Home > What I've Read > Book Review: The Bomber Mafia

Book Review: The Bomber Mafia

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by [Malcolm Gladwell]

I knew about the American plans for “precision daylight bombings” during World War II and, of course, the infamous Norden bombsight.  What I didn’t know (but should have) is there was a cabal of Air Corps Generals from the Army Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, led by Hap Arnold, acting as lobbyists for the Eighth Air Force’s Twelve O’clock High strategy.  Malcolm Gladwell lays this out beautifully in this book as well as the shortfalls of their plans and the reversion to area bombing over Japan.  Not sure why Curtis Lemay comes off as the bad guy for making that switch. He seemed to be a Patton-like can-do guy. Besides, it’s not really his fault that “dropping a bomb into a pickle barrel from six miles up” didn’t come about until the GPS smart bombs used during Desert Storm. A fascinating read.  (5 of 5 Stars)
 

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