Published Authors

War From Above the Clouds

by William P. Head

Dr. William P. Head’s “War from Above the Clouds: B-52 Operations during the Second Indochina War and the Effects of the Air War on Theory and Doctrine” is an examination of B-52 operations in Vietnam and how the air war affected airpower doctrine and theory. His study examines the evolution of this awesome manned strategic weapon in Vietnam to see how the design of the B-52s original intended mission altered – if at all – the theories of airpower first put forward by Giulio Douhet and William “Billy” Mitchell. Dr. Head also analyzes how this same operational alteration affected official United States Air Force (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 USAF became a separate service. In the aftermath of World War II, airmen had to reevaluate the old theories. Would the bombers always get through? The lessons of the war seemed to indicate that the answer to this question is no, not without long-range fighter escorts such as the P-47 and P-51.