"Fundamental pricncples of Air Power"
by: Henry K. "Hap" Arnold
American general who commanded the Army Air Forces during World War II. Worked to create the U.S. Air Force as a separate service.
Source: Extracted from General Arnold's Global Mission, 290-91.
Throughout the war, l tried to have the Air Force operate under certain fundamental principles:
1. The main job of the Air Force is bombardment: large formations of bombardment planes must hit the enemy before the enemy hits us. In short, the best defense is attack.
2. Our planes must be able to function under all climatic conditions from the North Pole to the South Pole.
3. Daylight operations, including daylight bombing, are essential to success, for it is the only way to get precision bombing. We must operate with a precision bombsight--and by daylight--realizing full well that we will have to come to a decisive combat with the enemy Air Force.
4. We must have highly developed, highly trained crews working together as a team--on the ground for maintenance and in the air for combat.
5. In order to bring the war home to Germany and Japan, and deprive them of the things that are essential for their war operations, we must carry our strategic precision bombing to key targets, deep in the enemy territory, such as airplane factories, oil refineries, steel mills, aluminum plants, submarine pens, Navy yards, etc.
6. In addition to our strategic bombing, we must carry out tactical operations in cooperation with ground troops. For that purpose we must have fighters, dive bombers, and light bombers for attacking enemy airfields, communications centers, motor convoys, and troops.
7. All types of bombing operations must be protected by fighter airplanes. This was proved to be essential in the Battle of Britain, and prior to that our own exercises with bombers and fighters indicated that bombers alone could not elude modern pursuit, no matter how fast the bombers traveled.
8. Our Air Force must be ready for combined operations with ground forces, and with the Navy.
9. We must maintain our research and development programs in order to have the latest equipment it was possible to get, as soon as it was possible to get it.
10. Air power is not made up of airplanes alone. Air power is a composite of airplanes, air crews, maintenance crews, air bases, air supply, and sufficient replacements in both planes and crews to maintain a constant fighting strength, regardless of what losses may be inflicted by the enemy. In addition to that, we must have the backing of a large aircraft industry in the United States to provide all kinds of equipment, and a large training establishment that can furnish the personnel when called upon.