The Development of RAF Strategic Bombing Doctrine, 1919-1939 / Edition 1

The Development of RAF Strategic Bombing Doctrine, 1919-1939 / Edition 1

by Scot Robertson
Pub. Date:
Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated


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The Development of RAF Strategic Bombing Doctrine, 1919-1939 / Edition 1

The history of strategic bombing is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Royal Air Force. This book explores the question of doctrinal development in the RAF. It employs a neo-Clausewitzian analysis to reveal that the RAF based the preparation of its strategic bombing force on supposition and hypothesis. Rather than review the evidence of the First World War objectively to determine the fundamental principles of strategic bombing, the RAF adopted a subjective approach. The failure to develop a realistic theory of strategic bombing and to test it through a dialectical process resulted in a lack of attention to the equally necessary element of doctrine. Bomber Command was incapable of carrying out a strategic bombing campaign because it failed in peace to develop the necessary doctrine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275949976
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/24/1995
Series: Praeger Studies in Diplomacy and Strategic Thought Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.39(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

SCOT ROBERTSON is an analyst in the Force Development Branch of the Department of National Defence in Ottawa. He has contributed a chapter on Hugh Trenchard to a recent collection on military heretics and a chapter on the legal and moral aspects of the strategic bombing campaign during the Second World War, and has written extensively on arms control and various aspects of contemporary strategic issues. He is presently preparing a monograph on the British Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Defence Requirements Committee.

Table of Contents




Strategic Bombing as an Idea: The Relationship of Theory and Strategy

The Role of Theory

Early Experience with "Strategic" Air Power

The Foundations of Independent Air Power

The Theory of the Strategic Offensive and the Battles in Whitehall

The Development of Doctrine in the RAF

Equipment Policy and Aircraft Development

Equipping the Bomber Aircraft

Formulating and Testing Strategic Doctrine

Doctrinal Considerations and Tactical Problems

The Planning Process and Operations





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