The men who reinvented warfare

 The men who reinvented warfare

When Curtis LeMay was five years old, standing in his family’s backyard in Columbus, Ohio, in about 1912, the future Air Force general saw his first aeroplane. He would recall in his memoir: “Suddenly, in the air above me, appeared a flying machine. It came from nowhere. There it was, and I wanted to catch it.” The boy was enchanted by the “wonderful sound and force and the freakish illusion of the Thing”. He chased it down the street, and when he couldn’t catch it he cried, recounts Malcolm Gladwell in this important and characteristically readable new history.

By early 1945 LeMay was overseeing the American bombing of Japan. A craftsman of death and one of history’s most prolific killers, he became Air Force chief of staff in the 1960s, and the model for the crazed General Jack Ripper in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr…

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