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Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II$
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Phil Haun

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813176789

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813176789.001.0001

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The Bomber Always Gets Through

The Bomber Always Gets Through

(p.87) 3 The Bomber Always Gets Through
Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II
Phil Haun
University Press of Kentucky

In this chapter, to support the assertion that air power is inherently offensive, Kenneth Walker, in “Driving Home the Bombardment Attack,” argues that in the air, offense dominates defense, and a well-armed and well-flown massed bomber formation can defend against any air-to-air attack. In “Tactical Offense and Tactical Defense,” Frederick Hopkins takes an inductive approach to the question of whether the bomber will always get through. In World War I, only when German defenders concentrated their fighters to British bombers at a ratio of 1.5 to 1 did British attrition rates become too great for sustained operations. Hopkins considers it unlikely such ratios would be achieved in the future given the defender’s dilemma of having to defend everywhere yet also mass forces against an offensive force that could choose the time and location of attack.

Keywords:   Kenneth Walker, Frederick Hopkins, aerial bombardment, wartime offense versus defense, Air Corps Tactical School, HADPB

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