By John Steinbeck
A outstanding quantity of brief novels and a necessary global struggle II document from one among America's nice twentieth-century writers
On the heels of the big good fortune of his masterwork The Grapes of Wrath-and on the peak of the yank battle effort-John Steinbeck, some of the most prolific and influential literary figures of his iteration, wrote Bombs Away, a nonfiction account of his reviews with U.S. military Air strength bomber crews in the course of international battle II. Now, for the 1st time due to the fact that its unique booklet in 1942, Penguin Classics offers this unique variation of Steinbeck's advent to the then-nascent U.S. military Air strength and its bomber crew-the crucial middle unit at the back of American air energy that Steinbeck defined as "the maximum workforce within the world."
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Extra resources for Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team
Multiply this team by thousands and the bomb payload by hundreds of thousands, and eventually by millions, and one can start to see how the American war effort became not only a major deciding factor in the war effort but the most destructive military force in history. Metaphorically, it began with only one team. This is how a technological democracy builds up the moral steam to divert from the quotidian and become an extraordinary arsenal of war with almost unlimited destructive power in a relatively short period of time.
Our arguments and disunity might have kept us ineffective or only partly effective until it was too late. But Germany and Japan were bound to blunder sooner or later, and blunder they did. In attacking us they destroyed their greatest ally, our sluggishness, our selfishness, and our disunity. The attack on us set in motion the most powerful species drive we know—that of survival. It created direction toward which we could aim all of our vitalities—and we have great vitality. What the Axis could not understand was that the measure of our unrest was the measure of our vitality.
The B-17 “Flying Fortress” dropped astronomical amounts of conventional ordnance, primarily on the manufacturing and industrial infrastructure of the Axis countries, and yes, this long-range bomber also directly attacked the basic fabric of civilization of these nations. The B-17 likewise established much of the operational and psychological groundwork for the eventual explosion of nuclear weapons over Japan in 1945. Otherwise peaceful, democratic nations where the government’s actions have to be justified to the electorate, such as the United States, do not ordinarily begin the wholesale bombing of civilian populations without justification, precedents, and a moral foundation to build upon.