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1 The Birth of Military Airpower

Jeffrey J. Smith Indiana University Press ePub

 

With us air people, the future of our nation is indissolubly bound up in the development of air power.

WILLIAM “BILLY” MITCHELL

 

 

With the advent of airpower into military operations in the early twentieth century, a new era of war-fighting strategy slowly emerged. The traditional operations by Army and Navy forces that enjoyed centuries of tradition, lessons learned, and accepted strategies would be confronted and challenged by airpower’s primary new characteristic – control of the sky. Although lighter-than-air systems had been used for many years to rise above the battle space in an attempt to spot and track enemy movement, balloon aircraft were unable to provide the maneuverability and attack opportunity the new emerging aircraft enjoyed. Operations ranging from traditional spotting of enemy positions and movement and signaling ground forces to delivering time-sensitive communications to rear or forward leadership and eventually providing an air-to-ground attack option all characterize early airpower operations. These capabilities altered how wars were planned and forced military strategists to consider the extent to which traditional military operations might change. From its earliest inception in military operations, airpower advocates and the leaders responsible for its application struggled with a continual and common challenge – how best to organize this new weapon of war.

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2 Along the Way: 1950–65

Don L. Hofsommer Indiana University Press ePub

THE NORTH AMERICAN RAILROAD INDUSTRY WENT through monumental change during the 1950s – conversion from steam to diesel motive power, discontinuance of branch-line passenger service, closing of rural stations, decline of electric-traction roads, and even shrinkage of plant. Iowa and neighboring states were a microcosm of the entire package.

Great Northern’s (GN) motive-power assignments in August 1951 at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, were representative of change occurring throughout the industry. Newly arrived diesel road switchers such as 636, from Electro-Motive Division of General Motors, handled freight duties (a daily-except-Sunday turn to Garretson, a yard job, and calls as needed to Yankton). The venerable 2–8–0 at left stands ready as relief, but calls were few. GN predecessor Willmar & Sioux Falls had completed a line linking those two communities in 1881. GN itself put down the fifty-eight-mile route to Yankton in 1893.

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Chapter 11: “I Think There Is Some Trouble at Hand”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 11

“I Think There Is Some

Trouble at Hand”

With the death of Peter Bader, John Baird and Scott Cooley had effectively completed their quest for revenge. Satisfied that justice had been meted out to those responsible for his brother’s murder, Baird began to withdraw from the feud. With him went the allies who had rallied to his cause. The Mason mob was broken, and John Clark had

fled to parts unknown. Baird had a new daughter, Edna, at home and realized that it was time to stop the conflict.1 Satisfied with the results,

Baird began preparations to leave Texas.

Even as Baird withdrew from the conflict, fate closed in on Ernst

Jordan. Since the beginning of the conflict he had gone armed.

Sometime during 1876 when the “troubles had hardly subsided”

Jordan was removing a pistol from his carriage when it slipped from his hand. The pistol dropped to the ground and discharged, the bullet shattering his knee. The accident left him bedridden during the remainder of 1876 and throughout 1877. A surgeon from San Antonio operated on the leg, but it never healed properly and required treatments for the rest of his life.2

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2 The Manchurian Chessboard, August–September 1945

Harold M. Tanner Indiana University Press ePub

Chinese chess, or xiangqi, like Western chess, is a game of strategy, based on war and played with pieces laid out on a board.1 But while the kings, queens, bishops, knights, castles, and pawns of Western chess move from square to square, Chinese chess is played on a grid of ten horizontal and nine vertical lines, with the vertical lines interrupted in the middle by a space representing a river. The players move their generals and advisors, ministers, elephants, chariots, horses, cannons, and soldiers along the vertical and horizontal lines of maneuver, advancing and retreating, blocking, pinning, capturing, and skewering in an attempt to checkmate or stalemate their opponent.

To understand Chinese chess, it is important to understand the board, the pieces, and their positions. The same holds true for understanding the civil war in Manchuria. Siping became a focal point in that war in the spring of 1946 not because of its size, but because it happened to be located at a key strategic point on the map. In order to understand the battle of Siping and the lines of retreat and advance that brought the Communists and the Nationalists to a showdown in this otherwise unremarkable railway town, we need to look carefully at the major natural and manmade geographical features of China’s great Northeast, or Manchuria. We need also to consider the ways in which Japanese and Soviet occupation established the context in which the Communists and Nationalists took their initial positions on the map and in which the early days of the struggle for control over Manchuria was played out.

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2 Military Apprenticeship

Lam Quang Thi University of North Texas Press PDF

2 military apprenticeship

CANDIDATES TO THE FIRST CLASS of the School of Inter-Arms were required to have an equivalent of a secondary education, Level

One. Tho and I were qualified to take the entrance examination, which was administered in Saigon and which we passed without difficulty. We also passed the physical examination and toward the end of June 1950, we were ordered to accompany a French military convoy to Dalat. This was the first time I had been out of the lowlands of the Western Region of South Viet Nam. I was struck by the diversity of the landscape of our country as our convoy, after leaving the lush, green rice paddy fields of Bien Hoa, passed the huge

French-owned rubber and tea plantations and slowly threaded its way between dense tropical forests and gently rolling hills. Occasionally, we could see small Montagnards villages with thatch-roofed houses built on wooden stilts.

I was amazed at the majesty of the chain of small mountains which formed what was called the Hauts Plateaux of Viet Nam. We saw these as our convoy passed the Lien Khang waterfalls and started to climb the steep and winding Prenn Pass, which led to the beautiful city of Dalat. Once we emerged from the pass to approach the southern suburb of the city, we felt invigorated by the pine-scented air of the Hauts Plateaux. From a distance, Dalat looked like a postcard of a French small mountain town with red-roofed gothic churches, stone-walled villas hidden behind tall pine trees, green valleys and romantic lakes.

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