Cataclysm: General Hap Arnold and the Defeat of Japan by Herman S. Wolk


By Herman S. Wolk

No released paintings examines common Henry H. “Hap” Arnold’s position intensive through the Pacific struggle of 1944-1945, within the context of making plans for the destruction of Japan. during this new research, Herman S. Wolk, retired Senior Historian of the U.S. Air strength, examines the taking into account Hap Arnold, Commanding basic, military Air Forces (AAF), in the course of international battle II. particularly, Wolk concentrates on Arnold’s management in crafting the guns, association, and command of the strategic bombing offensive opposed to Japan, which culminated in Japan’s capitulation in the summertime of 1945, finishing the Pacific War.The narrative is, in a true feel, a sustained controversy over approach, association, and command within the conflict opposed to Japan. The B-29 long-range bombing crusade opposed to the japanese domestic islands dictated unparalleled association and command; for that reason, Arnold demonstrated the 20 th Air strength, commanded through himself from Washington and reporting on to the Joint Chiefs of employees. This new kind of bombing offensive–distinct in command, association, diversity, and guns from the ecu experience–also referred to as for exemplary operational wrestle management within the box. the following Arnold excelled in his command of the AAF, relieving a long-time colleague (Hansell) in desire of a hard-nosed operator (LeMay). this important circulation was once a turning element within the Pacific war.In the spring and summer time of 1945, Arnold was once a pushed chief, virtually prepared the B-29 crusade and the air and sea blockade to break down Japan earlier than the scheduled enormous invasion of Kyushu on November 1st. It was once a demanding race opposed to the invasion clock and the conviction of normal George C. Marshall, military leader of employees, that an invasion used to be completely helpful. even though the Soviet announcement of warfare on Japan used to be an element within the eastern give up, it used to be the atomic bomb that politically stunned the japanese to capitulation. Arnold, the architect of the bombing offensive, emphasised that Japan used to be already defeated in the summertime of 1945 by way of the bombing and blockade and that it was once now not militarily essential to drop the atomic bomb.Wolk brings out very important rationales and connections in doctrine, association, and command now not formerly released. He additionally mines assets now not formerly exploited, together with the author’s interviews with normal LeMay, Hansell, and Eaker; Arnold’s wartime correspondence; documentation from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library; and postwar interrogations of jap officers and civilians. Cataclysm will end up a major addition to the historical past of the Pacific warfare, airpower, and the talk over using the atomic bomb opposed to Japan.

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Extra resources for Cataclysm: General Hap Arnold and the Defeat of Japan

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25 The period between the wars was distinguished by a debate between the Army airmen and the War Department staff over how to organize and employ air forces. Did the airplane offer a way to minimize battlefield casualties, avoiding a bloodbath like World War I? Or did the ground forces still hold the key to victory? Haywood S. , who was associated with the Tactical School, and subsequently became a major air planner and World War II bomber commander, retrospectively commented that “Proponents of the two ideas soon lost all sense of proportion in the very intensity of their zeal.

Malin Craig, Army Deputy Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. George Marshall, and Arnold, Chief of the Air Corps. Roosevelt took over the meeting, emphasizing expansion of the Air Corps. Arnold, in his memoir, delightfully describes his own reaction: “To the surprise, I think of practically everyone in the room except Harry (Hopkins) and myself, and to my own delight, the president came straight out for air power. ”34 According to Arnold, to the Army and Navy representatives this was undoubtedly “a bolt from the blue,” but Roosevelt was determined to discuss air Roosevelt and Arnold 33 expansion.

Arnold noted that “it was the 38 Cataclysm rosy dream of some Americans that we could save the world and ourselves by sending all our weapons abroad for other men to fight with. ” Accord­ing to Morgenthau, the president looked directly at Arnold and said: “When people can’t control themselves and their people under them, you know what we do with those kind of people? ”49 In late 1940 and early 1941, Robert A. Lovett—to become Assistant Secretary of War for Air in April 1941—was convinced that air power would play a crucial role in the coming conflict and he agreed with Arnold that the air forces needed to be brought up to at least minimum strength as quickly as possible.

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