Tuesday, September 15, 2015

On the Insanity of General Curtis LeMay

On the Insanity of General Curtis LeMay: During his tenure with the U.S. Air Force, General LeMay certainly lived-up to his nickname of "Bombs Away" LeMay. His penchant for carpet-bombing and mine-laying first became evident as the U.S. was preparing to invade Japan (prior to dropping the atomic bombs in August 1945). Given that wood (bamboo), and not steel or brick/mortar, was the primary building material used in urban Japanese buildings, LeMay advocated fire-bombing with special incendiary devices. These devices decimated Japanese cities, but LeMay persisted in his belief of bombing the enemy into submission. This idea even characterized LeMay's mindset toward the Soviet Union during the Cold War. When the Berlin Airlift commenced in 1948, LeMay felt that in addition to the vast number of food packages being sent to Berliners, the U.S. ought to sneak a few bombs in the airlifts for the Soviets. And when President Eisenhower announced his nuclear strategy of "massive retaliation" in 1954, LeMay believed in flying American B-52s over Soviet territory to bait the enemy into committing an "act of war." Lastly, as head of Strategic Air Command (SAC), LeMay helped make "nuclear warfare" a major component of American defense.

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