Airpower’s contribution to the Allied victory did not represent the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecies and predictions that were raised in the interwar period. Airpower theorists, on both sides of the Atlantic, advocated predictions and prophecies for the future of warfare. They strongly supported ideas and expectations that airpower and especially strategic bombardment was the best answer in the quest for decisive victory. Airpower was the end and the means to destroy the enemy’s will to fight. However, the Trenchardian notion that decisive victory would come through the cumulative moral effect of aerial bombing proved false because German citizens showed a remarkable resilience to surrender. Moreover, the Allies’ rhetoric that bombers “would always get through” was far from the reality and resulted in a tremendous number of aircraft losses and fatalities. Finally, the prediction that the airpower can win alone was an overestimated expectation albeit, airpower played a significant role, the decisive victory came as result of a larger joint effort by all the services.
The introduction of aircraft had begun a new era in warfare. No longer were military powers limited to the boundaries of vehicles that were restricted to land. The evolution of aircraft technology helped pioneer a new type of combat strategy that played a significant role in determining the outcome of a battle. Air combat also influenced the economies of the participating countries. The whole cycle of airplanes from the assembly line to the pilot became factors that added up to become an advantage or disadvantage.
New air technologies in the early mid-twentieth century had played major roles in war. The United States air forces were rapidly evolving between World War I and World War II. Aircraft structures and weapons developed along with the manufacture of new systems and devices. The United States Air Force made technological advancements in aviation, including weaponry, aircraft structure, and navigation, during the World Wars (1914-1945).
Detailed histories of each of the established nuclear powers are always welcome. They add to the sparse scholarly record that has depended on a relatively small number of books drawing on declassified documentary records. Edward Kaplan is an associate professor at the US Air Force Academy, and his expertise on US nuclear (atomic) strategy reflects the views of the US Air Force’s (USAF) strategists and their predisposition to air power. Kaplan is reasonably explicit regarding this predisposition. The roles of the USAF, the Strategic Air Command (SAC), and nuclear bombardment in US strategy in the early to mid-Cold War years are discussed early in the book. The USAF and SAC had an actionable strategy for “winning” a war (so long as the other side did not have nuclear capability of its own and a means to deliver it), which is a reflection of the time. Still, I would have liked to see this book set aerial nuclear bombardment debates within the context of what would become ideas of battlefield nuclear weapons as an adjunct to air power—as they developed under President Dwight Eisenhower’s “New Look” strategy of the early 1950s. Interservice rivalry certainly played a part in overall national strategy, both declaratory and operational, as it did in other states, such as Britain and France, but strategic culture also played a part both at the interservice level, within government and treasury debates, and at the foreign policy level. While this complex interplay is present in
On September 1st in 1915 Billy was sent to the 21st squadron at Netheravon for air instruction. On January 1st, he was transferred to France. From there he was accepted to Brasenose College, Oxford, for pilot and ground training on October 1st, 1916. In November he moved to Central Flying School at Upavon where he proved to be one that was able to grasp the “art” of flying. Billy didn’t give up; he soon achieved his wings after numerous crashes. His request for a transfer to France was granted and on March 9th, 1917 he arrived at Filescamp Farm where he joined the 60th squadron. Billy was to be sent back to England for additional training but before he was sent back he claimed his first victory. On March 25, Billy was out on patrol with 3 other pilots when the spotted 3 German Albatross DiII Scouts and engaged them. One of the scouts came across Billy’s path, and without hesitation Billy opened fire on the plane, where it went into a dive as Billy followed it until it was shot out of the sky. After his first victory came his long run of victories that put him in the spot of a legend and hero to Canadians. Billy almost died on the 8th of April when he claimed his fifth victory. His cockpit, which had a hole in it from a bullet, nearly hit Billy almost killing him. He was promoted to Captain and leader of C Flight later that month. Come the end of April, Captain
Two things were unusual about this American fighter pilot. First, he had passed up a sure kill. Second, he was Black. He flew with the only U.S. Fighter squad involved in World War Two that could claim to have never lost a bomber they were escorting. The Group was the 332nd Fighter Group, "The Redtails," the famed all African American outfit that fought both American racism and Nazi militarism. Under the leadership and discipline of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, the Redtails had learned that their mission in life was to protect the bombers(Respect and Honor 1).
Technological improvements of the jet engine and innovations of the missile technology started to change a viewpoint on airpower
From the early age of airpower development in the United States, airpower theorists, and advocates believed and prophesized, that airpower can win the war by itself. Turning back to the age prior to the independence of the United States Air Force (USAF) as a service, airpower advocates emphasized that bomber will always get through and that it will produce decisive blow to the enemy and win the war. Moreover, they argued that airpower alone could win the war quickly without the need to employ other services, that it is cheaper because bombers replace large force employment costs and precisely hitting only important targets avoids collateral damage. That promise of the early airpower advocates continued to be the core belief of the new independent United States Air Force after 1947. Looking its promise over the past 70 years the airpower gradually advanced toward its fulfillment and with rapid technology advances, that the USAF is highly dependent on, airpower finally achieved its promise. The airpower proved to end wars more quickly and save lives of solders, to cost less in order to achieve military and political objectives, and to avoid collateral damage with its precision capabilities. Nevertheless, implications of achievement of promise can be that airpower can be used as a mean of political objectives that can severely limit or misuse airpower’s capabilities.
The name Billy Mitchell brings many images to mind. To most, he is an American hero and considered to be one of the most influential figures regarding the creation of the modern Air Force. He was a successful aviator in his own right. What many do not know is that his ideas for the future of air power for the United States military were considered insane. Mitchell was a staunch proponent for an investment in air power as he deemed it was the future of warfare, a vision he would eventually be praised for. During his time, however, his views were considered preposterous as the focus was on battle ships and other naval vessels deemed necessary for war. He was seen as egotistical as he dismantled the opinions of anyone who opposed him. His statements and arguments against his superior officers eventually led to his court martial and resignation from the military. Mitchell was recognized posthumously for his contributions to aerial warfare.
As aircraft evolved during the First World War, some of the best “Aces” were emerging in the sky. Captain Edward Rickenbacker and Lt Frank Luke Jr, both recipients of the Medal of Honor, made significant contributions to the American war effort. Although Lt Luke, the “Arizona Balloon Buster,” is commended for his valiant sacrifice, I believe Captain Rickenbacker made the more valuable contribution during World War 1, by exemplifying better leadership, professionalism, and intellectual power as an American air warrior. Lt Luke was an outstanding young ace pilot, but his arrogance and disobedient actions may have affected him malignantly during World War 1.
Introduction In the 20th-century Canada in support of its closest ally “Great Britain” participated in two world wars. These were wars with new technology, specifically the “fixed wing aircraft” which gave birth to a new battlefield “the sky”. This changed the tactics of previous wars, the airplane was capable of many duties; ranging from aerial reconnaissance to ground attack to the tactical and strategic bombing, both by day and night. Canada did not start with an Air Force, however was a major player in the battle for the sky. This synopsis will discuss the role Canada played in the training of Air Force Personnel from World War One (WWI) through World War Two (WWII).
After the attack, damage occurred on eight of the United States’ Navy battleships, death came to 2,403 American’s, and the wounded numbers rose to 1,178. The United States was infuriated and wanted retaliation against the Japanese immediately. This would not be an easy task since all of the naval assets had be disabled. The president of the United States and all of the highest-ranking officers of the time could not seem to figure out how to make an attack on Japan. The idea of Army bombers flying off naval ships came to light when a submariner named CPT Francis Cowell saw some army bomber aircraft practicing at a naval landing strip. CPT Cowell passed the idea of army bombers taking off from a navy ship to General Happ Arnold who quickly realized that this could be the key to their predicament. This concept was so crazy for its time and the high-ranking officials could only think of one man that would be able accomplish such a task and that was Jimmy Doolittle. Jimmy gathered 79 volunteers to begin training for “extreme” short-field takeoffs however; Jimmy never told his men what their mission would be. All of the volunteers knew how great of a pilot Jimmy Doolittle was and they never second-guessed their decision to be a part of Jimmy’s master plan. The pilots used a highly modified Mitchell B-25 bomber specifically designed by Jimmy Doolittle
World War II was one of the deadliest military conflicts in history. There were many different battles that took place within this war; some more important than others. World War II began once Germany’s new dictator, Adolf Hitler, decided that he wanted to gain power for Germany and for himself. One of Hitler’s first moves in power was invading Poland on September 1, 1939. Many other countries became involved in this war because of the alliance system. The two sides during this war were the Allies and Axis powers. German, Italy and Japan were on the Axis powers; France, Britain, and the United States were on the Allies. Germany first began with the Blitzkrieg tactic meaning “lightning war”. This tactic is based on speed, surprise and was