MacArthur's Airman : General George C. Kenney and the War in the Southwest Pacific (Modern War Studies)

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9780700609093: MacArthur's Airman : General George C. Kenney and the War in the Southwest Pacific (Modern War Studies)

A fighter pilot who flew 75 combat missions in World War I, George C. Kenney was a charismatic leader who established himself as an innovative advocate of air power. As General MacArthur's air commander in the Southwest Pacific during World War II, Kenney played a pivotal role in the conduct of the war, but until now his performance has remained largely unexplored.

Thomas Griffith offers a critical assessment of Kenney's numerous contributions to MacArthur's war efforts. He depicts Kenney as a staunch proponent of airpower's ability to shape the outcome of military engagements and a commander who shared MacArthur's strategic vision. He tells how Kenney played a key role in campaigns from New Guinea to the Philippines; adapted aircraft, pilots, doctrine, and technology to the demands of aerial warfare in the southwest Pacific; and pursued daring strategies that likely would have failed in the European theater.

Kenney is shown to have been an operational and organizational innovator who was willing to scrap doctrine when the situation called for ingenuity, such as shifting to low-level attacks for more effective bombing raids. Griffith tells how Kenney established air superiority in every engagement, provided close air support for troops by bombing enemy supply lines, attacked and destroyed Japanese supply ships, and carried out rapid deployment by airlifting troops and supplies.

Griffith draws on Kenney's diary and correspondence, the personal papers of other officers, and previously untapped sources to present a comprehensive portrayal of both the officer and the man. He illuminates Kenney's relationship with MacArthur, General "Hap" Arnold, and other field commanders, and closely examines factors in air warfare often neglected in other accounts, such as intelligence, training, and logistical support.

MacArthur's Airman is a rich and insightful study that shows how air, ground, and marine efforts were integrated to achieve major strategic objectives. It firmly establishes the importance of MacArthur's campaign in New Guinea and reveals Kenney's instrumental role in turning the tide against the Japanese.

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Review:

As General MacArthur's air commander in the southwest Pacific, General George C. Kenney has long been regarded as a key to American military success in that theater of the Second World War. Yet MacArthur's Airman is the first extensive treatment he has received from a historian. Using both official documents and Kenney's own private papers, Griffith reveals his subject to be a pioneer in the development of air warfare. Kenney employed flexible tactics to fit local circumstances but retained a consistent belief in the purpose of air power: to limit an enemy's ability to hurt friendly troops. This meant controlling the skies and attacking far behind the front lines. Flanking an enemy is a traditional battle strategy going back to the days of classical warfare, and Kenney understood that the development of reliable combat planes provided a critical new opportunity to employ the oldest trick in the book.

Griffith offers a few biographical details on the Canadian-born Kenney, but mostly concentrates on the command-level experience of airborne warfare, from actual operations to planning missions, gathering intelligence, and maintaining morale. In all, MacArthur's Airman represents an important contribution to our understanding of the war in the Pacific. --John J. Miller

From the Back Cover:

"A model work of military history that brings to life the drama of air warfare in the Southwest Pacific."--Michael Schaller, author of Douglas MacArthur

"A cracking good operational history that raises Kenney to the front rank among American commanders in the war. An utterly fascinating book."--Richard H. Kohn, author of Eagle and Sword

"A critical and provocative assessment of Kenney's accomplishments and airpower's dominant role in the campaigns of Douglas MacArthur."--Edward J. Drea, author of MacArthur's ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War against Japan

"A well-written and lucid study of one of MacArthur's most important secret weapons in the Pacific War."--Stephen R. Taaffe, author of MacArthur's Jungle War

"George Kenney was perhaps the most effective combat air commander of World War II. An outstanding biography of a vitally important airman."--Phillip S. Meilinger, author of Hoyt S. Vandenberg

"An original and significant contribution."--Stanley L. Falk, author of Bataan: The March of Death

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fighter pilot who flew seventy-five combat missions in World War I, George C. Kenney was a charismatic leader who established himself as an innovative advocate of air power. As General MacArthur s air commander in the southwest Pacific during World War II, Kenney played a pivotal role in the conduct of the war, but until now his performance has remained largely unexplored. Thomas Griffith offers a critical assessment of Kenney s numerous contributions to MacArthur s war efforts. He depicts Kenney as a staunch proponent of air power s ability to shape the outcome of military engagements and a commander who shared MacArthur s strategic vision. He tells how Kenney played a key role in campaigns from New Guinea to the Philippines; adapted aircraft, doctrine, and technology to the demands of aerial warfare in the southwest Pacific; and pursued daring strategies that likely would have failed in the European theater. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780700609093

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fighter pilot who flew seventy-five combat missions in World War I, George C. Kenney was a charismatic leader who established himself as an innovative advocate of air power. As General MacArthur s air commander in the southwest Pacific during World War II, Kenney played a pivotal role in the conduct of the war, but until now his performance has remained largely unexplored. Thomas Griffith offers a critical assessment of Kenney s numerous contributions to MacArthur s war efforts. He depicts Kenney as a staunch proponent of air power s ability to shape the outcome of military engagements and a commander who shared MacArthur s strategic vision. He tells how Kenney played a key role in campaigns from New Guinea to the Philippines; adapted aircraft, doctrine, and technology to the demands of aerial warfare in the southwest Pacific; and pursued daring strategies that likely would have failed in the European theater. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780700609093

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