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The Pointblank Directive: The Untold Story of the Daring Plan that Saved D-Day (General Military) Hardcover – December 18, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A thoroughly satisfying read: informative and entertaining. What is always mind-boggling is the sacrifice made in any war. Pointblank Directive shows quite clearly what the airwar leading up to D-Day cost both sides of the conflict. More importantly, it fills a needed gap in knowledge of exactly how critical the proper air campaign can be in determining the ground conflict. Historians and students of World War II history alike will be well-served reading this book.” ―Bernie Chowdhury, author of The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths (Harper)

“The Pointblank Directive is a richly textured portrait of air power and leadership, possibly the last untold sotry of D-Day. Using extensive new research, Keeney carefully reconstructs the events that led up to the success of that battle.” ―Savannah Jones, www.sirreadalot.org

“I enjoyed this book immensely. It was fast-paced, exciting, filled with the untold yet in no way unglamorous adventures and perilous day-to-day existence of the United States Air Force ... This is one of the best historical books I have read.” ―The San Farncisco Book Review (April 16, 2013)

“...comes from a historian who considers the politics and personalities of The Pointblank Directive and how it become one of the most amazing military come-backs in history. By raid's end some forty percent of the Allied planes had been shot down. The story of how forces recovered from these heavy losses and flew to victory against impossible odds makes this a powerful account of strategic air command decision-making processes, battles, and close encounters, offering a fresh analysis of how The Pointblank Directive changed the world.” ―The Midwest Book Review (March 2013)

About the Author

L. Douglas Keeney has been writing military non-fiction for sixteen years and is a well-known researcher among archivists where formerly classified documents repose. His work has been reviewed by Newsweek, salon.com, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Keeney has appeared on The Discovery Channel, CBS, The Learning Channel, and The Military Channel (which he cofounded), and he has been interviewed by scores of radio stations and syndicates. He is presently the on-air host for On Target. Previously, Keeney worked for fifteen years in marketing and advertising in Los Angeles and New York with Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather, and internationally with a subsidiary of British-American Tobacco. He was nominated to the Institute for Advanced Advertising Studies (NYC) and was nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year by both the Graduate School of Business at the University of Southern California. Keeney has a BA in Economics from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business.
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Product Details

  • Series: General Military
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 1St Edition edition (December 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849089337
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849089333
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ordered this book for my IPad Kindle after seeing it advertized in The AirForce Times.
From the beginning, the Author made an excuse as to why he wouldn't be using certain "facts" but generalizations instead. Turns out, there were ALOT of generalizations, and many stories that were more emotions than facts.

The worse part is that whenever he would reference a certain item, the reference material is something that is today considered outdated.
A couple of examples-
He talks about "Heinkel" Fighter planes and German Airborne Bombing of formations.. yet there were no such fighters and the airborne bombings were a trail operation by the Luftwaffe.
Just one of the many items I found incorrect in the book.

If you know nothing about WW2 and the Air War over Europe, maybe you'll find this book enjoyable. If you have even the faintest knowledge, you will probably finish with some serious questions and scratching your head.
If you are an Aviation/Military History Buff, you will be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There was a fair amount of good information in this book. Although I suppose I was expecting to read about something I was not aware of, something that until now had not been common WWII historical knowledge; this was not the case. The author did however compile a lot of Allied and Axis air battle information. In this book the author tells the Pointblank Directive story in what seems to be a piecemeal format; plugging in air combat information and loosely tying it together with other information. The result being a lack of continuity, leaving the reader to try to smooth it all out. In several cases it seemed as though a given scenario were repeated verbatim as though it had not been mentioned earlier in the book! An apparent effort to represent it as though it were something new. The book was very poorly edited and appeared to have been rushed into print. I have never read a book with so many editing errors. Having said all of this, I still enjoyed the book but was much distracted by the poor editing.
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Format: Hardcover
A well explained description of the operational and tactical changes to the plan for the air war in Europe and their implementation by Spatz, Doolittle, Quesada and the pilots and crews of the VIII and IX Air Forces. Just when you think you've read everything about a topic and have an understanding of what happened along comes a book that makes you aware of what really happened and why. The author uses many personal examples of how the air war was fought by those pilots and crews. Except for the many typos, well written and an informative read.
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Format: Hardcover
While perusing the Amazon website the other day quite by accident I happened upon a brand new book chronicling the planning and execution of the D-Day invasion. Although I am a huge history buff books about World War II and military history have never been of particular interest to me. Knowing precious little about the military I have always been intimidated by the nomenclature and as a result I usually have tended to shy away from these subjects. But there was something about this book that drew me in. In the opening pages of "The Pointblank Directive: Three Generals and the Untold Story of the Daring Plan That Saved D-Day" author L. Douglas Keeney made a point of telling his readers that he was going to make this book as readable as possible for general audiences. And that he did. I simply could not put this book down.

As early as the fall of 1938 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt could see the handwriting on the wall. On October 16th, FDR approved a secret plan that called for the production of 15000 war planes annually. This critical decision helped pave the way for the United States to enter the European Theater shortly after Pearl Harbor. There was no getting around it--this was going to be a long, drawn out, costly and extremely bloody affair. We learn that the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) aligned the operations of the British Royal Air Force with those of the United States Army Air Forces into a cohesive battle plan for an attack against various targets in Germany. However, as the summer of 1943 approached things were not going particularly well for the allied forces. Thus, a new strategy was devised at the highest levels and was dubbed "The Pointblank Directive". According to Mr.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Pointblank Directive was the mandate given to the Eighth Air Force to focus on the destruction of the German Luftwaffe. This objective was to be completed by the time the Allies were ready to invade Europe in June, 1944. Led by generals Carl Spaatz, Jimmy Doolittle, and Pete Quesada, the bombers and fighters of the Eighth Air Force began an unrelenting attack on German airfields, factories, ball bearing plants, oil production facilities, and transportation networks. The goal was to completely neutralize the Luftwaffe and its ability to interfere with the D-Day landings.

Led by Doolittle and Spaatz, the Eighth's B-17s and B-24s attacked such targets as Schweinfurt, Regensburg, Rheine, Munster, and others. These attacks, ever-increasing in size, were focused on destroying the vital components in the aircraft production process.

While the heavies were hitting the production facilities of the Luftwaffe, Quesada and his fighters were causing havoc of their own. Freed by Doolittle to roam ahead of the bombers to engage German planes, the P-51s, P-47s, and P-38s went about destroying German aircraft in the skies. Further, the American fighters began to strafe and dive bomb German targets of opportunity.

Operation Pointblank was a big success. When the D-Day invasion came in June, 1944, the Luftwaffe had been so decimated by the bombers and fighters of the Eighth that they were only able to mount token resistance. The skies over Normandy were safely in Allied hands.

"The Pointblank Directive" is a very good book. Written in a style that is easy to read, author L. Douglas Keeney has done a fine job in describing this important part of the European air war.
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