Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 2 months ago

Who was Billy Mitchell?

beforehand Second World War?


As opposed to after the Pearl Harbour attack?

Update 2:

Was he mistaken?

4 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Mitchell was a general in the  US Army during WWI.  What he saw in WWI convinced him that airplanes would play a much bigger role in wars to come.  There was even a saying in those days 'The next war will be fought in the air.'

    Mitchell tried his darndest to convince the military brass to put more money into aviation research, to develop practical aircraft carriers.  He organized many tests where airplanes bombed old, obsolete ships, to show if it could be done and how easy it would be.  Finally he got on the other military leaders' nerves and they court-marshaled him for 'insubordination'.

    He died in 1936, just as we were getting ready for WWII.  But it was aircraft carriers that won the war in the Pacific, and after he was dead he was recognized as a great hero.  FDR promoted him to a Major General, posthumously.  And we named a bomber after him, the B-25 'Mitchell'.

  • Fred
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    From my understanding he was an outspoken advocate for better dive bombers and their tactics to take on the power of the huge dreadnoughts and battleships of the WW1 era.  The general though was that these large ships could only be destroyed by larger more powerful ships which cost countries huge amounts of money to build.  After WW1 he advocated and demonstrated that well trained dive bomber crews could sink these super ships at a fraction of the cost of powerful ships and likely do it quicker and better.  He found the top brass of the US military would not listen to what he was saying even after a successful demonstration by bombing a ship from WW1 and sinking it quite easily.  He was actually demoted by the top brass for keeping on insisting his ideas were the right ones.  The person who did take notice was Germany's Herman Goering head of the German Luftwaffe who witnessed American dive bombers in action in a display and was so impressed in their accuracy he ordered the building of the Junkers Ju 87 Dive bomber more commonly known as the stuka which had devastating accuracy and used extensively up to the battle of Britain where the British were able to easily shoot the slow aircraft down.

      WW2 proved Mitchell was right and American dive bombers were used extensively in sea battles by the Americans, but Mitchell died in 1936 and never saw his ideas used extensively during the war especially in the battle of Midway where in minutes after losing so many planes fighting the battle trying to knock out the Japanese aircraft carriers a small group of American dive bombers arrived late and in minutes turned what appeared to be an American defeat into a staggering victory when the few dive bombers sank 3 Japanese aircraft carriers taking only a couple minutes to deposit their bombs into the ships.  These few dive bombers had destroyed the backbone of the Japanese fleet and the Japanese didn't have the resources to replace them.  It was the end of the winning streak for the Japanese and from then on they could not protect their interests in the Pacific and were forced into retreating.

      Billy Mitchell had been right but not recognised for his contribution to the American military until after his death.

  • Prince
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Billy Mitchell before the Second World War may have been the paranoid nutter who thought that the Japanese were buying tonnes of scrap metal from the United States in order to build weapons of destruction to attack Pearl Harbour. After the Second World War Billy Mitchell may have stood vindicated. Much like anyone today who is paranoid enough to distrust Communist China. Having softened you up with the microbe they developed in the RNA Lab 30 Kim outside of Wu Han, you mightn't be as able to handle their warheads carried by the missiles of their North Korean satellite to the West Coast, their sailing their uboats to Rocky Point Mexico to launch an attack against Fort Yuma Arizona, and marching millions of Han  soldiers up Piccadilly. But perhaps you might. We'll soon see. China controls Ecuador and, as for Mexican government officials being bribe- able, that would be anybody's guess. Since American tourists trying to drive from their resort to see the Mexican pyramids get shaken down by Mexican Police before they can even get to the pyramids to face Mexican bandits, and the Mexican government is in the pay of drug cartels and, oh yes, Communist China already, a Billy Mitchell might insist that Mexico return the submarine base near Fort Yuma since the United States paid for the coast of the Gulf of California over a hundred years ago anyway. What the hell did Billy Mitchell know right.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    He was the first American pilot to fly over German lines in WW1. He became a General during WW1 and led all American air combat units in France. He died before WW2 started but is known as the Father of the United States Air Force.

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