American Military Aviation in the 20th Century: The Indispensable Arm (Centennial of Flight Series No. 2)

American Military Aviation in the 20th Century: The Indispensable Arm (Centennial of Flight Series No. 2)

By: Charles J. Gross (author)Hardback

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Since the Wright brothers made their famous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, aviation has emerged as the indispensable arm of American military power. In this detailed history, Charles J. Gross traces its development from the Wright brothers' triumph over gravity through the air war for Kosovo. Drawing on examples from all periods and all service branches, he explains the roles of politics, economics, and technology in shaping air power in the US armed forces and assesses the impact of military aviation on warfare. Gross discusses major developments in aircraft, doctrine, training, and operations. He also provides discussions of airlift, in-flight refueling, military budgets, industry, and interservice squabbling. He examines Eisenhower's "New Look" and MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction); McNamara's effort to use "commonality" of equipment to cut costs; Kennedy's buildup of the military; the Nixon Doctrine and the failure of air power to resolve the long drawn-out conflict in Southeast Asia; and the growing reliance on American air power in the post-Cold War world. This illustrated volume offers a broad history of American military aviation. Military professionals, scholars, policy makers, and the general public should find this book an invaluable guide to the "indispensable arm."

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About Author

CHARLES J. GROSS, who lives in Crofton, Maryland, is currently the chief of the Air National Guard history program. He served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1969 and retired as a colonel in 1994.


Brigades of Flying Horses; A Golden Age of Innovation; Armageddon; An Age of Limits; Cold Warriors; The Renaissance of American Military Power; The Empire Strikes Out.

Product Details

  • publication date: 31/10/2002
  • ISBN13: 9781585442157
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 416
  • ID: 9781585442157
  • weight: 816
  • ISBN10: 1585442151

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