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VIETNAM'S FINAL AIR CAMPAIGN OP LINEBACKER I&II Delai:3 semaines PSB547

VIETNAM'S FINAL AIR CAMPAIGN

Operation Linebacker I & II May-december 1972

Cold War 1945-1991

Stephen EMERSON

2019, 128 pages, format 15,5 x 23,5, photos en NB et couleurs, texte en anglais.

19,00 € TTC

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VIETNAM'S FINAL AIR CAMPAIGN OP LINEBACKER I&II

On march 30, 1972 some 40,000 North Vietnamese troops along with tanks and heavy artillery surged across the demilitarized zone into South Vietnam in the opening round of Hanoi's Easter offensive. By early May South Vietnamese forces were on the ropes. Without the support of U.S. combat troops-who where in their final stage of withdrawing from the country-the Saigon government was in danger of total collapse and with it any American hope a negotiated settlement to end the war. In reponse, President Richard Nixon called for an aggressive, sustained bombardment of North Vietnam. Codenamed Operation Linebacker, the interdiction effort sought to stem the flow of men and materiel southward, as well as sever all outside supply lines in the first bombing of the North Vietnamese heartland in nearly four years. To meet the American air armada, North Vietnameses MIG fighters took to the skies and surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft fire filled the air from May to October over Hanoi and Haiphong.
With the failure of its Easter Offensive to achieve military victory, Hanoi reluctantly returned to the negotiating table in Paris, however, as the peace talks teetered in mid-December 1972, Nixon played his trump card : Operation Linebacker II. The resulting eleven-day Christmas bombing campaign from 18 to 28 December unleashed the full wrath of american air power. More than 2,200 attack sorties, including 729 B-52 sorties alone, where flown by Air Force and Navy aircraft delivering 15,287 tons of bombs that laid waste to the North Vietnamese capital. Railyards, military storage depots, power stations, and bridges, as well as radr and communication sites, airfields, and anti-aircraft defenses were pummeled day and night. Linebacker II would prove to be a critical factor in dring both sides to end the war through negotiations ; a formal peace accord was signed on January 27, 1973.

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