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American Arsenal: A Century of Waging War by Patrick Coffey

By Patrick Coffey

Whilst the USA declared warfare on Germany in 1917, the U.S. had purely 200,000 males below fingers, a 20th of the German army's power, and its planes have been no fit for the German air strength. lower than a century later, the U.S. this day has through a ways the world's biggest army finances and gives over forty% of the world's armaments. In American Arsenal Patrick Coffey examines America's army transformation from an isolationist kingdom to an international superpower. targeting fifteen particular advancements, Coffey illustrates the unplanned, frequently haphazard nature of this variation, which has been pushed by means of political, army, technological, and advertisement pursuits. starting with Thomas Edison's paintings on submarine know-how, American Arsenal strikes from global conflict I to the current conflicts within the center East, overlaying subject matters from chemical guns, strategic bombing, and the nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union, to "smart" bombs, hand held anti-aircraft missiles, and the Predator and different drone aircrafts. Coffey lines the tale of every strengthen in weaponry from strategy planning stage to battlefield, and comprises attention-grabbing pictures of the lads who invented and deployed them -Edward Teller, "the father of the hydrogen bomb", Robert Oppenheimer, head of atomic bomb layout at Los Alamos; Curtis LeMay, who led the fire-bombing of Japan; Herman Kahn, nuclear strategist and a version for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove; Abraham Karem, inventor of the Predator, etc. Coffey additionally examines the more and more indifferent nature of contemporary American war- the final word target is to take away infantrymen from the battlefield completely- which limits casualties (211,454 in Vietnam and purely 1,231 within the Gulf warfare) but additionally lessens the political and mental expenditures of going to struggle. analyzing the backstories of each significant American guns improvement, American Arsenal is key interpreting for someone drawn to the ongoing evolution of the U.S. protection application.

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46 ■ AMERICAN ARSENAL war—artillery. The trenches of the Western Front stretched in an unbroken line from the North Sea to the Swiss border, and airplanes offered a way to see what the enemy was doing behind his lines. They could be used to spot enemy troop movements and concentrations, which could then be targeted by long-range artillery. In order to stop observation flights, one force’s pursuit planes attacked its opponent’s observation planes, and they were in turn attacked by the opponent’s pursuit planes.

Advances in the technology of artillery and machine guns had led armies to burrow into trenches; the next step was to develop chemical weapons, which would make those trenches uninhabitable. The tactical use of gas was becoming increasingly complex, and, as usual, the Germans led the way. Lt. Col. Georg Bruchmüller, nicknamed “Breakthrough,” developed an entire system of tactical gas employment, saturating enemy troop concentrations using surprise, pinpoint targeting. 3 Haber believed that gas was of greatest advantage to the most industrialized nations—the Germans were best at it, the British better than the French, and the Russians hopeless.

He appointed Amos Fries, a combat engineer who held only the rank of lieutenant colonel, as its chief. By September, Pershing realized the urgency. ”8 The majority of the United States troops entered the European fight during and after the German spring offensive of 1918. The Germans had a field day gassing the green American soldiers, whose casualty rate was extremely high.  . told me that half of his company was wiped out by gas attack. Those fellows, without actual battle experience, didn’t detect gas in time, and their officers gave no order to put on gas masks.

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