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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Early Perspective of War | Rise of Total War | WWI Perspective | Context for Airpower | Aircraft as a Military Tool | Aircraft for Strategic Effects | Early Airpower Theorists | Aipower Theorists—Douhet | Douhet’s Theory | Implications of Douhet’s Theory | Douhet’s Impact | Aipower Theorists—Trenchard | Trenchard’s Theory | Implications of Trenchard’s Theory | Trenchard’s Impact | Aipower Theorists—Mitchell | Mitchell’s Theory | Implications of Mitchell’s Theory | Mitchell’s Impact | Mitchell’s Legacy | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Airpower Theorists—Douhet

Voice: Guilio Douhet was born in Italy in 1869. He came from a military family, and he served as a professional artillery officer in the Italian Army. Although not a pilot, he was appointed as the commander of Italy’s first aviation battalion. During World War One, Douhet was so critical of the leadership of the Italian High Army Command that he was court-martialed and imprisoned for a year. However, his criticisms were validated in 1917 in the disastrous Battle of Caporetto, in which Italians suffered over 300,000 casualties and lost most of their trench artillery. After the war, when Mussolini came to power, Douhet was restored to a place of honor. He passed his remaining years writing about and speaking out for airpower. Douhet published Command of the Air in 1921. This book quickly became known in America through partial translations and word of mouth; but it didn’t appear in a published English version until 1942, twelve years after Douhet died.

Action: A portrait of Douhet appears to screen left while text bullets appear to the right to reinforce the narration:

Guilio Douhet (1869-1930)

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