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This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. In war, competing systems introduce new technological means to gain advantage. Greater technological complexity, however, creates greater uncertainty—due not only to technical problems but also to unintended consequences when new technology is applied within the chaotic environment of war. In the last years of the war against Japan in the Pacific, Boeing's B-29 was the technological solution to attacking Japan across long distances. Application, however, was not as simple as planners had hoped. Uncertainties and unintended consequences accompanied the B-29's employment.
CHAPTER 1 - COMPLEXITY AND TECHNOLOGY IN WAR * CHAPTER 2 - ENDGAME AGAINST JAPAN: THE STRATEGIC PROBLEM * CHAPTER 3 - DOCTRINAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT * CHAPTER 4 - APPLYING A TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTION * CHAPTER 5 - UNCERTAINTY AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES * CHAPTER 6 - TECHNOLOGICAL AND OPERATIONAL ADAPTATION
In its competition with the Japanese system in the Pacific theater in 1944, the American military system faced the complex strategic problem of ending the war unconditionally while minimizing American casualties. The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was the US Army Air Force's technological solution to this complex strategic problem. The B-29's pressurized cockpit, longer range, more accurate bombing systems, and mechanically controlled defensive systems represented a vast improvement over earlier strategic bombardment technology. Rather than simplifying the problem, however, the B-29 with its uncertainties and unintended consequences (and the intricacies of the relationships surrounding the new technology) further "complexified" it. Employment of the B-29 spawned technological difficulties, awareness of doctrinal failings, personal and interservice rivalries, and Japanese responses—and these consequences created the need for further systems adaptation. The B-29 was not the quick and easy solution promulgated by the Army Air Forces. Only after numerous adaptations at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels— and the marriage of the B-29 with another technological tool, the atom bomb—did the United States achieve its desired strategic end-state.