Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fighting with the Soviets

Fighting with the Soviets

The Failure of Operation FRANTIC, 1944–1945

Mark J. Conversino

288 pages, 19 photographs, 1 map, 6 x 9
Modern War Studies
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-0808-9, $35.00

 Fighting with the Soviets provides the first comprehensive look at Operation FRANTIC, an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful Allied enterprise that produced the war's only significant Soviet-American military venture and demonstrated just how complex and demanding coalition warfare could be.
Using Ukrainian air bases, FRANTIC was designed to help deliver the knockout blow to the Nazi war machine while minimizing the severe losses experienced by Allied air forces in daylight bombing campaigns over Germany. In theory, it allowed American bombers to reach targets deeper in Germany, divert Luftwaffe air support away from Normandy, and provide additional cover for battles on the Soviet's western front. American strategists also hoped that the operation would forge closer ties with the USSR and encourage the ever-wary Stalin to allow access to Siberian air bases for use against Japan.
Conversino, however, shows that events did not quite go as planned. His study portrays one of the great "might-have-been" of the war and illustrates how it fell victim to politics, swift victories on the battlefield, and clashing national visions.
"Conversino's story is as interesting as it is unfamiliar and succeeds in opening up FRANTIC's many dimensions, including the personal as well as the political, strategic, and operational. His revelations regarding the interactions between American servicemen and Ukrainian Russians are especially valuable and underscore the immense difficulties of implementing alliances at the grass roots level."--Dennis Showalter, author of Tannenberg: Clash of Empires
"Well written and, in places, humorous and highly entertaining, Fighting with the Soviets fills an important gap in our understanding of the German-Soviet War and of U.S.-Soviet cooperation during that conflict."--David M. Glantz, coauthor of When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
MARK J. CONVERSINO is a major in the United States Air Force and a professor of airpower history and theory at the School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

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