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American Military Gliders of World War II: Development, Training, Experimentation, and Tactics of All Aircraft Types Hardcover – July 15, 2012


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American Military Gliders of World War II: Development, Training, Experimentation, and Tactics of All Aircraft Types + To Fly the Gentle Giants: The Training of U.S. WW II Glider Pilots
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (July 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764340514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764340512
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 12.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Abbe on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for the Silent Wings museum library. It is a useful book, but there are so many editing mistakes, typos, and questionable statements of fact that it causes me to have doubts about the overall accuracy of the book. Overall, it seems to me that the author was in a hell of a hurry and did not give the book the final editing and quality control it needed. This may have been publisher driven, but it is an issue either way. Still, it is a book that every WWII airborne or glider program library needs to have.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James I. Moffett on August 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Expensive,and thus my harsh critique. An archival quality publication with a less than archival text. The hard cover book measures 9 1/2" x 12", is 272 pages, is heavy,with high gloss pages that were actually an annoyance as the glare of my overhead lighting caused me to have to shift the pages about to read. But,no expense was spared in the quality and the high gloss does make every picture look like a Kodak photo.

Norton acknowledges all the people and organizations who assisted him in his research,which were quite a few. I had to immediately question as to how much research Mr. Norton did himself and how much he subcontracted out,just like the glider program did during WWII. Each chapter has source notes that lend to the 9 pages of Endnotes at the back of the book. This is followed by 7 pages of Bibliography listing a host of sources,some trustworthy while others are of the "gray" area.

The book attempts to cover both the Army and Navy glider programs of WWII,from inception through to experimentation,training,battle,and post war. The Army glider program in itself is so vast a subject to cover that pulling in the Navy program is almost content suicide. However,I did enjoy the many first time photos of the Navy gliders under construction and the Navy GLOMB project. The model on page 84 looks to be an amphibian adaptation of the Stout Skycar.

I read the book twice,first to read it and secondly to critique it with pen and notepad. I had to stop after page 77 as I had way too many pages written up. Some errors were small and seemingly frivolous while others were epically wrong information.

Pg 11 - A bit confusing transitioning from the purchase of civilian sport gliders to fixed-price contracts. New paragraph was needed.
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Format: Hardcover
AMERICAN MILITARY GLIDERS OF WORLD WAR II: DEVELOPMENT, TRAINING, EXPERIMENTATION, AND TACTICS OF ALL AIRCRAFT TYPES
BILL NORTON
SCHIFFER PUBLISHING, 2012
HARDCOVER, $69.99, 272 PAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, DIAGRAMS, TABLES, ILLUSTRATIONS, ACRONYMS, END NOTES, ABBREVIATIONS, APPENDIX, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX

The U.S. Army Air Forces paid little attention to gliders until the Germans demonstrated their effectiveness in 1940-1941 airborne assaults. It was then when the U.S. Army Air Forces began studying glider design in February, 1941 which was then followed by a competition for cargo-and troop-carrying gliders resulting in a number of gliders being built by various contractors, each conforming to various specifications. Designs produced by the Waco Aircraft Company of Troy, Ohio, were deemed the most suitable and contracts were announced in June, 1941 for an eight-seat and a fifteen-seat glider. The Waco CG-4 Haig (Hadrian by the British) was developed from the smaller XCG-3, which seated only nine, the CG-4A Jayhawk was produced in large numbers at several plants. Beech, Boeing, Cessna, and Ford all being involved, while the sub-assemblies were the products of often quite small cabinet-making firms.

The first Wacos were delivered to North Africa in late 1942 and were used for the first time in the 1943 assault on Sicily, followed by their massive employment in Operation OVERLORD and Operation MARKET GARDEN in 1944 and Operation VARSITY in 1945. They were also used extensively in the China-Burma-Insian (CBI) Theater as well as in the upcoming invasion of Japan.

The U.S.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Wolf on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If Mr. Moffetf is so knowledgeable on the subject why didn't he or doesn't he spend his time writing a definitive book instead of spending so nuch time criticizing Mr. Norton's book. Again it is a classic case of those who can't write; criticise! After all he claims he "could write a small book" on all the mistakes in Mr. Norton's book. Mr. Moffett gives the book a "harsh" criticism because of its expense; perhaps he should have saved his money and purchased sun glasses so he wouldn't have to contend with, as he claims: "the high gloss pages that were actually an annoyance as the glare of my overhead lighting caused me to have to shift the pages about to read." I guess that statement says it all about Mr. Moffett and his critique!

I am also an WWII author of 15 aviation books and have a brief section on glider bombs in my book; US Aerial Armament in WW II Volume 3. I personaly know Bill Norton to be a diligent researcher as we have been in contact on several of his projects and trust his research. So, I must consider this book the definitive work on the subject (of course, pending Mr. Moffett's future book on the subject!!! I should live so long!)
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American Military Gliders of World War II: Development, Training, Experimentation, and Tactics of All Aircraft Types
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