First of all, apologies for my absense yesterday but I was involved in 'ambulance driving', or to be precise, the 'Memsahib', owner of the world's most expensive toe, had to be driven to the hospital so that the surgeon could inspect his work and tell us what a marvellous job he did and that, really, when you think about it, it was cheap at the price - of £3,500!!!!!! - and yes, thank you for asking, he added, I did enjoy my summer holiday!
Back to the subject in hand, and here I must tread carefully because one of my regular e-pals here at D&N is a retired RAF officer. However, I suspect, were you to pay for the drinks, eventually he would agree that the history of the RAF high command before and during WWII was, shall we say, less than distinguished. Trenchard's (and Churchill's) fixation on the alleged strategic war-winning capabilities of the 'big bomber' was completely wrong and the Germans' doctrine that air power was best used tactically in close support of ground troops was exactly right. Similarly, the British, or to be precise, the British Air Ministry of the time, trailed behind the Germans in the development of radar, and Sir Hugh Dowding's reward for his pre-war-perseverence in insisting upon a chain of radar stations with a suitable C3 network was rewarded by an unbelievably ungrateful nation after he won the Battle of Britain by being prematurely retired. It was not then, and probably is not today, a wise thing to prove your colleagues wrong!
'Bomber' Harris, a Trenchard man to the end of his stupid nose, needs no extra villification from me. Suffice to say that he and his mostly useless Air Staff failed to recognise the potential of the Mosquito - fast, accurate and a crew of only two - and persisted with great lumbering bombers carrying seven or eight men which is part of the reason why Bomber Command's casualty rate was only exceeded by the German submarine service. As the late Richard Holmes points out in his one-volume biography of Churchill, it was not until the middle of 1942 - at the earliest! - that the cost in blood and treasure expended by RAF Bomber Command was exceeded by German costs.
Of course, air power was virtually new because the experience of WWI was insufficient to draw any definite conclusions and so the Air Marshals were feeling their way in the dark. But having said that, it would have demonstrated a higher level of intelligence if they had treated their doctrines with greater scepticism and been prepared to change what passed for their minds in the light of experience.