"The Three Musketeers of the Army Air Forces": From Hitler's Fortress Europa to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Naval Institute Press
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While scores of books have been published about the atomic bombings that helped end World War II, little has been written about the personal lives and relationship of the three men that led the raid. Paul Tibbets, Tom Ferebee, and Ted “Dutch” Van Kirk exemplified what Life Magazine meant when in 1942 it called the B-17 pilot, bombardier, and navigator “the three musketeers of the Army Air Forces.” A former navigator-bombardier and pilot himself, Harder brings a fresh perspective to an otherwise well-known narrative. He provides a rare insider’s look at exactly who these three fellows were, how they were trained, what they meant to each other, and finally how everything coalesced into the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks.
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About the author

Robert O. Harder was an Air Force ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate and Strategic Air Command “Cold War” B-52D aircrewman with 145 combat missions during the Vietnam War. A rated navigator and radar bombardier, he also flew nuclear training sorties and stood Pad Alert. A former business executive, he is an FAA-certificated flight instructor and writer. His previous book, Flying from the Black Hole: The B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam was first published by the Naval Institute Press in 2009.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Nov 15, 2015
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781612519036
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Hindsight can become foresight if viewed through the right lens. Margin of Victory views the outcomes of five horrific twentieth century battles through the lens of military strategy; force design and modernization, all of which decisively influence the savage fighting on the day of battle. From the house to house fighting in Shanghai, China to the dense forests of Western Russia and the deserts of the Middle East, the recurring theme is powerful: Victorious nation-states accept the pressing need for change and implement the tough reforms in military organization, technology and human capital that are essential to future victory, sometimes decades before a major war begins. Meanwhile, national militaries that are allowed to live in the past, that fail to shed outworn assumptions about warfighting play catch-up when war comes; a situation that leads to an enormous loss of human life and, ultimately, to total defeat.

Margin of Victory’s riveting stories of victory and defeat are presented against the backdrop of national policies, culture and history. Each chapter is a reminder that to be successful military action must always be congruent with national culture, geography and scientific-industrial capacity; that strategy and geopolitics inevitably trump ideology. Building effective military power takes time, resources and imagination. Unity of command; unity of effort and the integration of capabilities across service lines only happen when they are ruthlessly imposed from the top down. These are some of the enduring lessons in the five warfighting dramas that unfold in vivid detail on the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war.

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“Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed. He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific—the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary—into terms we mortals can grasp.”—Tom Hanks

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War. Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.

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Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill—and came to love—his fellow man.

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From the Trade Paperback edition.
Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.

They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
 
Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.

Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award
 
“Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”—New York
 
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“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post
 
“Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Magnificent . . . incredible . . . [Hillenbrand] has crafted another masterful blend of sports, history and overcoming terrific odds; this is biography taken to the nth degree, a chronicle of a remarkable life lived through extraordinary times.”—The Dallas Morning News
 
“An astonishing testament to the superhuman power of tenacity.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“A tale of triumph and redemption . . . astonishingly detailed.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“[A] masterfully told true story . . . nothing less than a marvel.”—Washingtonian
 
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