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American Raiders: The Race to Capture the Luftwaffe's Secrets

American Raiders: The Race to Capture the Luftwaffe's Secrets
Autor: Wolfgang W. E. Samuel
Data publikacji: 2004-06
ISBN: 9781578066490
Wydawca: University Press of Mississippi
Język: angielski
Wymiary: 15 x 3.9 x 24 cm
Oprawa: twarda
Liczba stron: 495
Produkt chwilowo niedostępny.

W przypadku braku książki w magazynie, czas realizacji zamówienia może wynieść 3-6 tygodni.
Opis produktu:

In April 1945, Boeing was ready to build a prototype B-47, hoping to snag the contract for America's first turbojet bomber. A Boeing aerodynamicist, George Schairer, happened to be in Europe that month, helping the U.S. military understand German technology before the Japanese could deploy it in the Pacific. Germany had not yet surrendered, and everyone expected the Japanese to fight on for years.

When the Hermann Göring institute in Völkenrode was captured by U.S. troops, Schairer was able to quiz the staff about an unusual aspect of their latest aircraft: the wings were angled to the rear. Why was that? The Germans explained that sweep-back slowed the apparent airflow, enabling an airplane to gain an extra 50 or 75 mph before it ran into transonic turbulence. Schairer wrote home: hold everything!

Boeing redrew its B-47, not only creating the quintessential jet bomber of the 1950s, but also the basic design of its 707 transport and all the heavy metal that followed. Even the newest Boeing airliner--and the super-jumbo from Airbus too--owes a little something to that impromptu seminar at Völkenrode.

Wolfgang Samuel is uniquely qualified to write the story of how German technology came to the New World. The son of a Luftwaffe pilot, he immigrated in 1951 and became a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Like many American and British writers, he has a tendency to glorify imports like the Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter. To be sure, Nazi Germany had the better engineers--fat lot of good they did it! A bludgeon, not a scalpel, was the war-winning technology in 1945. Indeed, it can be argued that Germany's fascination with far-out designs contributed to its defeat, frittering away resources that should have been devoted to more mundane weapons.

In any event, the war in the Pacific ended before either side could exploit the German technology. Far more important was the brains behind that technology: the U.S. imported hundreds of scientists, too. They became founding members of the American aerospace industry: Wernher von Braun, father of the ballistic missile; Hans von Ohain, builder of the world's first operational turbojet; and Alexander Lippisch, designer of tailless, swept-wing aircraft.

At the close of World War II, Allied forces faced frightening new German secret weapons--buzz bombs, V-2s, and the first jet fighters. When Hitler's war machine began to collapse, the race was on to snatch these secrets before the Soviet Red Army found them.

The last battle of World War II, then, was not for military victory but for the technology of the Third Reich. In American Raiders: The Race to Capture the Luftwaffe's Secrets Wolfgang Samuel assembles from official Air Force records and survivors' interviews the largely untold stories of the disarmament of the once mighty Luftwaffe and of Operation Lusty--the hunt for Nazi technologies.

In April 1945 American armies were on the brink of winning their greatest military victory, yet America's technological backwardness was shocking when measured against that of the retreating enemy. Senior officers, including the Commanding General of the Army Air Forces Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold, knew all too well the seemingly overwhelming victory was less than it appeared. There was just too much luck involved in its outcome.

Two intrepid American Army Air Forces colonels set out to regain America's technological edge. One, Harold E. Watson, went after the German jets; the other, Donald L. Putt, went after the Nazis' intellectual capital--their world-class scientists.

With the help of German and American pilots, Watson brought the jets to America; Putt persevered as well and succeeded in bringing the German scientists to the Army Air Forces' aircraft test and evaluation center at Wright Field. A young P-38 fighter pilot, Lloyd Wenzel, a Texan of German descent, then turned these enemy aliens into productive American citizens--men who built the rockets that took America to the moon, conquered the sound barrier, and laid the foundation for America's civil and military aviation of the future.

American Raiders: The Race to Capture the Luftwaffe's Secrets details the contest won, a triumph that shaped America's victories in the Cold War.

Wolfgang W. E. Samuel, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, is the author of German Boy: A Refugee's Story, I Always Wanted to Fly: America's Cold War Airmen, and The War of Our Childhood: Memories of World War II, all published by University Press of Mississippi. He lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

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