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More than Just a Nuisance : When Aerial Terror Bombing Works

By Major C. G. C. Treadway, USAF

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Book Id: WPLBN0002170865
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 330.94 kb
Reproduction Date: 10/24/2012

Title: More than Just a Nuisance : When Aerial Terror Bombing Works  
Author: Major C. G. C. Treadway, USAF
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Military Science, Terrorism and Airpower
Collections: Technology, Leadership, Science Fiction Collection, Military Science, Authors Community, Bibliography, Naval Science, Medicine, Literature, Government, History, Political Science
Publication Date:
Publisher: Air University Press
Member Page: Air University Press


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G. C. Treadway, Usa, M. C. (n.d.). More than Just a Nuisance : When Aerial Terror Bombing Works. Retrieved from

This thesis examines three campaigns during which aerial terror raids, peripheral to the main war efforts and incapable of destroying the enemy war-making capacity, elicited disproportionate reactions from the targeted leaderships. The raids on London during World War I, the V-1 and V-2 raids on London three decades later, and the Scud attacks on Israel during Desert Storm each show evidence of overreaction by Allied/coalition leaders. A review of the nature of terrorism and of airpower reveals that aerial weapons are uniquely suitable as terror weapons. An analysis of the differences between nuisance attacks and conventional civilian bombing, along with an understanding of the pressures on the leaders involved, leads to an explanation for past overreactions: aerial terror raids shock targeted leaders into visceral responses. Historically short-lived, these responses are based on the pressures of representative government and the tendency to overestimate the capability of terror weapons while underestimating the resilience of the population.

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION . . . . 1 THE ANATOMY OF TERROR . . . . . 3 BEYOND THE TRENCHES . . . . 9 “V” FOR VENGEANCE . . . . . 13 DECISIVE TERROR . . . . 19 ANALYSIS . . . . . 25 CONCLUSION . . . . . 31 BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . 37


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