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Halpro: The Halverson Detachment in the Middle East June-July 1942.

Air Power History, 2010, Summer, 57, 2

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[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] British historian Sir Michael Howard observed that, while armed forces almost always enter the war with the wrong doctrine, "it does not matter that they have got it wrong. What does matter is their capacity to get it right quickly when the moment arrives." (1) The list of works sparked by Michael Howard's observation is short: a collection of essays in America's First Battles: 1776-1965 edited by Charles Heller and William Stofft focuses on the struggle to "get it right" in ground operations; and Aldon Purdam takes the same approach for aerial warfare in America's First Air Battles. The latter focuses mainly on challenges to air power theory and doctrine, which seems to be a fetish among airmen. This essay expands the discussion in examining the Army Air Forces' (AAF) first encounter with the European Axis powers. A military crisis in the Middle East, Anglo-American alliance politics and an unpromising project to bomb Japanese cities from Chinese bases came together in the summer of 1942, to produce a classic case study in what the British call "ad hocery." The operations of the AAF's Halverson Detachment, a special task force of B-24 heavy bombers, in the Middle East in June and July 1942, offer unique insights into how politics, doctrine, training, improvisation, combat leadership, and home front morale shape the conduct and the outcomes--perceived and real--of first battles. Examining these initial encounters with the enemy can help us understand why getting it right can be both difficult and instructive for those who survive them.

Halpro: The Halverson Detachment in the Middle East June-July 1942.
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  • 2,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Engineering
  • Published: 22 June 2010
  • Publisher: Air Force Historical Foundation
  • Print Length: 24 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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