The Emerging Shield. The Air Force and the Evolution of Continental Air Defense 1945-1960
OFFICE OF AIR FORCE HISTORY WASHINGTON DC
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In the years immediately following World War II, the United States lost the insularity that had traditionally given it protection against foreign attack and time to mobilize in a general war. The nation now faced the threat of large-scale destruction by hostile bombing forces launched across the forbidding polar regions of the globe. American postwar military and political leaders, already centering on a deterrent strategic force in being, the Strategic Air Command, as the basis for postwar defense policy, had to accommodate plans for a strategic defense of the entire North American continent as well. The effects of these new realities on American politics, defense philosophies, aircraft, missiles and radar research and procurement are examined in this book. The perceived need for deploying a forward defensive net involved cooperation between the United States and the Canadian governments. The warning system these two nations erected integrated new equipment into an array that eventually came to support the goals of the strategic deterrent itself, for the defensive array embodies the Continental Air Defense Command promised enough warning time for the Strategic Air Command to survive an attack and maintain the deterrent threat of a counterblow. In its reflection of evolving strategies and hardware, this volume is a narrative of the American reaction to the demands of the Cold War.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Antiaircraft Defense Systems