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Book The Development of Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force 1945-1960

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The Development of Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force 1945-1960

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Development of Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force 1945-1960.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Jacob Neufeld(Author),Office of Air Force History(Contributor)

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Following World War II, the onset of nuclear weapons, long-range jet bombers, and ballistic missiles radically changed American foreign policy and military strategy. The United States Air Force accepted the challenge of organizing and leading a massive research and development effort to build ballistic missiles. This manuscript addresses the first generation of ballistic missiles – the intercontinental Atlas and Titan, and the intermediate range Thor. During the period addressed in this book, missiles advanced from drawing board to alert status, where the next generation now remains poised to deter war.

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Review Text

  • By Terry Sunday on March 19, 2014

    I've formulated a general rule based on collecting and reading literally thousands of books about aviation, rocketry and spaceflight for virtually my entire life. Here it is: Government-sponsored authors who write books about aerospace subjects focus much more on who did what to whom, and how much it cost, than on the engineering and technologies involved in their topics. That's not necessarily bad. Those parts of the story need telling, too. But such books tend to be short on the kinds of technical minutia that we space geeks crave.Jacob Neufeld's "The Development of Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force: 1945-1960" is a case in point. Dr. Neufeld was an employee of the Office of Air Force History when he started working on the book in 1976. For several reasons that he details in the Preface, the book wasn't published until 1990. As such, this is not a "new" history, but a reprint of an old work. In fact, this thick, heavy Mooncat Publications paperback seems to be a scan of a specific copy of the original Air Force report, complete with pencil marks on some pages.Again, that's not necessarily bad. However, savvy readers will know they can probably find this report on-line and download it for free, as is the case for many Government documents. I didn't, because I prefer hardcopies to e-books, but the option is available.With all that said, I rate "The Development of Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force: 1945-1960" with three stars, meaning "It's OK." It concentrates heavily on the programmatics of the missile programs, not their technologies, which made it less interesting to me than it could have been. The Air Force and contractor management organizations that ran the programs were, of course, as key to the success of Atlas, Titan and Thor as were the scientists and engineers who designed, developed and tested the technology (if not more so). But I'm not now, and never was, enough of a bureaucrat to really care about org charts, funding battles, roles-and-responsibilities disputes and reporting chains. Dr. Neufeld's book was interesting on a certain level, but it left me wanting far more information about the technologies of the missiles themselves.

  • By Roger C. on November 24, 2015

    Very basic book on early U.S. rockets.

  • By J. Hopkins on October 30, 2017

    I thought this book was going to be about the development and flight testing of the missiles themselves. Instead it was about the political and interservice wrangling for control of the programs. Kind of mind-numbing.

  • By Spacefan 99 on December 18, 2017

    This book is available for free as an online download.


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