The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 382
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
what beyond the literal undertaking of this volume, arresting
problems confront the reader. The fact that they are implied
here and not explicitly developed does not lessen their hitting
power. Later historians must consider them. One is the enormous
difficulty of communication during time of war; understanding
often breaks down even when the equipment and lines of com-
munication hold up. Another is the ancient but still constant
importance of the commander-as symbol, as thinker, as leader,
as administrator, as fighter, and as human being. A third problem
is the hopeless state of the machine-age fighting man when his
machines are ill-supplied, not supplied, badly maintained, or
insufficient to his task.
Next among these implications is our unfortunate ignorance
of the Pacific area in 1942. Terrain, climate, ecology, the science
of the ocean, plant life, animal life (including the peoples) -
there were so few sources on so much information desperately
needed by fighting units; and how bitterly among jungles and
mountains, at sea, and on air strips Americans paid for the easy
provincialism of their country. A final problem implied by this
book involves the citizen's handicaps in conceiving the Pacific
war as a combined operation and the closely related, larger
difficulty of confronting it as an extension of politics. In 1950
surely some of these implied problems-with whatever solutions
honest men can give them-become what living history should
always be, windows on the future as well as the past.
Two points remain to be made. For the wide prospect across
months of air warfare the reader can thank a remarkable com-
bination of talents, beginning with the authors, Richard L. Wat-
son, Kramer J. Rohfleisch, James C. Olson, Bernhardt L. Mor-
tensen, Harry L. Coles, Herbert Weaver, Lee Bowen, and Frank
Futrell. Only they would be able to recognize the dozens of
voices besides their own, speaking in reports by air force, wing,
group, and squadron writers. But the voices are there, and they
speak to the reader. The fact that editorial detail and physical
form of so varied a book are among its chief assets is due to the
editorial staff of the Air Force Historical Office, which prepared
the manuscript for press, and to the printing house of the Uni-
versity of Chicago, which made that manuscript into a manage-
able, readable, comely book.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/494/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.