Rolling Thunder 1965–68

Rolling Thunder 1965–68

Johnson's air war over Vietnam

Air Campaign
  • Author: Richard P. Hallion
  • Illustrator: Adam Tooby
  • Short code: ACM 3
  • Publication Date: 22 Feb 2018
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About this Product

Operation Rolling Thunder was the campaign that was meant to keep South Vietnam secure, and dissuade the North from arming and supplying the Viet Cong. It pitted the world's strongest air forces against the MiGs and missiles of a small Soviet client state. But the US airmen who flew Rolling Thunder missions were crippled by a badly thought-out strategy, rampant political interference in operational matters, and aircraft optimised for Cold War nuclear strikes rather than conventional warfare.

Ironically, Rolling Thunder was one of the most influential episodes of the Cold War - its failure spurring the 1970s US renaissance in professionalism, fighter design, and combat pilot training. Dr Richard P. Hallion, one of America's most eminent air power experts, explains how Rolling Thunder was conceived and fought, and why it became shorthand for how not to fight an air campaign.

Biographical Note

Richard P. Hallion holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland, and has completed specialized governmental and national security programs at the Federal Executive Institute, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the Royal Historical Society, and an Honorary Member of the Order of Daedalians who has flown as a mission observer in a wide range of military aircraft, including the Vietnam-era AH-1, Canberra, C-1, C-130, C-141, C-5, F-104, F-105, F-4, F-111, O-2, P-3, CH-46, SH-3, and UH-1. He lives in Florida.

Contents

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