Download A War of Their Own: Bombers Over the Southwest Pacific by Matthew K. Rodman PDF

By Matthew K. Rodman

This paintings makes an attempt to offer a correct account of the character of the air warfare within the Southwest Pacific in the course of global conflict II, focusing mostly upon the 5th Air strength. The research doesn't presume to be an all-encompassing operational precis; as a substitute, it goals to supply a consultant photograph of yank bombardment in that sector. This used to be a second in background while strive against air energy performed a key function in attaining victory. the writer recounts how the 5th Air strength fast constructed new strategies and techniques that "saved the day." The perfection of low-altitude bombing, strafing, and pass bombing made variations that during hindsight are effortless to acknowledge and quantify. with out them the 5th may have came across itself in an extended, dearer struggle with an doubtful final result. besides the fact that, those new strategies damage the enemy to the level that the Allies finally prevailed. the genuine price of this research lies now not quite a bit in its retelling of vital advancements in air strength as in its pushing the necessity for the army to be versatile, adaptive, opportunistic, and entrepreneurial whereas safeguarding middle values and capitalizing on center advantage. Many elements be sure luck -- education, assets, wisdom, and resolution to call a number of. yet none of those have approximately the significance of the inventive skill to evolve successfully to confront the risk and carry victory.

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Most histories of World War II give the Fifth the lion’s share of credit for the tactic because it accounted for some of that unit’s most spectacular victories. More correctly, American skip bombing started with the prewar attack doctrine espoused by Kenney. The British revived low-level tactics in 1939 in the first antishipping attacks of the war. They continued to use and modify low-altitude and skipping tactics before America entered the fight. General Arnold heard of their success and put American research teams into action at Eglin Field between January and December 1942.

30 Midway through the 1930s, the Army softened its stance somewhat, but the official message of ground primacy remained clear. The WDGS felt the occasional need to reiterate its position by “putting the Air Corps in its place”: As far as the General Staff was concerned the primary function of the air force still was support of ground operations. ”31 In fact, when the commanding officer of ACTS suggested in 1938 that the Air Corps thought of the texts and theories presented at the school—strategic bombardment among them— as doctrine, he was quickly reminded where the Tactical School stood within the bigger Army picture: When Brig.

33. , 71. 34. William Mitchell, Winged Defense: The Development and Possibilities of Modern Air Power—Economic and Military (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1925), 16. 35. Air Corps Field Manual (ACFM) 1-10, Tactics and Techniques of Air Attack, 1940, 6. 36. , 108. 37. , 102. 38. United States War Department, Training Circular no. 52, “Employment of Aviation in Close Support of Ground Troops” (Washington, DC: War Department, 1941), Air Force History Support Office, Bolling AFB, Washington, DC. 39.

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