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America's Strategy for Keeping China in World War II

By John D. Plating

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: Texas A&M University Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv


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p. vii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

Many people have helped make this project a reality. First, I want to thank Jerry White for his casual remark to me in 2003 when he expressed that no one had yet subjected the Hump airlift to academic scrutiny. A quick survey of the literature on the operation proved the truth of his point, prompting me to see what..

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pp. 1-13

The trans- Himalayan airlift of World War II, better known as the “Hump,”1 is recognized among specialists as the first sustained and most ambitious combat airlift operation in modern history, though its full impact has received little attention. Cobbled together with only a handful of airplanes and aircrews in early...

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1. From the Marco Polo Bridge to ABC Ferry Command

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pp. 14-43

On the muggy evening of July 7, 1937, Japanese soldiers from the North China Garrison Army were on maneuvers on the banks of the Yanting River southwest of Beijing. The Boxer indemnity protocols allowed them to conduct military exercises, even though such actions did little to assuage mounting friction...

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2. Terrain, Weather, Pilots, and Planes

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pp. 44-72

Before studying the chronological history of the Hump as it would begin to unfold after March 1942, it is worthwhile to pause and spend a chapter looking specifically at the environment in which the airlift took place as well as at the pilots and planes that flew there. Looking at a simple planiform map of the...

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3. "Barnstorming" Over the Hump

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pp. 73-104

By the beginning of April 1942 the situation in Asia and the Pacific was dire for the British and Americans. Japan had swallowed up a perimeter extending thousands of miles to both the east and south of the home islands and had begun to consolidate its gains by taking up a defensive posture that would secure...

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4. The Hump and An Ascendant CBI Air Strategy

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pp. 105-133

On December 1, 1942, the Tenth Air Force’s 1st Ferry Group became the India- China Wing of Air Transport Command with Brig. Gen. Edward H. Alexander as its commander. The thirty- nine- year- old had served as the executive officer of Ferry Command from May to December 1941, working at the...

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5. "Ten Thousand Tons By Christmas"

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pp. 135-163

The Trident Conference gave the Hump airlift the political mandate it needed to become an important feature of Allied strategy. Roosevelt had been advocating the buildup of the “aerial Burma Road” since the fall of Rangoon the previous spring, but the operation was left to overcome its numerous complications...

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6. The Hump Goes To War

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pp. 164-194

The close of 1943 marked a turning point for the Hump. Roosevelt’s goal of 10,000 tons per month was finally met, a point of significance if for no other reason than it represented the U.S. commitment to support China in its war with Japan. Since before Pearl Harbor, Chiang Kaishek’s government had been...

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7. The Hump Becomes An Airline

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pp. 195-228

China’s role in Allied planning waned from autumn 1944 until the end of the war. The decision to merge MacArthur’s and Nimitz’s twin drives at Luzon rather than Formosa meant that China would slowly recede in strategic importance and remain a factor in Allied planning only for three reasons. First, as with...

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8. The End of the Hump

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pp. 229-248

The news of the Japanese surrender changed little for the India- China Division. Day- to-day flights continued, albeit at a slower pace due to Tunner’s operational choice that placed safety before tonnage. Instrument flight rules became mandatory for all sorties to ensure adequate spacing and reduce the risk...


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pp. 249-302


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pp. 303-321


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pp. 323-331

E-ISBN-13: 9781603442381
E-ISBN-10: 1603442383
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603442374
Print-ISBN-10: 1603442375

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 18 b&w photos. 9 maps. 13 figs. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 792934716
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Hump

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Subject Headings

  • Military doctrine -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, American.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1933-1945.
  • Airlift, Military -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • United States. Army Air Forces -- Transport service -- History.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- China.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Himalaya Mountains.
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