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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: Rise of Total War

Voice: By the nineteenth century, warfare had evolved into total war, involving resources and populations of entire nations. No longer were wars fought almost exclusively by trained soldiers or hired mercenaries; it came to involve entire populations, including both citizen soldiers and ordinary citizens. World War One gave birth to total war in the industrial age when huge armies of soldiers faced each other across battlefields that had been made horribly lethal by technological advances in weaponry. Shortly after the war began, the belligerents mobilized over 65 million troops. In spite of the huge armies, both sides expected a quick end to the war, and both sides went on the offensive. However, the war quickly settled into one of tactical deadlock in the trenches. Understanding the context and consequences of World War One is critical for airmen and their views on airpower theory.

Action: As the narration plays, several scenes of the devastation of World War One are presented. One shows a group of infantry resting alonside a road that passes through a completely lifeless landscape—not a tree nor even blade of grass stands. A second scene is of a cathedral whose wall is blown away being used as a field hospital. A third scene shows a mass formation of soldiers with fixed bayonets charging across an open landscape. Text bullets appear to reinforce the narration:

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