By Matthew K. Rodman
This paintings makes an attempt to give a correct account of the character of the air warfare within the Southwest Pacific in the course of international battle II, focusing in most cases 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 background whilst strive against air energy performed a key function achieve victory. the writer recounts how the 5th Air strength quick constructed new strategies and strategies that "saved the day." The perfection of low-altitude bombing, strafing, and pass bombing made variations that during hindsight are effortless to acknowledge and quantify. with out them the 5th might have stumbled on itself in an extended, more expensive struggle with an doubtful final result. notwithstanding, those new strategies harm the enemy to the level that the Allies finally prevailed. the true price of this examine lies now not rather a lot in its retelling of important advancements in air strength as in its pushing the necessity for the army to be versatile, adaptive, opportunistic, and entrepreneurial whereas safeguarding center values and capitalizing on middle capabilities. Many parts be certain luck -- practise, assets, wisdom, and resolution to call a couple of. yet none of those have approximately the significance of the artistic skill to conform successfully to confront the hazard and convey victory.
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Additional info for A War of Their Own: Bombers Over the Southwest Pacific
Since the Air Corps cared more about the success of the bomber—and, therefore, the Air Corps’ claim to independence—less effort went into the development of complementary fighter aircraft. Before long, the idea of bomber invincibility became a set of blinders for the Air Corps: “Instructors had also begun to endorse the theory of bomber invincibility. The 1931 version of Bombardment guardedly expressed this theory in the statement that bombers could operate . . with or without support of other aviation.
For these reasons, Kenney turned to another source of supply: “We couldn’t get anything out of the United States for some time, so we were modifying the Australian eleven-second delay fuzes into four- to five-second delay. So far they worked pretty well. ”36 Despite the importance of attacking enemy shipping in the SWPA, Kenney’s first priority was always air superiority, the foundation of all Air Force doctrine. Even the most adamant prewar strategic-bombing theorists believed in this fundamental concept.
With capable medium bombers and light attack aircraft starting to roll off the production line, the Air Corps saw the potential to divorce its strategic bombers from direct support of the Army. Assuring the bomber’s ability to actually deliver its payload at extraordinary distances and return safely—on its own—represented a formidable obstacle. Since the Air Corps cared more about the success of the bomber—and, therefore, the Air Corps’ claim to independence—less effort went into the development of complementary fighter aircraft.
A War of Their Own: Bombers Over the Southwest Pacific by Matthew K. Rodman