Strategic bombing is considered one necessity for a nation’s air force to visualize air supremacy during World War I and World War II. Strategic bombing is defined as “striking deep into enemy territory to destroy war-making capabilities.”
Many theorists speculated different ideas on strategic bombing, including Trenchard, Douhet, and Gorrell. Trenchard’s strategic bomb theory was to focus more on attacking German homelands and to target the enemy nation’s morale. Next, Douhet’s theory is based on Total War Concept and targeted German infrastructures. Lastly, Gorrell’s theory using strategic bombs was to mainly focus on one German city at a time.
From WWI, The German Bombing of Britain and the Allied Bombing of Germany both utilized strategic bombing in its attacks. During 1915-1918, Germans conducted bombing raids against, but made no progress when destroying little war making capabilities, and instead strengthened British morale. To retaliate against the Germans, the Allied Powers began the bombings in 1914 by bombing cities and airfields.
From WWII, strategic bombing became more of a major objective. From the Casablanca Conference on January 1943, the Allied Forces showed that the destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial, and economical system, undermining morale, and destruction of the enemy aircraft industry would help achieve air superiority. As a result, lessons such as targeting the facilities and sources electrical power, terror-bombing civilians was ineffective and did nothing to lower morale, and that bombers needed fighter escorts were learned.
Although it’s negligible outcome on war showed its limit in scope and intensity in World War I, it laid the fundamental foundation for future thought for World War II.
There are a plethora of technical innovations developed between the Montgolfier Brothers’ successful balloon flight and the end of World War II that directly contributed to the advancement of airpower, but the introduction of balloons and dirigibles served as a stepping-stone to how flight and aviation improved.
During 1783, the Montgolfier Brothers’ had the first manned flight for five miles for 25 minutes. From this observation, Benjamin Franklin immediately saw the military potential of it. The balloon’s first military use was for the French against the Austrians in 1794, but they retaliated back by dropping bombs in Venice in 1849.
America’s airpower was first used for spotting artillery fire and observing troop movement. Airpower was not realized on how much of an impact it could make on wars, so lighter-than-air vehicles were not accepted yet. Airpower’s first major impact was during World War I.
Since these types of vehicles had no effect between the Civil War and 1891, the Union abandoned balloons in 1863. Adolphus W. Greenly, the grandfather of military aviation had suddenly integrated aviation into the signal corps. Unfortunately, the interest in...