A History of Air Warfare by John Andreas Olsen

By John Andreas Olsen

This one-volume anthology offers a entire research of the position that air strength has performed in army conflicts over the last century. Comprising 16 essays penned by way of a world cadre of best army specialists, A historical past of Air conflict chronologically examines the application of air strength from the 1st international struggle to the second one Lebanon battle, crusade through crusade. each one essay lays out the pursuits, occasions, and key avid gamers of the clash in query, reports the position of air energy within the strategic and operational contexts, and explores the interaction among the political framework and army operations right. The concluding part bargains wider views by means of targeting air and house strength in either unconventional and standard struggle from 1913 to the current. greater than an easy homage to air energy, A heritage of Air struggle exposes air power’s strengths and weaknesses and, the place suitable, illuminates the demanding situations of joint operations and coalition war. due to its severe method, even therapy, and old history, the booklet will attract smooth battle students, air strength experts, and basic readers drawn to army historical past alike.

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By approaching a subject in breadth, the student should recognize how different developments relate to each other, and perhaps identify links that are not apparent at first sight. The second general rule is to study in depth. The student who seeks to improve professional insight needs to study individual wars, campaigns, and battles in detail and to explore specific issues meticulously. The student must consult different expert sources and obtain several interpretations in order to understand the background of a given event, identify its unique features, and assess what characteristics it had in common with other events.

The chapter also explores the war’s two major independent bombing campaigns—the German Blitz of Britain in 1940 and 1941, and the Anglo-American bombing campaigns against Germany, Italy, and areas of German-occupied Europe—neither of which achieved their aim of breaking the population’s morale. Still, in the Allied case, the development of an effective concept of operational air war became an essential ingredient for victory in Western and Southern Europe. The long, drawn-out Allied bombing campaigns succeeded in distorting German strategy and inhibiting war production by denying important military resources to German forces at the front, and the Allies’ numerical advantages in aircraft eventually proved decisive.

Almost all historical accounts include some level of misdirection. Military history offers an excellent illustration of H. L. ”5 In the study of history, there is no such thing as the definitive truth: there are too many variables, too many unknowns, too many uncertainties, and too many hidden agendas. ”6 Those who read about war must seek variety and acknowledge inconclusiveness in the sources they consult. Warfare cannot be understood without taking those elements into account. Accepting the possibility of alternative explanations is especially important in military studies, where lives ultimately may be at stake if decisions are based on misinterpretations of history.

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