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To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority Over Germany, 1942-1944
Until 1944, the United States Army Air Forces followed the doctrine of using intensive strategic bombing in their attempt to win the war against Germany. Bombed-out buildings and the skeletons of downed aircraft served as testimony to the intensity of these efforts, but strategic bombing did not prevail. German war production continued to increase and the German will to fi ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Smithsonian Books (DC)
(first published October 17th 1991)
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Apr 23, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it · review of another edition
To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority Over Germany, 1942-1944 (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight is a 4 Star focus on the key air campaign of WWII in Western Europe—winning air superiority over the continent, especially in time for the Normandy invasion. This is an underappreciated part of the overall effort to defeat Germany. Starting with Normandy, western Allied forces would never again fight under threat of sustained, heavy enemy attack from the air. This was possi ...more
The authors do an excellent job of showing how the Allies were able to use their material superiority to best advantage and defeat the Luftwaffe. Counterintuitively, the main advantage gained by the strategic bombing program was the defeat of the Luftwaffe. It was only when the bombers started hitting important targets in Germany accompanied by escort fighters that the German fighters had to fight at unequal terms.
The author of the Jimmy Stewart book I read referenced this book as the definitive history of the European Theater air war in WWII. It covers in detail the philosophy,technology, tactics and just plane guts of the men of the US Army Air Force from 1943-1945. I am fascinated by the complex strategy setting and decision making processes of this endeavor.
In the second world war in the European theater, the U.S. Army 8th Air Force didn't destroy German industry (at least not until German defeat was clear) but did, once long range fighters were available & deemed necessary, shoot down the Luftwaffe using the US bombers as bait