Debating 'Douhetism': Competing Airpower Theories in Republican China, 1928–1945

Chi Man Kwong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article sheds lights on the difficulty faced by the minor powers when they were trying to build an effective air force during the interwar period (1919–1939) and the Second World War, using the experience of Chinese military aviation as an example. It argues that the Chinese were heavily influenced by the ideas of decisive action and strategic bombing, as well as similar ideas that were attributed (sometimes incorrectly) to the Italian General and air proponent Giulio Douhet. Only the harsh lessons of the war gradually persuaded the Chinese to adopt a more realistic approach to using air power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-142
Number of pages25
JournalWar in History
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

User-Defined Keywords

  • air force
  • China
  • Giulio Douhet
  • interwar period
  • Japan
  • strategic bombing


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