History of the Development of Technical Intelligence in the Air Force, 1917-1947

Author: Christensen, Charles R.


“... offers novel insights that contribute to our general understanding of military intelligence. It frames the study of intelligence against larger developments in U. S. military, diplomatic, and domestic political history. It examines bureaucratic and inter-service rivalries and shows how they affected the development of important national policies. It assesses the impact of technological developments on policy questions that confronted U. S. officers ... It represents the first study of a topic of importance in military and intelligence history. Tthe arguments presented rest on copious research in primary records, notably the previously-untapped records of the Air Force Material Command History Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base ... extremely well-written, and carefully negotiates complicated technical and bureaucratic details.” – Professor Peter L. Hahn, The Ohio State University

“... a fascinating story it is, filled with improbable events and strong personalities. Central to Christensen’s tale is the tension, never fully resolved, between the design engineers whose primary focus was the systematic improvement of American technology and operational commanders who desired timely and detailed information about enemy capabilities and limitations, the sooner the better, so that they might respond in timely fashion ... Christensen recounts LUSTY’s [acronym for LUftwaffe Secret TechnologY] story with the verve and technical insight one might expect of a veteran of Technical Intelligence. A retired Air Force colonel, Christensen spent much of his career in Technical Intelligence and knew precisely where to look when the classification barriers began to fall ... The story is much the better for his insights ... The book ends with an even-handed assessment of the impact of Air Force technical intelligence on the Cold War and its potential for the future ... This is an important book, and one that will remain an important resource for students of the art of intelligence and the Cold War for the indefinite future.” – Professor John F. Guilmartin, Jr., The Ohio State University

Table of Contents

1. Introductio
n 2. The Earliest Uses of Air Technical Intelligence (WWI; Interwar Period; Preparing for War)
3. Air Technical Intelligence in World War II (Training Officers at Wright Field, TI in the Pacific; TI in Europe)
4. Planning for Air Technical Intelligence Operations in Germany
5. Operation LUSTY: Collecting German Aircraft and Missile Technology
6. Creating a Modern Air Technical Intelligence Organization at Wright Field
7. German Science and Technology and the Development of the Postwar Air Force