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An almost exhaustive volume of literature has described and analyzed the Japanese attack on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Yet despite the key role played by Japanese dominance of the air space over Oahu, little has been published on the role of the Army Air Forces and its unpreparedness to accomplish it air defense mission. In addition, too few are aware of the nature and extent of the damage the Hawaiian Air Force sustained that day. "7 December 1941: The Air Force Story" recounts the tale of this valiant but outgunned and outmanned unit even as it attempts to explain why all of its available aircraft were unarmed and lined up like sitting ducks on the flight line at each base, why all radar stations shut down on the morning of the attack and, above all, why the American air arm, including ground observers and antiaircraft units, proved unable to protect the fleet. The book begins with a look at the overall position of the Hawaiian Air Force before December 7 ? its leadership, assigned personnel and aircraft, and air defense system. Next, it examines in detail the three main air fields on Oahu ? Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows ? and their duty, training, equipment, and morale. It then describes the actual attack from the perspective of each of the bases and concludes with a post mortem of the aftermath. Stirring personal accounts of the attack and the courageous reaction of Army Air Forces personnel in the face of overwhelming odds bring home the terrible reality of total war. In one case, a witness describes pausing to lace in the lining of his World War I-vintage helmet ? a stark example of how unprepared American forces were that day. In another vignette, this time of a rare victory, an antiaircraft unit shoots down two Japanese planes ? and almost downs an American B-17. "7 December 1941: The Air Force Story" is an indispensable account of a forgotten aspect of one of America?s greatest military defeats and a significant contribution to the continuing debate on military preparedness prior to Pearl Harbor. As such, it is a ?must read? for scholars and World War II buffs.
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Titolo: 7 December 1941: The Air Force Story
Casa editrice: Military Bookshop
Data di pubblicazione: 2011
Legatura: Soft cover
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