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Destined for Glory
: Dive Bombing, Midway, and the Evolution of Carrier Airpower

Author: Thomas Wildenberg
Hardcover -
304 pages
1557 edition (November 1998)
United States Naval Inst.;
ISBN: 1557509476 ;
Dimensions (in inches): 0.93 x 9.25 x 6.26

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
Chronology
1. A Thousand and One Questions
2. The Diving Attack
3. Policy, Politics, and Procurement
4. False Starts: The F8C Helldiver
5. First Carrier Strikes
6. Perfecting the Dive Bomber
7. Like Blind Men Armed with Daggers
8. Tail Hooks and Tin Fish
9. Advances in Fighter Performance
10. Expansion Begins
11. A Prophecy of the Future
12. The All-Metal Monoplane
13. End of an Era
14. Aviation Doctrine and Carrier Policy in the Late 1930s
15. Preparing for War
16. Opening Rounds
17. Scratch One Flattop
18. The Carrier Battle of the Coral Sea
19. Climax at Midway
20. Reassessing Naval Aviation's Contribution to Victory
App. A. Official Designations for U.S. Naval Aircraft, 1920-1962
App. B. The Norden Bombsight and Horizontal Bombing
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Book Description
On 4 June 1942 three squadrons of U.S. Navy Dauntless dive bombers destroyed Japan's carrier force sent to neutralize Midway and changed the course of the war in the Pacific. As Thomas Wildenberg convincingly demonstrates in this book, the key ingredient to the navy's success at Midway was the planning and training devoted to the tactic of dive bombing over the previous seventeen years. Examining how political, economic, technical, and operational factors influenced the development of carrier airpower between 1925 and 1942, he shows why dive bombing became the navy's weapon of choice--why it was emphasized over all other methods of aerial warfare and finally brought to bear to stop the Japanese advance. He also pays tribute to the select group of naval aviators and senior leaders whose insights and determination drove the evolution of carrier tactics in this formative period.

The title reflects the essence of the story: the development of carrier air power in the U.S. Navy was driven by an unwritten understanding that the years spent on experimentation, training, and innovations were "destined" to bring success in a future battle. As part of this work, the author introduces newly discovered information showing that the outcome at Midway was actually predicted by naval aviators years before the battle took place. The book sheds new light on the navy's preparations for war, demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt the effectiveness of U.S. naval planning before Pearl Harbor.

On 4 June 1942 three squadrons of U.S. Navy Dauntless dive bombers set fire to three-quarters of Japan's carrier strike force at Midway and changed the course of the war in the Pacific. Japan was never able to recover its offensive initiative. As Thomas Wildenberg convincingly demonstrates in this book, the key ingredient to the navy's success at Midway was the planning and training devoted to the tactic of dive bombing over the previous seventeen years. Examining how political, economic, technical, and operational factors influenced the development of carrier airpower between 1925 and 1942, he shows why dive bombing became the navy's weapon of choice - why it was emphasized over all other methods of aerial warfare and finally brought to bear to stop the Japanese advance. He also pays tribute to the select group of naval aviators and senior leaders whose insights and determination drove the evolution of carrier tactics in this formative period.

From the Author
Destined for Glory is the first book to thoroughly document the development of carrier air power in the United States Navy during the interwar years. Aviation enthusiasts and naval historians alike will find a wealth of previously unpublished data on the development of carrier aircraft and their tactical doctrine. Readers will discover new material related to the evolution of the fighters, torpedo bombers, and scout planes that made up the carrier air groups in World War II.

Although several excellent books have been written about the Battle of Midway, none has focused on how the U.S. Navy came to develop the one aerial weapon*dive bombing*which proved to be the decisive instrument of victory. For it was dive bombing, and only dive bombing, that turned the tide of Japanese expansion in the Pacific.

Introduced and developed in the interwar years, dive bombing became the corner stone in the navy's efforts to secure command of the air. Although the development of the dive bomber played an extremely important role in the advance of naval aviation during the interwar period, it is only part of a much broader story that illustrates an important lesson for historians: what comes before the battle is as important as the battle itself. It will become evident from reading the text that the aerial successes of 1942 were unequivocally rooted in the tactics and equipment developed during the previous seventeen years.

From the Back Cover
"A Midway, a handful of Dauntless dive bomber crews changed the course of World War II in the Pacific and the thrust of naval power forever. Destined for Glory tells the story of how a few tenacious visionaries forged the capability that made this possible. It's Never been told better." --Capt. Robert L. Rasmussen, USN (Ret.), director of the National Museum of Aviation

"Thomas Wildenberg has done a superb job of filling in the blanks on the development of tactics and advances in technology that led to the success of the carrier strike forces in World War II." --Capt. E. T. Wooldridge, USN (Ret.), coauthor of Night Fighters over Korea

"This book deals with an extremely important subject little covered in the existing literature. It presents a sound, comprehensive analysis of the development of U.S. carrier aviation." --John B. Lundstrom, author of The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign

About the Author
Thomas Wildenberg is a writer and naval historian whose special interest is the U.S. Navy between the world wars. He is a frequent contributor to the Naval Museum of Naval Aviation Museum's Foundation magazine, has written a number of articles on the development of the interwar navy, and is the author of Gray Steel and Black Oil: Fast Tankers and Replenishment at Sea in the U.S. Navy, 1912-1992.

Mr. Wildenberg now serves as the Admiral DeWitt C. Ramsey fellow at the National Air and Space Museum


DESTINED FOR GLORY

Dive Bombing, Midway, and the Evolution of Carrier Airpower

by Thomas Wildenberg

0n 4 June 1942 three squadrons of U.S. Navy Dauntless dive bombers destroyed Japan's carrier force sent to neutralize Midway and changed the course of the war in the Pacific because Japan was never able to recover its offensive initiative. As Thomas Wildenberg convincingly demonstrates in this book, the key ingredient to the navy's success at Midway was the planning and training devoted to the tactic of dive bombing over the previous seventeen years. Examining how political, economic, technical, and operational factors influenced the development of carrier airpower between 1925 and 1942, he shows why dive bombing became the navy's weapon of choice-why it was emphasized over all other methods of aerial warfare and finally brought to bear to stop the Japanese advance. He also pays tribute to the select group of naval aviators and senior leaders whose insights and determination drove the evolution of carrier tactics in this formative period.

The title reflects the essence of the story: the development of carrier air power in the U.S. Navy was driven by an unwritten understanding that the years spent on experimentation, training, and innovation were "destined" to bring success in a future battle. As part of this work, the author introduces newly discovered information showing that the outcome at Midway was actually predicted by naval aviators years before the battle took place. The book also sheds new light on the navy's preparations for war, demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt the effectiveness of U.S. naval war planning before Pearl Harbor.

 

Thomas Wildenberg is a freelance writer and naval historian whose articles have appeared in Naval History, American Neptune, and Warship International. A resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, he is the author of Gray Steel and Black Oil: Fast Tankers and Replenishment at Sea in the US Navy, 1912-1992

 

304 Pages , 54 photographs

6 line drawings. Appendix. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

6 x 9

ISBN: 1557509476

 

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