Giulio Douhet

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Douhet, Giulio


Born May 30, 1869, in Caserta; died Feb. 15, 1930, in Rome. Italian fascist military theoretician; general.

Douhet was an artillery officer by training. He served in the air force from 1912 to 1915, when he was discharged for criticizing the command. He returned to the army in 1921 and aligned himself with the fascists. Until 1930 he was commander of the Italian Air Force. In 1910, Douhet stressed the leading role that aviation would play in a future war, a contention that was not borne out by the course of World War I. In Domination in the Air (1921; Russian translation, 1935) and The War of 19… (1930; Russian translation, 1936) he developed the theory of “independent air forces,” supposedly capable of determining a war’s outcome. It was his opinion that an air force, having gained domination in the air, could by itself secure victory in a war with strikes against the political and economic centers of the enemy. The army and navy were assigned an auxiliary role. Douhet’s theory was a reflection of the imperialists’ striving for a method of warfare that would require comparatively small forces, not mass armies. World War II proved the complete groundlessness of Douhet’s theory.

References in periodicals archive ?
In order to assure an adequate national defense, it is necessary--and sufficient--to be in a position in case of war to conquer the command of the air.
Before his most famous work, Il Dominio Dell'Area, was translated into English as The Command of the Air, Douhet's ideas were heavily criticized by a clever Italian air force officer named Amedeo Mecozzi.
35) Therefore, while Douhet argued for a "progressive decrease of land and sea forces, accompanied by a corresponding increase of aerial forces until they are strong enough to conquer the command of the air," Mecozzi posited the creation of a balanced air force, one capable of cooperating closely with the other services to achieve decisive results while at the same time defending them from enemy air attack.
In The Command of the Air, Douhet asserted that "the battlefield will be limited only by the boundaries of the nations at war.
Giulio Douhet, The Command of the Air, trans Dino Ferrari (1942; reprint, Washington D.
In that regard he wrote: "The air-strategist [Douhet] believes the command of the air is a means and not a goal since his real goal is victory through massacre of the population.
The ceremony of the change of command was held at Air Headquarters Islamabad where the outgoing Air Chief Marshall Tanveer Mehmood handed over the command of the air force to its new Chief Rao Qamar Suleman and pinned the badges as.
Only one hour and half later one of the injured reported to the command of the air based about the incident.
Douhet's fame rests chiefly on The Command of the Air and several smaller works on the subject of air power; he saw aircraft as the ultimate offensive weapon, against which there was no real defense, and he foresaw the use of aircraft to strike at the enemies' cities, transport networks, and industries; he also argued both for independent air forces and for the creation of the "battleplane," an unspecialized general combat aircraft; he did not intend his theories to be universal, and his strategic thinking was strongly influenced by Italian experience during World War I and by Italy's unenviable strategic situation in the 1920s; he was the first, and possibly greatest, of the theorists of air power.