Work in Progress

Update to What Were They Thinking

After much serious discussion, lack of communications from our publisher who had health problems anyway, and some very pointed criticism from readers and reviewers, Lee Rochwerger and I decided that it was time for a new publisher and a new version of our Pacific War thesis.  Noting that there were some errors in the original (especially in the time lines), and that we lacked maps (the most common criticism), and there was a certain…lightness…to our arguments, we’re working on the next generation of our original idea:

Why the Samurai Lost: Japan At War

The reasons why Japan went to war, and why they ultimately were defeated, go much deeper than we had originally anticipated.  New scholarship has shed new light on the reasons why Japan seemed so unprepared for war with the West, why she failed to defeat China, and how the two are intimately connected.  Stay tuned at the end of 2018…


nagasaki-atomic-bomb-1945
Nose art of Bockscar, the B-29 that delivered the Nagasaki bomb. The aircraft was destroyed in a storm in 1946.

Tug of War: World War II, the B-29, and the Invention of Strategic Military Thinking 

Since 1945, the traditional thought about the USAAF’s vision of heavy bomber combat was one of “strategic bombardment,” a term often used but rarely well-defined.  HH “Hap” Arnold is the best known advocate of the concept, but it was so foreign at the time that few outside the small circle of bomber enthusiasts who had been at the Tactical School knew anything about it.  With the coming of the B-29, however, Arnold had the first tool that, he thought, was truly capable of strategic bombing. But the Superfortress was plagued with manufacturing problems, and the initial missions from China were, to be charitable, disappointing. Gradually the issues were solved, the island bases in the Marianas became available, and the B-29 was thought by some to have won the war in the Pacific.

If only it was that simple.  Boeing’s big bomber was first designed by a firm that had very little experience in designing bombers, and was better known for building airliners.  Most of the Army and Navy hierarchy saw the B-29 as merely another “bomb truck,” and wanted the long-ranging, big-bellied airplane for their own uses.  Tug of War is the story of the development of both a new concept and a new airplane, and the selling of both to very dubious, very hidebound defense establishments during the desperate days of WWII.  Look for Tug of War in 2019.

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