Near Miss: The Army Air Forces' Guided Bomb Program in World War II
- Publish Date: 2007-02-08
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Donald J. Hanle
The U.S. military's use of smart bombs and guided missiles has become commonplace in modern warfare. The ability to destroy a single floor of one building in a densely populated metropolitan area, while minimizing civilian casualties stands in stark contrast to the massive bombings that took place during World War II. However, it was from that war that the technology of today's precision munitions programs was first developed.
Near Miss: The Army Air Forces' Guided Bomb Program in World War II is a story that has remained untold for over 60 yearsindeed, it might be the last major subject of the air war during WWII to remain unexplored in unclassified accounts. Author Donald Hanle outlines the research, development, and combat employment of these early, first generation guided bombs in the first major history of the Army Air Force's guided munitions program in the Second World War.
While guided missile histories have occasionally mentioned Operation Aphrodite or the JB-2 jet bomb, Near Miss is the only single volume work that focuses on every major guided bomb designed by or for the AAF during the war. It examines not only the weapons systems, but it also explains why these systems succeeded or failed as combat weapons, as well as why the guided munitions program suddenly ground to a halt after WWII ended. Including never before published combat photos of guided bombs in-flight and hitting their targets, no airpower enthusiast's or WWII air war historian's bookshelf will be complete without Near Miss.