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War from Above the Clouds B-52 Operations During the Second Indochina War and the Effects of the Air War on Theory and Doctrine

By William P. Head


Description
Dr. William P. Head’s War from above the Clouds: B-52 Operations during the Second Indochina War and the Effects of the Air War on Theory and Doctrine is an examination of B-52 operations in Vietnam and how the air war affected airpower doctrine and theory. His study examines the evolution of this awesome manned strategic weapon in Vietnam to see how the design of the B-52s originally intended mission altered—if at all—the theories of airpower first put forward by Giulio Douhet and William “Billy” Mitchell. Dr. Head also analyzes how this same operational alteration affected official United States Air Force (USAF) doctrine first formulated by Army Air Corps and Army Air Forces leaders before and during World War II—later modified in the 1950s after the USAF became a separate service.

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 AIRPOWER THEORY AND DOCTRINE IN THE 1950s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Airpower Enters the Vietnam War . . . . . . . . 8 America Is Drawn in Deeper . . . . . . . . . . . .10 DEVELOPMENT OF THE B-52 STRATOFORTRESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Insurgency War and Doctrine in the Early 1960s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Arc Light (B-52 Raids, 1965–68) . . . . . . . . .17 Modifying the B-52 Fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Arc Light Expands and Airpower Controversies Grow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Arc Light Operations Continue . . . . . . . . . . 27 AIR FORCE THEORY AND DOCTRINE IN THE 1960s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 KEEPING A HISTORICAL ACCOUNT . . . . . . . 35 Project CHECO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Corona Harvest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 MENU BOMBING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 COMMANDO HUNT OPERATIONS . . . . . . . . . 42 AIR FORCE THEORY AND DOCTRINE IN THE EARLY 1970s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Linebacker I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Linebacker II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72 AIR FORCE DOCTRINE AFTER VIETNAM . . . . 87 CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 GLOSSARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

 

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