of the Air.  His airpower doctrine was
built on the premise that armies and navies, the traditional
means of deciding conflict, could no longer end wars.  Air
power was the only way of subduing the "enemy's" will to
resist. (1:5).  His dogma breaks down into three key points
that can be abbreviated as follows: (1) In order to assure
victory,  it is necessary to conquer and command the air
(gain air superiority);  (2)  the advantage of speed  and
elevation in the three-dimensional arena of air warfare have
made it impossible to take defensive measures against an
offensive air strategy (suppression of enemy air defenses);
(3)  airpower  should be  used against  the enemy's  "vital
center"--the enemy's centers of population, government, and
industry (the enemy's center of gravity.) (1:177)
    To  understand  Douhet's  theories,  one  must  first
understand the time frame in which they were developed--
World War I.  The first world war was called the Great War,
the "war to end all wars."  Unfortunately, it was a war that
took longer, killed more people, and destroyed more property
than any other war in the history of the world.  Millions
were mobilized  and millions  died between  trenches  that
marked the lines of battle. (4:165)
    To Douhet, the only hope of restoring the decisiveness
to war was to cease battering the enemy's strongest point,
the surface army,  and attack the enemy's will to fight
behind the lines.   Air power should carry the war further
than just the enemy's armed forces.  It should go directly
to the "vital centers" of the enemy's country, to the cities
and industries.    For the first time in history, man could
do this swiftly.   As Douhet put it, "Aircraft enable us to
jump over  the army which shields  the enemy government,
industry and people, and strike directly and immediately at
the seat of the opposing will and policy.   Now,  it is
actually populations and nations, rather than their agents,
which come to blows and seize each other's throats." (1:176)
It was this, Douhet's principle argument, that shaped the
strategic bombing campaigns of World War II (WWII).
    The  chief  architect of  the  Royal  Air  Force  (RAF)
between the wars was Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard,
Chief of the Royal Air Staff from 1919 to 1929.  Trenchard
was a strong supporter of Douhet's principles. He supported
the belief that air attacks aimed at the sources, as opposed
to the manifestations of an enemy's strength, would both
restore decisiveness to warfare, and produce a much faster
and more  humane decision.  (2:163)    By  the mid-30s,  a
thorough  on-going  doctrine  for  employment  of  strategic
bombardment had been worked out and was being taught at the
RAF Staff College and the Imperial Defense College. (2:634)
     The initial bombing campaign pursued by the RAF at the
start of WWII was high altitude precision bombing.  However,
high causalities,  aircraft losses,  and the inability  to
accurately hit their targets during the day. forced the RAF
to adopt a policy of flying at night. (5:35)  This policy
was brutally simple,  "Since the RAF couldn't hit what it
chose,  it would hit what it could,  i.e. German cities."
(5:35)   The effect would be to weaken Germany's will to
fight, a classic objective of Douhet's strategy and perhaps
a more direct way to victory than attempted destruction of
industrial targets.
     Even though the RAF went to night carpet bombing of
cities,  Eighth  Air  Force  was  determined  to  prove  the
effectiveness  of  daylight  precision  bombing.    American
strategists  believed  that  only  through  the  accuracy of
daylight  precision  bombing,  would  bombers  be  effective
against economic targets.  (3:337)   Unfortunately, by mid
1943  the  effectiveness  of  Eighth  Air  Force's  daylight
precision bombing was in question.  Strategic bombing wasn't
producing  the  expected  results--decline  in  German  war
materials   production.   In   fact,   production   steadily
increased.    One reason for this was that destroying the
buildings did not always destroy the heavy machinery inside.
In many cases, the Germans were able to salvage much of the
vital machine tools and resume production at a far more
rapid rate than had been anticipated. (7:18)
     During the initial bombing campaigns of the war, Eighth
Air Force B-17 crews were taking a terrible beating in the
air from German fighters over France and Germany.   As the
distances to targets into Germany grew, so did the length of
time B-17 crews were without fighter cover.  The lack of air
superiority over the target area was very costly.   Bomber
losses on many raids were well over 20 percent   As B-17
attacks  grew  more  frequent  and  heavier,  the  Germans
responded with stronger fighter interception.
    On June 13, 1943, the Germans sent a swarm
     of interceptors heavier than any before against
     American bombers to deal with sixty B-17s over the
     German town of Kiel, they downed twenty-two of the
     B-17s.  On July 28, a force of 120 B-17s were en route
     to aircraft factories ninety miles from Berlin, only
     twenty-eight reached the target, and twenty-two were
     shot down. On August 17, 516 B-17s set out to raid the
     Messerschmitt factories at Regensburg and ball-bearing
     factories at Schweinfurt; sixty bombers were lost.  On
     September 6, 262 bombers flew into Germany, and 45 went
     down.  In the second Schweinfurt raid on October 10,
     the attackers lost sixty aircraft, 30 percent of their
     planes, and during six days of that second week of
     October Eighth Air Force lost 148 bombers altogether.
     (3:341)
The increase in German fighter resistance cast doubt on the
thesis that airpower could go straight to the enemy's vital
centers without first fighting a battle for control of the
air.
    It wasn't until 1944, when Major General Ira Eaker,
Commander Eighth Air Force, changed target priorities that
strategic bombing started to have the desired effect on
German war production.  General Eaker identified two major
target groups:  (1) The Sources of Energy Group (coal and
synthetic oil); and (2) The Transportation Group (canals and
railways).  (6:285)  Once the major emphasis of  strategic
bombing was moved to these two target groups, measurable
results were seen.   The air objective was to disrupt all
rail traffic in Germany.  By October 1944, rail traffic was
nearly paralyzed.
     Essen Division car replacement of coal which had been
     21,400 daily in January 1944 declined to 12,000 in
     September. By November delivers of coal to factories
     in Bavaria had been reduced by nearly 50 percent.  By
     January 1945 coal placements in the Ruhr district were
     down to 9,000 cars per day.  Finally, in February well
     -nigh complete interdiction in the Ruhr district was
     obtained.  Such coal as was loaded was subject to
     confiscation by the railroad to supply locomotive fuel
     coal.  As mining continued at a higher level than trans
     port, coal stock reserves increased from 415,000 tons
     to 2,217,000 and coke stocks increased from 630,000
     tons to 3,069,000 in the same 6 months (7:63)
     In May  1944,  preliminary attacks were made on  the
larger  synthetic  oil  plants.    These  plants  had  been
producing 316,000 tons a month; in June their output fell to
107,000 tons, and in September to 17,000.   Aviation fuel
production also dropped from 175,000 tons to 5,000.  These
attacks  dealt  a  crippling  blow  to  the  munitions  and
explosives industries, and reduced the supply of synthetic
rubber to about one-sixth of its war time peak of 12,000
tons a month (6:286).
     The total tonnage of bombs dropped in the European war
by British and American aircraft was 2,700,000 tons.   The
targets   were:   30.5   percent  military;   13.5   percent
industrial;  24  percent  urban;  and  32  percent  railways,
canals,  and  synthetic  oil  plants  (7:71).  When military
targets are excluded, more bombs were dropped on industrial
and  urban  targets  than  were  dropped  on  railways  and
synthetic oil production plants.   Ironically, the targets
which proved to be the enemy's center of gravity were bombed
the least.
     Although air strategists attempted to apply Douhet's
principles, airpower failed to decisively end the war in
Europe.   Limited capabilities of the aircraft at the time
and poor target selection (misidentifying the enemy's center
of gravity) caused the failure.  In the early stages of the
war, allied air forces were incapable of commanding the air
over Germany.   Without adequate fighter protection,  many
bombers fell  prey  to  the Luftwaffe.    After long  range
fighters   entered   the   conflict,   bomber   losses   were
significantly reduced.  For this reason, long range fighters
were instrumental in gaining control of the air.
     Poor  target  selection  initially resulted  in  little
damage to the war production capabilities of the German
economy.   Not only did these raids not reduce production,
they didn't break the German  will to resist.   Even with
horrifying losses of human life and the total destruction of
many of their cities,  the German people never lost their
will to fight and felt confident of victory up until the
end.  (7:108)  It  wasn't  until  the primary  targets  were
changed from urban/industrial areas to the true centers of
gravity, energy and transportation, that remarkable results
were attained.   In a little over a year's time,  allied
bombers virtually crippled the German military industrial
complex.
     Controversy still rages over the bombing effectiveness
in Europe.  Many feel the cost of men and material in the
early years of the war wasn't worth the results.   Others
feel a closer adherence to Douhet's key principles early in
the conflict would have significantly shortened the war.
If the allied Air Forces could have achieved Douhet's three
principles  sooner--gain  air  superiority,  suppress  the
enemy's defenses, and destroy the enemy's center of gravity-
-the strategic bombing campaign in Europe would have been
more  successful.    Regardless,  few will  argue  that  the
strategic bombing campaign wasn't essential to achieving
victory in Europe.  Hindsight may suggest that it may have
been  used  differently  or  better  in  some  respects.
Nevertheless, strategic bombing was the key to success in
Europe. (7:107)
     While Eighth Air Force strategists faced difficulties
in  Europe,  B-29  crews  successfully  applied  Douhet's
strategic bombing principles in the Pacific.  Japan had been
virtually  unscathed  during   the   two-and-a-half   years
following Pearl Harbor.  It wasn't until November 1944, that
B-29s began operating from recently acquired bases at Guam,
Tinian, and Saipan in the Marianas.  Once B-29s were firmly
established in the Marianas, bombing raids on Japan began in
earnest. (8:18)
     In January 1945, Brigadier General Curtis LeMay took
command of  bombing operations  in  the  Pacific.    Before
LeMay's arrival, bombers were being used in daytime, high-
altitude, precision attacks against Japan's larger cities.
The result of these attacks had been discouraging.   Worse
still, the daylight raids were encountering heavy fighter
opposition.  During February 1945, U.S. bomber losses rose
to six percent of the planes committed. (8:18)
     Shortly  after  taking  command,  General  LeMay  began
experimenting with night low-level raids and incendiary bomb
loads.  LeMay's tactics proved to be very effective.  Japan
was more vulnerable at night because of its lack of night
fighters and manually operated anti-aircraft artillery.  The
switch from high explosives to incendiaries enabled the B-
29s to destroy the war industries that had been largely
dispersed  into private  homes  and  small  shops  scattered
across the major urban areas.
     The first major incendiary raid was a 334 plane attack
on Tokyo on the night of 9 March 1945.  Each bomber carried
almost five tons of incendiary bombs.  In this raid, almost
80,000 people died,  twice that many were injured,  and a
quarter of a million buildings were levelled.  In just a few
hours, almost sixteen square  miles of the  Japanese capital
had  been  reduced  to  ashes.  (9:648)
     By June  1945,  the  major  Japanese  cities  had  been
largely evacuated.  Four and  a  half  million  people  left
Japan's larger urban areas.  At least 125,000 Japanese had
died in the fire raids and another quarter million had been
injured.  More than a million buildings had been destroyed
leaving five million people homeless.   Fifty-seven square
miles  of  the  Japanese  capital  was  destroyed--Tokyo was
reduced to half its pre-war size. (9:654)   The success of
the bombing raids pointed to a single conclusion-- strategic
bombing  could defeat  Japan  without  risking  the  planned
amphibious  invasion.
     By late summer, Japan was ready to surrender.  Only the
issue of retaining the imperial governmental system kept
them from a negotiated peace.  Unfortunately, Japan trusted
Soviet diplomats to relay this message to the Allies.  The
Russians, standing to gain significant pieces of Asia if
Japan  suffered  an  invasion,  withheld  news  of  Japan's
readiness to surrender. (8:19)     Receiving no reply to the
Potsdam Declaration warning of prompt and utter destruction,
President Truman decided to drop the first of two atomic
bombs.
     On August 6,  1945,  the first atomic bomb used as a
weapon of  destruction exploded over Hiroshima.   Of  the
city's 245,000 inhabitants, 64,000 died instantly.  Another
26,000 people who were exposed to the radiation died in the
days and weeks following.   The second atomic weapon was
dropped on Nagasaki three days later.  At Nagaski, the bomb
killed 40,000.  (8:19)  Unable  to resist  further,   Japan
surrendered on 14 August 1945.
     Although   there   is   still   controversy  over   the
effectiveness of strategic bombing in Europe, few doubt that
strategic  bombing delivered  the  knock-out  punch  in  the
Pacific.   In less than a year,  Brigadier General LeMay's
strategic bombing campaign forced Japan out of the war.   By
using incendiary bombs at night on Japan's key urban areas,
LeMay successfully  applied Douhet's  airpower  principles:
controlling the air;  avoiding Japanese air defenses;  and
attacking the enemy's center of gravity.
     The U.S.'s concept of strategic bombing entered a new
era with the atomic bomb.  At the end of WWII, the U.S. was
the only nation capable of building and delivering the bomb.
The mission of the nation's long range strategic bombers
changed from a conventional bombing role to one of national
defence.    As  a  leg of  the  nuclear  TRIAD,  the  manned
strategic bomber became synonymous with long range "nuclear"
weapons delivery.  Little thought was given to using these
"strategic" assets in a conventional bombing role.  However,
Vietnam again proved the utility of the manned strategic
bomber.
     The Vietnam conflict was a very frustrating time for
the  United  States  Military.    On  the  battlefield,  the
military won every battle,   Yet, as a nation we lost the
war.  Throughout much of the conflict, the Air Force had a
number of constraints placed on its conduct of the air war.
Near the end of the war, the Air Force was authorized to use
strategic bombing in the way envisioned by Douhet.   In
December  of  1972,  peace  negotiations  with  the  North
Vietnamese  appeared  to have  stalled.    President  Nixon,
wishing to force the Vietnamese back to the negotiations
table,  authorized  the use  of B-52s  to strike  strategic
targets in  and  around Hanoi and Haiphong.  (10:6)   The
resulting strategic bombing campaign was called LINEBACKER
II.  In an 11 day period, the theory and validity of high
altitude strategic bombing was put to the test again.  SAC's
aircrews and aircraft, attacked some of the most heavily
defended targets in the history of air warfare.  Could high
altitude  bombers  penetrate  to  and  successfully  attack
targets defended by modern surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and
high performance jet fighters?   The answer was a resounding
yes.
     On the first night of the campaign, 129 B-52 bombers
flew out of Anderson AFB, Guam, and U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy
Airfield, and attacked Hoa Lac airfield 15 miles west of
Hanoi.  (10:9)   SAC used the B-52s in much the same way
bombers were used in WWII.  While the long term geopolitical
goal  was  not  the  same,  the  immediate  objective  was.
Strategic bombardment would be used to take out the enemy's
ability to support the war.
     It is important to point out that LINEBACKER II was a
team effort by joint forces in theater.   Heavy preemptive
strikes against the enemy defenses were made by F-111s and
various  combinations  of  Air  Force,  Navy,  and  Marine
fighter/bombers prior to the B-52s reaching their targets.
This made for good odds.   Only two percent of the total
force of B-52s were lost, none to enemy aircraft. (10:171)
    The targets for the bombing raids were strategic in
nature.   Great care was taken in the planning and crew
preparation  phases  to  make  the  bombing  as  precise  as
possible.    Targets  included  airfields,  railroad  spurs,
military fabrication plants, and warehouses in and around
Hanoi.  The results of the precision bombing from LINEBACKER
II  is well documented.
     In the space of 11 days, B-52 bombers flew 729 sorties
     against 34 targets in North Vietnam.  They dropped
     over 15,000 tons of bombs in the process.  Bomb damage
     assessment revealed 1600 military structures damaged
     or destroyed, 500 rail interdictions, 373 pieces of
     rolling stock damaged or destroyed, three million
     gallons of petroleum products destroyed, ten
     interdictions of airfield runways and ramps, and an
     estimated 80 percent of electrical power production
     capability destroyed.  Prior to the campaign logistic
     inputs into North Vietnam were believed to be at
     160,000 tons per month.  In January 1973, imports
     dropped to 30,000 tons per month. (11:166)
    One of the central lessons learned from the use of the
B-52 in a conventional bombing role was the psychological
impact the raids had on those in the North. One hundred
eight 500 pound bombs falling from an aircraft that can't be
seen or heard must be terrifying.   A number of returning
POWs told stories of prison guards screaming and running for
cover.   One story by a former POW, Colonel Bill Conlee,
reported seeing a guard tremble like a leaf, drop his rifle,
and wet his pants during one of the raids.  (10:174)   All
POWs reported marked improvements in their treatment after
the start of the bombing campaign.
     Although  there  is  no  mention  of  Douhet  in  the
LINEBACKER II after action report, his principles were a
factor in the success of the bombing campaign.  The massive
preemptive raids over the North ensured; air superiority;
suppression of enemy's air defenses; and allowed the bombers
to strike the enemy's will to fight.  Less than four weeks
after the last LINEBACKER II mission, an agreed-upon cease
fire went into effect.   In the  modern age  of the  jet
strategic  bomber,  Douhet's  strategic  bombing  principles
proved to be effective.
     It was almost exactly 18 years from the last LINEBACKER
II B-52 sortie in Vietnam to first B-52 sortie in SWA.
Though the air war in SWA was relatively short, it was a
very intense effort.   In the 43 day war, coalition Air
Forces flew over 35,000 sorties, and dropped over 88,000
tons of ordnance. (15:A18)
     Even before  the  16  January 1991  start  of the  air
campaign, two B-52 squadrons deployed to Diego Garcia in the
Indian Ocean.  (12:35)   Air Strategists  in the  Pentagon
intended to use the 31 year old bomber in a carpet bombing
role.  The strategic bomber's mission was to stun/attrit the
hundreds of thousands of troops dug into breastworks and
fortifications across the border of Saudi Arabia.  Pentagon
officials felt that after weeks of steady bombardment, Iraqi
troops would be so disoriented and worn down that they would
give up to coalition ground forces without much of a fight.
     Shortly after more agile coalition aircraft gained air
supremacy and knocked out Iraqi air defenses, the B--52 began
flying  round-the-clock  missions.    B-52s  dropped  large
amounts of ordnance on Iraqi front line positions, elite
Republican   Guard   units,   supply   concentrations,   and
ammunition depots. (14:34)    The  B-52  demonstrated  more
precise targeting capabilities than expected.   In a three
day period, 81 B-52 sorties dropped over 1,200 tons of bombs
on target.  In those three days the B-52s were credited with
destroying/damaging 178 trucks, 55 artillery pieces, and 52
tanks, as well as causing heavy secondary explosions from
revetments. (14:34)
     The effectiveness of the coalition air campaign and the
contribution of strategic bombing to that effort can be
measured in a couple of ways.  After 38 days of intense air
bombardment, the ground war took only four days.   In those
four days, coalition forces took and estimated 80,000 enemy
prisoners of war  (EPW).   Many of  these EPWs surrendered
without a fight near front line positions targeted by B-52s.
(13:30)
     Although no one has stepped forward and given Douhet
credit tor his role in SWA, his doctrine played a part in
the success of the air campaign.   By achieving early air
supremacy,  coalition  forces  were  able  to  suppress  the
formidable Iraqi air defenses.   With full control of the
air, the enemy's center of gravity--the Army in the field--
was attacked and defeated in only 4 days.
     Even though Douhet presented his theories on airpower
and strategic bombing 70 years ago, his doctrine is still
applicable to the Air Force today.   Many of the arguments
against  Douhet's  principles  are  based on  the perceived
failure of strategic bombing in Europe during WWII.   As
pointed out,  this failure was due in large part to the
limited capabilities of the aircraft at the time, and the
failure of air strategists to correctly identify Germany's
center of gravity.
     When Douhet's principles are applied properly and in a
timely  fashion,  as  in  the  Pacific  theater  of  WWII,
LINEBACKER II, and SWA,  the results speak for themselves.
Strategic bombing of the enemy's center of gravity achieved
the goals in each conflict.   Douhet's three principles of
airpower: gain air superiority, suppress the enemy's air
defenses, and destroy the enemy's center of gravity are keys
to success.   Like it or not, Douhet's airpower principles
still apply to the Air Force today.
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                                RELATED SOURCES
Sherry, Michael S  The Rise of  American Air Power: The
        Creation of Armageddon. New Haven, Connecticut.
        Yale University Press. 1987.



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