The renegade WW2 aviators who tried to end war as we know it
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Much has been written about World War II in the 7 and a half decades since it ended in 1945. But as novelist Malcolm Gladwell depicts with his new book “The Bomber Mafia, ” some incredible stories and perspectives have been largely forgotten.
A group of pilots, led by Brigadier General Haywood Hansell, made the pejorative name Bomber Mafia because of a not-widely-shared dream that they could use a few strategic bombings to lower the death toll and have a “clean” war.
“But that’s not what war ever is, ” says Gladwell. “It never has that kind of fairy tale ending.” A few miscarried strives contributed significantly to a varying of the protect, the fabrication of napalm, and a summer of assaults on Japanese municipals that Gladwell says was at “a scale of eradication virtually unmatched in human history.”
Malcolm Gladwell is bestselling scribe and legion of the Revisionist History podcast. His latest book, “The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War” tells the story of a group of pilots with an idea that, had it attained, ought to have been reinvented warfare as we know it
Read Malcolm Gladwell’s newest record “The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War” at https :// amzn.to/ 3gUrhmf
MALCOLM GLADWELL: Anyone who came home from the pits of World War I came home permanently traumatized. The war was mindlessly merciless. There were battles in the First World War where hundreds of thousands of people, there was a battle in the First World War where hundreds of thousands of humanities died. That event could not be repeated. On the eve of the Second World War, there’s a remarkable group of captains who thought they could reinvent warfare and make war a more humane exercise, a kind of clean war. But that’s not what war ever is. It never has that kind of fairytale ending.
My mention is Malcolm Gladwell. I am a scribe, legion of the podcast “Revisionist History, ” and the author of the brand-new book “The Bomber Mafia.”
The storey of the Bomber Mafia begins with a group of renegade pilots in central Alabama in the 1930 s. They have become convinced that new technology, this new class of submarines, can make it possible to conduct a war where only a handful of parties were killed. This is something that no one else in the military thought was even a remotely good meaning. The term, “the Bomber Mafia, ” was not intended to be a compliment. They would ever joke that if the person or persons back in Washington knew what they were doing, they would all be fired.
The radical thought at the heart of the Bomber Mafia’s dream was that if they were able to drop bombards with precision , no other one of the purposes of the modern military machine would be necessary. You wouldn’t need a Navy. You wouldn’t need Marines. You wouldn’t need infantry. You wouldn’t need tanks. You wouldn’t need Jeeps. You wouldn’t need anything except a adopt group of submarines from 20,000 hoofs. Their approach was based on the idea that there were a handful of targets that the adversary had, which if you destroyed them, the campaign would be over. They famously did an exercise where they said, what the hell is it take to cripple New York City? And their answer was 14 devices. Take out the power plant, the canals, the connects. No irrigate , no power , no access to the mainland. It’s over. They felt that idea could be useful against any foe. And the idea that you would have to destroy entire municipalities in order to be allowed to to subjugate your enemy was something they believed ought to be a thing of the past.
Haywood Hansell was the heads of state of the Bomber Mafia, and he was a Southern romantic. He was the latest in a long line of Southern military men. He would sing prove adjusts to his servicemen as he returned home from bombing missions over Europe. Haywood Hansell was one of the rising stars in the Air Corps during the course of its Second World War. Hansell managed to convince the military leadership that they should follow his dream. And so he goes to Europe, and they try to conduct a bombing safarus of Germany along Bomber Mafia lines. Let’s be as strategic and surgical and saving as possible in our call of air power. It doesn’t work. Then he reassures them to try that same approach as the breath campaign transformations to Japan in 1944. And it doesn’t work. He tries and tries and tries, and he ultimately disappoints. And he’s told in no uncertain terms, “It’s over.” He’s burnt. His nemesis, a hard-bitten, unsentimental, ruthless realist appointed Curtis LeMay is going to…
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