Destined for Glory: Dive Bombing, Midway, and the Evolution of Carrier Airpower

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Overview

On 4 June 1942 three squadrons of U.S. Navy Dauntless dive bombers set fire to three-quarters of Japan's carrier strike force at Midway and changed the course of the war in the Pacific. Japan was never able to recover its offensive initiative. As Thomas Wildenberg convincingly demonstrates in this book, the key ingredient to the navy's success at Midway was the planning and training devoted to the tactic of dive bombing over the previous seventeen years. Examining how political, economic, technical, and ...
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Overview

On 4 June 1942 three squadrons of U.S. Navy Dauntless dive bombers set fire to three-quarters of Japan's carrier strike force at Midway and changed the course of the war in the Pacific. Japan was never able to recover its offensive initiative. As Thomas Wildenberg convincingly demonstrates in this book, the key ingredient to the navy's success at Midway was the planning and training devoted to the tactic of dive bombing over the previous seventeen years. Examining how political, economic, technical, and operational factors influenced the development of carrier airpower between 1925 and 1942, he shows why dive bombing became the navy's weapon of choice - why it was emphasized over all other methods of aerial warfare and finally brought to bear to stop the Japanese advance. He also pays tribute to the select group of naval aviators and senior leaders whose insights and determination drove the evolution of carrier tactics in this formative period.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the development of the tactics of carrier airpower from 1925 and argues that years of vision, experimentation, and practice by U.S. naval personnel resulted in the innovative and successful practice of dive bombing--which was the pivotal tactic allowing the U.S. to turn the tide of the war in the Pacific against its World War II enemy, Japan. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557509475
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/1998
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Wildenberg is a historian specializing in the development of naval aviation and logistics at sea. He is the author of several books on naval history and the co-author of Howard Hughes: An Airman, His Aircraft and His Great Flight. He lives in Burtonsville, MD.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
Chronology
1 A Thousand and One Questions 1
2 The Diving Attack 10
3 Policy, Politics, and Procurement 20
4 False Starts: The F8C Helldiver 36
5 First Carrier Strikes 48
6 Perfecting the Dive Bomber 65
7 Like Blind Men Armed with Daggers 83
8 Tail Hooks and Tin Fish 99
9 Advances in Fighter Performance 109
10 Expansion Begins 117
11 A Prophecy of the Future 124
12 The All-Metal Monoplane 133
13 End of an Era 143
14 Aviation Doctrine and Carrier Policy in the Late 1930s 155
15 Preparing for War 162
16 Opening Rounds 176
17 Scratch One Flattop 183
18 The Carrier Battle of the Coral Sea 191
19 Climax at Midway 199
20 Reassessing Naval Aviation's Contribution to Victory 214
App. A Official Designations for U.S. Naval Aircraft, 1920-1962 217
App. B The Norden Bombsight and Horizontal Bombing 219
Notes 221
Bibliography 239
Index 251
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