Download e-book for kindle: American Arsenal: A Century of Waging War by Patrick Coffey

By Patrick Coffey

ISBN-10: 0199959757

ISBN-13: 9780199959754

Whilst the United States declared conflict on Germany in 1917, the USA had in basic terms 200,000 males lower than fingers, a 20th of the German army's energy, and its planes have been no fit for the German air strength. lower than a century later, the USA this present day has by way of some distance the world's biggest army price range and gives over forty% of the world's armaments. In American Arsenal Patrick Coffey examines America's army transformation from an isolationist nation to a global superpower. concentrating on fifteen particular advancements, Coffey illustrates the unplanned, usually haphazard nature of this modification, which has been pushed via political, army, technological, and advertisement pursuits. starting with Thomas Edison's paintings on submarine know-how, American Arsenal strikes from global conflict I to the current conflicts within the heart East, masking subject matters from chemical guns, strategic bombing, and the nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union, to "smart" bombs, handheld anti-aircraft missiles, and the Predator and different drone aircrafts. Coffey lines the tale of every improve in weaponry from drafting board to battlefield, and comprises attention-grabbing images of the boys who invented and deployed them -Edward Teller, "the father of the hydrogen bomb", Robert Oppenheimer, head of atomic bomb layout at Los Alamos; Curtis LeMay, who led the fire-bombing of Japan; Herman Kahn, nuclear strategist and a version for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove; Abraham Karem, inventor of the Predator, and so on. Coffey additionally examines the more and more indifferent nature of contemporary American battle- the final word aim is to take away squaddies from the battlefield completely- which limits casualties (211,454 in Vietnam and simply 1,231 within the Gulf battle) but in addition lessens the political and mental expenditures of going to struggle. analyzing the backstories of each significant American guns improvement, American Arsenal is vital analyzing for somebody attracted to the ongoing evolution of the U.S. safeguard application.

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Extra info for American Arsenal: A Century of Waging War

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34 ■ AMERICAN ARSENAL ■ James Bryant Conant in the laboratory. Photo courtesy of Harvard Archives.  . A fire demolished all but the concrete walls of the plant.  . who was repairing the piping were killed almost at once. 21 He was put in charge of a research group at American University in Washington. In September 1917 he was given the task of devising an industrial process for the synthesis of mustard gas, which the Germans had begun using only two months earlier. 22 Gassing the Senator ■ 35 In May 1918, a year after the American entry into the war, Conant was assigned the task of turning Lewisite into a weapon, a job that included both developing an industrial process for its production and determining its toxic qualities on animals and human volunteers.

The two Europeans who had the greatest effect on Mitchell were Giulio Douhet of Italy and Hugh Trenchard of Britain. Both favored an independent air force, something Trenchard had achieved with the Royal Air Force (RAF), which was formed in Britain on April 1, 1918. Douhet proposed a grand thesis, that airpower in future wars would take the battle beyond the trenches, destroying the enemy’s industrial base and with it the will to resist.  . ”16 Mitchell had planned an assault using incendiary bombs and poison gas on the interior of Germany for 1919.

Most German submarine attacks were near French and British ports; if ships operated there only at night, they would be much less vulnerable. German subs also seemed to be lying in wait in prewar shipping lanes and near lighthouses, so those areas should be avoided. Merchant ships should be equipped with radios so that Edison at War ■ 25 they could call for help from destroyers if attacked. Moreover, merchant ships’ old (and useless) sailing masts could be sighted by enemy subs from a great distance and should be removed.

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American Arsenal: A Century of Waging War by Patrick Coffey

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