Michael Burleigh

Fully Cocked

15 Minutes: General Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Annihilation


St Martin’s Press 372pp £16.67 order from our bookshop

At the end of the Second World War the US was the sole nuclear power in the world, although paradoxically it did not possess a single functioning atomic bomb after the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These were big, complex devices requiring weeks to prepare and prime. The US also had an air force and navy capable of projecting power around the globe, even if in Europe the Soviets had a colossal advantage, with 4.5 million troops, 15,500 combat aircraft and vast numbers of tanks. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • He has 'raised his country’s international influence to unprecedented heights, while at the same time jailing hundr… ,
    • 'It is one of those nice linguistic ironies that English should have attempted to make sex respectable by clothing… ,
    • 'He was to my mind the father of the idea that journalism – yes, even journalism – can have a moral dimension to it… ,
    • RT : Feeling old, as exhumes a piece I wrote 37 years ago. But a joy to see Kathy O’S there too. Here’s why:… ,
    • 'Enough of his character remains just out of reach for Barnes to relish the challenge of imagining him.' Patrick M… ,
    • RT : I did a thing about the new Penguin Book Of Oulipo for this month’s Literary Review: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Moore’s work has been so influential that the former ministers who provided him with much of his information now r… ,