By John Buckley

This is often a good, considerate, and thorough precis of the historical past of air energy. Prof. Buckley artfully and succinctly weaves the nationwide recommendations, technological, and aeronautical functions of the foremost air strength international locations (and their respective and sometimes competing air companies) right into a coherent tale of the development of air battle from balloons to abandon hurricane, puncturing a couple of conventionally-accepted myths alongside the best way. this isn't a treatise on undefined, yet at the usually conflicting expectancies and features of air energy over 50 years of recent struggle.

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Extra resources for AIR POWER IN THE AGE OF TOTAL WAR (Warfare and History)

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Already involved were names who would later shape and influence the growth of air power on an international scale, men such as future RAF Chiefs of the Air Staff, Frederick Sykes and Hugh Trenchard. The Royal Flying Corps, established by the army, attempted to formulate doctrine and press ahead with aircraft procurement. Unlike their European competitors, the British attempted to control aircraft development through the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, a policy which came close to destroying private aeroplane development.

Yet perhaps such air power, the most vivid facet of total war, was an essential part of victory. The new totality of war made heavy demands on economies and societies, demands that ultimately only the Allies in the world wars could meet. By using air power to batter and drain Germany and Japan of material and technological resources, the Allies were able to gain significant advantages. The fascist dictatorships were not particularly suited to the demands of total war, and ultimately it was the responsibility of the Allies to use such a form of war to win.

England is no longer an island”, proclaimed Lord Northcliffe after the news of powered flight reached British shores. Indeed, on the face of it, Britain’s entire national strategy, based as it was around naval supremacy, had been compromised by the arrival of air power. Germany’s airships and France’s lead in aeroplane development caused considerable consternation in British circles. In fact, although the potential of aircraft was significant, in the years leading up to World War I, air power was decidedly embryonic and even in World War II the importance of naval supremacy and the English Channel was reaffirmed.

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