AUTHORSchaffer, Ronald
TITLEWings of Judgment: American Bombing in World War II
PUBLISHEROxford University Press
CITYOxford, England

This carefully documented book examines the bombing campaigns of the United States Army Air Force during World War II and the moral issues surrounding those campaigns. It describes the major changes within the design of the campaigns and the views of those in the army, and in America in general, concerning the bombing of civilians. The book covers the early bombings and later terror bombings of Germany, and the eventual firebombings and atomic bombings of Japan. It also reviews the Air Force attacks on Nazi satellite states in Eastern Europe. The author discusses the major leaders of the Army Air Force, including Jimmy Doolittle, Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, Hap Arnold, and Curtis LeMay, and their views on the bombing campaigns. He provides an explanation of differing views on the moral issues of the bombings based on factors which include time pressure, availability of information, the need to appear tough, other psychological factors, and rational appraisals of circumstances. An epilogue considers postwar attitudes about the moral issues of bombing.

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