To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority Over Germany, 1942-1944

Stephen L. McFarland, Author, Wesley Phillips Newton, Joint Author, Richard P. Hallion, Foreword by Smithsonian Books $40 (344p) ISBN 978-1-56098-069-8
The concept of strategic bombing (eliminating the enemy's war-making ability by destroying his industrial base) dominated American air operations until 1944, when it was replaced by the quest for air superiority, or control of the skies. In this untold WW II story McFarland, who teaches history at Auburn University, and Newton ( The Perilous Sky ) suggest that the turning point occurred with Gen. James Doolitte's command decision that U.S. fighters, instead of protecting American bombers directly, would henceforth seek out and destroy German fighters. With the German training establishment unable to replace losses in its fighter arm, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower could tell his D-Day invasion troops, ``If you see fighting aircraft over you, they will be ours.'' This latest entry in the Smithsonian History of Aviation series argues persuasively that the campaign for control of European skies ranks in importance with such epic confrontations as those of Midway and Stalingrad. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-1-58834-044-3
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-8173-5346-9
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