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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: Implications of Mitchell’s Theory

Action: A picture of Mitchell appears in the background. The following list of links to pop-up boxes appears screen right. The text of the pop-up boxes follows:

Implications of Mitchell’s Theories:

Organization for War:

Mitchell argued for a separate and equal, but independent, air force and for a unified department of defense.

Roles of Other Armed Forces:

The Air Force would be the primary force in warfare, with the navy playing a secondary role, and there would be an even lesser role for the army. The defeat of the enemy’s army and navy is a false objective; the true objective is the will of the enemy, which can be reached without defeating enemy surface forces.

Force Structure:

Mitchell, at first, advocated a preponderance of pursuit units, but then increasingly emphasized the need for more bomber units.

Technology Requirements:

No single type of airplane was adequate; pursuit aircraft for command of the air were a paramount requirement, and at least in the early 1920s, he stipulated a need for both attack and reconnaissance aircraft. His supporters in the Air Corps Tactical School (and much of the rest of the air arm of the 1930s) were persuaded that technology had arrived to validate Mitchell’s theories. High-altitude bombers with bomb-sight targeting systems would make the bomber a decisive weapon system that would be difficult to counter by enemy defensive systems.

Voice: Mitchell’s ideas regarding the role of airpower contained several implications regarding the use of airpower in the conduct of warfare. Again, a summary of his implications can be viewed by passing your cursor over the bullets.

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