FORGOTTEN WEAPON

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FORGOTTEN WEAPON
U.S. Navy Airships and the U-Boat War
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781591140108
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Era: WWII
  • Number of Pages: 436
  • Subject: History
  • Date Available: July 2009
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• William Althoff, author of Forgotten Weapon (NIP, 2009) and Arctic Mission (NIP, 2011) ~ Recipient of the Vice Adm. Edwin B. Hooper Research Grant, named in honor of a former Director of Naval History, for his great contributions to U. S. naval history, was awarded to William F. Althoff, for a history of lighter-than-air aircraft in the U.S. Navy during the early Cold War (1945-1962).  Althoff's study proposes to examine the research and development of the aircraft in the nuclear age, as well as the challenges of operation and command experienced by Navy personnel. An understanding of why the Navy abandoned this technology during the Cold War could be useful to Navy planners considering its future potential.  Althoff will be paid up to $2,500 by Naval History & Heritage Command after commencement of research. (6/18/13)

Airships played an important but overlooked role in World War II, and with this study their contributions to antisubmarine warfare are examined in depth for the first time. Aviation historian William F. Althoff takes a close look at the U.S. naval airship's admirable wartime record. In analyzing its development and use, he credits the collaboration between the naval aviators and scientists from such government-sponsored institutions as the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) for the urgent evolution of the modern anti-submarine airship. He explains key NDRC projects that exploited lighter-than-air platforms for airborne tests and special devices and that were hurried into production in the race against the Germans to gain a technological advantage in the Battle of the Atlantic. These efforts, he argues, helped turn the tide against the U-boat menace and saved countless lives, ships, and cargoes.

William F. Althoff is the author of USS Los Angeles: The Navy's Venerable Airship and Aviation Technology, among other books. A former Ramsey Fellow in naval aviation history at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, he has conducted research on polar aeronautics during several visits to the Arctic. He resides in New Jersey.
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