History of Acquisition in the Department of Defense, Volume 1, Rearming for the Cold War, 1945-1960

Overview

 This volume is a history of the acquisition of major weapon systems by the

United States armed forces from 1945 to 1960, the decade and a half that

spanned the Truman and Eisenhower administrations following World War

II. These instruments of warfare—aircraft, armored vehicles, artillery, guided

...

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Overview

 This volume is a history of the acquisition of major weapon systems by the

United States armed forces from 1945 to 1960, the decade and a half that

spanned the Truman and Eisenhower administrations following World War

II. These instruments of warfare—aircraft, armored vehicles, artillery, guided

missiles, naval vessels, and supporting electronic systems—when combined

with nuclear warheads, gave the postwar American military unprecedented

deterrent and striking power.1 They were also enormously expensive.

The volume is organized chronologically, with individual chapters

addressing the roles of OSD, the Army, Navy, and Air Force in two distinct

periods. The first, roughly coinciding with President Truman’s tenure, covers the

years from the end of World War II through the end of the Korean War in

1953. The second spans the two terms of the Eisenhower presidency from 1953

through early 1961. The year 1953 marked a natural breakpoint between the two

periods. The Korean War had ended. President Eisenhower and his defense team

began implementing the “New Look,” a policy and strategy based on nuclear

weapons, which they believed would provide security and make it possible to

reduce military spending. The New Look’s stress on nuclear weapons, along with

the deployment of the first operational guided missiles and the rapid advances

subsequently made in nuclear and missile technology, profoundly influenced

acquisition in the services throughout the 1950s and the remainder of the century.

As used in this study, the term “acquisition” encompasses the activities

by which the United States obtains weapons and other equipment.

In surveying the history of acquisition between 1945 and 1960, this

study discusses or refers in passing to many of the hundreds of weapon system

programs initiated by the services in that period, but it is not a weapons

encyclopedia. Instead, it investigates a few major programs in depth in the

belief that such detailed examination best reveals the evolution of acquisition

policies, organizations, and processes, and the various forces influencing weapons

programs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780160911323
  • Publisher: United States Dept. of Defense
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Edition description: None, First
  • Pages: 780
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.80 (d)

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