By Phillip S Meilinger
Bomber makes an attempt to explain SAC within the context of what used to be then a brand new worldwide dynamic, later dubbed the chilly battle, exhibiting the way it confronted the regularly evolving demanding situations of its time.
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Extra info for Bomber: The Formation and Early Years of Strategic Air Command
Wray R. Johnson in the preface to the republished edition of Air Warfare (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 2002), xiv. 31 Sherman, Air Warfare, 202. 28 29 imperatives for bombing │ 11 One such target was the civilian population, although Sherman noted such a drastic step could only be approved by political leaders. ”32 Workers were simply warriors in civilian clothes. He concluded on a somewhat more hopeful note that fear of reprisal would likely serve as a brake on such city-busting tactics—what nation would launch such air strikes against enemy cities if it knew that its own cities would consequently suffer a similarly devastating blow?
This would not only save aircrew lives and reduce losses but also provide a more rapid decision. Precision bombing led to the maxim that this offensive campaign be carried out in daylight—attempting to hit specific factories or marshaling yards at night was deemed impossible. And finally, the targets, as noted, would be key industrial facilities, the destruction of which would cause a cascading effect throughout the enemy’s economy. In the words of one ACTS lecturer (albeit somewhat inelegant): It is maintained that modern industrial nations are susceptible to defeat by interruption of this web, which is built to permit the dependence of one section upon many or all other sections, and further that this interruption is the 53 Greer, “Development of Air Doctrine in the Army Air Arm,” 81.
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. 2202A. 49 Capt Harold L. 121-3, 2–3. In a surprising burst of candor, George admitted that to concede that airpower was simply a new weapon would relegate it to being an auxiliary of the land forces. ” He went on to state sardonically, “Perhaps someone will invent a death ray or some such device that will obliterate airplanes in flight. ”50 Yet not everyone at ACTS subscribed to this belief in the primacy of bombardment. Capt Claire Chennault, a pursuit instructor from 1931 to 1936, argued just as vehemently that the bomber would not always get through, and a well-organized and capable defense—armed with first-rate interceptor planes and backed by a ground-observer corps (of the kind used by the British in World War I)—would be able to meet and defeat an enemy air attack.