Sun Aug 31 22:17:36 2008
In his Command of the Air, Giulio Douhet greatly underestimated the amount of materiel that would need to be expended to destroy urban and industrial targets. He also greatly overestimated their effects on public morale. When his theories were finally put to the test more than twenty years later in World War II it was discovered that they had the opposite effect. Arial bombing tended to mobilize public support and determination rather than defeat it. Had Douhet’s ideas been shown to work in practice I have no doubt we would have seen much more widespread application. Only with the development of nuclear weapons were Douhet’s predictions fulfilled for air power and that started a forty-year arms race.