Academic journal article Air Power History

Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II

Academic journal article Air Power History

Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II

Article excerpt

Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II. By Phil Haun, ed. Lexington KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2019. Maps. Charts. Tables. Photographs. Pp. 320. $50.00. ISBN: 978-0-8131-7678-9

Historians seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on the WHAT of aviation history. What airplanes were used? What targets were attacked? What was the outcome of the engagement? Haun's book attempts to explain the WHY of America's strategic bombing campaign against Germany in World War II. He uses information contained in nine lectures presented at the Air Corps Tactical School in the late 1930s to show how the course content influenced the decision-makers who designed and conducted the strategic bombing campaign.

Haun is a skillful and entertaining writer. His introductions to the book and to each lecture are clear and concise and very important to tie the book together. In simplest terms, he describes the earliest attempts to build a doctrine for the use of strategic airpower. Drawing on the works of Douhet, Trenchard, and Mitchell, Haun shows how the Air Corps Tactical School faculty acolytes of these theoreticians expanded on their work by adding detail and showing examples of the technical advances that occurred over the ensuing 20-plus years. Most importantly, he also talks about efforts to define the technical advances that had to occur in the future if the doctrine was to be achievable in the upcoming conflict. …

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