Air Power: The Story of the U.S. Air Force the Giant Unleashed 1943-1960
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In The Giant Unleashed 1943-1960, we trace the role of US air power during the last three years of World War II, its emergence as a global air power in 1946, and its subsequent role and strategy during the Cold War. THE ROAD TO VICTORY 1943-1945 In this chapter, the strength of US air power reaches a new peak, to more than 2.4 million men and approximately 80,000 aircraft. Bombers took the war to the heartland of Germany and Japan in daily bombing raids, while the control of the air by US fi ghters provided essential cover to ground troops in the European and Pacifi c theaters of operations. Air War Across the Globe * The Italian Campaign * Raid Over Ploesti * The B-29 Superfortress * Prelude to Invasion * D-Day: The Beginning of the End * Victory in Europe * Countdown to Tokyo KOREA & THE COLD WAR 1946-1960 In this chapter, we examine the role of US air power during the Cold War. In 1947, the Army Air Force was reorganized into a separate branch of the military known as the US Air Force. When war broke out in Korea, US air power played a pivotal role in slowing down the communist advance and defending the Pusan perimeter until reinforcements could arrive. During this period, the Strategic Air Command was organized as the primary instrument of American nuclear deterrence. A New Air Force * The Cold War Begins * Confl ict in Korea * Advance to the Yalu * Korea: The Final Phase * The Missile Age * NATO and the Strategic Air Command Approx run time: 3 hrs, 12 min. NTSC, B&W.
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The programs consist of a series of 13-minute-long episodes which probably appeared on TV shortly after the 1960 cut-off date for the coverage. There are 15 of these episodes on each of the two DVDs.
The story starts with the first aircraft purchased from the Wright brothers and continues through to the Cold War and the advent of missiles. Some of the early footage is the most interesting, showing how we trained our pilots in WW I, and some great images of aircraft of the interwar period in action, including such types as the B-9, B-10 and P-26. There is also footage of early B-17s helping prove the worth of the design that would come in handy a few years later.
Over 1/2 of the episodes cover WW II in good detail, and always from the Army/AAF point of view. For instance, while most coverage of Midway emphasizes the carrier-based aircraft or the USMC aircraft based on the island, this one tells about the B-17s and B-26s that took the fight to the Japanese.
Be forewarned that, because these programs are over 50 years old, some of the terminology used is no longer considered "politically correct". On the whole, this series is entertaining and fine value for money.