• Hap Arnold

  • The General Who Invented the US Air Force
  • By: Bill Yenne
  • Narrated by: Kevin F. Spalding
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

General Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold is widely considered the father of the United States Air Force. But his long list of accomplishments doesn’t begin or end there. He was also the first and only five-star general of the US Air Force; one of the first US military aviators; the first American to carry air mail; and the architect of the war-winning air strategy of World War II.

In this new biography of one of the American military’s most towering figures, author Bill Yenne weaves the story of Hap Arnold’s life, from his youthful days as a cunning prankster to his sunset career as an elder statesman. All along, Yenne unfolds General Arnold’s life like the adventure story it is. A bold advocate for technological advancement, Hap Arnold was a powerful character in the golden age of aviation, an innovative warrior in the conflict that defined the modern era, and the creator of an entirely new branch of the US military.

Hap Arnold: The General Who Invented the US Air Force is an adventure biography for history buffs, aviation enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the events that shaped America and the world in the first half of the 20th century.

©2013 Bill Yenne (P)2019 Regnery Publishing

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Unfortunate

Was hoping for an insightful view into the brilliant mind of Hap, but this book was simply a collection of war facts rather than analysis on who he was. Too many recitations about how many planes were assigned where, what generals he moved around, and Hap's travel schedule during WWII. Don't waste your time with this book and go find Hap's autobiography instead.

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Garbage

Just a book full of references to other books. You should just read Arnolds own book. The book is one big reference.

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Excellent book, wonderful story-hoped for more

NOTE-I was provided an audible copy for purposes of review.

I greatly enjoyed the Audible version of "Hap Arnold". Excellent history documenting the life and times of Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold. He is a man I was aware of but was not familiar with, and this book remedies that problem.

This story traces the lifestory of Hap Arnold, and along the way traces the evolution of the US Air Force and the growth of American air power. I found of particular interest the path by which the Air Force evolved from being a part of the Signal Corps, to part of the US Army (USAAF), and then an independent branch.

Arnold comes across as a talented and focused man, seemingly blessed with a vision of what air power would become and how it would evolve into strategic bombing. Arnold's path to his generalship was not without obstacles or trouble, but it seems to be much smoother and less controversial than those of Eisenhower and others-perhaps because he was somewhat unopposed as an authority figure in the realm of air combat. After all, the man was trained to fly by Orville Wright himself and twice won the MacKay for Outstanding Flight of the Year.

The book also follows the evolution of US Airpower in WW2, and brings into full picture the massive testing, training, and maufacturing process that allowed the USAAF to evolve into a large and critical presence. I also found of particular interest the tales of Arnold's globe trotting, his staffing decisions-especially the decisions regarding the 20th Air Force Group in the Pacific, and the descriptions of flying supplies over The Hump into China (this is a personal like, as one of my fathers dear friends flew that route in the USAAF during WW2).

My only quibbles are a wish for more information at specific points. I would have loved to hear more of his relationship with Billy Mitchell, did he have one with Eddie Rickenbacker, a larger description of what strategic bombing should be, and why it was that the Soviets did not seem to grasp the value-or even the process-of Strategic Bombing.

A wonderful read for its historical accounts and bringing to life an important yet somewhat forgotten military figure.

I would also note the excellent job done by the reader/narrator in this book. Excellent tone helped move the story along, and careful preparation was in evidence. I am perhaps a little more sensitive toward this aspect of book reading since recently I have had the occasion to listen to a non-trivial number of books (Often read by the author) where it sounded like they were reading a book that they had just received. The reader/narrator of this book gave me a story that was consistent and did not offer editorial commentary by way of vocal calisthenics or unneeded dramatic pauses.