Picture of author.
9 Works 138 Membros 2 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: Kenneth P. Werrell [credit: Allied Powers' Response to the Holocaust Conference]

Obras por Kenneth P. Werrell


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Werrell, Kenneth P.
Data de nascimento
United States Air Force Academy
Duke University
Radford University
United States Air Force

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Dr. Kenneth P. Werrell conducted the original study while serving as a visiting professor at the Air University Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, from 1981 to 1983. He revised the study while working at the Airpower Research Institute in 1999-2001.

Dr. Werrell graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1960 and earned his pilot wings the next year. He served with the 56th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from 1962 until 1965, completing the tour as an aircraft commander of the WB-50. He resigned his commission in 1965 and went on to earn his master's and doctorate degrees from Duke University.

Dr. Werrell taught at Radford University, Virginia, beginning in 1970 and retired as a professor in 1996. He also served as a contract historian at the Army War College and taught one year at the Command and General Staff College.

Dr. Werrell has authored numerous articles and books about military history, including Eighth Air Force Bibliography (Manhattan, Kans.: Aerospace Historian, Kansas State University, 1981); The Evolution of the Cruise Missile (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air University Press, September 1985); Who Fears?: The 301st in War and Peace, 1942--1979 (Dallas, Tex.: Taylor Publishing, 1991); Blankets of Fire: U.S. Bombers over Japan during World War II (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1998); and Chasing the Silver Bullet: US Air Force Weapons Development from Vietnam to Desert Storm (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 2003). His most recent book is Sabres over MiG Alley: The F-86 and the Battle for Air Superiority in Korea (Annapolis, Md.: US Naval Institute Press, 2005).

[from page xv of Archie to SAM, published 2005)



Blankets of Fire is more than just a history of the B-29 bombing effort against Japan during the Second World War. Mr. Werrell opens with a concise history of the evolution of the concept of strategic bombing. He describes how the impact of the World War One experience shaped the thinking of the key proponents of strategic bombing in the inter-war period. He introduces the reader to the individuals who wrote about and discussed strategic bombing and he ends his discussion with a summary of the world view of strategic bombing on the eve of World War Two.

Next, the author provides a history of the genesis of the need for a very long range bomber and the rush to develop and produce the B-29. He describes the pressure under which the developers were working and he highlights the resultant bug ridden nature of the B-29 (in particular its power plant) and what this translated into with respect to bomber losses – 30% due to enemy action and 70% to other causes.

Following the chapter on the B-29 is a chapter titled “The Education of a General” which gives the background on General LeMay and the handful of other generals directly involved in the wartime deployment and use of the B-29.

The remainder of the book describes the sequence of events leading up to the attacks on Japan, the shift from precision to area bombing, the execution and impact of the fire raids, the decision to use the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the aftermath of all of these efforts.

The author does an excellent job of providing the reader with an understanding of all of the aspects of the concept of strategic bombing as practiced in World War II and the consequences of putting that concept into practice. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in 20th Century history.
… (mais)
alco261 | Oct 30, 2017 |
While it's unfair to criticize this book for what it's not, Werrell begs the question by making the following statement himself towards the end that: "The USAF has consistently focused more on flying than fighting, more on airframes than air munitions." Substitute the phrase 'operations and strategy' for "air munitions" and you'll appreciate the limitations of this study, particularly when it becomes time to consider the performance of the USAF in Iraq versus Vietnam. That said, Werrell provides a useful compendium of case studies of the key aircraft that came into service in the wake of Vietnam, with the key overarching insight being that the challenge for the USAF remains to optimize performance so as to maintain operational flexibility. Perhaps for his next book Werrell will produce a work with the subtitle: The History of U.S. Air Force Operational and Strategic Thought. The need is there.… (mais)
Shrike58 | Jul 18, 2006 |

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