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How Effective is Strategic Bombing?: Lessons Learned From World War II to Kosovo (World of War)

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ISBN-13: 978-0814731352
ISBN-10: 081473135X
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Editorial Reviews


"Gian Gentile provides a first rate analysis of the Gulf War Air Power Survey against the backdrop World War II's U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. His well-researched critique also offers much insight about the Air Force mindset during the past half century."

-Mark A. Clodfelter,Professor of Military History, The National War College, Washington, D.C.

How Effective is Strategic Bombing is a thought provoking analysis on the subject of air power and bombing and the use of surveys to explain the effects of air power on the enemy in conflict."


"The most thorough and accurate analysis ever written about the conduct and results of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. Gentile demonstrates that underneath its veneer of objectivity clashed a number of conflicting agendas and personalities, and in many ways the conclusions were preordained. This work shows the difficulty inherent in analyzing the results of any air campaign. Recent problems with bomb damage assessment in the Balkans reinforce his conclusions."

-Conrad Crane,Professor of Military History, United States Military Academy, West Point

About the Author

A former Assistant Professor of History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, Gian P. Gentile is an active duty army officer and is currently a Division Operations Planner with the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. He has served in command and staff positions in armored units in Germany, Korea, and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University.


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Product Details

  • Series: World of War
  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081473135X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814731352
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,650,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. St Onge on February 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The TITLE of this book asks an interesting and important question. The TEXT makes no attempt whatsoever to answer it. Instead, this is a book about the internal politics of the U.S. Army Air Force as it strove to become an independent service with status equal to the Army and Navy. It mostly dwells on the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, the motives of the people who ordered it, and the struggles to present various points of view within it. Occasionally, the author mentions what various people in the survey concluded, with hardly any attempt to explain why they came to the conclusions they did, and no consideration as to whether the survey's authors were correct. Neither does Col. Gentile present any conclusions of his own on this subject. I can only conclude that the effectiveness of strategic bombing doesn't really interest him, and that the title was applied solely to deceive potential customers.

For those who ARE interested in the question the title asks, try David MacIsaac's "Strategic Bombing in World War Two: The Story of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey", a really good book.
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