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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: Mitchell’s Legacy
Action: A portrait of Trenchard appears to screen left while text bullets appear to the right to reinforce the narration:
Voice: William “Billy” Mitchell, more than any other individual was responsible for molding the airpower convictions that served as the doctrinal basis of the United States Air Force. As World War One came to a close, Mitchell argued to preserve the aviation expertise gained during the war, both in terms of personnel and equipment. Through prolific writing and speaking, Mitchell carried the airpower case—the case of an independent air force—to the American public. Mitchell’s most lasting contribution was moving the idea of air force autonomy to a progressive view, which held that independent air operations could achieve strategic results rather than simply being chained to the support of armies and navies. Mitchell’s ideas and goals were adopted and shared by a wide following of early air officers, including “Hap” Arnold and “Tooey” Spaatz. Through Mitchell’s advocacy, the concepts of the offensive nature of airpower, the importance of air superiority, the primacy of strategic bombing, and the value of interdiction over close air support became enduring beliefs of modern airpower.
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