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The Air War: 1939-1945 (Potomac Books' Cornerstones of Military History series) Paperback – September 1, 2005


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The Air War: 1939-1945 (Potomac Books' Cornerstones of Military History series) + Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945 (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Cornerstones of Military History
  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.; 1 edition (September 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574887165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574887167
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Essential reading for all military historians."

"An important and successful book."

"Highly effective. The result, as so often with sound scholarship, is the ruthless dispelling of myths."

About the Author

RICHARD J. OVERY, D.Phil., is a professor of modern European history at King’s College, London. An award-winning historian, he has published numerous other books on World War II, including Why the Allies Won; The Battle of Britain: The Myth and the Reality; Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945; and Russia’s War: A History of the Soviet War Effort, 1941–1945. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. M. H. Klauber on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Richard Overy became a major historian of WWII (see his magnum opus on Hitler & Stalin) and this one catches him early career. Bottom line is that its a treat to have someone of Overy's ability & stature tackle this subject. This is not the type of subject that would normally attract a historian like Overy, and every serious WWII student should have this in his or her library. The fact that Overy wrote on subjects like this contributes to the very wide range of knowledge he now brings to his books. I just like the fact that someone who later wrote 1000 pages on Hitler & Stalin also knows the pros & cons of B-17's vs. B-24's.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Rudy VINE VOICE on February 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
"The Air War" by Richard Overy is a one-volume historical comparison of the Axis and Allied powers' planning and prosecution of the air campaign during World War II. The book compares the air power strategies of each major power; the application of air power on the different fronts; the economic strategy of each major power; and concludes with a comparative analysis of the continuing scientific development for aviation.

The first section of the book outlines each nation's national aviation strategy, establishing the context for subsequent chapters. Overy addresses each of the major theaters of operation, and relates how the national aviation strategy and the doctrinal organizational structure developed. For example, readers are provided insight into Hitler and Goering's strategy, leaving little question as to why the Luftwaffe abandoned the Battle of Britain and transferred their forces to the Eastern Front. Readers may be surprised at the brevity of the battle descriptions, but the intent of this book is to establish the understanding of the strategic application of air power.

The chapter on aircraft production contrasts how the national aerospace strategies set the production priorities for each nation. Venturing further, it details production issues still applicable to production today, such as lack of standardization and the currying of political favor for immature technology. The Imperial Japanese Army and Navy did not share aircraft designs with each other, leading to a lack of standardization. Political lackeys curried favor with Adolph Hitler and Herman Goering, leading to unnecessary breaks in production. As an example of the unexpected content, the book even covers how the American government permitted aircraft manufacturers to calculate profit margins.
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7 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Randolph M. Siverson on September 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is not the original. It is a restrike and it shows.
The font is broken in too many places, the print is small and the typos are too frequent to count. I suspect the real version reads more easily, but this is a struggle.
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