Carl A. Spaatz and the air war in Europe (General histories) by Richard G Davis

By Richard G Davis

Carl A. Spaatz and the air struggle in europe

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Carl A. Spaatz and the air war in Europe (General histories)

Carl A. Spaatz and the air conflict in europe

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The B-10, with a speed of 207 mph and a ceiling of 21,000 feet, outclassed any other bomber then in use in the world and most of the fighters as well. No sooner had the B-10 entered production than the Air Corps accepted bids on a newer generation of bombers, which resulted in the B-17. The B-17 weighed 35,000 pounds (compared with the B-lo’s 9,000), and had four engines and a service ceiling of 30,000 feet. At 14,000 feet, at a top speed of 250 mph it could carry 2,500 pounds of bombs 2,260 miles.

Both the Chief of the Air Corps, who retained responsibility for mattriel procurement, personnel recruitment, and individual training and indoctrination of air crews, and the Commanding General, GHQ Air Force, reported directly to the Army Chief of Staff. This duality led to friction and competition between the two separate parts of the Air Corps-a situation of divide and rule not unforeseen by the War Department. In March 1939, under the pressure of rearmament and possible war in Europe, both GHQ Air Force and the Office of the Chief of Air Corps became directly responsible to the Chief of the Air Corps.

Chennault retired on the grounds of ill health in 1937 and subsequently led a volunteer American pursuit unit, the American Volunteer Group, known as the 28 EARLYCAREER Flying Tigers, for the Nationalist Chinese forces fighting the Japanese. There he showed that his concepts were workable even under adverse conditions. Chennault left behind a few converts, such as Capt. Earle Partridge, who, with other officers, slightly revived pursuit aviation in the late 1930s. Through their efforts the Air Corps designed and accepted the P-40 fighter, which outclassed the P-26, although it proved inferior to the first-line fighters of other major aviation powers.

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