Read Billy Mitchell's War: The Army Air Corps and the Challenge to Seapower by Thomas Wildenberg Free Online
Book Title: Billy Mitchell's War: The Army Air Corps and the Challenge to Seapower|
The author of the book: Thomas Wildenberg
ISBN 13: 9780870210389
Edition: US Naval Institute Press
Date of issue: October 15th 2013
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 39.69 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.1
Read full description of the books:
The years immediately after World War I was an era in which Congress was unwilling to spend money on armaments. It was a time when politicians and the constituents they served were more interested in disarmament than national defense. For the military services this meant lean budgets and skeleton operating forces. In this environment the Army and Navy struggled for funds to support the development of their respective aviation services giving rise to an interservice rivalry over air power that would last until the national defense build up prior to World War II.
At War with the Navy is chronicles the struggle between the Army and Navy air arms for the resources needed to define and establish the role of aviation within their respective services during the period between the two world wars. The main examples of this competition were the predatory attacks on the Navy orchestrated by Brigadier General Billy Mitchell between 1920 to 1925 and the response of the Navy's leadership. Mitchell's attacks on the Navy were symptomatic of the Army Air Service's struggle to define a mission in the wake of World War I and its efforts to dominate coast defense, which became the main point of contention between the two services.
When Billy Mitchell returned from World War I he brought with him the deep-seated belief that air power had made armies and navies obsolete. When Congress rejected the concept of a unified air service in 1920, Mitchell and his supporters turned on the Navy, seeking to substitute the Air Service as the nation's first line of defense. Mitchell proved that aircraft could sink a battleship with the bombing of the Ostfriesland in 1921, but he was unable to convince the General Staff of the Army, the General Board of the Navy, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, or Congress of the need to authorize an independent air force. When these efforts failed, Mitchell turned to the pen in a further attempt to discredit the Navy. Convicted by his own words and actions, Mitchell was court-martialed in 1925 and forced to resign from the service.
After Mitchell's resignation, the rivalry for air power between the two services resurfaced when the Navy's plans to procure torpedo planes for the defense of Pearl Harbor and Coco Solo were brought to the attention of the Army. The renewed controversy over coastal defense and the notorious MacArthur-Pratt agreement is discussed in detail as are the various attempts by the Army Air Corps to intercept ships at sea that including the Mt. Shasta incident, the bombing of the Utah, and the interception of the Rex.
The book concludes with a description of the events surrounding the Air Corps abysmal performance at Pearl Harbor and Midway followed by a critical assessment of how the development of aviation was pursued by the Army and the Navy during the interwar period.
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