I’ve always been fascinated by “big science” projects and how they were managed. Often there’s a confluence of private and public sector, academia, and military; the nuclear arms race as presented here is certainly not an exception.
This book describes what it was like to bomb Japanese cities via B-29 raids conducted by the U.S. during 1944 and 1945. Most of the action is from the American perspective and takes place on the air-base islands off Japan from which most raids were launched (chiefly Tinian and Saipan), in the air while over water, or over Japan itself
I read a lot of history books where you get caught up in the sweep of big ideas, big movements, and larger-than-life historical figures. In THUNDER BELOW we have a captain, his crew, and the ship, doing their job while trying to stay alive. It’s a keeper.
Forester’s message is pretty transparent, though: high class are low, educated or not, smalltown or urban, young or old — all have parts to play in the well oiled war machine that cares less about class than about performance.
Blackett’s War is an uneven but very interesting account of how basic science and engineering techniques, now called “operations research” or “operational research,” were applied to solving military problems during World War II.
This short story looks at the events leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima from the perspective of a young Japanese intelligence officer who pieces together evidence of what’s coming. Unfortunately, no one’s believes him.
The author provides a very good overview of the role of aircraft in bludgeoning Japan into submission. While never minimizing the role of seapower in strangling Japan’s WWII economy, Stillman documents Allied land and sea originated aair war efforts, the centerpiece being the role of the Boeing B-29.
Hastings tells the story of the final year of the Pacific War from multiple perspectives, much of which will be new to people whose awareness of Chinese, British, and Russian action against the Japanese is low.
This extremely well researched and written tale of World War II tells the story behind the climactic Battle of Leyte Gulf. This was the last great sea battle fought by huge opposing forces — the Americans and the Japanese — involving both battleships and aircraft carriers.
The book starts out with Jack, reduced to half pay while he awaits a command, surrounded by his family (and mother in law) in a shabby English country “estate” where he is proving unequivocally that he does not have the makings of a farmer.
One day his friend Steven visits and announces that Jack will receive orders and a command. Jack’s assignment: assume command of a small fleet and retake two islands in the Indian Ocean from the French.