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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Strategic Bombardment | Pursuit Aviation | Air Corps Tactical School | Airpower Debates | Ascension of Bombardment | GHQ Air Force | GHQ Air Force Organization | Roles for GHQ Air Force | Response to Roles Proposal | GHQ Air Force—Pros & Cons | GHQ Air Force Stimulates Doctrine | Planning for War | AWPD-1 | AWPD-1 Objectives | Response to AWPD-1 | Field Manual 100-20 | FM 100-20 Concepts | FM 100-20 Centralized Control | Impact of FM 100-20 | Airpower Evolution | Increasing Autonomy | Doctrine Evolves | USAF as Separate Service | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Ascension of Bombardment

Action: Begin with a picture of a pre-WWII single wing plane flying over a mountain range, along with the words,Ascension of Bombardment along the bottom of the page:

Voice: Although pursuit aviation held airmen’s attention throughout the 1920s, the strategic nature of airpower had great appeal for fighting wars independent of fielded armies. Thinking within the Air Corps quickly turned to bombardment aviation and the independent role of airpower. By the time the Air Corps Tactical School moved to Maxwell Field in 1931, the primacy of bombardment aviation was firmly established. Significantly, the view that airpower was more than merely a provider of services to surface forces began to dominate thinking within the Air Corps, especially at the Air Corps Tactical School. In fact, the 1930 revised Air Corps Tactical School text, called…

Action: Show the following quote from The Air Force an ACTS text, and the following narration is read, also highlight the bold part of the quote as bombardment is mentioned by the narrator:

“A defensive formation of bombardment airplanes properly flown, can accomplish the mission unsupported by friendly pursuit, when opposed by no more than twice its number of hostile pursuit.”

The Air Force, April 1930

Voice: …The Air Force, suggested that bombardment aircraft would always accomplish their mission, even without escort.

Action: Remove the highlight from the quote above as the following narration begins:

Voice: Unfortunately, a lack of national interest in military forces, internal debates on airpower, and the novelty of aircraft were among many factors that limited doctrinal thought and development. The relatively few airmen of the era focused on strategic bombardment as a means of warfare while doctrinal thinking on pursuit and attack aviation lagged behind.

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