From: Edgewater, MD
Yeah, I'd recommend it. It has a lot of insight to issues we've discussed on the forum. For one thing there is a good explanation on the RADAR bombing question that we had here last year.
Interesting. Are you in a position to summarize and extrapolate relative to the game?
But if you recall the RADAR bombing debate? The answer as to WHY the USAAF B-29's were so terrible at night bombing is simple , and to me horrifying. When Lemay took over 20th AF he couldn't understand why B-29s, with a MUCH better bombing system that he'd had in Europe got such poor results compared to Europe. He sent for a expert on the system and asked the question. The expert had no idea, as he had no problem with it. So they set up a training exercise with one squadron and "bombed" by RADAR a well known and easily recognized point on Saipan. The expert came back and said NONE of these people had received effective training. Basically , when the crews were formed , they grabbed an extra gunner and said "poof! Your a RADAR operator! Now teach yourself!".
So where the operators SHOULD have had months of training back in the states , they had virtually none. The attitude seemed to be..."oh , your going to do daylight bombing". Lemay was furious , but except for trying to train his own crews in house , there wasn't much he could do. One thing he did do was make his new RADAR operators officers. The book doesn't say why , but I'd imagine 3 things. 1) credibility with pilots, bombardiers and navigators. 2) Cross training with bombardiers and navigators (I'm guessing he took extras and made them RADAR officers). 3) and he probably went looking for college graduates (or former students) in scientific fields to facilitate comprehension.
I find it inconceivable that they'd install expensive , state of the art equipment and not train someone to use it properly but....it DOES explain a few things. As I said last year , it's not that hard to accurately bomb stuff with RADAR. BUT you DO need to be taught how to do it.
Blankets of Fire, Kenneth P. Werrell, Smithsonian Institute Press, 1996
"Radar operators, too, were quickly selected and poorly trained. As Lemay put it, somewhat undiplomatically, most ex-gunners were 'low men on the totem pole. The idea about a gunner was that he couldn't absorb enough training to become a radio operator or an engineer; so frankly, many of the gunnersweren't very good, and their [radar] training was pretty sorry as well...consisting mainly of "This is a radar set. This is the way you turn it on"' (71)
The 'quoted' part from p345 of Mission with Lemay
"The 73rd also had problems with radar. The bulk of the wings operators had been trained on 'sea search' radar, which is quite different from the APQ-13."
"It was not until July ('44) that there were enough radar-equipped aircraft to begin serious training, but even then few of the instructors were qualified to carry it out. In addition, the Kansas plains were ill suited for radar training."
Here's a link to: Treespider's Grand Campaign of DBB
"It is not the critic who counts, .... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..." T. Roosevelt, Paris, 1910