John M. Curatola

Bigger Bombs for a Brighter Tomorrow

The Strategic Air Command and American War Plans at the Dawn of the Atomic Age, 1945-1950

McFarland & Company 2016

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Conventional wisdom has long held the position that between 1945 and 1949, not only did the United States enjoy a monopoly on atomic weapons,...

Conventional wisdom has long held the position that between 1945 and 1949, not only did the United States enjoy a monopoly on atomic weapons, but that it was prepared to use them if necessary against an increasingly hostile Soviet Union.  This was not exactly the case, our guest John M. Curatola argues in his book, Bigger Bombs for a Brighter Tomorrow: The Strategic Air Command and American War Plans at the Dawn of the Atomic Age, 1945-1950 (McFarland & Company, 2016).  Curatola is a professor of history at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  He presents the story of an ad hoc, frequently chaotic, strategic defense posture at the opening of the Cold War.  Inter-service rivalries, inter-agency bickering, and deficiencies in equipment, morale, and training all left the United States Air Force and the Atomic Energy Commission to pursue their own strategic plans, which Curatola notes were unrealistic, and in some cases, almost ludicrous.

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