Giulio Douhet

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Giulio Douhet was an Italian general best known as an air power theorist born May 30, 1869 in Caserte, near Naples, Italy, deceased February 15, 1930 in Rome.[1]

At the end of 1912 Douhet became head of the Aviation Battalion of the Italian air force.[2] He was court-martialed and expelled from the military during the war, under confusing circumstances involving critical memoranda he authored. He was reinstated in 1920 as a major-general.[3]

Douhet's views on air power in the 1910s were conservative after a fashion, and he opined against the "strategic" use of air power against civilians.[4]

In 1921 Douhet published Il dominio dell'aria. (An English translation, The Command of the Air was published in 1942.) In this book Douhet seemingly reversed his previous views and advocated for total war, based on bombing the entire enemy society into submission. He published a revised version in 1927.


  1. Giulio Douhet on English Wikipedia
  2. Hippler, 2013, p. 31.
  3. Hippler, 2013, p. 32.
  4. Hippler, 2013, pp. 28–29. "Around 1910, Douhet actually held a clearly pacifistic position. With regard to the possibility of attacking civilian populations from the air, he stated categorically that 'the conscience of mankind in my century shows me that there are methods which cannot be honestly used even in war.' Moreover, he argued for an international conference that should ban aerial warfare, and held that strategic bombardments on non-military targets were neither permissible nor of any military use. And during the First World War, in 1915, he argued for the setting-up of a supra-national institution, and indeed almost a world-state, that would be capable of abolishing war altogether.

See Also

Names Giulio Douhet
Birth date May 30, 1869
Death date February 15, 1930
Locations Caserte, near Naples, Italy; Rome, Italy
Occupations Military officer
Tech areas Military
Wikidata id