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 battle II, focusing regularly upon the 5th Air strength. The examine doesn't presume to be an all-encompassing operational precis; as an alternative, it goals to supply a consultant photo of yank bombardment in that sector. This used to be a second in historical past whilst strive against air energy performed a key position in attaining victory. the writer recounts how the 5th Air strength quick built new strategies and methods that "saved the day." The perfection of low-altitude bombing, strafing, and bypass bombing made variations that during hindsight are effortless to acknowledge and quantify. with no them the 5th may have stumbled on itself in an extended, dearer struggle with an doubtful end result. notwithstanding, those new strategies damage the enemy to the level that the Allies ultimately prevailed. the genuine price of this examine lies no longer lots in its retelling of vital advancements in air energy as in its pushing the necessity for the army to be versatile, adaptive, opportunistic, and entrepreneurial whereas safeguarding center values and capitalizing on center knowledge. Many elements be certain good fortune -- instruction, assets, wisdom, and resolution to call a number of. yet none of those have approximately the significance of the artistic skill to conform successfully to confront the possibility and carry victory.
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Additional info for A War of Their Own: Bombers Over the Southwest Pacific
Thompson also dropped all his bombs from an altitude of 1,200 feet on [a] destroyer and scored three direct hits. That ship was seen to break in half and sink. 23 The B-17s, whose long range worked to their benefit, did the job but had to compensate in other areas. For one, they flew largely at night and used diversionary attacks from higher altitudes. After all, a single lumbering B-17 just a few hundred feet above the water made an easy target for antiaircraft fire. Fifth Air Force could not afford to lose bombers or their crews 34 DECEMBER 1941–NOVEMBER 1942 on a routine basis.
That aircraft boasted “high speed, moderate size, maneuverability, provision for loads of various types of fire, and . . ”35 The field manual not only defined the requirements for aircraft, but also dealt with their employment. It far surpassed the generalities and untested theorems of the early ACTS texts and was now firmly rooted in real planes and capabilities. The A-20—a functional attack aircraft that easily doubled as a light bomber platform—met the requirements of both the Army and Air Corps.
24. Air Corps Tactical School, Attack Aviation, 63. 25. Finney, History of the Air Corps Tactical School, 57. Kenneth Walker and Robert Olds, both of whom served as aides to Mitchell, became perhaps the key figures in bombardment instruction at ACTS. 18 PREWAR DOCTRINE AND TACTICS 26. , 64. 27. Maj Anthony D. S. Strategic Bombardment Doctrine,” student paper (Charles Town, WV: American Military University, 2004), 21–22. 28. Finney, History of the Air Corps Tactical School, 64–65. 29. , 66–67. 30.
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