Near Miss: The Army Air Forces' Guided Bomb Program in World War II by Donald J. HanleNear Miss: The Army Air Forces' Guided Bomb Program in World War II by Donald J. Hanle

Near Miss: The Army Air Forces' Guided Bomb Program in World War II

byDonald J. Hanle

Paperback | February 8, 2007

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The U.S. military's use of smart bombs and guided missiles has become commonplace in modern warfare. The ability to destroy a single floor of one building in a densely populated metropolitan area, while minimizing civilian casualties stands in stark contrast to the massive bombings that took place during World War II. However, it was from that war that the technology of today's precision munitions programs was first developed. Near Miss: The Army Air Forces' Guided Bomb Program in World War II is a story that has remained untold for over 60 years-indeed, it might be the last major subject of the air war during WWII to remain unexplored in unclassified accounts. Author Donald Hanle outlines the research, development, and combat employment of these early, first generation guided bombs in the first major history of the Army Air Force's guided munitions program in the Second World War. While guided missile histories have occasionally mentioned Operation Aphrodite or the JB-2 jet bomb, Near Miss is the only single volume work that focuses on every major guided bomb designed by or for the AAF during the war. It examines not only the weapons systems, but it also explains why these systems succeeded or failed as combat weapons, as well as why the guided munitions program suddenly ground to a halt after WWII ended. Including never before published combat photos of guided bombs in-flight and hitting their targets, no airpower enthusiast's or WWII air war historian's bookshelf will be complete without Near Miss.
Donald J. Hanle is a retired Air Force Intelligence Officer who has been deeply interested in airpower and WWII for over 35 years. He currently is a professor at the Joint Military Intelligence College, Washington, D.C., serving as the Director of Terrorism and Asymmetric Warfare Studies. Dr. Hanle also teaches courses in Intelligence ...
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Title:Near Miss: The Army Air Forces' Guided Bomb Program in World War IIFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.01 × 5.9 × 0.94 inPublished:February 8, 2007Publisher:Scarecrow PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0810857766

ISBN - 13:9780810857766

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Table of Contents

Part 1 List of Illustrations Part 2 Preface Part 3 Acknowledgments Part 4 Introduction Part 5 1 The Vision and the Reality Part 6 2 Guided Aerial Weapons Programs and Policies Part 7 3 The "Simple"Glide Bomb: GB-1 Part 8 4 Advanced Glide Bombs Part 9 5 Azon: Vertical Bombs Part 10 6 Razon: Advanced Vertical Bombs Part 11 7 Powered Bombs Part 12 8 Willie Orphans and Jet Bombs Part 13 9 Conclusion Part 14 Bibliography Part 15 Index Part 16 About the Author

Editorial Reviews

Although the use of guided bombs by the US military was not widely discussed until the 1990s, these weapons have their roots in the World War II era. Hanle (director of terrorism and asymmetric warfare studies, Joint Military Intelligence College) examines the early history of guided bomb development in the US from 1941 to 1946. He first discusses the role of guided munitions in Air Force doctrine and explores the organizational challenges faced by the Air Force in developing the weapons. He then turns to case studies of the weapons themselves, focusing on the design, development, and operational employment of glide bombs, guided vertical bombs, and powered bombs. A final chapter explores the reasons for the Cold War disappearance of these weapons from the Air Force inventory and their eventual reappearance late in the Vietnam War.