Fighting from Above
A Combat History of the US Air Force
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
From the earliest battles of the USAF’s predecessor organizations to its modern incarnation, Brian D. Laslie identifies four distinct and observable ways of war that developed over four distinct epochs. Beginning with the development of early air power (1906–1941), he highlights the creation of roles and missions, with bombardment theory and practice ascendant. An era of strategic dominance (1942–1975) followed in which the ideas of strategic bombardment ruled the air force; when such notions were unceremoniously proven false during the Vietnam-era conflicts, a period of tactical ascendancy (1975–2019) began. Finally, Laslie considers the current environment, where much of the story of the USAF remains unwritten as it grapples with the prospects and challenges posed by drones and the U.S. Space Force.
While detailing combat operations, Fighting from Above also pays close attention to technology, politics, rivalries, logistics, policy, organization, equipping, and training. Thorough, concise, and innovative in its approach, it is an authoritative, exceptionally readable history of the development of American airpower.
“Exciting, tightly-focused … Brian Laslie brings together huge amount of history into one well-written, sweeping narrative. Fighting from Above offers a great anchor point for understanding the US Air Force.”—Michael W. Hankins, author of Flying Camelot: The F-15, the F-16, and the Weaponization of Fighter Pilot Nostalgia
“This engaging and well-grounded account will be tremendously useful to airpower enthusiasts, military professionals, and scholars alike. Brian Laslie has established a scholarly standard for future students of airpower.”—Robert P. Wetteman Jr., professor of history and director of the Center for Oral History at the United States Air Force Academy