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Security Studies Prof Publishes Second Book

February 25, 2015

Dr. Robert Ehlers Jr., a professor of security studies at Angelo State University, has published his second book, “The Mediterranean Air War: Airpower and Allied Victory in World War II,” as part of the University Press of Kansas “Modern War Studies” series.

Ehlers’ book is the first one-volume history of the vital role of airpower during the three-year struggle for control of the Mediterranean Basin during World War II – and of its significance for the Allied successes in the war’s last two years. In particular, Ehlers’ analysis shows how and why the success of Allied airpower in the Mediterranean laid the groundwork for combined-arms victories in the Middle East, the Indian Ocean area, North Africa and northwest Europe, and how victory in the Middle Sea benefitted Allied efforts in the Battle of the Atlantic and the China-Burma-India campaigns. 

“I took on this challenge,” Ehlers said, “because it was clear that the importance of airpower and combined-arms operations in the Mediterranean Theater, as well as the larger benefits the Allies derived from their hard-fought victory there, have received far too little attention despite their great relevance to warfighting effectiveness today and in the future.” 

Tami Davis Biddle, chair of aerospace studies at the U.S. Army War College, said, “The book is brimming with insights about command, control and leadership. These insights are just as useful for contemporary practitioners and defense analysts as they are for students of history.” 

Douglas Porch, author of “The Path to Victory: The Mediterranean Theater in World War II,” said, “Robert Ehlers has assembled a perceptive, skillful and comprehensive account of the air dimension of World War II’s pivotal Mediterranean campaign.” 

Ehlers will present his new book to the Minnesota Historical Society, the largest in the U.S. with over 5,000 members, on April 9 at the Historic Fort Snelling National Historical Landmark in St. Paul, Minn. 

A retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Ehlers was the first director of ASU’s Center for Security Studies and holds a doctorate in military history from Ohio State University. His first book, “Targeting the Third Reich: Air Intelligence and the Allied Bombing Campaigns” (2010), won the Best Air Power History Book Award from the U.S. Air Force Historical Foundation. 

Ehlers has also been featured in a pair of BBC World War II documentaries that aired on the BBC in Great Britain and on PBS and the Discovery Channel in the U.S. One of the documentaries, “3-D Spies of WWII,” is available on Netflix. 

“The Mediterranean Air War” is available through University Press of Kansas, as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and several other online booksellers.