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F-105 Wild Weasel vs. SA-2 'Guideline' SAM: Vietnam 1965 - 73

F-105 Wild Weasel vs. SA-2 'Guideline' SAM: Vietnam 1965 - 73 Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review July 2012 Title F-105 Wild Weasel vs. SA-2 'Guideline' SAM: Vietnam 1965 - 73
Author Peter Davies Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2011 ISBN 9781849084710
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


Author Peter Davies illustrates how Soviet surface-to-air missile technology (SAM) influenced US military innovation in F-105 Wild Weasel vs. SA-2 “Guideline” SAM.  Davies, using first-hand interviews given by US pilots and North Vietnamese missile technicians, separates the interweaving histories of each system into clear and concise segments – while illustrating the dramatic encounters between American aircrews and Hanoi defenders.

Although entering the Vietnam War with modern aircraft, conventional bombing and fighter engagements remained at the forefront of USAF missions.  With the introduction of the Russian SA-2 missile capable of not only engaging at low altitudes, but reaching our bombers at higher altitudes, a solution required an aircraft capable of detecting enemy radar at closer ranges and attacking before missiles could be launched – the result, the F-105.

Photographs and unpublished documentation provided by North Vietnamese sources offers rare insights into the lives of those responsible for defending Hanoi.  Beautiful artwork provided by Jim Laurier and Gareth Hector portrays the complex inner workings found in both the F-105 and SA-2 technologies.

I found only one very minor criticism within this wonderful narrative – no acronym glossary.  A reader unaccustomed to the multitude of military acronyms would benefit from a single page list of all used in the book.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!