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The United States Air Force Essay

1785 words - 7 pages

The United States Air Force


This paper deals with the contributions of the United

States Air Force to the eventual victory of the Allies in

Europe during World War II. The Allied powers had no idea

how important a strong air force would be against the Axis

powers during World War II. The fact that Hitler moved east

in 1941 and had planned to do so since 1940, had important

implications for the British war effort. Though still

powerless to prevent German initiatives from being

successful in Greece and Crete, the British government was

given a long period during which to prepare adequate

defenses in the mainland against the expected day when

Hitler would turn west again. Although it was true that

Germany would have the luxury after a defeat of the Soviet

Union to concentrate solely on defeating Britain, and

Hitler gave specific directives for such a contingency, it

was also true that Britain was much stronger than in 1940.

In fact very little active planning was carried out in

Germany for the renewed fight against Britain, and the

crucial diversion of resources in the economy for the air

effort was not carried out. Even victory against Russia

therefore would not necessarily have led to the destruction

of British resistance for a considerable time.

Britain now had another advantage; close ties with

the United States in 1940 had been turned into firm

commitments to provide assistance in 1941. In September

1940 the Army-Navy-British Purchasing Commission Joint

Committee was set up to discuss and arrange sales of

aircraft to Britain and to try to achieve some

standardization of production. The United States undertook

to expand its own aircraft industry enormously and to

provide the bulk of the new aircraft to the British, an

offer whose generosity was tempered by the fact;

"…argued by General Marshall, that if Britain was

defeated the aircraft would be needed anyway to defend the

Western Hemisphere. Throughout 1941 the aid continued to

expand." (Overy 60)

Allied Military aircraft became more sophisticated in

variety, effectiveness in war situations, and special

maneuvering techniques throughout the course of World War

II which in turn produced a victory for the Allied Nations

over the Axis Powers.

Towards the beginning of the war the United States

did not have an air force compared to that of Germany and

Japan. Knowing this fact the president of the United States

ordered manufacturers of fighter planes and long range

bombers to start coming up with new designs for longer

range and for planes that were easier to fix. Having planes

that did not take that much knowledge of that specific

model plane helped the United States at airfields located

in the middle of nowhere that only had a few knowledgeable

mechanics.

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