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Ep. 6: Frank Ledwidge on Airpower
School of WarNov 23, 2021
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Frank Ledwidge is a senior fellow of law and strategy at the Royal Air Force College in Cranwell, England. Ledwidge served as an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve and later worked in British foreign policy, focusing on the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia. In 2015, Ledwidge earned his doctorate in War Studies at the King's College in London. He is the author of several books, including Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain's Afghan War, and Aerial Warfare: The Battle for the Skies. 


  • 01:14 - Introduction
  • 04:27 - Origins and importance of airpower in the World War I
  • 10:43 - From air reconnaissance to air bombings
  • 12:43 - The Interwar Period and the "prophets" of air war
  • 17:57 - How air bombing theories influence British and American World War II strategy
  • 22:04 - Air raid casualties
  • 29:05 - Control of the air during the Cold War
  • 34:49 - Perceptions of the U.S.'s mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy
  • 36:49 - Airpower in modern wars
  • 38:57 - Theories of air warfare applied to space

Recorded November 2, 2021