General Curtis Lemay: Iron Ass Grenade

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General Curtis LeMay: “Iron Ass” Grenade The Second World War held the developments as well as progress in technology that came as a result of the lessons learned in the First World War. However, the area with the most improvement was in the effectiveness of airpower. Airpower had previously been used for reconnaissance and photography. It was only towards the end of World War I that the technology to fit planes with guns and artillery was developed so it did not have much strategic effect on the outcome of the war. During World War II the contributions of airpower were undeniable; this holds especially true in the Pacific Theater. After all, it was the atomic bomb dropped from aircraft that arguably halted the Japanese fighting machine. …show more content…
Directing the strategic bombing of the Japanese islands was General “Iron Ass” (Scott) as he was affectionately called by his airmen; but better known as Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay. The developments that LeMay made in how bombing squadrons flew and deployed their payloads made them reputable adversaries and earned LeMay the less affectionate nickname of “Demon LeMay” by the Japanese (Hickman). LeMay is easily one of the most influential airpower generals because of his innovative approach to bombing that improved the odds of bombing attack parties making it out of their target zone. Of course, the General was not de facto chosen to lead the XXI Bombers, he was chosen for unforgiving strategies displayed while in command of other bombing groups. The harsh- but fair -leadership and training style that LeMay used brought the discipline that was needed for victory in the face of insurmountable scrutiny his airmen could have …show more content…
The true capabilities of LeMay’s foresight and airpower military vision became obvious on March 9, 1945 during Operation Meetinghouse. Brigadier General LeMay commanded the 21st Bomber Group based in Guam, Mariana Islands. His new station was plainly due to the 20th Bomber Group not being able to reach Tokyo. The objective was to strike Japan in the heart and Op. Meetinghouse was desolately effective. March ninth through tenth LeMay had a raid of 335 B-29’s plunder the heart of Japan with flames (Ancell). The aircraft were stripped of all guns besides their tail turret, which increased the bomb load capacity to more than seven tons (History). All of the bombs released from 500 feet used were cluster napalm bombs, which quickly set he “paper city” (History) ablaze. An estimated 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the carnage (Robinson). On the ground civilians desperately ran towards water, although most were unsuccessful or successfully made it to the ocean only to drown or asphyxiate from the smog thick air (Katsumoto). Pilots reported the annihilation to be so great that the “blood-red mists and stench of burning flesh” (History) nauseated them and they had to employ their oxygen masks. This was the most destructive military bombing mission in history- due to the type of incendiary devices they utilized in this attack. However, LeMay justified

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