Slaughter in context

“The U.S. in 1945 was a prisoner of great industrial decisions taken years earlier, in quite different strategic circumstances. In 1942, the commitment to build the B-29 long-range bomber was entirely rational. The programme reached technological maturity and large-scale production too late to make a decisive impact on the war. Yet it was asking far too much of the U.S., never mind of its senior airmen, to forgo the use of these aircraft, at a time when the enemy was still resisting fiercely, and killing many Americans. In the circumstances then prevailing—an essential caveat for any historian to emphasize—the B-29s were bound to be employed.” – Max Hastings, Retribution (emphasis in original)

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