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Hardcover Hap Arnold and the Evolution of American Airpower Book

ISBN: 156098824X

ISBN13: 9781560988243

Hap Arnold and the Evolution of American Airpower

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Taught to fly by the Wright Brothers, appointed the first and only five-star general of the Air Force, and remembered as the man who won World War II's air war, Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold is one of the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Hap Arnold

This book is truly a great read on the history of Military Aviation in American History. Henry Arnold uniqely lived and guilded this country through the development of military aviation. His "hands on" involvement from The Wright Flyer to post WWII allow this book to share with the reader the thoughts and goals that went into the birth and growth of Military Aviation in the United States.

Five Stars for a Five Starer

General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold is probably the least known of the great World War II leaders. Very few people outside of the U.S. Air Force have probably every heard of him. This lack of recognition is sad, because Arnold made important contributions to the outcome of the war as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There are only two biographies of Arnold: this book and another by Thomas M. Coffey. Both are good, but Dik Alan Daso has written the better book. Daso, as a former USAF officer, has a better understanding of how the military works and offers a portrait that really develops the personality of the man. Arnold was an air pioneer--he was the second trained pilot in the U.S. Army, having learned to fly from the Wright brothers themselves--and he made enormous contributions to the outcome of the war in developing strategy and procuring supplies. This material is often less than sexy but it is of critical importance to the outcome of a conflict. Daso shows that Arnold poured himself into his job, putting in 12, 14, and 16 hour days. It is no surprise that he suffered four heart attacks during the war years and nearly destroyed his marriage. Coffey's book is thicker and fuller of more stories, but he seems primarily interested in telling a good story. Daso gives his readers a full account of his subject's life and shows how this rather simple man ended up leading, managing, and administering the millions that made up the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Highly recommended.

Excellent, but incomplete.

Dik Alan Daso's "Hap Arnold and the Evolution of American Air Power" of the Smithsonian History of Aviation Series is an incomplete, if interesting and well-written volume about a unique and visionary man.Daso's book is an intimate look at General of the Army Henry Arnold from birth up until about 1939. At that point the work becomes distinctly sketchy and leaves out a number of incidents documented in other works, or treats them very lightly. These include several controversies that involved Arnold.It may be that Daso considered the story delineated in his sub-title did not require treatment of these topics, or that he is too close to his subject. A review by Overy describes the volume as a "sympathetic biography" and one is led to wonder if, out of admiration, Daso tread a little bit lightly around a few issues.With respect to his treatment of Arnold outside the years of 1939-1945, Daso's is an excellent and readable biography that provides such human detail as to make Hap Arnold live again for the reader. Through Daso's writing Arnold becomes someone you might know and sympathize with, and admire. There is little to criticize in this portion of the effort.Unfortunately, the gross lack of detail during the period of World War II greatly diminishes the value of this volume as anything more than a personal biography. Daso's failure to treat this period in detail leaves gaping voids for any to evaluate where Hap Arnold really stood on a number of the great controversies surrounding the air war. Other than a few sentences here and there which seem to treat these matters as foregone conclusions worthy of little or no attention, they go unremarked upon.Thus there is little examination of Arnold's interaction with the other members of the Army Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Combined Chiefs of Staff, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Harry Hopkins. Daso describes a number of actions that have implications about how Arnold felt about "precision daylight bombing" but the issue is never clearly examined in its military or moral facets. It is mentioned that Arnold opposed the use of the atomic bomb, but not why. The dispute over the Lend-Lease contracts for Britain depleting stocks for the Army Air Force which landed Arnold in hot water with Roosevelt is treated so lightly as to almost constitute a whitewash.Daso also fails to shine where his appreciation of certain strategic issues of World War II shows through, particularly regarding the Battle of the Atlantic. From Daso's writing it would seem that this was won offhandedly and primarily by the Army Air Force and due to Arnold's inititative. This highly slanted image is far from accurate. It is also unsurprising, as Daso is a United States Air Force officer and a fighter pilot and not primarily interested in naval matters.His grasp of the relationship Arnold enjoyed with scientists is, however, exceptional and entirely expected given that he is

the best by default

Hap Arnold was the most important American airman of the 20th century, since it was he who created the gigantic war machine of the USAAF that flattened Germany and Japan. How curious that he has never before had a real biography--just kid stuff, really.Daso has filled the gap with a thorough-going biography combined with a history of the development of US airpower during the first half of the century. Personally, I don't find Arnold a sympathetic figure. He was an indifferent student and even an indifferent aviator. However, he got along with men of power, including President Roosevelt and General George Marshall, and he was a logistical genius. Daso tells the yarn of Arnold getting his advisers together in 1940 and asking them how many planes they needed over the new few years. "Be bold!" he urged them. They came up with a total of about 100. "To hell with you," Arnold replied, and asked for 100,000. He not only got the planes but the men to fly them, and for that the world owes him a debt it can never repay.This isn't an exciting book, but it's a valuable one.

Great book about a (close realtive of mine! )

Well, you learn alot of new things about your family you never knew before, but finding them in a book is a different experience! This book is a very historical and personal informational insight into the man who founded the United States Air Force! It was interesting to know that my ancestor did so much and was even trained by the inventorst of the airplane Orville & Wilbur Wright to fly. This book even has pictures given to the author by my great-uncle Robert Arnold, which show a more personal side to the general. It was also interesting to note he was one of only thirteen 5-star generals in US military history. The book not only was interesting but did what no book has ever done before, take an inside look at part of my direct family line and ancestry!
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