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Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas That Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II

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Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas That Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Within a decade of the Wright Brother‛ historic flight at Kitty Hawk, pilots were dropping the first crude bombs out of airplanes in combat while visionaries were predicting that the crushing power of an aerial assault would end warfare as we knew it.

Yet for much of the first century of flight the myth of the airplan‛s unstoppable power often surged far ahead of technological reality. It would take both brilliant new inventions and bold new thinking for air power to triumph at last—as it did with such devastating effect in the two Gulf wars.

This sweeping history includes the latest inside details of air operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where precision weapons and unmanned drones quickly determined the outcome of the fight against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. Stephen Budiansky draws on combat memoirs, government archives, and museum collections to create a sobering and dramatic account of the air wars of the last hundred years. A story of ideas and men, of intricate machines and fierce passions, Air Power is an edge-of-the-seat drama of contemporary warfare and technology crafted by one of our most gifted writers.

Synopsis:

With "Air Power," a gifted writer pens an epic up-to-the-minute history of the airplane in combat--the pilots, the strategists, the weaponry, and the high-tech battles they increasingly dominate.

Synopsis:

No single human invention has transformed war more than the airplane—not even the atomic bomb. Even before the Wright Brothers’ first flight, predictions abounded of the devastating and terrible consequences this new invention would have as an engine of war. Soaring over the battlefield, the airplane became an unstoppable force that left no spot on earth safe from attack. Drawing on combat memoirs, letters, diaries, archival records, museum collections, and eyewitness accounts by the men who fought—and the men who developed the breakthrough inventions and concepts—acclaimed author Stephen Budiansky weaves a vivid and dramatic account of the airplane’s revolutionary transformation of modern warfare.

On the web: http://www.budiansky.com/

About the Author

Stephen Budiansky is the author of Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II. A former national security correspondent and foreign editor of the weekly newsmagazine, U.S. News & World Report, he worked on classified military studies of“smar” weapons technology for the U.S. Congress. Budiansk‛s articles frequently appear in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Table of Contents

Contents

Autho‛s Note ix

Part One: Kitty Hawk to Saint-Mihiel, 1900-1918

1. Visions 3

An age of miracles;Visions of total war;The Wright‛ method of invention;Wind tunnel;Success assured;Selling a military flying machine

2. Bogeymen 32

Scientists and empiricists;Invading Frenchmen and phantom airships;The Italians awe the natives; or possibly not;Organizing for war;Igor Sikorsky

3. Realities 55

The Marne and Tannenberg;A rash of experimentation;The birth of the fighter;Verdun and the Somme;C. G. Grey takes the offensive;Training to fly;A new breed of men

4. Grand Plans 90

The Zeppelin and Gotha raids;Hugh Trenchard and the RAF;The precocious birth and premature demise of operational analysis;Plans for a breakthrough;The aerodynamic revolution

Part Two: Versailles to Madrid, 1919-1939

5. Lessons Learned and Mislearned 125

Hollywoo‛s air force;The British bombing survey;The Prophets;The British awe the natives;Billy Mitchell and the battleships

6. The Quest for Precision 153

Monoplanes;Lindbergh, von K‡rm‡n, and the civil aviation boom;Fog flying;The Norden bombsight;Precision bombing and the Air Corps Tactical School;The B-17

7. The Fight for the Fighter 184

Claire Chennaul‛s lonely battle”The bomber will always get throug”;The birth of radar;The Spitfire;Condor Legion; Guernica, and Guernica;Eve of war

Part Three: Warsaw to Nagasaki, 1939Ð1945

8. Finest Hour 219

Poland;Phony war and real war;Battle joined;The Luftwaffe miscalculates;The Blitz and the boffins;Willow Run

9. Air Versus Sea 255

”Daring but incompetent aviator”;Bombs versus guns;Midway and the rise of the fast carriers;The war against the U-boats

10. The Temporary Triumph of Tactical Aviation 281 Bomber realities;Coningham, Monty, Rommel, and Patton;The birth of the fighter-bomber;D-Day and interdiction;Seeds of invention

11. The Allied Bomber Offensive 308

Morale and madness”Are we beasts”;Fighter escorts, oil, and the war of attrition;Los Alamos;The kamikazes, Tokyo, and Hiroshima

Part Four: Omaha to baghdad, 1946-2003

12. Strategic Air Command 345

”We wanna go home”;Just another weapon;Jets and swept-back wings;Fighting without fighting;The problem of limited war

13. Hard Knocks 376

Nuclear theory, conventional war;Helicopters and gunships;Thuds and SAMs;Comic books and reformers;Bekaa Valley

14. Precision, at Last 406

Smart bombs‛Air power airhead“;Desert Storm;Dumb targets;Afghanistan and Gulf War II;The new American way of war?

Notes 443

Bibliography 485

Index 501

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670032853
Author:
Budiansky, Stephen
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Military - Aviation
Subject:
History
Subject:
Aviation - History
Subject:
Aeronautics, military
Subject:
Air power
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Military - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
no. 4
Publication Date:
20050329
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Twp 16-page b/w photo inserts on text st
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
9.34x6.54x1.65 in. 2.03 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Aviation History

Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas That Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Viking Books - English 9780670032853 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With "Air Power," a gifted writer pens an epic up-to-the-minute history of the airplane in combat--the pilots, the strategists, the weaponry, and the high-tech battles they increasingly dominate.
"Synopsis" by ,

No single human invention has transformed war more than the airplane—not even the atomic bomb. Even before the Wright Brothers’ first flight, predictions abounded of the devastating and terrible consequences this new invention would have as an engine of war. Soaring over the battlefield, the airplane became an unstoppable force that left no spot on earth safe from attack. Drawing on combat memoirs, letters, diaries, archival records, museum collections, and eyewitness accounts by the men who fought—and the men who developed the breakthrough inventions and concepts—acclaimed author Stephen Budiansky weaves a vivid and dramatic account of the airplane’s revolutionary transformation of modern warfare.

On the web: http://www.budiansky.com/

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