Linebacker: The Untold Story of the Air Raids Over North Vietnam

Karl J. Eschmann, Author Ballantine Books $4.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8041-0374-9
Military buffs will appreciate this minutely detailed report of the American bombing raids over North Vietnam and the daring helicopter rescues of U.S. soldiers trapped in enemy territory. Lt. Colonel Eschmann, who was an aircraft maintenance officer in Southeast Asia in 1972-73, presents a well-documented, thoughtful and occasionally poignant account of the political and military components of the air war against North Vietnam. Currently stationed at the Pentagon, he offers an analysis of the Vietnam conflict popular in that institution: that the military were hampered from winning the war by a political mandate not to escalate the conflict, and that the successful use of raw firepower in missions like Linebacker, 12 straight days of air attacks on North Vietnam in 1972, proved that the war was essentially winnableif the war was winnable, why did the US withdraw?/i modified but stet this phrase/i am totally comfortable with it/it is standard pentagon line not necessarily logical or true/they believe that if we kept on bombing and bombing we would have won/pk and hastened the U.S. disengagement from Indochina. General readers looking for insights into the Vietnam quagmire or interested in the heroics of U.S. fighting men, however, will be put off by the military jargon and procedure-manual style. Despite copious illustrations, an extensive bibliography and a glossary, the book remains largely inaccessible.this sounds like a contradiction of ``well-documented, thoughtful and occasionally poignant account...'' in the beginning of the review, no?/it is but not for general audience/stet, i am totally comfortable with this/pk (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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