A History of Air Warfare

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This one-volume anthology provides a comprehensive analysis of the role that air power has played in military conflicts over the past century. Comprising sixteen essays penned by a global cadre of leading military experts, A History of Air Warfare chronologically examines the utility of air power from World War I to the second Lebanon war, campaign by campaign.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A better qualified editor for such a volume could hardly be found. There is no better work on the general history of air warfare than this volume.”

“Everything you need to know about the evolution of modern air warfare is here. I have been studying air warfare for over forty years now, but if I had room for only one historical volume that encapsulated the evolution of western air warfare since 1914, this would be it. It is superbly written. Should be on the syllabus for staff colleges and a must for all serious students of modern warfare.”

“A fine assembly of papers on air power history and development and a ‘bible’ packed with information. This captures the changing history of air warfare and analyzes the role air power has played in military conflicts over the last century. These sixteen essays pack a punch and are a ‘must’ for any serious military history library.”

“The book provides the most comprehensive and best recent overview of the air warfare development, and accordingly, will be considered for the 2011 Chief of the Air Force Reading list.”

A History of Air Warfare is an epic work that captures all the essential elements that have made the airplane a dominant force in warfare. The authors are the most knowledgeable for each period they chronicle. Most of all, the readers will be captivated as they relive the excitement of swirling air battles or the use of modern marvels such as stealth tactics, precision weapons, or air campaign planning. This book should be required reading for all military leaders, but it is also great entertainment for the general reader as it captures the vivid history of our new way of war.”

“John Olsen has assembled the best historians of air power; the result is a superb overview, indispensable to anyone interested in how the expansion of warfare into the third dimension has transformed the art of war. A first-rate work.”

A History of Air Warfare is . . . in a class of its own. Olsen and his very expert authors deliver on the promise of providing a history of air power that is both appreciatively celebrating and critical, as the record requires. No existing history even comes close to Olsen for domain, depth, and contextual analysis. Also, although this is an edited work by many authors, editorial guidance, keyed to clear purpose and sensible attitude, yields a well-coordinated whole; this is a history, not just a collection of useful essays. . . . Today and in the future, whatever the character of warfare, the air dimension must be significant. A History of Air Warfare, explains better than does any other book available today why this will be so.”

"Col John Olsen is one of the dominant voices in airpower history and operations in the world today. His books should be required reading for everyone in uniform."—Phillip S. Meilinger, PhD, Colonel, USAF, Retired, Strategic Studies Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597974332
  • Publisher: Potomac Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 522
  • Sales rank: 258,754
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Andreas Olsen is the dean of the Norwegian Defence University College, head of its division for strategic studies, and visiting professor of operational art and tactics at the Swedish National Defence College. He is an active-duty colonel in the Norwegian Air Force and has lectured widely in Europe and the United States. His previous publications include Strategic Air Power in Desert Storm (Frank Cass, 2003) and John Warden and the Renaissance of American Air Power (Potomac Books, 2007). He lives in Oslo, Norway.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

List of Abbreviations ix

Introduction xiii

Part I 1914-1945 1

1 The First World War, 1914-1919 John H. Morrow 3

2 The Air War in Europe, 1939-1945 Richard Overy 27

3 The Air War in the Pacific, 1941-1945 Richard R. Muller 53

Part II 1945-1990 81

4 The Air War in Korea, 1950-1953 Alan Stephens 85

5 Operations over North Vietnam, 1965-1973 Wayne Thompson 107

6 Air Superiority in the Israel-Arab Wars, 1967-1982 Shmuel L. Gordon 127

7 Air Power and the Falklands, 1982 Lawrence Freedman 157

Part III 1990-2000 175

8 Operation Desert Storm, 1991 John Andreas Olsen 177

9 Operation Deliberate Force, 1995 Robert C. Owen 201

10 Operation Allied Force, 1999 Tony Mason 225

Part IV 2000-2006 253

11 Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001 Benjamin S. Lambeth 255

12 Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003 Williamson Murray 279

13 The Second Lebanon War, 2006 Itai Brun 297

Part V Perspectives 325

14 Air Power in Small Wars: 1913 to the Present James S. Corum 327

15 The Rise and Fall of Air Power Martin van Creveld 351

16 Air and Space Power: Climbing and Accelerating Richard P. Hallion 371

Notes 395

Selected Bibliography 441

Index 453

Biographical Notes 481

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