National Security Requirements Exercised The Most Significant Influence On The United States Before The Second World War

1302 Words Sep 11th, 2016 6 Pages
National security requirements exercised the most significant influence on the development of airpower in Europe and the United States before the Second World War (WWII). Nations on both sides of the ocean had experienced the multifaceted disastrous results of World War I (WWI) and airpower seemed to be the answer for future wars. Understanding the context and consequences of WWI is vital to comprehend airpower theorists like Douhet, Mitchell and Trenchard and their revolutionary thoughts on airpower. The development of aircraft at the beginning of the twentieth century challenged not only military leadership but also, more important, the national security of modern states. The basic question was: How will strategic bombing of enemy territory fit in to national security and military strategy? This paper will narrow the view on Europe by selecting Great Britain as one of the most relevant nations in WWII concerning strategic bombing.
WWI was the first total war in the industrial age with unprecedented casualties on all sides of the belligerent nations. In spite of gigantic troop numbers, both sides expected a quick war with a decisive victory. However, in 1915, the maneuvering part of the war was over and resulted ultimately in bloody trench-warfare. Furthermore, as the war continued, attrition of the adversary became the main goal as the battle at Verdun highlighted. Consequently, aircraft offered an alternative to the static warfare of the trenches. These newly…
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