Atomic Bombings Hiroshima Nagasaki Manhattan

Title: The United States Strategic Bombing Surveys: European War and Pacific War in World War II, Conventional Bombing and the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - David N. Spires

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Author: David N. Spires

Release date: 2012-12-05

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Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this volume contains the Summary Reports (Europe and the Pacific) of the strategic bombing surveys conducted as World War II was coming to a close. Although originally published over four decades ago, and now reprinted by the Air University, they contain valuable lessons for modern airmen and are well worth another look. The "Blue Ribbon" Strategic Bombing Survey Team was tasked to enter those areas struck by our strategic bombers as soon as possible after the bombing to assess the effectiveness of the bombing effort and its contribution to the Allied victory. The result of each survey was a detailed, multivolume report that examines every aspect of the bombing campaigns.

The summary report states: The new relation of air power to strategy presents one of the distinguishing contrasts between this war and the last. Air power in the last war was in its infancy. The new role of three-dimensional warfare was even then foreseen by a few farsighted men, but planes were insufficient in quality and quantity to permit much more than occasional brilliant assistance to the ground forces.

Air power in the European phase of this war reached a stage of full adolescence, a stage marked by rapid development in planes, armament, equipment, tactics and concepts of strategic employment, and by an extraordinary increase in the effort allocated to it by all the major contestants. England devoted 40 to 50 percent of her war production to her air forces, Germany 40 percent, and the United States 35 percent.

Nevertheless, at the end of hostilities in Europe, weapons, tactics and strategy were still in a state of rapid development. Air power had not yet reached maturity and all conclusions drawn from experience in the European theatre must be considered subject to change. No one should assume that because certain things were effective or not effective, the same would be true under other circumstances and other conditions.

In the European war, Allied air power was called upon to play many roles—partner with the Navy over the sea lanes; partner with the Army in ground battle; partner with both on the invasion beaches; reconnaissance photographer for all; mover of troops and critical supplies; and attacker of the enemy's vital strength far behind the battle line.

In the attack by Allied air power, almost 2,700,000 tons of bombs were dropped, more than 1,440,000 bomber sorties and 2,680,000 fighter sorties were flown. The number of combat planes reached a peak of some 28,000 at the maximum 1,300,000 men were in combat commands. The number of men lost in air action was 79,265 Americans and 79,281 British. More than 18,000 American and 22,000 British planes were lost or damaged beyond repair.

As a bonus, this reproduction includes the complete 2012 Army Leadership manual (FM 6-22), which describes the Army's view of leadership, outlines the levels of leadership (direct, organizational, and strategic), and describes the attributes and core leader competencies across all levels.

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