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War from above the Clouds

B-52 Operations during the Second Indochina War and the Effects of the Air War on Theory and Doctrine

William P. Head
2002, 146 pages
ISBN: 1-58566-107-4
Cost: $13, AU Press Code: P-23

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Dr. Head examines B-52 operations in Vietnam and how the air war affected airpower doctrine and theory. He examines the evolution of this awesome manned strategic weapon in Vietnam to see how the structure of the B-52's originally intended mission altered--if at all--the theories of airpower first put forward by Giulio Douhet and William "Billy" Mitchell. Dr. Head analyzes how this same operational alteration affected official USAF doctrine first formulated by Army Air Corps and Army Air Forces leaders before and during World War II, later modified in the 1950s after the US Air Force became a separate service. Dr. Head contends that the lack of a definitive test for the theory that airpower decisively affects the outcome of war continued during the Vietnam or Second Indochina War.

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