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Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan 1942-1945

Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan 1942-1945

Written by Barrett Tillman

Narrated by Mel Foster


Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan 1942-1945

Written by Barrett Tillman

Narrated by Mel Foster

ratings:
4/5 (4 ratings)
Length:
11 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 2, 2010
ISBN:
9781400184200
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Whirlwind is the only book to examine in depth the human drama behind the most important bombing campaign in history. While the air war against Nazi Germany has been covered in-depth by many books, Barrett Tillman, a renowned authority on military aircraft and the air war in the Pacific, is the first to tackle the air war against Japan.



For decades, historians and politicians have debated whether or not Japan was on the verge of surrender in August 1945-before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tillman argues that for all the widespread death and suffering, the bombing of Japan remains a great example of air power's ability to end a long, bitter, and bloody war without invasion. Writing from the perspective of the aircrews and the generals and admirals who commanded them, Tillman examines all aspects of the human drama of the war, combining historical analyses with the words of survivors from both sides of the bomb.
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 2, 2010
ISBN:
9781400184200
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Barrett Tillman is a widely recognized authority on air warfare in World War II and the author of more than forty nonfiction and fiction books on military topics. He has received six awards for history and literature, including the Admiral Arthur Radford Award. He lives in Mesa, Arizona.


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4.0
4 ratings / 2 Reviews
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  • (3/5)
    It was in the remainder bin. Probably shouldn’t have been; it’s a pretty good book, but possibly not politically correct enough.Author Barrett Tillman has written a number of books on the Pacific War (plus a couple on Vietnam and some novels); this is the first one I’ve read. He’s of the journalist-as-historian school, meaning there are a lot of first person reminiscences. I generally prefer a more straightforward history, but Tillman has a point; this year US WWII veterans are dying at around 2000 per day – which is a rather greater rate than US soldiers died during the war – so the timer for first person stories is rapidly ticking down.The historical narrative part isn’t that bad, though. Tillman starts with the Doolittle Raid, and cites it as “the first time Japan was ever bombed”. I was smirking to myself, assuming that Tillman didn’t know about the 1938 Chinese raid, but was disabused by an endnote that mentioned it. That set a pattern; Tillman devotes most attention to the B-29 attacks from the Marianas but also covers a lot of lesser-known activity – the fact that the “Halpro” force of B-24s that staged the first raid on Ploesti was originally intended to attack Japan from China; the activities of the 11th Air Force out of the Aleutians, which bombed the Kuriles with B-24s and B-25 any time the visibility was merely “bad”; the carrier air raids, including the Royal Navy Pacific Fleet; and the attacks on Kyushu from Okinawa with B-25s.The B-san is the star, though. Tillman covers the “Battle of Wichita” teething troubles (which were never really fixed during the war; many more B-29s were lost due to mechanical failure than to enemy action), the first missions from China (with the subtext of amazement that anybody would actually try to do such a thing) and the Marianas campaign. He has high praise for Curtis LeMay, which was a little off-putting; my generation remembers LeMay as the guy who was going to bomb North Vietnam back to the Stone Age and George Wallace’s running mate. Tillman, on the other hand, makes a pretty good case that Le May’s area bombing strategy was innovative and correct, and that he was also the best Army Air Force general of WWII. Tillman devotes quite a bit of print to the US Navy (and Royal Navy); his contention is that the carrier attacks didn’t really accomplish very much except put naval vessels and aircrew in harm’s way. He also faults the US high command for not setting strategic direction and allowing the Army Air Force and Navy to go their separate routes without much interservice coordination.A well-done popular history. Faults are a total lack of maps and a poor index; the references are adequate but include a lot of web sites
  • (4/5)
    Detailed account of how the U.S. air campaign helped defeat Japan in Wordl War II