Read e-book online Ace in the Hole: Why the United States Did Not Use Nuclear PDF

By Timothy J. Botti

ISBN-10: 0313299765

ISBN-13: 9780313299766

Utilizing newly published files, the writer offers an built-in examine American nuclear coverage and international relations in crises from the Berlin blockade to Vietnam. The booklet solutions the query why, whilst the atomic bomb were used with such devastating impact opposed to the japanese Empire in 1945, American leaders positioned this such a lot apocalyptic of guns again at the shelf, by no means for use back in anger. It files the myopia of Potomac strategists in concerning the U.S. in wars of attrition in Korea and Southeast Asia, marginal parts the place American important pursuits have been under no circumstances endangered. regardless of the presence of countless numbers, then millions of nuclear bombs and warheads within the nation's stockpile, the best army weapon in background turned politically most unlikely to exploit. And but overwhelming nuclear superiority did serve its final function within the chilly battle. whilst American important pursuits have been threatened—over Berlin and Cuba—the Soviets subsidized down from war of words. regardless of mistakes in strategic judgment because of worry of Communist enlargement, and in certain cases outright incompetence, the ace within the gap proved decisive.

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Extra resources for Ace in the Hole: Why the United States Did Not Use Nuclear Weapons in the Cold War, 1945 to 1965 (Contributions in Military Studies)

Sample text

S. and the USSR was not Soviet ability to survive widespread air-atomic assault. It was the question of when Soviet scientists would produce their own atomic device and the Soviet military a capability of responding with atomic attacks to American bombing. In mid-1948, the CIA had predicted that the earliest the Soviets would build an atomic bomb would be mid-1950 but that the most probable date was mid-1953. SAC's EWP had been updated to anticipate this possibility as early as January 1949. Still, it came as a sudden shock when on September 3, 1949 an American reconnaissance bomber detected atmospheric debris that indicated the Soviets had detonated an atomic device in late August (the 29th).

26 However, the guerrilla war Denfield, Radford, and other naval officers fought against the Air Force, albeit in the context of fighting for scarce defense dollars and not intended to harm the nation's war-fighting capabilities, brought no credit to their service. Denfield was dismissed in the Revolt of the Admirals protest against cancellation of the supercarrier. Radford was sent into honorable exile as Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC). Ironically, he later resurfaced as JCS Chairman and became the primary advocate of the nuclear option in the Eisenhower administration.

On December 6 and 7, he discussed with MacArthur three possible scenarios for military action to beat off the Chinese, including use of atomic bombs. By then confident that X Corps could be extracted by sea from Hungnam and eventually linked to Eighth Army in a defensive line across the Korean peninsula, MacArthur turned aside the idea. 6 GOOD SENSE VS. NATIONAL HONOR The British arrived on December 4, 1950 with an agenda of bringing the Americans to their strategic senses about the danger of war with Russian and China and applying pressure for a cease-fire/negotiation plan that would require MacArthur to hold back from bombing Manchuria and eventually withdraw entirely from Korea.

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Ace in the Hole: Why the United States Did Not Use Nuclear Weapons in the Cold War, 1945 to 1965 (Contributions in Military Studies) by Timothy J. Botti


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