United States Naval Aviation, 1919-1941: Aircraft, Airships and Ships Between the Wars

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Within six months of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy had checked the Japanese Empire's military advance in the Pacific to the extent that the United States could return to its original Defeat Germany First strategy. That the Navy was able to accomplish this feat with only six fleet aircraft carriers (in the Pacific) and little more than 1,000 combat aircraft was not sheer luck but the culmination of more than two decades of determined preparation. This thorough study, with detailed drawings and photographs, explains and illustrates the trial and error process which went into developing the aircraft, airships, and ships of the interwar period. The critical factors that shaped Naval Aviation after World War I--naval treaties, fleet tactics, government programs, leadership and organization, as well as the emergence of Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation--are discussed in detail.