A war too long : the USAF in Southeast Asia, 1961-1975 by John Schlight

By John Schlight

The Air strength instinctively disliked the gradual, slow manner the U.S. prosecuted its conflict opposed to the Vietnamese communists.  While americans definitely not on time a communist victory in South Vietnam, Laos and Camvodia lengthy sufficient to spare Thailand and different Southeast Asian nations the same destiny, the yankee public grew very bored with this struggle years prior to its dismal end.  Due to questionable political regulations and decision-making, in simple terms sporadic and comparatively useless use have been made up of air power’s skill to convey nice strength to endure fast and decisively.  The usa and its Air strength skilled a decade of frustration made extra painful through the losses of its team of workers killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.  Fighting resolutely and courageously, the Air strength performed the decisive position in forcing North Vietnam to the peace desk in 1973. The calls for of the Vietnam struggle compelled new advancements equivalent to laser-guided bombs that may ultimately appreciably rework the form of air warfare. 

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Extra resources for A war too long : the USAF in Southeast Asia, 1961-1975

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In the view of‘ the Air Force, the campaign had no clear-cut military objective nor its authors an:y real estimate of the cost in lives and aircraft. General LeMay and others argued that military targets, rather than the enemy’s resolve, should be attacked and that the blows should be rapid and sharp, with the impact felt immediately by thle North Vietnamese Army on the battlefield as well as by the political leadership at Hanoi. Secretary McNamara favored the measured application of force and was convinced that the war could be won in the South.

Although the threat from the demilitarized zone abated, the North Vietnamese kept up their pressure along the borders of I1 and I11 Corps to divert attention, as events would prove, from the population centers of South Vietnam. Attacks during the remainder of 1967 against border outposts at Song Be, LOCNinh, Bo DUC,and Dak To were repulsed because of close cooperation between air and ground. Throughout the year Air Force fighterbombers flew more than 122,000 sorties and the B-52s a total of 6,600, increases of 48,000 and 2,100, respectively, over 1966’s figures.

Before the siege of Khe Sanh was broken at the end of March, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy aircraft flew some 24,000 tactical sorties against the forces surrounding the base. Flying 2,500 sorties by day and night, B-52s dropped almost 60,000 toris of bombs on trenches and artillery positions. Air Force transports landed 4,300 tons of supplies and 2,700 troops at the Khe Sanh airstrip, despite hostile mortar and artillery fire, and parachuted some 8,000 tons of cargo to the defenders. As had happened previously when sorties by different services had to1 be coordinated in a compact area, the control mechanism broke down.

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