By William Carrington Sherman; Wray R Johnson; Air University (U.S.). Press
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These facts may be roughly described as those which are of the order of mathematical truths, and those which are primarily derived from the nature of man. 6 AIR WARFARE [Ch. 1 The human factor in war. War is essentially a conflict of moral forces. A decision is reached not by the actual physical destruction of an armed force, but by the destruction of its believe in ultimate victory and its will to win. Material things may be, and generally are, of great importance. But in spite of the tendency in modern life to subordinate the man to the machine, it is still true of war that the effectiveness of material things is gauged less by their purely mechanical worth than by the extent to which they raise or lower the morale of the combatants.
But the physical factors, which in land warfare are found aligned on the side of the defensive, tend in air warfare rather to favor the offensive; or at least, they do not markedly weaken the value of the latter. The offensive, on account of these factors, is an even stronger form of action in [Ch. 1 SOME PRINCIPLES OF AIR WARFARE 23 air fighting. These physical considerations will be briefly discussed. It will be shown subsequently that considerations of design, due to physical limitations, make it desirable to have the essentially fighting machine, the pursuit airplane, a singleseater, which is capable of firing its machine guns only to the front and in its line of flight.
These factors tend to preserve the individual psyche. However strong may be the personally born emotions which are aroused in him, he is incapable of transmitting his panic to another. The infection does not spread. While the comparative freedom of the airman from the influence of the mass tends to preserve him from the demoralizing effect of panic, it has also its disadvantages. Every infantry soldier is aware of the spiritual comfort which comes in the hour of danger from the close proximity of comrades or from the bearing and example of a leader.