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History in the Making: World War II at the Museum of the USAF

Written by on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

World War II was the single most widespread, destructive war ever fought. At that time, technology had progressed to a point that would enable mankind to fight battles in a completely new way. Previously, aerial combat was merely a supplement to troops on the ground. In World War II, the fate of entire battles could be decided entirely by aerial superiority. Advanced aerial combat, devastating bombers, and enormous cargo and crew transport aircraft brought warfare to an entirely new level.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force’s World War II exhibit shows off some of the war’s most impressive and legendary aircraft. Upon entering this portion of the museum, visitors are greeted by a newspaper article detailing the Pearl Harbor attack, the assault that forced the US to enter the War.

Across from the newspaper clipping are some of the early US military aircraft, such as the Seversky P-35 and the Taylorcraft L-2M. As the war escalated, the US developed increasingly powerful aircraft. The North American B-25B Mitchell sits prominently in the center of the exhibit. This all-around reliable twin-engine bomber was used in every theater of World War II and was flown by several buy antibiotics thailand Allied forces. Sitting next to it, and almost dwarfed in comparison, is the infamous Japanese Zero, a fighter that was considered by many to be the best dogfighter during its time due to its maneuverability and incredibly long range.

Advanced in aerial combat required WWII combatants to develop new countermeasures to these state-of-the-art aircraft. German engineers developed the Flak 36 88mm, a massive anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapon that terrorized the skies. Also on display is the German V-2, a dreaded long-range missile that can be considered one of the world’s first ICBMs, although its maximum distance was close to 200 miles.

Not to be outdone, the US developed the B-17G Flying Fortress and the monstrous B-29 Superfortress, one of the largest aircraft to fly during World War II. One such Superfortress on display, the Bockscar, would eventually drop the world’s second atomic bomb, which would eventually lead to the surrender of the Japanese.

This exhibit represents a turning point in the history of aerial warfare. The events that took place in the skies during World War II proved conclusively that aerial combat would forever be a vital component of warfare.

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