War Machines: Transforming Technologies in the U.S. Military, 1920-1940

War Machines: Transforming Technologies in the U.S. Military, 1920-1940

by Timothy Moy
Pub. Date:
Texas A&M University Press


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War Machines: Transforming Technologies in the U.S. Military, 1920-1940

The American military establishment is intimately tied to its technology, although the nature of those ties has varied enormously from service to service. The air force evokes images of pilots operating hightech weapons systems, striking precisely from out of the blue to lay waste to enemy installations. The fundamental icon for the Marine Corps is a wave of riflemen hitting the beaches from rugged landing craft and slogging their way ashore under enemy fire. How did these very different relationships with technology develop?

During the interwar years, from 1920 to 1940, leaders from the Army Air Corps and the Marine Corps recreated their agencies based on visions of new military technologies. In War Machines, Timothy Moy examines these recreations and explores how factors such as bureaucratic pressure, institutional culture, and America's technological enthusiasm shaped these leaders' choices.

The very existence of the Army Air Corps was based on a new technology, the airplane. As the Air Corps was forced to compete for money and other resources during the years after World War I, Air Corps leaders carved out a military niche based on hightech precision bombing. The Marine Corps focused on amphibious, firstwave assault using sturdy, graceless, and easytoproduce landing craft.

Moy's astute analysis makes it clear that studying the processes that shaped the Army Air Corps and Marine Corps is fundamental to our understanding of technology and the military at the beginning of the twentyfirst century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585441044
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2001
Series: Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series , #71
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

TIMOTHY MOY, who received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, is an assistant professor of history at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1 Culture, Technology, and Institutions 3

Part 1 Precision Bombing

Chapter 2 The Bombers' Vision 17

Chapter 3 The Bombers' Technology 33

Chapter 4 Political Opportunities and Daylight Precision 53

Chapter 5 A High-Tech Delivery System 68

Part 2 Amphibious landing

Chapter 6 Political Pressure on a Warrior Elite 101

Chapter 7 Technology and Training 116

Chapter 8 Doctrine and Fishing Boats 131

Chapter 9 Eureka 148

Chapter 10 Victory: Military, Bureaucratic, and Cultural 163

Notes 179

Bibliography 201

Index 211

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