Beyond the Wild Blue: A History of the U.S. Air Force, 1947-2007 (2nd edition), Edition 2

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The second edition of Beyond the Wild Blue, an update of the popular history originally released in 1997, is a fascinating look at sixty turbulent years of Air Force history. From the prop-driven armada of World War II to the most advanced Stealth weaponry, from pioneers like General Henry "Hap" Arnold to glorious conquests in the Gulf War, Beyond the Wild Blue is a high-flying study of the triumphs (and failures) of leadership and technology.
In three new chapters, Walter Boyne covers an eventful ten years, including 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the second Gulf War, describing in detail the technological advancements that led to highly efficient airstrikes in Iraq. He also takes stock of the Air Force's doctrine and mission statements as this unique sector of the military grapples with an ever-changing world.
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The names Wilbur and Orville Wright stand out in history as the inventors of the airplane, but lost in history are those who in the closing years of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth shared the same passion: to develop the first powered aircraft. Some spent entire lives and fortunes chasing the dream, including men like the embittered Augustus Herring, who'd flown a heavier than air machine for several seconds in 1898; the pompous Samuel Pierpont Langley, of the Smithsonian Institution, who was backed by the US War Department, and even the legendary American inventor Alexander Graham Bell. These men, along with European competitors such as Louis Blériot, chased what many believed to be the impossible dream of manned, powered flight. But the Wright Brothers were the first to succeed, thanks to a combination of courage, genius, and downright stubbornness! Many followed in their footsteps, including such arch-competitors as Glenn Curtiss.

The Wright Brothers' father was a huge factor who dominated their lives, trying to control their every thought and action. A bishop of the United Brethren Church, Milton Wright wanted his sons to succeed in their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, not risk their lives. Bishop Wright saw no reason for his sons to risk everything on an isolated, windy beach in faraway North Carolina a beach called Kitty Hawk. He tried to quash their dream, but Orville and Wilbur rebelled, ultimately proving the impossible by flying on December 17, 1903. They brought the dawn of aviation, the industry that dominated the twentieth century and set the stage for the space race.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
Jun 26, 2007
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Pages
576
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ISBN
9781429901802
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / United States
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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According to Robin Higham and Stephen J. Harris, ÒFlight has been part of the human dream for aeons, and its military application has likely been the dark side of that dream for almost as long.Ó In the twentieth century, this dream and its dark side unfolded as the air forces of the world went to war, bringing destruction and reassessment with each failure. Why Air Forces Fail examines the complex, often deep-seated, reasons for the catastrophic failures of the air forces of various nations. Higham and Harris divide the air forces into three categories of defeat: forces that never had a chance to win, such as Poland and France; forces that started out victorious but were ultimately defeated, such as Germany and Japan; and finally, those that were defeated in their early efforts yet rose to victory, such as the air forces of Britain and the United States. The contributing authors examine the complex causes of defeats of the Russian, Polish, French, Arab, British, Italian, German, Argentine, and American air services. In all cases, the failures stemmed from deep, usually prewar factors that were shaped by the political, economic, military, and social circumstances in the countries. Defeat also stemmed from the anticipation of future wars, early wartime actions, and the precarious relationship between the doctrine of the military leadership and its execution in the field. Anthony Christopher CainÕs chapter on FranceÕs air force, lÕArmŽe de lÕAir, attributes FranceÕs loss to Germany in June 1940 to a lack of preparation and investment in the air force. One major problem was the failure to centralize planning or coordinate a strategy between land and air forces, which was compounded by aborted alliances between France and countries in eastern Europe, especially Poland and Czechoslovakia. In addition, the lack of incentives for design innovation in air technologies led to clashes between airplane manufacturers, laborers, and the government, a struggle that resulted in FranceÕs airplanesÕ being outnumbered by GermanyÕs more than three to one by 1940. Complemented by reading lists and suggestions for further research, Why Air Forces Fail provides groundbreaking studies of the causes of air force defeats.
It's usually called the Yom Kippur War. Or sometimes the October War. The players that surround it are familiar: Sadat and Mubarak, Meir and Sharon, Nixon and Kissinger, Brezhnev and Dobyrnin. It was a war that brought Arab and Jew into vicious conflict. A war in which Israel almost unleashed her nuclear arsenal and set two superpowers on a treacherous course of nuclear escalation.

And a war that eventually brought peace. But a peace fraught with delicate tensions, disputed borders, and a legacy of further bloodshed.

The Two O'Clock War is a spellbinding chronicle of the international chess game that was played out in October 1973. It is a story of diplomacy and military might that accounts for many of the dilemmas faced in the present-day Middle East.

This is a war that Israel never thought was possible. Surprised by the fury and excellent execution of the Arab onslaught, and perhaps more than a little complacent, Israel suddenly found itself on the point of losing a war because of a lack of ammunition, planes and tanks. The United States, after much vacillation, finally elected to help Israel, beginning a tremendous airlift (code name: Operation Nickel Grass) which incurred the wrath of the Arab states, and their sponsor, the Soviet Union.

Fortunately the airlift came just in time for Israeli ground forces to stabilize their positions and eventually turn the tide in the Sinai and Golan Heights. And it was all made possible by an operation that dwarfed the Berlin Airlift and the Soviets' simultaneous efforts in Egypt and Syria.

The Two O'Clock War is bound to become the definitive history of a war that quite literally approached Armageddon.

A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis--the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time--and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine.

Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis's storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas--and short-sighted thinking--now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars.

Mattis divides his book into three parts: direct leadership, executive leadership, and strategic leadership. In the first part, Mattis recalls his early experiences leading Marines into battle, when he knew his troops as well as his own brothers. In the second part, he explores what it means to command thousands of troops and how to adapt your leadership style to ensure your intent is understood by your most junior troops so that they can own their mission. In the third part, Mattis describes the challenges and techniques of leadership at the strategic level, where military leaders reconcile war's grim realities with political leaders' human aspirations, where complexity reigns and the consequences of imprudence are severe, even catastrophic.

Call Sign Chaos is a memoir of lifelong learning, following along as Mattis rises from Marine recruit to four-star general. It is a journey learning to lead and a story about how he, through constant study and action, developed a unique leadership philosophy--one relevant to us all.
No war has ever had the intensive media coverage of the 2003 war in Iraq, and none has ever had such monumental second-guessing. Months before the war began, domestic and international pundits painted a gloomy picture of a new Vietnam or of a nuclear Armageddon that would see Israel reduced to ruins.

The war started with a brilliant series of pre-emptive bangs that shattered Iraqi leadership and seized the most valuable areas of Iraq. How did the US military machine, assumed to have insufficient air power, too few troops, and little momentum take a country the size of California within three weeks?

In the 1991 victory in the Gulf War, the United States lead a much larger coalition force into a heavy air campaign followed by a lightening quick ground campaign. In the years that followed, the United States military experienced a continuing series of reductions in the national defense budget.

What was left unrecorded was the incredible degree of competence with which the US military leadership managed the reduction in resources, balancing force structures against personnel requirements against procurement needs and logistic realities.

Any one considering the great military victory achieved in Iraq must ask the following questions: Who was bright enough to plan to have the weapons systems in the right place at the right time? Who orchestrated this vast complex array of sophisticated military machinery-ships, submarines, missiles, armor, and soldiers-all needing fuel, ammunition and water?

The answer is the much-maligned civil and military leaders of the American defense establishment, working in concert with the most advanced defense-based corporations in the world. While there were those anxious to parade the iniquities of a two-billion dollar bomber, most often failed to appreciated the genius required to conceive of, much less create a system which can use a satellite to send signals to a B-1B to program a precision guided missile to take out a Soviet T-72 tank parked in a mosque-without damaging the mosque!

Admittedly, there were lapses in the Iraqi war, such as the looting of museums by members of the Ba'ath party just a day after many had declared Baghdad liberated and the raids on hospitals, another problem that could have easily been remedied by a show of U.S. presence and force. And there were technological complications as well, including the aching misfortune of death by friendly fire. The author deals with these shortcomings in a straightforward manner.

Operation Iraqi Freedom: What Went Right and Why; What Went Wrong and Why gives intimate insight into the way in which the armed services, particularly the United States Air Force, managed to overcome genuine budgetary, political, and military difficulties to create the finest military force in the world, one that operated with the most extreme care to avoid collateral damage and to prevent loss of life.


At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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