Arguably, in some ways modern multi-role fighter-attack aircraft resemble Douhet's battleplane, but in terms of the roles and missions they perform they are decidedly more akin to Mecozzi's concept of assault aviation, especially in terms of air-to-ground operations.
If an air force were comprised solely of battleplanes, then "the same personnel could employ all the armament of the planes in aerial battle in the first phase of action, then strike against surface targets in the second phase.
Even though it was intended to avoid aerial combat, this battleplane would include some defensive weaponry for the sake of the crew's morale.
Although he saw an economic benefit in the battleplane, Douhet's focus on an aircraft whose principal capability was bombing was driven by his core belief that airpower was the ultimate offensive force.
The first battleplane, the B-17 Flying Fortress, was not fully effective until it had defensive fighter escort to counter Luftwaffe aerial defenders.
In 1931, the publisher Partridge reissued a whole series of wartime fictions including Westerman's The Secret Battleplane
(first published in 1916) and Tanks to the Fore/(1917); and Rowland Walker's Oscar Danby VC -- an intensely patriotic tale of willing sacrifice on the Western Front first published in 1916; and Oxford University Press reprinted many of Herbert Strang's war stories -- Carry On: A Story of the Fight for Bagdad, for example, was last republished in 1936.
In addition to its load of bombs that were to be dropped on an enemy's homeland, the battleplane would be so armed and armored as to allow a formation of these aircraft to fight its way through enemy air defenses and bomb its target.
For most of the two decades separating the last century's two world wars, developing a Douhetian battleplane with an operational ceiling that would facilitate penetration of enemy air defenses did not appear to present insurmountable challenges.
But perhaps the most interesting of all these works is the 1916 novel The Secret Battleplane
by Percy Westerman.