AIRMEN AT YALTA by General Laurence S. Kuter


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To the growing question of Yalta, which party politics and especially McCarthyism has bedeviled with charges of an American sell-out, the representative of General ""Hap"" Arnold has added the frank- if not very relevant- details of decisions reached by the air confreres. Doubtless even this meagre offering will seem to many of national consequence, if only for its negative assurances about the conduct of American air strategists at the Crimean meeting. The book takes up first the Allied military position at the time of Yalta, the plans for conquering Germany and later Japan, and the value of Russian participation in both theatres. The fact that Arnold could not attend and delegated in his behalf the then Major General Kuter led the Soviet air chief, out of a sensitive regard for protocol, to delegate his own deputy. Although apparently present at Yalta, and overhearing air talks from behind a curtain, he refused to show himself. Nothing so perfectly as this conveys the content of the book or the results of the air talks. General Kuter participated in none of them, and though he came to know some of the personalities there, his most penetrating comment is that Stalin was a surprisingly short man. His main impressions are of vodka, cabbage soup, rituals of seniority in finding sleeping accommodations, etc. One is almost reminded of a British tea on a powder-keg.

Publisher: Little, Brown-D.S.P.