The nine contributors to this volume study the rapid development of airpower during the twentieth century as well as the methodological problems involved in assessing such change.
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The rapid development of airpower has been one of the most marked features of warfare in the twentieth century. It has been attended by great controversy, both among its practitioners and between historians and political scientists who seek to understand and explain it. The nine contributions to this volume focus on key issues in these debates. In dealing with the many topics within this book, methodological issues are also tackled in a manner of interest and importance both to historians and to political scientists. Airpower: Theory and Practice spans almost the entire history of air warfare, from World War I to the Second Gulf War (1991). It considers the role of the individual propagandist for the new arm, Alexander P. de Seversky and his book Victory Through Air Power (1942) adapted for the cinema screen by Walt Disney, and the influence of institutions on a new armed service, which constrained the birth of the French Air Force between the wars. One study looks at a decisive yet modest aerial intervention in a modern but limited internal war, the role of the German Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War. Three of the essays analyse in detail the nature of Anglo-American air doctrine and co-operation, during 1941-45, both in the strategic bombing of Germany and in the Atlantic maritime war against the U-boat menace.
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