If you want the stirring tale of a martyred prophet, well. During World War I, he led the largest armada of airplanes ever to attack an enemy force and returned to the United States a dashing young general with a chest full of medals and a radical vision of airpower as the only decisive instrument for future wars. This is an excerpt from a review published in. Born to a millionaire Midwest family at the end of the 1870s, Mitchell joined the military at the age of eighteen and became one of its rising stars. Waller has uncovered a trove of new letters, diaries, and confidential documents that have enabled him to capture in detail the drama of the court and to build a rich and revealing biography of Mitchell, one of the army's most controversial and flamboyant generals.
This being said, the author certainly spent a great deal of time researching the material for the book. A Question of Loyalty plunges into the s It had all the ingredients of a movie drama:a scandal that grips Washington and touches the White House; bitter battles and backroom intrigue at the highest levels of the U. Young future difference makers dot the landscape --- leaders like MacArthur, Patton, and Eisenhower. What was presented were a multitude of documented cases meant to prove accusations Mitchell had made about the safety and handling of the infant air corps under the War Department and the military. He was a prophet as well. The trial was the center of the nation's attention.
Hollywood has a movie for you. Many consider Mitchell, to be the father of the U. The maverick airman was put on trial in Washington for insubordination. Documents the events surrounding the heated 1920s trial of World War I army air service leader Billy Mitchell who helped establish the modern Air Force, describing his personality, the dissatisfactions that prompted him to accuse the president and other officers of treason and criminal negligence, and his sensational seven-week court-martial. And for a brief period in the 1920's I'm sure it was exciting to be caught up in his camp. To see his life and character detailed so thoroughly changes my whole outlook. Waller paints a detailed, well-rounded picture of Mitchell — interspersing biographical chapters with the trial narrative — and explains aviation, military law, and court-martial procedures with superb clarity.
Eighteen years before it actually happened, Mitchell described in 1923 how Japan would launch an air attack on Pearl Harbor. Nothing seemed to be presented to defend him against the charges of insubordination and behavior not in keeping with good order and discipline. Collection Overview This collection documents Waller's research for his book, A Question of Loyalty: General Billy Mitchell and the Court Martial that Gripped the Nation. He was then prosecuted for insubordination in a highly publicized trial. The author clearly has some research behind the material he uses. While the trial is the centerpiece of the book the author tells Mitchell's biography to help you understand the main character at the trial.
After a tragic airship accident that shocked the nation, he publicly blasted the War and Navy Departments for their handling of aviation and was put on trial for it. An interesting book that puts the circumstances surrounding General Billy Mitchell's court-martial into perspective. Douglas MacArthur did not vote against Gen. During World War I, he led the largest armada of airplanes ever to attack an enemy force and returned to the United States a dashing young general with a chest full of medals and a radical vision of airpower as the only decisive instrument for future wars. It had all the ingredients of a movie drama:a scandal that grips Washington and touches the White House; bitter battles and backroom intrigue at the highest levels of the U.
Douglas Waller has crafted a compelling new biography of the daring Billy Mitchell, a larger-than-life figure remembered as much for his outspokenness as for his innovations in the use of airpower. Uncovering a trove of new letters, diaries, and confidential documents, Douglas Waller captures the drama of the trial and builds a rich and revealing biography of Mitchell. I loved the details of his story and learning about the impact he made. Army Air Service pilot during World War I. When the Navy suffered two aviation fiascos in one week the destruction of the airship Shenandoah and the disappearance of a Navy amphibian trying to reach Hawaii nonstop from the West Coast Mitchell could not help himself: he wrote a press release accusing the government, the Navy and the Army of frittering away the lives of pilots because they were ignorant of the needs and potential of airpower.
A Question of Loyalty is, however, a portrait of Mitchell as he really was — a man felled by arrogance, overconfidence, and a fatal lack of judgment — rather than as we might like him to be. Army Air Service during World War I and the man who proved in 1921 that planes could sink a battleship. Ultimately, A Question of Loyalty succeeds not only because it provides an engaging and authoritative look back at an interesting chapter in history, but because it touches on important defense-related questions in contemporary American society as well. He was so outspoken he makes McChrystal's issues highlighted in the Rolling Stone article seem like child's play. Waller as he attempts to although in a subtle manner gain credit through this book for that discovery. .
The dirigible disaster shocked the nation as much as the space shuttle accidents would in 1986 and 2003. In 1925 Mitchell was frustrated by the slow pace of aviation development, and he sparked a political firestorm, accusing the army and navy high commands, and by inference the president, of treason and criminal negligence in the way they conducted national defense. Mitchell For A Question of Loyalty, Waller uncovered extensive diaries, confidential government documents and more than 150 family letters, all of which had never been seen before by previous biographers and historians. This collection documents Waller's research for his book, A Question of Loyalty: General Billy Mitchell and the Court Martial that Gripped the Nation. Waller has uncovered a trove of new letters, diaries, and confidential documents that have enabled him to capture in detail the drama of the court and to build a rich and revealing biography of Mitchell, one of the army's most controversial and flamboyant generals. And you will probably come away agreeing with the author that Gen Mitchell probably deserved to be found guilty.
Douglas MacArthur did not vote against Gen. He appealed directly to the American people for an opportunity to show what airpower could do by pushing for an air force co-equal with the Army and the Navy. This is not to say that I think any less of him, or that it would matter if I did, but rather that I showed myself how dangerous being a staunch advocate of a person or idea can be when you don't have all the facts. Gen Mitchell was right that the Air arm of the service needed to be greatly strengthened and it was vital for the next war. I loved the details of his story and learning about the impact he made. From the standpoint of working in the milit The author shows Gen Billy Mitchell as a complex character.
Waller was a journalist and reporter, covering military and foreign affairs for publications such as Time and Newsweek. Included among his research notes are biographical files of those involved in Mitchell's case, interview notes, personal letters, photographs of the court martial, transcripts, and personal diaries. The answer to both questions is yes. In doing so, Mitchell made many enemies including the president. Air Force; he was the first to demonstrate that airplanes could sink a battleship. This book captures the time frame exceptionally well.