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.
(49.) The sine qua non of Douhet's air force was the "battleplane," an aircraft capable of aerial combat as well as long-range bombardment.
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.
Douhet's fame rests chiefly on The Command of the Air and several smaller works on the subject of air power; he saw aircraft as the ultimate offensive weapon, against which there was no real defense, and he foresaw the use of aircraft to strike at the enemies' cities, transport networks, and industries; he also argued both for independent air forces and for the creation of the "battleplane
," an unspecialized general combat aircraft; he did not intend his theories to be universal, and his strategic thinking was strongly influenced by Italian experience during World War I and by Italy's unenviable strategic situation in the 1920s; he was the first, and possibly greatest, of the theorists of air power.
The vehicle for delivering the decisive air attacks in Douhet's scheme was "the battleplane." 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.
Air Force Chief of Staff, would declare that "Serbia's air force is essentially useless and its air defenses are dangerous but ineffective."  Relaxed contextual restrictions unleashed the most modern embodiment of Douhet's "battleplane," the B-2 Stealth bomber, with devastating results.
While Douhet called for "a mass of battleplanes...acting decisively and exclusively on the offensive," Trenchard urged air war strategists to "hurl a mass of aviation at any one locality needing attack."  And yet, NATO strike aircraft averaged only 92 sorties per day for the first thirty days compared to a "mass" of 1,300 strike sorties flown every day during Operation Desert Storm.