Reprints of Classic Air Power Texts

Like all areas of military history there are some classic texts that deal with air power. Like all classic texts they can often be difficult to find if they are not reprinted. Therefore it is good to see the University of Alabama Press reprinting some classic titles on air power. In particular the following have been reprinted in new editions:

John C Slessor Air Power and Armies (University of Alabama Press, 2009) – This new edition has an introduction by Philip Meilinger. The original was published by Oxford University Press in 1936. For me it has always been my nemesis as when ever I tried to get hold of a copy it was either too expensive or I was outbid on evilbay. Therefore, I am glad I know have a copy in my collection. It is one of the key texts on the use of operational air power in support of the land campaign, discussing its use primarily in aerial interdiction campaigns.

The next to be reprinted is:

Giulio Douhet The Command of the Air (University of Alabama Press, 2010) – Initially published in 1921 this edition is edited by Joseph Patrick Harahan and Richard H. Kohn. While it is debatable what impact the Douhet had upon the interwar development of air power theory in Britain and the US it remains an important text in air power history so it is good to see an accessible edition being available.

It also appears that later on this year they will be reprinting Mitchell’s Winged Defence.

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4 Responses to “Reprints of Classic Air Power Texts”


  1. 1 Brett February 28, 2010 at 11:11 am

    That’s good news, though I’ll always prefer the original editions where possible! Dover did a facsimile reprint of Winged Defense a few years ago, which I have.

    • 2 Ross February 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

      Brett I would love the originals too. Its just they tend to go for all lot of money. Every time I looked at Slessor’s work it started touching 100 quid. Too rich for a poor student!

  2. 3 Jay February 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    While nothing replaces the feeling of a book in your hands, be advised that a significant number of Air Power books from American authors are available online for free. See Air Force Historical Studies Office website at http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/publications.htm Giulio Douhet ‘The Command of the Air’ is available but Slesssor and Mitchell’s works are not. Some of the conversions of the books to pdf documents do not allow for word searches within the downloaded files, especially of the older books. Otherwise enjoy.

  3. 4 Ross February 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Jay that is a useful link. Thank you for that.


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