Strike From the Sky: The History of Battlefield Air Attack, 1910-1945

Strike From the Sky: The History of Battlefield Air Attack, 1910-1945


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780817356576
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Publication date: 03/14/2010
Edition description: 1
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 939,779
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Richard P. Hallion retired as Senior Advisor for Air and Space Issues, Directorate for Security, Counterintelligence and Special Programs Oversight at the Pentagon. Among other works he is also the author of The Naval Air War in Korea, Rise of the Fighter Aircraft, 1914-1918, and Legacy of Flight: The Guggenheim Contribution to American Aviation.
Air Vice-Marshal R. A. Mason, RAF, CBE, was air secretary and director general of Personnel Management for the Royal Air Force Ministry of Defence and coauthor of Air Power in the Nuclear Age and The Soviet Air Forces.

Read an Excerpt

Strike from the sky

The History of Battlefield Air Attack, 1910-1945
By Richard P. Hallion

The University of Alabama Press

Copyright © 1989 Richard P. Hallion
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8173-5657-6

Chapter One

The final section of this study (first written in 1988) examines how battlefield air support evolved over the Cold War. Today, in the post-Gulf War, post 9-11 era, new methods for battlefield attack have appeared, the most remarkable of which are remotely piloted aircraft dropping and firing precision munitions, guided by satellite navigation, and piloted by operators thousands of miles away. As noted in the first edition of this work, developments such as this hint at the continuing need for scholarship to document the constant evolution of air warfare and its impact upon global events.

Lockheed AC-130 Spectre Gunship. During Vietnam, the Air Force developed fixed-wing gunships, culminating in the Lockheed AC-130 Spectre, a derivative of the C-130 transport. Continuously refined since the 1960s, the AC-130 has featured in every war and almost every significant combat contingency the United States has fought since that time. Versatile and powerful, such aircraft are very useful, but are vulnerable to fighters and surface-to-air missiles if absolute control of the air is absent. Photo courtesy AF Special Operations Command.

Warthog on Review. The best-known American attack aircraft since Vietnam has been the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II, known as the Warthog. Conceived in response to Vietnam and then developed to defeat a Warsaw Pact tank assault in Europe, the Warthog has been used extensively in the Gulf Wars, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. Heavily armed and armored, the Warthog is a formidable ground attacker: but still dependent upon friendly control of the sky in order to fulfill its ground support mission. Photo courtesy History Office, Edwards AFB.

General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. The Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft, introduced into Air Force service in 2007, is the latest in a series of increasingly advanced unmanned surveillance and attack aircraft. Equipped with sophisticated sensors and capable of carrying a variety of precision munitions, it represents the latest trend in attack aircraft development, a trend that will expand to include other military, including deep attack and, likely, air supremacy operations. But, for the moment, it, too, is dependent upon a benign air defense environment characterized by friendly control of the air. Photo courtesy USAF.


Excerpted from Strike from the sky by Richard P. Hallion Copyright © 1989 by Richard P. Hallion . Excerpted by permission.
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