Operation Linebacker I 1972

Operation Linebacker I 1972

The first high-tech air war

Air Campaign 8
  • Author: Marshall Michel III
  • Illustrator: Adam Tooby
  • Short code: ACM 8
  • Publication Date: 24 Jan 2019
  • Number of Pages: 96
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About this Product

At Easter 1972, North Vietnam invaded the South, and there were almost no US ground troops left to stop it. But air power reinforcements could be rushed to the theater. Operation Linebacker's objective was to destroy the invading forces from the air and cut North Vietnam's supply routes - and luckily in 1972, American air power was beginning a revolution in both technology and tactics.

Most crucial was the introduction of the first effective laser-guided bombs, but the campaign also involved the fearsome AC-130 gunship and saw the debut of helicopter-mounted TOW missiles. Thanks to the new Top Gun fighter school, US naval aviators now also had a real advantage over the MiGs.

This is the fascinating story of arguably the world's first "modern” air campaign. It explains how this complex operation - involving tactical aircraft, strategic bombers, close air support and airlift - defeated the invasion. It also explains the shortcomings of the campaign, the contrasting approaches of the USAF and Navy, and the impact that Linebacker had on modern air warfare.

Biographical Note

Marshall L. Michel III is a native of New Orleans who attended Georgetown and Harvard Universities. He joined the US Air Force in 1966 and from 1970 to 1973 flew 321 combat missions. He was the assistant air attaché at the American embassy in Tel Aviv from 1977 to 1980, when he returned to the United States to fly F-15s at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. He later served as the Israel desk officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, as a fellow at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, and on the NATO staff in Brussels, Belgium. He retired from the Air Force in 1992. He now lives in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Contents

Introduction
Chronology
Attackers' Capabilities
Defenders' Capabilities
Campaign Objectives
The Campaign
Analysis and Conclusion
Further Reading
Index
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