Sunday, February 12, 2017

Flyboys

One of the things that I've gotten interested in is the role that American pilots played during World War II.  That was really the first war where pilots played a major role in fighting against enemies.  I learned a lot of what I know by reading Flyboys this year.

What was interesting to me was that the Japanese HATED American pilots.

The reason was that up until that point, Japan thought that they COULDN'T be attacked because they were an island nation that remained isolated for centuries.  They also believed that spirits would protect them by sending huge storms to eliminate any enemies who dared to attack.

That changed when the US --  who had invested millions of dollars in developing an Air Force during World War II -- started bombing the Japanese from the air.  People's confidence was shaken in their government and in the protection they thought they'd always had.

That hatred also came because American bombing missions at the time weren't designed to target JUST military bases.  Instead, their bombing missions were designed to break Japan's will to fight.  So bombing runs could kill innocent people and destroy entire cities.

Here are some things I'm wondering right now:

  • Did American pilots ever feel guilty about bombing missions that didn't target military sites?
  • Are planes and pilots still the most important military tool that we have for protection and attack?
  • How have military weapons and tactics changed over time?
  • Does anything good ever come out of war?



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