Posted by Trent Telenko on September 27th, 2013 (All posts by Trent Telenko)
One of the things that pops up again and again in researching World War 2 (WW2) is how certain “narratives” get established in the historical record. Narratives that often are no where near the ground truth found in primary source documents of the time, but serves the bureaucratic “powers that be” in post-war budget battles. These narrative are repeated over and over again by historians without validating these narrative against either that theater’s original wartime documents or those of other military theaters. That is why I said the following:
“Reality lives in the details. You have to know enough of the details to know what is vital and to be able to use good judgement as to which histories are worthwhile and which are regurgitated pap.
Today’s column will take that “Reality lives in the details” methodology, modify it slightly, as I did in my 12 July 2013 column “History Friday — MacArthur’s Fighter Drop Tanks,” and use it for “Deconstructing the P-51 Mustang Historical Narrative” that emerged from the American strategic bombing campaign in World War 2.
The narrative of the P-51 is how it won the air war over Europe through the accidental combination of private venture American airframe technology and the Merlin engine of the British Spitfire, which was championed by a Anglo-American guerrilla clique of fighter pilots, government bureaucrats and politicians over the anti-British, not invented here, USAAF procurement bureaucracy. Figure one below is the official historical narrative for the P-51 Mustang in a range/performance map.
(NOTE: Left clicking on each figure three times will cause the original image of each figure to appear on your monitor.)
This P-51 versus other fighter range/performance graph comes from page 128 of a chapter titled “How to Win Command The Air” in Paul Kennedy’s recent book “Engineers of Victory.” It from the official victory narrative of the US Army Air Force Heavy Bomber Clique, the so-called “Bomber Mafia.” which was the leadership faction of bomber pilots that controlled the USAAF, lead the fight over Europe and the founded the US Air Force as a separate military service.
You see versions of that chart through out post war institutional histories like Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate’s, six volume “The Army Air Force in World War II,” and more recent works like the 1992 Richard G. Davis biography, “Carl A. Spaatz and the Air War in Europe” (See figure 2 below the fold).
It also happens that, when you drill down to the wartime source documents, the “P-51 narrative” that map represents is a very good example of selectively telling the truth to create a complete fabrication. A fabrication meant to hide those same bomber pilot generals from political accountability for their leadership failures. Roughly 2/3 of all battle deaths the USAAF suffered in WW2 were in Europe during the strategic bombing campaign. It was a statistically true statement to say a U.S. Army combat infantryman in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, from late 1942-to-winter 1944 had a greater chance of surviving combat than a B-17 crewman of the 8th Air Force.
Most of those deaths were demonstrably unnecessary.
The Battle of Britain in 1940 made clear that killing enemy fighter pilots faster than well trained replacements can arrive is how one achieves air superiority. The key innovation that created air superiority over Europe wasn’t the technical and organization triumph that Kennedy describes with the introduction of the P-51 into combat. It was a _doctrinal change_ that allowed the use of existing fighters with droppable auxiliary fuel tanks. Fighters with drop tanks were used in three shifts to cover the bomber formations during a. Penetration of enemy air space, b. At the target area and c. During withdrawal, too which the long range P-51 was added. The three shift fighter escort doctrine allowed USAAF fighters to drop fuel tanks and dog fight for 30 minutes with full engine power with German fighters, while still protecting the bombers. Enemy fighters that attacked American fighters were not attacking US bombers, and enemy pilots dying in such fights did not come back to kill anything.
Recognition of the need for this doctrinal change was only possible after the Bomber Mafia’s Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) approved self-escorting heavy bomber doctrine failed the test of combat during the 14 Oct 1943 Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission over Southern Germany.
Historical and Institutional Background
The interwar Bomber Mafia was a very effective bureaucratic clique in the US Army. It was ruthless in defeating bureaucratic opponents, competent within its technical field, willing to lie for a “higher purpose” and unified in it’s drive for that higher purpose, creating an independent air force based upon the heavy bomber. It did have a glaring organizational weakness in that it did not acknowledge that air-power was as much a combined-arms form of combat as ground or naval warfare and this blinded them to the threat from Axis fighters to their heavy bombers.
General Elwood “Pete” Quesada, an American fighter pilot who ultimately became the commander of the Ninth Fighter Command said the following about USAAF — and by extension the Bomber Mafia’s — WW2 bombing doctrine:
“There was almost an ignorant disregard of the requirement of air superiority. It was generally felt, without a hell of a lot of thought being given to it, that if there should occur an air combat …it would occur at the target.”
(By the way, this institutional weakness regards a combined-arms approach to air-power is duplicated by the current USAF fighter pilot general successors to the “Bomber Mafia” in dealing with things like surface to air missiles, close air support of ground forces, long range infrared seeking missiles as a threat to stealth fighters and the need for electronic warfare in general.)
During the interwar period the “Bomber Mafia” was consolidating control inside the Army Air Service, pouring most of the limited development funds into bombers and the B-17 in particular. This lead to a number of decisions by USAAF Chief of Staff H. H. “Hap” Arnold to suppress the capability of “Pursuit” (AKA fighter aircraft) to reduce budget competition with bombers. In February 1939 Arnold forbid the development of a 52 gallon drop tank for the P-36 fighter because of “safety reasons”…and because a fuel tank rack that had a 52 gallon fuel tank could carry a 300lb bomb. (See Boylan and Eslinger excerpts in Notes & Source section)
“Reality lives in the detail” Methodology Applied
While early versions of the P-38, P-39, P-40, and P-47 — like the P-36 — were all proscribed from having auxiliary fuel drop tanks “because they might be used inappropriately”. These drop tanks were still offered to other customers by American aircraft manufacturers. According to Benjamin Kelsey (eventually a USAF general and a major player in WW2 USAAF Fighter development) in his book “THE DRAGON’S TEETH? — The Creation of United States Airpower in World War II,” the US Navy insisted their aircraft all have that capability. Point in fact the 165 gallon standard P-38 drop tank pictured in Figure 3 below was developed for the Lockheed PV-1, called the Hudson by the British, which was the US Navy version of the Lockheed Ventura twin engine commercial transport. On February 20, 1942 General Arnold reversed himself and ordered the development and use of drop tanks on fighters, according to Kelsey, for the purpose of ferrying them to the U.K. This is why successful drop tank designs were available when the USAAF Bomber Clique Generals finally discovered how desperately they were needed after the Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission.
Figure 3: A 165 Gallon Lockheed Drop Tank in front of a P-38 Lightning Fighter
In looking in detail at the fighter range maps from Kennedy, Davis, Craven and Crates for the fighter range extension from the Lockheed 165 gal. tank, which was used in 1943 on both the Battle of the Bismark Sea and on the Yamamoto Assassination Raid in the Pacific, you just don’t see them in Europe.
When you trace back to the original source document “EIGHTH AIR FORCE TACTICAL DEVELOPMENT AUGUST 1942-MAY 1945″ on page 97, you see figure 4 below:
The text and the charts on page 97 talk about 75 gallon, 108 gallon (both paper and metal) and 150 gallon drop tanks. Nowhere do you see the 165 gallon Lockheed drop tank on the wing stations of either the P-38 or the P-47. Nowhere do you see the 200 gallon US and 210 Gallon UK belly tanks used in combat by the P-47. You also don’t see any wing tank plus belly tank combinations for the P-47. Nor do you see the 310 gallon ferry tank used by the 13th Air Force P-38’s in _April 1943_ to shoot down Admiral Yamamoto. (See Rex T. Barber link in notes).
That the Bomber Mafia was hiding the full range capabilities of both the P-38 and P-47, compared to the post-war P-51 narrative, is easily demonstrated in terms of wartime photographic evidence.
And with post-WW2 P-47 aviation modeling hobbyist books that detail some of the profiles of drop tanks used by the P-47’s in Europe:
Next, lets make an “apples to apples” comparison of European Strategic Bombing campaign fighter operations to the much smaller Far Eastern Air Forces (FEAF) Fall 1944 strategic bombing campaign against the Balikpapan oil refinery in Borneo. The P-38’s and P-47’s in MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) were using the “Yamamoto raid” P-38 wing tank combination and the P-47 used a both wing plus belly tank combination in long range strategic bombing operations out to 720 miles radius of action. The following is from Major John G. Bunnell’s “Knockout Blow? The Army Air Force’s Operations Against Ploesti and Balikpapan,” on fighter drop tank modifications for the FEAF’s 10 October 1944 Balikpapan oil refinery mission
This, however, was still not enough; the straight-line distance from the allied closest forward strip, Morotai, was 720 nautical miles.297 The answer came from Far East Service Command. Directed to extend the range of fighters even farther, they proposed equipping the P-38s with a novel drop tank configuration. Rather than fly with the standard load of two 165-gallon tanks, the P-38’s carried one 165-gallon tank and one 310-gallon ferry tank. while two 310-gallon tanks would have unacceptably overloaded the aircraft, the asymmetrical tank configuration provided acceptable flight characteristics and the necessary range. The P-38 pilots drained the 310-gallon tank first, then dropped it to increase speed and fuel efficiency. The P-38s could retain the small 165-gallon tank during combat operations or could drop it if they needed to maneuver aggressively.298
FEAF applied similar concepts to its P-47s. Luckily, the AAF had recently equipped the 35thH Fighter Group with new P-47D-28 aircraft. The design of these bubble-canopy P-47s increased internal fuel capacity from 305 TO 370 gallons.299 to this internal fuel, the 35th added one 165-gallon external drop tank to each wing and a 75-gallon tank to the belly. Even though he was not qualified in the P-47, Lindbergh visited the 35th Fighter Group at Nadzab, New Guinea, giving the pilots a “highly technical” talk on how to extend their range.300 Although the P-47 did not offer the same loiter time as the P-38, the Thunderbolts could still fly to Balikpapan, spend twenty-five minutes over the target, and return. This flight profile enabled the 35th Fighter Group to accomplish pre-strike fighter sweeps over Borneo.301
Finally, if you dig deeply into the Appendix B “MAJOR MODIFICATIONS TO AIRCRAFT AND EQUIPMENT” of “EIGHTH AIR FORCE TACTICAL DEVELOPMENT AUGUST 1942-MAY 1945″ you will see Figure 5 below:
Which has the following passage from page 10-B:
The standard Lockheed 165 gallon belly tank was the equipment for P-38s in operations in this theater.
The fact that the text on page 97 mentioned, and shows only P-38 range with 108 gallon wing drop tanks, while the appendix on fighter modifications states that the P-38 used nothing but the Lockheed 150/165 gallon drop tanks can only be called malicious deceit. A deceit meant to cover up wartime mistakes of Bomber Mafia generals from post-war public accountability.
Defining Deceit & Post War Motivations
To understand how maliciously deceitful the Bomber Mafia was in writing that passage requires a copy of a 31 Oct 1944 US Army Air Force document titled “A HISTORY OF THE VIII U.S.A.A.F. FIGHTER COMMAND,” which was written by the “A-2″ or intelligence officer of the 66th Fighter Wing. “Chapter VIII Belly Tanks” of the report on pages 210 thru 239 is a blow by blow development history of fighter drop tanks in Britain drawn from 8th Air Force weekly reports and commander conference minutes that names the senior Bomber Mafia Generals and their wartime thinking and priorities. It also provides line and bar graph plates detailing fighter performance under two mission profiles, escort during penetration/withdrawal and escort at the target. Plate No. XII from “History of the 8th Fighter Command, 31 Oct 1944″ (See Fig. 10 below) is highly instructive on wartime drop tank use in the 8th Air Force:
This line-range figure shows that;
1. A P-38J with a pair of 150 gallon fuel tanks out ranged the P-51B with two 75 gallon fuel tanks
2. That the 150 gallon fuel tank was the only drop tank for P-38H or P-38J, and
3. That the P-47 used a pair of them very often.
Even worse, as far as Bomber Mafia deceit is concerned, are two Bomber General names that stand out on pages 222 – 224 drawn from a 14 June 1943 commander’s conference minutes.
First, a General Newton Longfellow is paraphrased as saying the following regards the need for long range fighter escort:
“…bombers could get to the target without protection but would need long range escorts for the withdrawal!”
Longfellow may well have been the poster boy for General Quesada’s “…almost an ignorant disregard of the requirement of air superiority.” comment. The author of “History of the 8th Fighter Command” was even more acid about Longfellow’s comment with bomber loss and target abort numbers to back it up.
Second, the commanding general of 8th Air Force, General Ira Clarence Eaker, stated the command priorities of were to be as follows:
1. Bomber Objectives (regardless of cost),
2. Employment of Tactical Air Force,
3. Support of build up of aircraft, replacement and maintenance, and
4. Auxiliary fuel tanks for P-47
Third, on page 225, a Washington DC USAAF Headquarters message suggests to General Eaker that using B-26 Marauder Medium Bombers as long range fighter escorts for 8th Air Force heavy bombers was a good option.
So, in the summer of 1943 long range fighter escorts _were not_ a top priority for the USAAF Bomber Mafia. They thought that the bombers would get through with few losses to German fighters and that long range escort fighter coverage was only needed to cover cripples from anti-aircraft gunfire — “Flak” — on the way home from the target. And that someone in General H. H. “Hap” Arnold’s headquarters, perhaps even Arnold himself, was seriously unclear on the concept of long range FIGHTER escort.
As I have clearly demonstrated above, the Bomber Mafia had a lot good “anatomy covering” reasons to push the “P-51 Narrative” at the expense of the reputation of both the P-38 and the P-47. I highly recommend Dr Carlo Kopp’s “Der Gabelschwanz Teufel – Assessing the Lockheed P-38 Lightning,” Technical Report APA-TR-2010-1201 for further issues with the “Bomber Mafia’s” leadership decisions and doctrinal problems. The impact of the Bomber General’s insistence on repeating Goering’s mistaken 1940 “stick with the bombers” close escort tactics with the P-38 is detailed by Dr. Kopp in the sources and notes excerpt below.
There were also two additional budget related high command issues in the “P-51 Narrative” that are often overlooked by modern historians.
First, the P-51 cost a lot less than either the P-38 or P-47. It was cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate, cheaper to maintain, and being easy to fly, it was cheaper to train pilots on. A rough order of magnitude cost comparison was for every three P-38s or P-47s, you could buy five P-51 Mustangs for the same price with a much deeper stock of spare parts per plane, with an easier to maintain aircraft.
Second, the Ultra code breaking that announced arrival of German fighter jets to squadron service in late 1943 meant that every propeller aircraft in the world was obsolete, including the P-51. Propeller planes would be replaced by jets after the war. If propeller planes were going to be 2nd line aviation post-war, the cheaper to operate, the better. That made the “P-51 narrative” budget friendly, as well as career friendly, for a heavy (jet) bomber dominated independent air force after the war.
So now you know why “Reality lives in the details.” You have to know enough of the details to know which are vital, so you can use your good judgement to determine which histories are worthwhile.
Sources and Notes:
1) American missions against Balikpapan and Balikpapan Harbor
February 3, 1942 – July 11, 1945
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/indonesia/manggar/missions-balikpapan.html Accessed 9/21/2013
2) APPENDIX B “MAJOR MODIFICATIONS TO AIRCRAFT AND EQUIPMENT” of “EIGHTH AIR FORCE TACTICAL DEVELOPMENT AUGUST 1942-MAY 1945″ Prepared by Eighth Air Force and Army Air Forces Evaluation Board (European Theater of Operations) page 10 B
3) Rex T. Barber, Hero of the Yamamoto Mission, 18th Fighter Wing Association
http://web.archive.org/web/20100113104542/http://www.18thfwa.org/statusReports/srpt25/page3.html Accessed 12 July 2013
4) Bernard Lawrence Boylan, “The Development of the American Long Range Escort Fighter” (Ph.D. diss., University of Missouri, 1955) later published as USAF Historical Study No. 136. USAF Historical Division, Research Studies Institute, Air University, September 1955
In February, 1939, Curtiss-Wright suggested to the Air Corps that it might be interested in testing a 52-gallon tank which could be mounted on the bomb rack of a P-36C. The company offered to build such a tank for experimental purposes and to provide the connection with the main tank. The Materiel Command accepted the offer in March, but in April OCAC (Note – Officer Commanding, Air Corps) questioned use of an external tank because of the fire hazard. The plea of Materiel command that the tank was only experimental was not overruled at first, but in May the Chief of the Air Corps directed that no tactical plane be equipped with a droppable fuel tank.
5) MAJOR JOHN G. BUNNELL “Knockout Blow? The Army Air Force’s Operations Against Ploesti and Balikpapan,” June 2005 Air University,School of Advanced Air and Space Studies,325 Chennault Circle,Maxwell AFB,AL,36112, Approved for public release; distribution unlimited www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA477018
6) Richard G. Davis, “Carl A. Spaatz and the air war in Europe” C 1992 ISBN 0-912799-75-7 (casebound).–ISBN 0-912799-77-3 (perfect bound) Superintendent of Documents, US. Government Printing Office, Washington. D.C. 20402, Chart 10 www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-101012-035.pdf
7) “EIGHTH AIR FORCE TACTICAL DEVELOPMENT AUGUST 1942-MAY 1945″ Prepared by Eighth Air Force and Army Air Forces Evaluation Board (European Theater of Operations) http://archive.org/details/EighthAirForce00 page 97
8) Robert A. Eslinger , “THE NEGLECT OF LONG–RANGE ESCORT DEVELOPMENT DURING THE INTERWAR YEARS (1918–1943)”, 1997 (E-book) and 2012 (Paper) ISBN-13: 978-1249415558, http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a393237.pdf
Adding external fuel tanks to existing pursuit aircraft seemed like a logical solution to extending pursuit range. Making the tanks dropable in flight preserved maneuverability and performance when required for combat. Experiments with dropable fuel tanks had been conducted throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s. The greatest concern about drop tanks was the hazard of fire. In February 1939, Curtiss–Wright wanted to test a 52–gallon tank mounted on the bomb rack of a P–36C, but the “Chief of the Air Corps directed that no tactical plane be equipped with a dropable fuel tank” because of the potential for fires.18″
9) Roger Freeman, “THUNDERBOLT: a documentary history of the Republic P-47,” C 1978, Charles Scribner’s Sons ISBN: 0-648-16331-4
10) Thomas E. Griffith, “MacArthur’s Airman: General George C. Kenney and the Air War in the Southwest Pacific Theater in World War II,” November 1998, Univ Press of Kansas, ISBN-13: 978-0700609093, page 280 http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA311551
When the P-47s finally arrived in Australia they did not have droppable external fuel tanks to extend their range. Without those they could not fly far enough to accomplish any missions in the theater. According to Kenney, “this airplane must have extra gas to go anywhere.16 Although a drop tank had been developed in the United States, Kenney thought it “junk” and ordered a prototype 200 gallon tank constructed locally and then contracted with Ford of Australia for mass production. 17 Kenney also suggested that the radio equipment be moved from behind the pilot and the compartment then converted into a forty-gallon fuel tank. 18
11) LT. COL. WALDO H. HEINRICHS, A.C., A.U.S.,, INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (A-2) 66TH FIGHTER WING “A HISTORY OF THE VIII U.S.A.A.F. FIGHTER COMMAND,” WITH A FOREWORD BY MAJOR-GENERAL WILLIAM E. KEPNER, COMMANDING GENERAL, dtd 31 OCT 1944, link: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p4013coll8/id/317/rec/116 Accessed 9/21/2013
12) Benjamin S. Kelsey, “THE DRAGON’S TEETH? — The Creation of United States Airpower in World War II,” C 1980 Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington D.C. ISBN 0-87474-574-8
13) Paul Kennedy, “Engineers of Victory — The Problem Solvers Who turned The Tide in The Second World War,” C 2013, Random House, New York, ISBN 978-1-4000-6761-9. page 128
14) George C. Kenney, “General Kenney Reports: A Personal History of the Pacific War (USAF Warrior Studies),” C January 1, 1987 2nd edition, ISBN-13: 978-0912799445
I know what he meant. He was right. We were not going to make hits until we could keep those bullets out of the bombardier’s cockpit. That new vitamin he wanted was fighter cover. We didn’t guess very well when we designed our fighters with insufficient range to do the job in the Pacific where distance was the main commodity. As soon as I could get those P-38s with their extra range and maybe add some more with droppable tanks hung under the wings, that kid and the rest of them would get their new vitamins.
Twenty-five P-38s, the first of the fifty promised me by General Arnold, arrived by boat at Brisbane. I sent word to Connell to come north from Melbourne, take charge of setting them up, and work twenty-four hours a day on the job. Also to give the Australian sheet-metal industry a contract to make about 10,000 150-gallon droppable gas tanks to hang under the wings so that we could extend the range.
I then went out to Eagle Farms, where the erection was to be done, and found that no droppable fuel tanks had come with the P-47s. Without the extra gas carried in these tanks, the P-47 did not have enough range to get into the war. I wired Arnold to send me some right away, by air if possible. About a week later we received two samples. Neither held enough fuel, they both required too many alterations to install, and they both were difficult to release in an emergency. We designed and built one of our own in two days. It tested satisfactorily from every angle and could be installed in a matter of minutes without making any changes in the airplane. I put the Ford Company of Australia to work making them. We had solved that problem but it would be another month before we could use the P-47s in combat.
15) Dr Carlo Kopp, AFAIAA, SMIEEE, PEng, “Der Gabelschwanz Teufel – Assessing the Lockheed P-38 Lightning,” Technical Report APA-TR-2010-1201. December, 2010, Updated April, 2012 http://www.ausairpower.net/P-38-Analysis.html Accessed 12 May 2013
This passage is from the Kopp link above —
Capt. Heiden makes some further interesting observations.
“The P-51 was a new airplane and we were eager to fly it and were happy with it. It was so easy and comfortable to fly. The P-38 had kept us on our toes and constantly busy–far more critical to fly. You never could relax with it. We were disappointed with the 51′s rate of climb and concerned with the reverse stick, especially if fuel was in the fuselage tank, the rash of rough engines from fouled plugs, and cracked heads which dumped the coolant. With the 38 you could be at altitude before landfall over the continent, but with the 51 you still had a lot of climbing yet to do. The 38 was an interceptor and if both engines (were healthy), you could outclimb any other airplane, and that’s what wins dog fights. When you are in a dog fight below tree tops, it is way more comfortable in a 38 with its power and stall characteristics and, for that matter at any altitude.”
To summarize the performance of the P-38 in the 8th AF, Capt Heiden notes:
“Aug 43, 8thAF has retrieved some Bomber Gps and has several original Spitfire/P-47 FGs. Two P-38 FGs, 1-P-51 FG that will not be operational till late Oct and have to workout tactics and maintenance problems, which all are severe. Highly inadequate supply of A/C.”
“Nov. 43, P-38Hs and P-51Bs beginning ops, find themselves in a climate environment none had experienced before and a superior opponent with 10 times the numbers. Forced to take the bombers to, over and withdraw them. Lucky to get half of what they had to the target after aborts/early returns. Sometimes as few as four fighters made it to target under attack continuously going and coming. Five minutes of METO power was planned into the profile. Meaning that if you fought over five minutes you wouldn’t make it home. Remember, you were being bounced continuously.”
“Feb 11, 44, 357thFG goes on Ops (P-51). 4thFG converts to P-51s. 2-weeks later and other groups are converting by end of Feb. Now fighter groups don’t have to go the whole to, over, and from target. The escort is now Penetration, Target, and Withdrawal, each leg is assigned to only one FG. and many operational problems are being resolved. Internal fuel on P-38s has been greatly increased with Wing and Leading edge tanks. P-47s are starting to get external fuel tanks.”
“The last half of 43 brought horrendous losses, had forced German manufacturing underground and had forced Germany to go to synthetic oil. This had increased the cost of war exponentially to the Germans.”
“Feb 44 we went back to Schwienfurt with acceptable loses. March 3rd the 20th & 55thFGs went to Berlin–Bombers were recalled. March, April, and May brought vicious battles, often with heavy loses. However, Germany were throwing their valuable flight instructors and 100hr students in to the battle. The Luftwaffe was at last starting to die.”
“The 8th was, at last, being flooded with Mustangs and well trained pilots. The Mustang was a delight to fly, easier to maintain cheaper to build and train pilots for, and had long legs. In those respects you can rightfully call it better, but it could not do anything better than a P-38J-25 or L. Just remember who took the war to the enemy and held on under inconceivable odds. Enough of the crap.”
16) Stephen Peter Rosen, “Winning the Next War: Innovation and the Modern Military,” C 1991 by Cornell University, ISBN 0-8014-2556-5
The crucial innovation for the development of the long-range escort fighter, the introduction of the drop fuel tank, was initially blocked by the reasonable expectation that simple countermeasures could render the drop tanks useless.
17) Trent J. Telenko, “History Friday — MacArthur’s Fighter Drop Tanks,” 12 July 2013, http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/37362.html