Major General Curtis Lemay Thesis

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“I had to do something” –General Curtis E. LeMay
Thesis
Major General Curtis LeMay’s role as the commander of the XXI Bomber Command influenced the victory against Japan by his ultimate success in the areas of strategic, operational and tactical levels of warfare. Without LeMay’s innovation and gallantry the United States’ air warfare tactics would have continued to be ineffective against the Japanese homeland. LeMay’s focus on the Pacific theater of operation while commanding led to the largest and most effective air raid of the war. By adapting when, where and how we bombed our targets lead to the swift ending of the war and saved the countless lives of the troops who might have had to make an amphibious attack on the main island. Major General Curtis LeMay did not play a pivotal role in the ending of the war due to his bravery which he
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LeMay knew that by affecting the manufacturing and moral of the people of Japan that the end of the war would be possible. LeMay planned his attacks on highly populated areas for the highest affect. He commanded over sixty-seven firebombing missions over Japanese cities and is best known for Operation Meetinghouse which took place on the night of March 9 1945.
On that night LeMay commanded an attack that “The Air Force history of war records that the physical destruction and loss of life at Tokyo exceeded that of Rome…No other air attack of the war, either in Japan or Europe, was so destructive of life and property.” (224 Kozak). The impact that LeMay had on this war cannot be matched by any other commander due to the amount of bombs dropped, targets hit and death toll. In total the bombers that attacked

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