A Short History of Air Power - download pdf or read online

By James L. Stokesbury

ISBN-10: 0688050611

ISBN-13: 9780688050610

This concise account of the army use of the plane during the last seventy-five years covers significant conflicts in Spain, Korea, Vietnam, and either global wars, in addition to the alterations in know-how, strategies, and attitudes towards using air energy.

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Sample text

Weeks of the war, fliers tended to consider themselves figuratively as well as literally above the sordid events happening on was illusion; it was the war that gave meaning what they were doing, and what they were doing, even in those first uncertain days, was going to change the way men lived and died. The airmen's first real intervention in the war came late in August. As the British Expeditionary Force moved into battle, it fell in on the exposed left flank of the French armies being forced back from the Belgian frontier to the south.

If thirty infantrymen were blown to pieces of nameless — — barrage in some unidentifiable mudhole, that was not some daring flier shot down two or three equally daring enemy fliers, that was news. The idea of the "ace" was a newspaper rather than a military one, and it was first used by the French. To become one a pilot had to shoot down a certain number of opponents, though the number var- in an artillery news. But if ied from country to country as twenty, ten, six, or five. knowledge the concept and time Though officially, to time, being variously quoted military authorities refused to ac- government was quick to recognize the psychological value of aerial stories and air heroes.

And initially it all front, depended upon some nineteen- or twentycamera year-old boy leaning out over the side of his airplane with a strapped to his chest, in bitter cold, with no parachute, and often the target for any antiaircraft gun within 36 reach. THE EYES OF ARMIES Observation and reconnaissance were so obviously important, so early own nemesis. Higher know what the enemy was keep the enemy from seeing what in the war, that they rapidly generated their commanders who desperately wanted to doing equally desperately wanted to they themselves were up weapons developed rapidly, from machine guns mounted on posts so the gunner could fire upward and field guns with their trails dug into the ground to purposebuilt weapons.

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A Short History of Air Power by James L. Stokesbury

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