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The Pointblank Directive: Three Generals and the Untold Story of the Daring Plan that Saved D-Day

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Overview

In The Pointblank Directive, L. Douglass Keeney draws on extensive new research to create a richly textured portrait of air power and leadership, and tell perhaps the last untold story of WW2: jow the Allies drove the Luftwaffe from the skies over Europe and saved D-Day.

As the Allies began to plan for the invasion of Europe, they faced a massive problem. Without absolute air superiority over the Normandy beaches, the success of D-Day was ...

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The Pointblank Directive: Three Generals and the Untold Story of the Daring Plan that Saved D-Day

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Overview

In The Pointblank Directive, L. Douglass Keeney draws on extensive new research to create a richly textured portrait of air power and leadership, and tell perhaps the last untold story of WW2: jow the Allies drove the Luftwaffe from the skies over Europe and saved D-Day.

As the Allies began to plan for the invasion of Europe, they faced a massive problem. Without absolute air superiority over the Normandy beaches, the success of D-Day was doubtful. The Pointblank Directive was the plan to stop the Luftwaffe.

The Pointblank Directive changed the direction of the entire Allied bombing effort in Europe. No longer would the bombing campaign range across German industry. Instead it would be focused on driving the Luftwaffe from the sky. No longer would the American fighters' primary mission be the protection of the bombers. They were now free to seek out and destroy the Luftwaffe wherever they found their foe, in the air or on the ground. The bombers would act as bait to draw the Germans up to the waiting and eager American Mustangs, Thunderbolts and Lightnings. At the same time German fighter factories were targeted to further erode the Luftwaffe's capabilities. The goal was nothing short of the destruction of the Luftwaffe to insure the success of D-Day.

At the center of the operation were three inspired leaders. General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, commander of the United States Army Air Forces, was the architect of the American daylight bombing campaign. With just five months to go before D-Day, Arnold put his lifelong friend General Carl A. "Tooey" Spaatz in command of the strategic bombing forces in Europe, while tapping aviation legend General James "Jimmy" Doolittle to lead the mighty 8th Air Force. Together with their pilots, aircrew and group personal, they were responsible for executing Pointblank.

In The Pointblank Directive, L. Douglass Keeney carefully reconstructs the events in the air war that led up to D-Day while painting an in-depth portrait of the lives and times of the men who made the victory of D-Day possible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A thoroughly satisfying read: informative and entertaining. What is always mind-boggling is the sacrifice made in any war. Pointblank Directive shows quite clearly what the airwar leading up to D-Day cost both sides of the conflict. More importantly, it fills a needed gap in knowledge of exactly how critical the proper air campaign can be in determining the ground conflict. Historians and students of World War II history alike will be well-served reading this book."
—Bernie Chowdhury, author of The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths (Harper)

"The Pointblank Directive is a richly textured portrait of air power and leadership, possibly the last untold sotry of D-Day. Using extensive new research, Keeney carefully reconstructs the events that led up to the success of that battle."
—Savannah Jones, www.sirreadalot.org

"...comes from a historian who considers the politics and personalities of The Pointblank Directive and how it become one of the most amazing military come-backs in history. By raid's end some forty percent of the Allied planes had been shot down. The story of how forces recovered from these heavy losses and flew to victory against impossible odds makes this a powerful account of strategic air command decision-making processes, battles, and close encounters, offering a fresh analysis of how The Pointblank Directive changed the world."
The Midwest Book Review (March 2013)

"I enjoyed this book immensely. It was fast-paced, exciting, filled with the untold yet in no way unglamorous adventures and perilous day-to-day existence of the United States Air Force ... This is one of the best historical books I have read."
- The San Farncisco Book Review (April 16, 2013)

Publishers Weekly
Keeney, a veteran author on WWII, relates the story of the successful air offensive that broke the back of the German air force in the spring of 1944 and paved the way for Allied victory in WWII. Keeney’s history of Operation Pointblank differs from others in his emphasis on the operation’s connection to the overall campaign against Germany in Western Europe. He demonstrates how the air victory enabled the successful landings on D-Day and further allowed the Allied armies to prosecute their land campaign with the comfortable knowledge that there was no threat to them from the air. Keeney explores how an Allied air campaign that was failing badly in November 1943 achieved total victory a mere five months later through new leadership, new technology, and most important, by jettisoning old tactics in favor of aggressive fighter sweeps that took the battle to the Luftwaffe everywhere. Among many personal stories of aerial combat, he makes the important point that victory in the air cannot be fully appreciated without understanding how critical it was to winning the decisive battle on the ground: D-Day. Keeney’s well-written history is aimed at a general audience, but experts will find it an enjoyable read. B&w photos. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781472807502
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/18/2014
  • Series: General Military Series
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 324,621
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

L. Douglas Keeney has been writing military non-fiction for sixteen years and is a well-known researcher among archivists where formerly classified documents repose. His work has been reviewed by Newsweek, salon.com, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Keeney has appeared on The Discovery Channel, CBS, The Learning Channel, and The Military Channel (which he cofounded), and he has been interviewed by scores of radio stations and syndicates. He is presently the on-air host for On Target. Previously, Keeney worked for fifteen years in marketing and advertising in Los Angeles and New York with Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather, and internationally with a subsidiary of British-American Tobacco. He was nominated to the Institute for Advanced Advertising Studies (NYC) and was nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year by both the Graduate School of Business at the University of Southern California. Keeney has a BA in Economics from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. The author lives in New York, NY.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Stephen Frater 9

Introduction 13

Preface: 1943 19

Chapter 1 Airmen 21

Chapter 2 Autumn 1943 33

Chapter 3 Pointblank 55

Chapter 4 Weather 67

Chapter 5 Spaatz 73

Chapter 6 Anywhere 83

Chapter 7 The Clock Ticks 87

Chapter 8 Formation 93

Chapter 9 Exhaustion 97

Chapter 10 Locusts 105

Chapter 11 Flak Boys 113

Chapter 12 Berlin 119

Chapter 13 April 127

Chapter 14 Invasion 137

Chapter 15 Secret Weapons 141

Chapter 16 War Plan 148

Chapter 17 Combat 155

Chapter 18 Dicing with the Devil 163

Chapter 19 May 1944 171

Chapter 20 Deception 181

Chapter 21 June 1944 187

Chapter 22 D-Day 195

Chapter 23 D+1 225

Bibliography 237

Notes 243

Index 264

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Good but didn't go deep enough into what the doctor really did.

    Good but didn't go deep enough into what the doctor really did.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted May 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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