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==Meilinger, Paths of Heaven/Airpower and Armies, 1997 Trenchard & Slessor ==

Context: Meilinger is Former SAAS dude. / Slessor worked for Trenchard early on, and then taught at the British ‘joint’ school, so focused on air/ground integration.



Marshal of the RAF Sir Hugh Trenchard (1873-1956) (Father of RAF)'

Thesis: 1) air superiority prerequisite to military success, 2) airpower inherently offensive, and 3) psychological effects greater than material effects (51)

- All of Trenchard’s targets were of military significance – unlike Douhet, he did not advocate the bombing of population centers – instead, bomb factories = affect worker morale = by extension, affect morale (46)

- Commanded Independent Force in France – believed a/c were inherently offensive and adopted a policy of relentless attacks; the deeper British planes flew into Germany, the better – regardless of losses (44)

- Attack enemy airfields 1st to attain air superiority; once achieved air operations were conducted in conjunction with the ground effort – “interdiction” targets: railroad yards, bridges, depots, road networks (45)

- Strategic bombing, “hit as many different factories as possible, so that no one felt secure …within range” (46)

- Trenchard used the protection of British colonial territories as a springboard for the use of the aerial weapon justifying the requirement of a separate Air Force – Somaliland campaign very successful (49)

- “War was a contest between the moral tenacity of two countries, and if we could bomb the enemy more intensely and more continually than he could bomb us the result might be an early offer of peace” (51).

- Trenchard believed in a 2-1 ratio for offense versus defense: for every 2 bombers, 1 fighter for defense (52)

- In the interwar period, Trenchard changed his views on attacking enemy airfields. He now envisioned a great air battle, where the winner progress to concentrate on paralyzing the enemy nation and breaking its morale (52)

- AP1300 never referred to bombing population centers, but states that victory resulted from collapse of morale (55)

- Good vision, manage to push more sqn into service prior to 1939.

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