The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 507
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by air, but the Army and Navy held that planes should be used
to support operations on land and sea and that they should be
under the control of whoever directed such activities. A juris-
dictional dispute, which was to interfere with the war against
submarines in the Atlantic, developed about the question of
whether the Navy should control land-based planes operating
over the sea. It is in this pre-war period, as Professor Cate's
treatment shows us, that we must find the key to the history of
the Air Force during the war.
The importance of air power was demonstrated when the war
began in Europe, and the American Government decided on a
rapid and extensive development of our Air Forces. The situa-
tion in Europe, where invasion by land forces promised to be
costly and almost impossible, seemed to offer the Army Air Force
the opportunity to try out its doctrine of strategic bombardment.
The idea of reducing Germany's war potential by air attack was
popular, and the British were building up their bomber force
to put it into effect. But the American plans, although accepted
by the chiefs of staff, were interrupted by demands for planes in
other theaters of the war. The Navy, not believing in the neces-
sity of winning in Europe first, kept demanding more and more
planes for the war in the Pacific. The heavy submarine losses in
the Atlantic also made demands on airplane production, and
when North Africa was invaded, the air force that was being
built up in Britain was depleted by the transfer of planes to
The delays caused by such diversions may not have been as
serious as the authors imply, because, as they clearly indicate, the
doctrine of strategic bombing had to be tried out during this
experimental period. The Americans, unlike the British, had put
their faith in daylight, precision bombing, and it was necessary
to determine whether their "heavies" could defend themselves
from enemy fighters when they went beyond the range of their
own, or British, pursuit protection. In order to prove their case,
they made exaggerated claims both about the number of fighters
that the B-17s shot down and about the results of their bombing.
Volume II carries this story to the close of 1943 when the Amer-
ican efforts seemed to be considerably less than successful. Long
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/613/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.