Aerial Bombing: What is the Tipping Point for the Civilian Population?

In a doctoral thesis, Ikle suggested that the proponents of airpower had overestimated the relationship between the intensity of aerial bombing and the density of a city’s surviving population.

“Ikle was impressed by the amount of urban hardship and overcrowding that people could endure. But there were limits. The tipping point seemed to be reached when about 70 percent of a city’s homes were destroyed. That’s when people began to leave en masse and seek shelter in the countryside. (Schlosser, 2013, p.120).

References

Fred Charles Ikle, a graduate of the University of Chicago and expert on bomb destruction, who wrote ‘The Social Impact of Bomb Destruction,’ published in 1958.

Schlosser, E. (2013) Command and Control: The Story of Nuclear Weapons and the Illusion of Safety. London: Penguin Book s Ltd.

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