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Winged Shield, Winged Sword: A History of the United States Air Force. Volume 1, 1907-1950

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Throughout its first century, military aviation helped advance the interests of the United States. From a curiosity, fragile and of uncertain value, the warplane has become a devastating weapon. Moreover, ballistic missiles and surveillance satellites have joined aircraft in this aerial array. In these two volumes, the authors try to describe and analyze, in the context of national policy and international rivalries, the evolution of land-based air power since the United States Army in 1907 established an Aeronautical Division responsible to the Chief Signal Officer. This work, in addition to commemorating the Air Forces 50th anniversary, also commemorates almost 100 years of progress in the design and use of aerial weaponry. By placing airmen and their machines in an appropriate context, it provides a clearer understanding of the central role of the Air Force in current American defense policy. Volume I, containing the first 12 chapters, begins with balloons and the earliest heavier-than-air machines. It carries the story through World War II to the establishment of the United States Air Force as a service separate from, but equal to, the Army and the Navy. Volume II picks up the narrative at the Korean War, takes it through the War in Southeast Asia, the Gulf War, to the drawdown following the end of the Cold War. Part I The Early and Interwar Years, 1907-1939, contains The Roots of U.S. Military Aviation, The Air Service in the Great War, From Air Service to Air Corps -- The Era of Billy Mitchell, The Coming of the GHQ Air Force, 1925-1935, and The Heyday of the GHQ Air Force, 1935-1939. Part II World War II, 1939-1945, contains Reaction to the War in Europe, The Army Air Forces in Desperate Battle, 1941-1942, Building Air Power, The Defeat of Italy and Germany, and Victory over Japan. Part III Building the Air Force, 1945-1950, contains The Quest for Independence and Framing Air Force Missions.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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