web site hit counter Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945 - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945

Availability: Ready to download

A major revision of our understanding of long-range bombing, this book examines how Anglo-American ideas about "strategic" bombing were formed and implemented. It argues that ideas about bombing civilian targets rested on--and gained validity from--widespread but substantially erroneous assumptions about the nature of modern industrial societies and their vulnerability to A major revision of our understanding of long-range bombing, this book examines how Anglo-American ideas about "strategic" bombing were formed and implemented. It argues that ideas about bombing civilian targets rested on--and gained validity from--widespread but substantially erroneous assumptions about the nature of modern industrial societies and their vulnerability to aerial bombardment. These assumptions were derived from the social and political context of the day and were maintained largely through cognitive error and bias. Tami Davis Biddle explains how air theorists, and those influenced by them, came to believe that strategic bombing would be an especially effective coercive tool and how they responded when their assumptions were challenged. Biddle analyzes how a particular interpretation of the World War I experience, together with airmen's organizational interests, shaped interwar debates about strategic bombing and preserved conceptions of its potentially revolutionary character. This flawed interpretation as well as a failure to anticipate implementation problems were revealed as World War II commenced. By then, the British and Americans had invested heavily in strategic bombing. They saw little choice but to try to solve the problems in real time and make long-range bombing as effective as possible. Combining narrative with analysis, this book presents the first-ever comparative history of British and American strategic bombing from its origins through 1945. In examining the ideas and rhetoric on which strategic bombing depended, it offers critical insights into the validity and robustness of those ideas--not only as they applied to World War II but as they apply to contemporary warfare.


Compare

A major revision of our understanding of long-range bombing, this book examines how Anglo-American ideas about "strategic" bombing were formed and implemented. It argues that ideas about bombing civilian targets rested on--and gained validity from--widespread but substantially erroneous assumptions about the nature of modern industrial societies and their vulnerability to A major revision of our understanding of long-range bombing, this book examines how Anglo-American ideas about "strategic" bombing were formed and implemented. It argues that ideas about bombing civilian targets rested on--and gained validity from--widespread but substantially erroneous assumptions about the nature of modern industrial societies and their vulnerability to aerial bombardment. These assumptions were derived from the social and political context of the day and were maintained largely through cognitive error and bias. Tami Davis Biddle explains how air theorists, and those influenced by them, came to believe that strategic bombing would be an especially effective coercive tool and how they responded when their assumptions were challenged. Biddle analyzes how a particular interpretation of the World War I experience, together with airmen's organizational interests, shaped interwar debates about strategic bombing and preserved conceptions of its potentially revolutionary character. This flawed interpretation as well as a failure to anticipate implementation problems were revealed as World War II commenced. By then, the British and Americans had invested heavily in strategic bombing. They saw little choice but to try to solve the problems in real time and make long-range bombing as effective as possible. Combining narrative with analysis, this book presents the first-ever comparative history of British and American strategic bombing from its origins through 1945. In examining the ideas and rhetoric on which strategic bombing depended, it offers critical insights into the validity and robustness of those ideas--not only as they applied to World War II but as they apply to contemporary warfare.

30 review for Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Some of her conclusions espoused lacked support in my opinion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vheissu

    I am struck by the notion that, until recently, American airmen did not possess the technical ability to hit targets precisely. Thus limited, the U.S. Air Force was left with little choice but to area bomb cities in World War II and Korea, raising obvious legal and moral questions. Today, the U.S. Air Force can not only attack targets precisely, they can target and hit individual persons. Ironically perhaps, these new capabilities have elicited a new and different set of legal and moral questi I am struck by the notion that, until recently, American airmen did not possess the technical ability to hit targets precisely. Thus limited, the U.S. Air Force was left with little choice but to area bomb cities in World War II and Korea, raising obvious legal and moral questions. Today, the U.S. Air Force can not only attack targets precisely, they can target and hit individual persons. Ironically perhaps, these new capabilities have elicited a new and different set of legal and moral questions . "A fundamental assertion that became central to the Anglo-American thinking about long-range bombing was that modern, complex, urban-based societies are fragile, interdependent, and therefore particularly vulnerable to disruption through aerial bombing." (p. 7) This was General Giulio Douhet's central thesis, which became the raison d'ĂȘtre for an independent air force. While armies expected aircraft to perform reconnaissance and close ground support, independent air forces justified their existence by emphasizing their ability to destroy civilians and civilian morale. Institutional and organizational pressures helped legitimize the possibly illegal and certainly immoral destruction of non-combatants. In their assessments of the RAF's interwar strategic mission: [the chief of Naval Staff:] Madden pointed out that RAF strategy as articulated would mean that the civilian life of the enemy would be 'endangered to a far greater degree than has ever hitherto been contemplated under International Law.' And [Chief of the Imperial Staff:] Milne stated simply that 'it is for His Majesty's Government to accept or to refuse a doctrine which, put into plain English, amounts to one which advocates unrestricted warfare against the civil population of one's enemy'." (pp. 96-7) I will add more to this essay...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nate Huston

    I'm a Jervis nerd, so I'm probably a a bit biased here. I tend to like Biddle's take on perception and an overwhelming desire on the part of many senior Airmen to "see what they wanted (or needed) to see" when it came to the effects of morale bombing and the efficacy of the industrial web theory (not to mention the "bomber will always get through" mentality and potential for HAPDB). That said, returning to Biddle after having read Jervis, some of the ties to issues of perception seem a bit of a s I'm a Jervis nerd, so I'm probably a a bit biased here. I tend to like Biddle's take on perception and an overwhelming desire on the part of many senior Airmen to "see what they wanted (or needed) to see" when it came to the effects of morale bombing and the efficacy of the industrial web theory (not to mention the "bomber will always get through" mentality and potential for HAPDB). That said, returning to Biddle after having read Jervis, some of the ties to issues of perception seem a bit of a stretch. Additionally, there are areas where the references to problems with perception seem to be almost bolted-on afterword, as if we had gone too long without considering the effects and the author felt it necessary to remind us. Overall, a very interesting read with a very intriguing proposition that much of early air power strategy was affected more by issues of perception than logic or rational deduction regarding actual effects or whether, even if the effects could be reliably predicted, the technology existed to achieve them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Jacobsen

    Biddle argues that British and American airpower pioneers vastly oversold the potential of strategic bombing, culminating in the disastrous initial experience of the Combined Bomber Offensive in World War II. Cognitive and organizational biases contributed to this gap between rhetoric and reality. These biases were so strong that strategic bombing advocates ignored or downplayed clear evidence, and clung to their theories long past the point of rationality. This is a good book, meticulously rese Biddle argues that British and American airpower pioneers vastly oversold the potential of strategic bombing, culminating in the disastrous initial experience of the Combined Bomber Offensive in World War II. Cognitive and organizational biases contributed to this gap between rhetoric and reality. These biases were so strong that strategic bombing advocates ignored or downplayed clear evidence, and clung to their theories long past the point of rationality. This is a good book, meticulously researched, but is determined to prove its central hypothesis. It should be read in conjunction with other books before making up one's mind about the efficacy of strategic bombing in World War II. Tooze's "Wages of Destruction", for example, suggests that even the cruder forms of area bombing may have taken a larger toll on the German war economy than many historians acknowledge.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard Waymire

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jason Zumwalt

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luke Truxal

  9. 5 out of 5

    John F.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Slaughter

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ross Mahoney

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jared Bruh

  13. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emma Marshall

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ang

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Peterson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Greg Weller

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kera

  20. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Jamison

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ssm

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ben Lyman

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brian S.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nelson Rouuleau

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trav

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jp

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Shapiro

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.