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                                                 18. Dezember 1972 bis 27. Januar 1973 

                                                 

                    Verluste :

                    B 52 :  17 Flugzeuge                 davon 6 Bomber B52  in einer Nacht.

 

                    Air Force

Verluste:   26 Flugzeuge.

15 x  B52 Bomber                   2 x Abwracken nach Gefechtsschäden durch SAM Feuer
2   x  F4 Flugzeuge
2   x   F111 Flugzeuge           SAM  S 75 / SA2    am  18. Dezember 1972    und 20. Dezember 72  ( AAA Flak Feuer )
1x HH53 Rettungshubschrauber


NAVY : 

2 x A7 Flugzeuge
2 x A6 Flugzeuge
1x RA 5 Flugzeug
1 x F4 Flugzeug

Davon :    17 durch SA2  Wolchow  System
3 durch MIG 21
3 durch AAA (Flak)
3 unbekannt.

 

 

       

Date Type Call Sign Target (Mission) Cause
Dec. 18 F-111A Snug 40 Hanoi Radio unk.
Dec. 18 B-52G Charcoal 01 Yen Vien complex SA-2
Dec. 18 B-52G Peach 02 Yen Vien complex SA-2
Dec. 18 B-52D Rose 01 Hanoi Radio SA-2
Dec. 20 B-52D Quilt 03 Yen Vien complex SA-2
Dec. 20 B-52G Brass 02 Yen Vien complex SA-2
Dec. 20 B-52G Orange 03 Yen Vien complex SA-2
Dec. 20 B-52D Straw 02 Gia Lam rail yard SA-2
Dec. 20 B-52G Olive 01 Kinh No complex SA-2
Dec. 20 B-52G Tan 03 Kinh No complex SA-2
Dec. 21 B-52D Scarlet 03 Bac Mai airfield SA-2
Dec. 21 B-52D Blue 01 Bac Mai airfield SA-2
Dec. 22 F-111A Jackle 33 Kinh No complex unk.
Dec. 23 EB-66C Hunt 02 (non combat) engine out
Dec. 26 B-52D Ebony 02 Giap Nhi rail yard SA-2
Dec. 26 B-52D Ash 01 Kinh No complex SA-2
Dec. 27 F-4E DeSoto 03 (strike escort) MiG-21
Dec. 27 F-4E Vega 02 (MiGCAP) MiG-21
Dec. 27 HH-53 Jolly Green (rescue) small arms
Dec. 27 B-52D Ash 02 SAM site SA-2
Dec. 27 B-52D Cobalt 02 Truan Quan rail yard SA-2
Source: Pacific Air Forces

 

Die Bombardierungen zwangen die Nordvietnamesen erneut in Paris an den Verhandlungstisch. Diese waren gerade dabei den Krieg zu gewinnen. Am Ergebnis des Krieges änderte  " linebaker II " nichts mehr. Amerikaner wie auch Vietnamesen behaupten für sich die Operation" Linebaker II " gewonnen zu haben. Bei Beachtung der Anzahl der Flugzeuge als solches   insgesamt dürfte die Killrate bei 8,5 % liegen.  (  linebaker II )

Die Abschussrate von 1,7 % ist formal richtig und geht von der Anzahl der geflogenen Einsätze aus. Fakt ist aber auch : Eine große Anzahl B52 wurde abgeschossen. Das kann man nicht mehr schön reden. Russische Zahlen sprechen von 54 Flugzeugen  , darunter viele B52 ,die bis Ende Januar 1973 während    " Linebaker II " verlustig gingen. Fragwürdig ist auch , dass Todeszahlen von  ( "nur " 1318 ) Zivilisten bei Bombardierungen in Hanoi  schön geredet wurden.

Am 23. Januar 1973 um 12.30 wurde der Friedensvertrag in Paris unterzeichnet.

Der letzte Abschuss eines B52 Bombers erfolgte am 27. Dezember über Hanoi. Das Flugzeug liegt bis heute im Chung bath lake im Zentrum von Hanoi als Denkmal.

Den Krieg haben die Vietnamesen  gewonnen.    Heute haben die USA und Vietnam ihre Beziehungen normalisiert.

 

 

                                                        Linebaker I

 

             Linebaker   I    und      II  aus der Sicht  der amerikanischen Streitkräfte

 

                                          

                                 Analyse     unclassified                      To Hanoi and back unclassified

   Quellen : Air Force History and Museums Program  United States Air Force    Washington, D.C. 2000

 

Die Operation Linebaker I  begann  im Mai 1972  und endete im November 1972

MIG 21 Flugzeuge und amerikanische Flugzeuge lieferten sich Luftkämpfe. Vietnamesische Piloten waren Anfänger , während die F4 Piloten Profis waren.

Am 10. Mai 1972 wurden von 41 MiGs     11 von Amerikanern im Luftkampf abgeschossen.  6 Amerikaner wurden abgeschossen .Am 15 . Juni wurde die Bombardierung von Hanoi unterbrochen, da sich eine Delegation der russischen Staatsführung offiziell in Hanoi aufhielt . Ziel der Bombardierungen war es den vietn. Hafen Haiphong für Nachschub zu schließen . Bombardierungsziele waren : Schiffswerften, Industrieanlagen , militärische Führungspunkte und die  Energieversorgung .

Die während Linebaker I gesammelten Erfahrungen mit MIG Abdrängung durch Beleitschutz und genauestes zeitliches Abstimmen der Flugpläne sowie gesammelte Erfahrungen mit der Niederhaltung der SAM Systeme wurde bei der Operation Linebaker II im Dezember 1972 optimiert angewendet .

Interesse findet immer wieder der erste Abschuss eines Bombers B52 D  durch die Vietnamesen.

Am 22. November 1972 wurde dieser Bomber mit SA / S 75 DWINA  Fla Raketensystem abgeschossen . Die 6 Man Besatzung flogen noch bis in das Gebiet  Vinh in Laos bis das Flugzeug bei Nakhon abstürzte .

Vom Jahr 1965 an gab es 81  Zwischenfälle durch Beschädigungen durch SAM SA 2 / S 75   Feuer . 286 mal wurden fliegend Fla Raketen gegn Bomber B52 gesichtet.

Im April 1972 wurden 2 Bomber B52 während Friedensverhandlungen durch SAM SA 2 beschädigt und konnte sicher landen . Im November 1972 während Operation Linebaker I kam es zu 3 Zwischenfällen mit de Luftabwehr . Am 22. November 72 ging ein B52 verlustig .

Für die nachfolgende Operation linebaker II geben die Amerikaner  15 Abschüsse von B52 durch SA2 Fla Raketenkomplexe zu .

 

 

 

                                                         Linebaker II

 

 

The first day of Linebacker II was December 18, 1972, five days after the Paris peace talks broke down. At 2:41 p.m., 129 B-52s took off in three 
waves from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. The waves were made up of cells--groups of three B-52s that flew together for electronic countermeasure (ECM) integrity and targeting purposes. They had a large escort: the 7th Air Force and U.S. Navy: KC-135 refueling planes, F-4 fighter escorts,F-105 Wild Weasels (to attack surface-to-air missile, or SAM, sites), Navy EA-6 and EB-66 radar-jamming planes, search and rescue teams, and F-4 chaff planes.(Chaff planes are planes that release "chaff," strips of metal that are dropped to confuse radar.)

2 Uhr in morgens flogen 129 Bomber vom Typ B52 in 3 Wellen von der Anderson Air Force Base in Guam ein. Jeweils 3 B 52 flogen beieinander und störten mit elektronischen Gegenmaßnahmen RADAR der LV . Jetzt  kamen Flugzeuge der 7. Flotte , F4 Flugzeuge zum Eigenschutz, F 105 Flugzeuge zur Zerschlagung der bodengebundenen Luftverteidigung, EA6 Flugzeuge zum Stören von RADAR der Luftverteidigung ,und F4 Flugzeuge zum Abwurf von Düppel ,um Radar zu stören.


On the first night, three B-52s were shot down. But 94 percent of the bombs were released over their targets. Because of the operation’s size and the lengthy flights, the last planes from Day One were landing back at Guam as the first planes for Day Two were taking off. Crew debriefings were analyzed as quickly as possible but not quickly enough to incorporate changes for the second day’s plans. So Day Two proceeded along the same lines as Day One. Targets included railyards, power plants, and storage areas. And because of the low number of casualties on Day Two, operations for Day Three continued in the same way. This was to prove a fatal mistake.

In der ersten Nacht wurden 3 B52 Flugzeuge abgeschossen. Analysen der Kampfhandlungen wurden durchgeführt aber nicht schnell genug umgesetzt. Tag 2 verging wie der 1. Kampftag. Bahnhöfe , Kraftwerke und Lager wurden bombardiert. Es  bahnte sich ein schwerwiegender Fehler an.


The American crews were learning the pattern, and were becoming complacent. Unfortunately, the North Vietnamese were also learning the pattern. On the third day, the waves of B-52s approaching Hanoi saw North Vietnam’s MiGs in the distance. But rather than attack, the MiGs reported the Americans’ heading, altitude, and air speed to ground forces. Heavy SAM activity and anti-aircraft artillery firing directly into the planes’ paths resulted in the deadliest day of the operation: six B-52s were shot down. 

So wie die Piloten aus den Kampfhandlungen lernten , taten dies auch die Nordvietnamesen .  Am 3. Tag flogen Wellen von B52 gegen Hanoi. MIG21 Flugzeuge der Vietnamesen hielten sich in Entfernung zu den Bombern und  meldeten  Flugrichtung , Höhe etc. an die Bodenkräfte. Danach kam es zu schwerem Abwehrfeuer von Fla Raketen und Flak. Tag 3 war der blutigste: 6 Bomber B52 wurden abgeschossen.

References and Further Reading:Clodfelter, Mark. The Limits of Air Power. New York: The Free Press, 1989.
Herz, Martin F. The Prestige Press and the Christmas Bombing, 1972. Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1979.
Kissinger, Henry. White House Years. Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1979.
Kohn, Richard H. and Joseph Harahan, ed. Strategic Air Warfare: An Interview with Generals Curtis E. LeMay, Leon W. Johnson, David A. Burchinal and Jack L. Catton. Washington, D.C.: Office of Air Force History, 1988.
McCarthy, James R. and Allison, George. Linebacker II: A View From the Rock. Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.: Airpower Research Institute, 1979.
Michel, Michael L. The Eleven Days of Christmas: America’s Last Vietnam Battle. San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2001.
Morrocco, John. Rain of Fire: Air War, 1969-1973. Boston

 

 

Bomber 52 flogen aus Nordwest und West in 2-3  Minuten a 3 Bomber an . Die Luftangriffe wurden durch taktische Kampfflugzeuge begleitet. Chaff ( Düppel ) wurde zum Eigenschutz der Bomber B52 ausgebracht. Gleichzeitig legten die Bomber selbst Chaff in der Luft aus.

Es sollen bis zu 20 Flugkörper der Fla Raketeneinheiten gleichzeitig in der Luft zu sehen gewesen sein.

 

Feuereröffnungen

FRA 88     22:10 Uhr
FRA 79     22:20
FRA 87     22:23
FRA 86     22:27     22:28
FRA 72     22:29
FRA 78     22:29     22:40     22:43     22:46
FRA 79.     22:30
FRA 76     22:30
FRA 94     22:32
FRA 93     22:33     22:44     23:52
FRA 57     22:34
FRA 94     22:41
FRA 59     22:53
FRA 74     22:42
FRA 93     22:44     22:33
FRA 71     22:47
Nachbar-Einheiten
FRA 52     22:29
FRA 28     22:46
 

Während er Operation "linebaker II" im Dezember 1972 wurden 421 AGM Shrike gegen SAM Systeme geschossen. Das typische Anti SAM Manöver war das präemptive Schiessen. Das Feuerleitradar Am S 75 SAM System wurde zum Ausschalten gezwungen , während die B 52 Bomber nach Hanoi einflogen .  Die 77. wurde durch AGM Shrike ausgeschaltet.

Der erste Luftangriff gegen Hanoi begann am 19. Dezember 1972 um 04 Uhr in der früh. In 3 Wellen a 2 Minuten flogen 129 Bomber B52 an.

Ein Operator und Bediener der Störanlage im B 52 beschreibt seine Erlebnisse am ersten Anflug während linebaker II :als wir uns dem Zielgebiet näherten wuchs die Anzeige für das E/F-Band über die Skala hinaus. Es gab so viel Radar- und Jammeraktivität im Bereich von 2.800MHz bis 3.100MHz, dass die einzelnen Signale ineinander verschwammen. Ich spulte auf der Suche nach Fan Song Signalen manuell durch den Bereich. Als ich eins fand markierte ich den betreffenden Bereich mit einem Farbstift auf dem Bildschirm und setzte je zwei Jammer auf die horizontale und die vertikale Radarkeule. Den Bereich des Raketen-Peilsignal musste ich gemäß Instruktionen schätzen und setzte die restlichen sechs Jammer darauf an. Auf dem Bildschirm konnte ich auch ein A-Band Signal eines Spoon Rest erkennen  ( P12 Rundumradar )  und legte meinen A-Band-Jammer darauf. Danach konnte ich nur noch warten - und hielt ständig ein Auge auf den Frequenzbereich zwischen 850MHz und 875MHz, wo die Uplinks                              ( Lenkkommandos an die fliegende Fla Rakete vom Sender am Boden ) für die SA-2s zu erwarten waren."
SEAD Flugzeuge starten  421 Shrike und 49 AGM-78 Standard  gegen S 75 Fla Raketensysteme . 3 werden getroffen , 160 mal musste die Raketenleitstation das RADAR ausschalten.

Der letzte Abschuss eines B52 Bombers während " linebaker II " erfolgte am 27. Dezember über Hanoi. Das Flugzeug liegt bis heute im Chung bath lake im Zentrum von Hanoi als Denkmal.

                

        der letzte gefallende Bomber B52 während Libenaker II.

 

Währen der Operation wurden 15  Bomber vom Typ B52 abgeschossen. Der letzte fiel am 3. Januar 1973 aus dem Himmel .

Die Feuereinheit 77 hatte  Mythos . Die 77. schoss während   Linebaker II  "   4 mal den  B 52 über Hanoi aus dem Himmel .

Der Wert der Flugzeuge allein betrug 248 US $.

 

An der Operation Linebaker II nahmen teil :

F-111        48                                  Takhli RTAFB, Thailand
F-4            99                                   Udorn RTAFB, Thailand
RF-4         18 Reconnaissance     (trinh sát)
F-4C          6                                    Korat RTAFB, Thailand        Iron Hand / WildWeasel
F-4E          24                                                                                  Iron Hand/Wild Weasel
F-105G     23                                                                   Electronic Warfare and Jammers
EB-66       17
A-7D         72
HC-130                                                                                                    Air Rescue
EC-121                                                                                                 Reconnaissance
F-4D         111                                Ubon RTAFB, Thailand
F-4             27                                 Nam Phong, Thailand (US Marines)
HH-53                                              Nakhon Phanom AB, Thailand

 

B-52D       54                                  RTNAF U-Tapao, Thailand 307th Strategic Wing
KC-135A                                        RTNAF U-Tapao, Thailand Strategic Wing - Provisional 310
B-52D       53                                  Andersen AFB, Guam (43rd Strategic Wing)
B-52G       99                                  Andersen AFB, Guam (Strategic Wing - Provisional 72)
KC-135A                                        Kadena AB, Okinawa (376th Strategic Wing)
KC-135A  7                                    Kadena AB, Okinawa Combat Lightning (Radio Relay)
KC-135Q  5                                    Kadena AB, Okinawa
SR-71       6                                    Kadena AB, Okinawa Support
RC-135M                                        376th SW / 82nd Strat Recon Sq. Reconnaissance - ELINT
KC-135A 25                                   Clark AB, Philippines (376th SW / AREFS-P 4102)
SR-71A          4                               Kadena AB, Okinawa Reconnaissance -Post Strike
U-2 /DC-130  2                               RTNAFU-Tapao, Thailand Reconnaissance
 


 

                 

 

 

            

                               Luftkrieg Vietnam 1972  

                              Funkverkehr der B52 während der Operation Linebaker 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozSZ6Kj5-A0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ftgk2LRi0w&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A0851AEsLk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECGKCD-pqiM&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqoT1iUvDN4&feature=related

              

 

             

Sichtgerät Beta , "Seite" . Jamming durch B 52 Bomber . Rauschstörung . Begleitet wird der B 52 Bomber : heller Rauschstreifen . Zusätzlich  stört links ein Begleitflugzeug Typ F4 Phantom: Rauschen ganz links.

Bild Mitte : Sichtgerät Beta , "Seite " Bei Entfernung 25 Km erscheint der Bomber B 52 aus dem Rauschen.

Bild rechts : Darstellung auf dem Sichtgerät RADAR P12 zur Luftlagedarstellung für den SA 2 Fla Raketenkomplex. Rauschen gegen die Stadion P12 durch B 52 Bomber.

 

 

 

       

 

            

 

                             Lage der Fla Raketenabteilungen um Hanoi. Dezember 1972 ( ohne Vernichtungszonen )

                

                                    ohne Vernichtungszonen

                                ALMAZ http://www.raspletin.ru/

                                         Typische Vernichtungszone

                                                         

     

 

 

Diese Operation mit der Freigabe der B52 Bomber durch den amerikanischen Präsidenten Nixon persönlich war die größte seit dem Bombardierungen deutscher Städte im 2. Weltkrieg. Der erste Luftangriff gegen Hanoi begann am 19. Dezember 1972 um 04 Uhr morgens . In 3 Wellen a 2 Minuten flogen 129 Bomber B52 an.

Dabei waren beteiligt :

13 Flugzeuge  F-105G   als SEAD  und 4 Flugzeuge  F-4 als
22 Flugzeuge   F-4  als Chaff  ( 3 Meilen x  50 Meilen Korridor ),
63  Flugzeuge F-4 zum Schutz der Bomber gegen vietnamesische MIG Abfangflugzeuge der Luftverteidigung
31 Flugzeuge  EB-66  EA-6A als jammer / Störer
6  Flugzeuge   RC-135, EA-3 als Jammer und Koordinierer,
15 Flugzeuge  F-111 gegen  Flugplätze der nordvietnamesischen MIG Staffeln
43  Flugzeuge der NAVY mit  A-6 und A-7

Amerikanische Piloten berichten  von diesen Bombardierungen : Ein B52 pflügte mit 25 t  Bombenlast eine Fläche von 30 Fußballfeldern um und hinterließ eine Mondlandschaft . Umflogen B 52  Bomber früher bekannte SA 2  Stellungen , so war es jetzt  Ziel  gerade diese Stellungen zu vernichten.

SEAD Flugzeuge starten  421 Shrike und 49 AGM-78 Standard  gegen S 75 Fla Raketensysteme . 3 werden getroffen , 160 mal musste die Raketenleitstation das RADAR ausschalten.

Mit Entsetzen  wurden von Amerikanern Abschüsse eigener Bomber in den Nächten über Hanoi beobachtet: brennende Bomber trudelten in Spiralen zum Boden und schlugen auf. Am Nachthimmel über Hanoi waren bis zu 20 fliegende  Fla Raketen gleichzeitig zu sehen...

Die Bodenkontrolle der B 52 rief über taktisches Radio ( Funk )  nach ihren Besatzungen " Rose1 , Rose 1 , you are in frequency ? "   Keine Antwort ....

Während der Operation " linebacker II " im Dezember 1972 gingen durch Fla Raketen von den 188 angreifenden B 52 Flugzeugen   17   Bombenflugzeuge verlustig. 3 mussten  abgewrackt werden. Insgesamt verlor die Airforce 31 Bomber B52 über die Kriegsjahre. Mindestens einer wurde von einem Jäger MIG 21 abgeschossen.

Quelle : TV Beitrag im russ. Staatsfernsehen

Bei der Operation "linebaker II " flogen 188  Bomber " B52 "   13620 Tonnen Bomben gegen Hanoi . Hanoi wurde in 3 Schutzzonen mit 16 - 24 Fla Raketenkomplexen geschützt. ( 5 - 10 Km ,15 - 20 Km und 35 -40 Km ) In Entfernung von 100 Km wurden Fla Komplexe in den vermutlichen Anflugkorridoren platziert.  

Über 60  Systeme  SA 2 Dwina Luftabwehrraketensysteme schossen in der ersten Nacht. Man sah bis zu 20 fliegende Fla Raketen gleichzeitig im Nachthimmel  . Diese Nacht war  Doomsday.

 

Mit  aggressiven SEAD Flügen der US Luftwaffe wurden SAM Stellungen unterdrückt und zerstört  um Verluste der eigenen B52 zu verhindern.

Diese Piloten flogen unter dem massivem Abwehrfeuer auf SAM Stellungen  und zogen das Raketenfeuer auf sich bzw. schossen ARM auf diese Luftabwehrsysteme.

SA 2 ( S75 Dwina  ) ist mit 6 aufliegenden Raketen bestückt. Normal werden 3 Raketen auf ein Flugzeug geschossen ( Salve a 3 sec ) . Nach dem 2. Luftziel ist die Abteilung leer geschossen und muss nachladen.

Das dauert je nach Ausbildungs - Übungsstand 15 min. Zusätzlich müssen die Flugkörper vorher( ! ) montiert (aus der Verpackung entnommen und zusammensetzt werden ) und mit Treibstoff/Oxydautor betankt werden. Eine vietnamesische Frauenmannschaft lud 24 mal hintereinander Fla Raketen auf die Rampe...

Ununterbrochenes Abwehrfeuer ist demnach nicht möglich. Mit entsprechender Anzahl von Flugabwehrabteilungen kann aber dichte Feuerfolge und Massierung erreicht werden.



Anflughöhen der B52 waren bei 8 000 - 12 000 m. In diesem Höhenband wurde massiv Chaff eingesetzt.

Ein Operator und Bediener der Störanlage im B 52 beschreibt seine Erlebnisse am ersten Anflug während linebaker II : "Als wir uns dem Zielgebiet näherten wuchs die Anzeige für das E/F-Band über die Skala hinaus. Es gab so viel Radar- und Jammeraktivität im Bereich von 2.800MHz bis 3.100MHz, dass die einzelnen Signale ineinander verschwammen. Ich spulte auf der Suche nach Fan Song Signalen manuell durch den Bereich. Als ich eins fand markierte ich den betreffenden Bereich mit einem Farbstift auf dem Bildschirm und setzte je zwei Jammer auf die horizontale und die vertikale Radarkeule. Den Bereich des Raketen-Peilsignal musste ich gemäß Instruktionen schätzen und setzte die restlichen sechs Jammer darauf an. Auf dem Bildschirm konnte ich auch ein A-Band Signal eines Spoon Rest erkennen  ( P12 Rundumradar )  und legte meinen A-Band-Jammer darauf. Danach konnte ich nur noch warten - und hielt ständig ein Auge auf den Frequenzbereich zwischen 850MHz und 875MHz, wo die Uplinks  ( Lenkkommandos an die fliegende Fla Rakete vom Sender am Boden ) für die SA-2s zu erwarten waren."
 

Video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yRwdq7uXMk&feature=related Vienam Linebaker 2

 

Includes the situation of Hanoi (Linebacker-II raid 19.12.1972.), with B-52's, Wild Weasel's, and SR-71.
4:40am 19th of December, 1972. Hundred plane is participating in the third wave, during Night-1 of the Linebacker-II raid against Hanoi, the biggest bombardment of a city since World War-II. 51 B-52 will deliver carpet bombing against the Kinh No Industrial Complex (18 B-52), Gia Lam Rail Road Yard (12 B-52), and the Hanoi Radio (21 B-52). The supporting force consist of 36 F-4E Phantom-II, 6 F-105G Wild Weasel, 2 EB-66B Destroyer, 2 EA-6B Prowler, 1 EC-135 Looking Glass and 1 EC-121H AWACS. The nine SA-2 battery, defending Hanoi is firing 35 missiles during 16 engagements. B-52D `Rose-01` is shot down, Cpt. Richard Cooper, and TSgt. Charlie Poole dies. Cpt. Hal Wilson, Cpt. Charles Brown, Maj. Fernando Alexander, and Cpt. Henry Barrows are survives the ejection. B-52D `Rainbow-01` is also hit, but able to fly back to base.

 

Rose 1 wurde am 19. Dezember 1972 abgeschossen :

Cpt. Richard Cooper, TSgt. Charlie Poole wurden dabei getötet.

Cpt. Hal Wilson, Cpt. Charles Brown, Maj. Fernando Alexander, Cpt. Henry Barrows     überlebten durch Absprung aus dem Flugzeug

 

 

In der 2. Nacht wurden 180 Fla Raketen  geschossen.  2 Bomber   B52 wurden beschädigt aber   fanden nach  Hause zurück.

In der 3. Nacht wurden 6 Bomber abgeschossen , 200 Raketen geschossen .

In den nächsten 3 Tagen wurde kein Flugzeug mehr verloren, eines wurde beschädigt.

 

                    

 

 

Die Luftverteidigung war erschöpft. Am 26 .  Dezember 1972  begann der größte und schwerste Anflug in der Geschichte des Krieges. 9932 Tonnen Bomben wurden in dieser Nacht durch Bomber abgeworfen, 120  Bomber  B52 waren im Einsatz. In Wellen a 2 Minuten und 3 er Gruppen wurde angeflogen . Die Vietnamesen verteidigten ihre Städte :  68 Luftabwehrsysteme S 75 DWINA  waren einsatzbereit und vernichteten 2 Bomber .

Die 9 -11. Nacht hatte keine Verluste für die Bombenflugzeuge.

Am 23. Dezember ging ein Störflugzeug EB 6 Prowler  verlustig. Als Ursache wurde Motorversagen angeben. Am 27. Dezember wurden durch den Fla Raketenkomplex  S 75  "DWINA "    2  Flugzeuge  Phantom F4 abgeschossen.   Ein Flugzeug    F 111  wurde am 27. Dezember 1972 abgeschossen. 

Der letzte Abschuss eines B52 Bombers erfolgte am 27. Dezember über Hanoi.

Am 27 .Dezember wurden 6 SAM Stellungen durch F4  "Wild Weasel " Flugzeuge bombardiert. Der Anflug der B 52 Bomber erfolgte 20 Minuten später

Insgesamt wurden 92 Piloten und Crewmitglieder abgeschossen , 59 gerieten in Gefangenschaft,  die anderen starben bei den Abschüssen.

 

 

 


 I.

Die verschossenen Raketen wurden durch körperliche anstrengende Arbeit auf die Rampen geladen. Die Angriffe der B52 hatten erst Erfolg, nachdem diese Feuerabteilungen leer geschossen waren und Probleme mit dem Nachschub von Fla Raketen auftraten.

 

Chung bath lake im Zentrum von Hanoi

 

Frauen laden Fla Raketen auf die Rampe

An einem Fla Raketenkomplex  SA75   wurde durch eine nordvietnamesische   Frauenmannschaft  ( ! ) der Startbatterie   24 ( ! ) mal  ununterbrochen nachgeladen.  Frauen luden die Fla Rakete auf die Rampe. Bomber flogen an , der Himmel brannte . Der Himmel war voller Fla Raketen. Frauen hingen mit ihrem Gewicht am Ladebalken, keuchten und kurbelten die Rakete auf den Balken.

 

II.

Am 27. Dezember 1972 wurde  erstmals mit einem Jäger - Flugzeug  MIG 21 ein B 52 Bomber im Luftkampf abgeschossen werden.  Leutnant Nguen van Tuan    war später der erste Astronaut / Kosmonaut, der für die Republik Vietnam  mit einem russ. Raumschiff um die Erde kreiste. Die Amerikaner behaupten Fla Raketenfeuer als Abschussursache.


         
III.

Laut einem TV Beitrag im russ. Staatsfernsehen ( 5 Teile ) gingen 31 Bomber 52 während des Krieges und während der Operation Linebacker II verlustig.   Der erste Luftangriff gegen Hanoi begann am 19. Dezember 1972 um 04 Uhr in der früh. Der letzte Abschuss eines B52 Bombers erfolgte am 27. Dezember über Hanoi. Das Flugzeug liegt bis heute im Chung bath lake im Zentrum von Hanoi als Denkmal.  Der Wert der Flugzeuge allein betrug 248 US $. Während Linebacker II wurden durch Raketensoldaten am S 75 System 17 Bomber  B52 vernichtet.

 

  B52   abwärts  .   Quelle russ. Staats TV

 

  IV

Während der Operation Linebaker II waren während der nächtlichen Angriffe bis zu 20 fliegende Flugabwehrraketen gleichzeitig im Nachthimmel zu sehen.

Der letzte Abschuss eines B52 Bombers erfolgte am 27. Dezember über Hanoi. Das Flugzeug liegt bis heute im Chung bath lake im Zentrum von Hanoi als Denkmal.

 der allerletzte fällt  .   Quelle russ. Staats TV

 

V   Die 77. Fla Raketenabteilung  vernichtet    während  " linebaker II "  4 Bomber B52 .

   4 Abschüsse

 

VI  Abschüsse amerikanischer Bomber vom Typ B 52

77./    4 Bomber B52

57./     3 Bomber B52

93./     2 Bomber B52

 


 

Funktechnische Truppen der vietnamesischen Luftverteidigung

 

Darstellung der Luftlage für Flugzeuge und Fla Raketentruppen und Luft -Warnung

                       Bild VKO.ru

Lagedarstellung der RADAR Einheiten der Luftraumaufklärung  für den 18. Dezember 1972 . Beginn Operation Linebaker IIder amerikanischen Luftwaffe gegen Hanoi.

            

 

 


 

  Artikel

 

 

                                The B-52 And Linebacker II

 

                                                 by Charles N. Brown LtCol, USAF (Ret)

The B-52 “Sratofortress” is massive and impressive. Its versatility and adaptability have extended its lifespan in an age when changes in technology often limit the useful life of equipment. Designed in the 1940s and first flown in April 1952, the B-52 is expected to fly well into this century. Most of its crewmembers today were not born when it began flying. Some sons of former B-52 crews are now in those same cockpits. Few aircraft remain operational that long. Will it be a warrior for 100 years?

When Boeing first introduced the design for the B-52, political opposition and governmental financial restrictions left the project in doubt for some years. Then the Berlin Blockade of 1948 and the Korean Conflict indicated that the post-WWII United States would still need a strategic bomber. In the 1950s the B-52 entered the Strategic Air Command (SAC). It has been, and still is, one of the main strategic weapons for both conventional and nuclear warfare.

The Stratofortress has been tested in combat and has added another dimension to its list of capabilities ... that of survival. In Vietnam it proved to be equal to all tasks assigned to it. For eight years it carried bombs into that theatre of conflict. During the “Linebacker II” twelve-day operation over the Hanoi area in 1972, the then 20-year-old plane faced the heaviest concentration of anti-aircraft defenses any aircraft has ever met. Numerous B-52s were hit by surface to air missiles. Fifteen were shot down. Another twenty years passed, and in January 1991, the B-52 was called on again for conventional bombing duty for the 28-day war in the Persian Gulf, “Desert Storm.” It was called up for “Desert Strike” in the Gulf in September 1996 and Kosovo in 1998-1999.

After WWII the Air Force really wanted a large, fast, high-altitude, intercontinental bomber designed for the nuclear age. The first attempt at the XB-52 design came out of Boeing in 1946. Engine power proved to be a limiting factor, as jet engines were still in the design stages. The most likely aircraft candidate was powered by six turbine-propeller engines. This aircraft was still short of goals for power, speed, range, altitude capability, and load carrying capacity. Then in late 1948, Pratt & Whitney came out with the J-57 turbojet engine design. Finally, here was a propulsion system of sufficient power, i.e. 10,000 pounds of thrust, to make the B-52 what the Air Force wanted and needed. Engineering work then moved rapidly. The design with eight jet engines looked so good, Boeing was given a contract for 500 airplanes before a prototype even flew.

Two prototypes were built, XB-52 and YB-52. The YB-52 made the first flight on 15 April, 1952. In addition to the extensive flight testing of these two airplanes, static torture tests of various airframe components and systems continued for two years until the Air Force was satisfied with the structural integrity and operating reliability of this machine. For example, in static tests, wings were flexed up 10 feet and down 22 feet. The entire test program was undoubtedly the most rigorous that any aircraft had been subjected to up to that time. The proof of the extensive design testing is in the decades of service since.

The first operational aircraft was delivered to SAC at Castle AFB, California, 29 June 1955. One noticeable difference over the prototype was that the cockpit was longer and wider for side-by-side pilot/copilot configuration rather than a tandem bubble as in the B-47. On 27 June 1962, the last of 744 planes rolled out of the factory. Through the years, eight models, “A” through “H,” were constructed. Model changes often corresponded with newer and more powerful engine changes. Here are the specifications of these eight models. Weight started out at 450,000 lbs and rose to 488,000 lbs in the H model. Top speed was 650 mph (.86 mach), and all had eight engines. The Pratt & Whitney engines increased from about 10,000 to 17,000 lbs thrust over those years. Unrefueled range increased from 6,000 to over 8,000 miles.

Altitude capability was over 50,000 ft. Defensive armament consisted of guns in the tail. All had four .50 caliber machine guns except the H model, which had a 20mm Gatling cannon. Wingspan was 185 ft., much longer than the 120 feet of the Wright Brothers’ first flight. Wing sweep-back was 35 degrees. Length ranged from 156 to 169 feet. Tail height was originally 48 ft but was lowered to 40 feet 8 inches on the G and H models. The B-52 had a crew of six: pilot, copilot, navigator, radar navigator, electronic warfare officer, and gunner. The gunner was the only enlisted crewmember. His station was moved from the tail to the cabin on G & H models and then removed along with his weapon after the 1991 Gulf War. Bomb weight loads varied with the mission but could go over 60,000 lbs.

As one looks at a B-52, there are some features that differ from most other types of aircraft. The wing is attached to the top of the fuselage, because it is so long and flexible it would touch the ground otherwise. Outrigger retractable wheels on the wing tips keep the wings from touching the ground when loaded with fuel. Wings mounted at a high degree of incidence enable the plane to take off, climb, descend, and land in a relatively level attitude. It gives a lifting sensation, more like an elevator, than a typical aircraft.

The main landing gear consists of eight wheels in four sets of two each. These trucks can be turned from the cockpit. Its primary use is to point the fuselage of the aircraft more into the wind for cross wind takeoffs and landings, while the wheels roll straight down the runway. Fuel is carried in the external tip tanks, in tanks within the wings, and a tank within the fuselage. There are eight engines in four pods with two engines per pod. The aircraft has an uncon-ventional flight control system on the wings. In place of ailerons to turn the aircraft, there are banks of finger-like spoilers that are activated as needed when lateral corrections are made. When a spoiler is raised, lift is reduced, and the wing lowers relatively, creating a turn. The spoilers are also activated by another cockpit lever for use as dive brakes. The spoilers rise on both wings together to whatever degree desired by the pilot to reduce lift for rapid descents without changing the pitch attitude of the nose very much. Huge flaps at the trailing edge of the wings create added lift for takeoff and landing.

What can’t be seen from the outside are internal operating systems. The A to F models used hot bleed air from the jet engines at 750 degrees F and 250 lbs/sq inch to operate electrical generators, hydraulic pumps, heating and air conditioning, and de-icing. The G and H models changed to direct engine mechanical driven electrical generators and hy- draulic pumps as found in most other types of aircraft. Each system had its advantages and disadvantages. Design engineers and operators were surprised during the 1972 Vietnam twelve-day Linebacker II bombing offensive to find that the older aircraft systems in the D models survived with air combat damage better than the newer G models. On the G models, when engines were shot up, components driven off those engines were also lost. With the D models, an engine loss did not mean corresponding system loss since hot air from any remaining engines continued to drive the system components.

What also cannot be seen from outside is the cockpit and four other crew stations. These stations were loaded with flight instrumen- tation, navigation, bombing, electronic countermeasures, and gun equipment. These have continually updated over the years as technology changed.

The B-52 was originally designed as a high altitude nuclear carrier. By the time it began operating, the requirements changed because in the Cold War, radar was used by both sides to detect aircraft and missiles. The solution was to drop the aircraft down to treetop level for its runs into and out of enemy territory. This required low level terrain avoidance equipment for the pilots to fly day and night in any weather at 200 ft above the ground and acquire and bomb the assigned target. This is infinitely more difficult than high altitude bombing from 35,000-40,000 feet and considerably more stressful for the aircraft and crew. This stress was due to normal low-level air turbulence and the hazards of flying close to the terrain, especially mountainous areas. This became the primary strategic procedure during the Cold War. High altitude bombing was revived for the Vietnam War when conventional non-nuclear weapons were used.

A total of 744 B-52s were built of all models. The peak number operational in SAC at one time was in 1962 with 38 wings and over 700 operational aircraft. In the 1970s this was down to 400, as earlier models were retired to storage in the desert near Tucson, Arizona. The 1980s began with about 350. Today in the Air Combat Command and Reserves there are about 94 based at Minot AFB, South Dakota, and Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.

The US military is controlled by our civilian government leadership. The weapons of war are a response to the international political tensions. The B-52 was a product of this environment, and since it was big, sturdy, and capable of changing with the times, it has served our country’s purposes well for decades.

For many years in SAC, the typical mission routine at US B-52 bases was something like this: The average unit supported about fifteen B-52 aircraft. About a third of these, with their crews, were on ground alert 24 hours a day. Crews were on alert at a special area of the base where they lived, ate, slept, and had their aircraft parked. They operated there for a week at a time. Aircraft were fueled, loaded with nuclear weapons, and systems were checked and positioned every day for speedy response. The normal alert time requirement was to be airborne within fifteen minutes if an alert sounded. When national defense readiness conditions increased, this response time dropped to just five minutes. Individual B-52 aircraft sat alert thirty days at a time. They were then put back on the flight line for regular flying. Ground alert ended in September 1991.

A typical training flight in a B-52 was six to ten hours long. It could have been day or night. It included all the elements of what would be encountered on a real mission: navigation practice, aerial refueling practice, low level flying and low level bombing. This bombing was scored electronically by fixed or mobile bomb scoring sites, since no weapons were carried on training flights. Occasionally high-altitude bombing was also accomplished, and at night, celestial navigation may have been practiced. The end of the training flights usually included a few practice instrument approaches and “touch-and-go” landings for the two pilots.

From 1958 to 1968 a portion of the B-52s were loaded and kept on airborne alert at various times to guarantee survivability of some aircraft in case of an undetected nuclear attack on the US. The typical “Chromedome” route was up the eastern edge of Canada, past Newfoundland and Iceland to Thule, Greenland, up in the Arctic Circle, then across to Alaska and back down to the western continental US. In addition, one B-52 was kept in orbit over Thule Air Force Base and radar site 24 hours a day. The author served at Thule “Iceman” control in 1962 and 1963. This airborne alert mission placed heavy demands on crews and the aircraft. Maintenance and support services were large. These airborne alerts were stopped in 1968. Probably a significant factor in this decision was an accident involving a B-52. An interior fire started from a hole in a hot air duct on the aircraft orbiting Thule. The crew tried to land at Thule Air Base but crashed short of the runway. It went through the ice in the bay and sank. The US recovered the nuclear weapons, but Denmark, which controls Greenland, was concerned. The international political ramifications of a potential nuclear accident were brought to a head, and so flights of nuclear loaded bombers were suspended.

Discussion of the B-52 would be incomplete without touching on one stable mate, a plane that did a lot of work without much glory. This is the Boeing KC-135 “Stratotanker” that replaced the propeller driven KC-97. The KC- 135 is a gas station in the sky and was an integral part of not only the B-52 mission but also the entire Air Force global response and deployment mission. This aircraft was designed for high speed and high altitude refueling. It is equipped with a telescoping boom. This workhorse of an aircraft was reskinned in the 1970s and re-engined in the 1980s. It will probably be around as long as the B-52, and maybe beyond, because dozens of other aircraft these days, especially tactical fighters, are refueled from tankers. The KC-10 is a newer tanker addition.

Most SAC B-52 training flights had a scheduled practice refueling with a KC-135. Refueling rendezvous times and places were prescheduled. The aircraft come in to the initial point from opposite directions, 1,000 ft apart vertically and offset a couple of miles. The radar operator on the bomber called the turn for the KC-135 which then made a 180 degree turn to roll out a couple of miles ahead of the B-52. The B-52 gradually closed the gap and climbed up to the tanker’s altitude. Tucking that big B-52 up under the fuselage of the KC-135 so the boom could be attached was one tough, sweat producing maneuver. Pilots, even experienced ones, who were new to the B-52 refueling, thought they might never master it. By ten flights, however, they usually qualified by staying hooked on to the boom for five minutes without a disconnect. Soon, a pilot was expected to hold on for fifteen minutes, which is the time re- quired to transfer a typical combat load of fuel. That produced more sweat. Lights on the belly of the KC-135 gave positioning signals to the B-52 pilot. The acceptable envelope for this close formation position was only a few feet in any direction. Out of those limits the boom automatically disconnected and retracted to prevent damage to either airplane.

The B-52 is not what one would call a pilot’s airplane. It’s not flown for fun because it’s basically a big military weapons platform crewed by trained professionals. Joy comes in doing the best possible job as part of a team. One pilot described the B-52 rather lightly in these words: “The aircraft has enough aluminum and steel to make 20,000 garbage cans. If all the wire and cable in it were laid end to end, it would stretch a hundred thousand miles. The combined power of the engines is equal to 12,000 locomotives. And it flies like 12,000 locomotives pulling 20,000 garbage cans on the ends of 100,000 miles of wire.” That’s an exaggeration. It may not be easy to fly, but it’s not that awkward. In fact, if you take away the bomb loads and reduce the huge amount of fuel on board, this B-52 will really perform. Here is a 164,000-185,000 lb empty weight machine that’s normally weighted with nearly twice that in fuel and weapons or another 300,000 lbs up to a total of 488,000 lbs. I think when it’s light, it will still out-climb and out-run many civilian and military aircraft put in the skies during the last 40 years.

In addition to bombs, the B-52 was retrofitted to carry guided missiles. In the 1960s & 1970s it was the nuclear “Hound Dog.” One AGM-28 was mounted under each wing. It was basically an unmanned aircraft powered by a large jet engine. Speed was 1,200 mph and range 500 miles. It had its own navigation and guidance to target after programming by the B-52 navigators. When carried for training, the pilots could start and operate those two jet engines in addition to the eight others. Later on, a nuclear missile called SRAM (short range attack missile) was carried. In the last decade the B-52 has gone through extensive upgrades in weapons and systems to provide flexibility and increased capabilities for both nuclear and conventional use. These include both precision guided missiles and gravity weapons. Examples are the AGM-86 series of air launched cruise missiles and the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition).

With this background we’re ready to talk about the B-52 involvement in Vietnam. The US Air Force first became involved in Vietnam in 1950. B-52s began flying missions to South Vietnam out of Guam on 18 June 1965, a twelve-hour flight. These were F models converted to carry fifty-one 750 lb bombs (27 inside and 24 outside). The usual white nuclear anti-blast color underside was painted black. This made them less visible from the ground. In those days the top half of the plane was silver with the standard SAC and USAF stars & stripes markings. Later all B-52s were painted camouflage colors on the tops with the Vietnam iron bombers given black bottoms and the nuclear carriers white. The current painting is solid dark. In 1966, older D models replaced the Fs at Guam. These older Ds were given a “big belly” modification that allowed them to carry 108 (84 inside and 24 outside) of the 500 lb and 750 lb bombs.

In two years, B-52s flew 10,000 sorties to Vietnam from Guam. In 1967, B-52s began flying out of Thailand. Missions were only three to five hours versus twelve hours from Guam, and heavier bomb loads could be carried since less fuel was needed. Workload on crews and maintenance were less. In-flight refueling wasn’t needed regularly. These daily schedules continued for another five years. The steady increase in US military involvement in Vietnam caused considerable unrest among people at home, and years of peace negotiations were ineffective.

During the last half of 1972, there had been a buildup of B-52s on Guam to augment the B-52D models in Thailand. Whole wings of US based nuclear bombs, support people, and support equipment were deployed to Guam, including those from the author’s 97th Bomb Wing at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas. By December there were fifty-four B-52Ds in Thailand and 152 B-52s (53 D models and 99 G models) on Anderson Field in Guam for a total of 206 bombers avail-able in the theater. In addition, there were now 450 tactical support aircraft assembled in Thailand: F-4s, F-105s, F-111s, A- 7s and EB-66s.

In the fall of 1972, negotiations between the US and North Vietnam to end the war were being held in Paris. On October 8th, Henry Kissinger indicated finally that North Vietnam accepted virtually all American terms including a cease-fire and return of all US POWs. On October 18, Kissinger flew to South Vietnam for coordination. On October 24th, he announced in Washington, “Peace is at hand.” On November 20th, both sides returned to Paris, but North Vietnam appeared to stall. Finally, on December 4th, the final session in Paris, the North Vietnamese rejected previous agreements on key issues, and negotiations fell apart. President Nixon then told Kissinger in the oval office, “If we renew bombing, it will have to be something new, and that means we will have to hit Hanoi and Haiphong with B-52s. Anything less will only make the enemy contemptuous.” On December 15th, the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Pacific Command to prepare for maximum effort strikes. This action at Guam and Thailand meant no more B-52 take-offs on routine missions. All aircraft were recovered, which took up to twelve hours, and they were loaded and prepared for a new mission assignment. On December 16th, in Washington, Kissinger announced the talks failed to produce an agreement. The following message was sent from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Pacific Command on December 17th: “You are directed to commence at 1200Z, 18 Dec 1972, a three-day maximum effort, repeat maximum effort, of B-52 and tactical aircraft strikes in the Hanoi-Haiphong area on the authorized target list. Be prepared to extend operations past three days if directed.”

The “Linebacker II” plan was basically daylight low-level tactical aircraft strikes into North Vietnam coupled with high altitude B-52 strikes at night. Targets around Hanoi and Haiphong and its harbor were railroad yards, storage areas, radio communication facilities, power facilities, airfields, SAM (surface to air missile) sites and bridges. North Vietnam possessed the best air defense system in the world, created from Soviet equipment. They had excellent radar, surface-to-air missiles with 200 launchers, 4,000 anti-aircraft artillery guns and 200 MiG fighters.

On the first night, December 18th, 129 B-52s attacked military targets in three waves about four hours apart to provide the psychological impact of continuous bombardment. Each wave had 40-50 bombers. The B-52 flew in three-ship cells with 500 ft vertical and a one-mile horizontal separation between aircraft. Two to three minutes separated the three ship-cells. The first casualty of Linebacker II was a B-52G from Blytheville, Arkansas, (the author’s home base) in wave one. At the bomb release point two SAMs hit it simultaneously. The aircraft nosed down, crashed and exploded ten miles northwest of Hanoi. The pilot, Lt Col Rissi, and gunner, MSgt Ferguson, lost their lives due to the SAM detonation. The copilot, 1Lt Thomas, was missing in action (MIA). Radar navigator, Maj Johnson; navigator, Capt Certain; and electronic officer, Capt Simpson, successfully ejected, were captured, and became SAC’s first POWs. Their pictures were publicized by the North Vietnamese and were reprinted in both Time and Newsweek a few weeks later. They were released when POWs were returned. Through the course of the next ten nights of combat, fourteen other crews shared this crew’s fate in varying degrees. The first night’s 129 sorties ended with three B-52s downed and two badly damaged. This was a two and a half per cent loss rate. SAC planners had expected higher losses. Over 200 SAMs were fired.

The second night, 19 December, consisted of 93 bombers. None were shot down in the 180 SAM firings. Two were damaged but limped home OK. On night three, 20 December, it was a different story. Four B-52Gs and two B-52Ds were downed with one more “D” damaged. Again, over 200 SAMs were fired. One of the aircraft shot down was the lead B-52G in wave three. It was hit by a SAM while in its high bank turn after bomb release. Three of seven on board ejected successfully: pilot, navigator, and wave commander, Lt Col Keith Heggen, the author’s roommate. The first two were returned after the war as POWs. Lt Col Heggen died in captivity after ten days from injures due to the SAM explosion.

Two cells behind Heggen’s aircraft was a B-52G from Blytheville AFB which was hit by a SAM in the forward fuselage. The pilot, Capt Craddock, struggled with the aircraft after a brief dive and was able to regain control when a second SAM hit it. Bailout was ordered, but the aircraft exploded. The gunner, SSgt Loller, was the only one to eject successfully. He was taken prisoner. The other five were MlAs.

Things improved the next three nights with changes in tactics for support and B-52 aircraft, and reduction in North Vietnam capa-bilities. No B-52s were shot down those three nights, and only one was damaged.

At Christmas time, President Nixon called a 36-hour cease-fire as a goodwill gesture and observance of Christmas Day. Aircrews needed the rest, and maintenance needed the extra time to fix the aircraft. The December 26th offensive plan was different. One hundred twenty B-52s were massed into a single wave formation to strike ten target complexes from different directions and altitudes at the same time. This was the largest formation of B-52s ever, and nothing like it had been done since WWII. The bombing plan was done by computer at SAC headquarters, Offutt AFB, Nebraska. B-52s dropped 9,932 bombs that night. Two aircraft were shot down by 68 SAMs.

KC-135 tanker support for December 26 was noteworthy. There were 194 KC-135s in the theatre. In 24 hours they made 763 refuelings. The majority, or 607, were in support of tactical aircraft.

The 9th, 10th, and 11th nights saw lighter assaults. Only one aircraft was lost on the ninth night, December 27th. The last B-52 of Linebacker II landed at Guam shortly after noon, 30 December 1972. In those twelve days, with eleven nights of bombings, we lost fifteen B-52s from over 1,000 SAM firings and AAA. Thirteen tactical aircraft were also lost. The total number of SAC B-52 crewmembers involved in the shoot-downs was 92. Fifty-nine (two-thirds) were recovered right away or as POWs. The rest were killed or were MIA. Other non-B-52 aircrews shot down totaled 29 with 17 recovered and the remainder killed or MIA.

What was the political result? A British expert on Asia, Robert Thompson said, “In my view, by 30 December 1972, after eleven days of those B-52 attacks on Hanoi, you had won the war, and it was over. They fired 1,242 SAMs and had none left. They and their rear base at that point were at your mercy. They would have taken any terms. And that is why, of course, you actually got a peace agree-ment in January which you had not been able to get in October.”

One member of the US delegation to the Paris peace talks said: “Prior to Linebacker II the North Vietnamese were intransigent, buying time and refusing to discuss even a formal meeting schedule. After Linebacker II they were shaken, demoralized and anxious to talk about anything.” Henry Kissinger said, “There was a deadlock in the middle of December, and there was rapid movement when negotiations resumed on 8 January.” These facts have to be analyzed by each person for himself. The talks swiftly produced an agreement that ended the role of the US in Vietnam and brought the POWs home as well as most of the deployed aircraft and people. But of course, there was a price, not only in lost aircraft and tax dollars, but also in lost crewmembers who are still remembered by their fellow fliers, their families, and friends.

Linebacker II happened 29 years ago. It was just one chapter in the B-52 Stratofortress story. Who knows when the last chapter will be written on this amazing aircraft?

 

 

Flugrouten der B52 Bomber und SR 71

 

 

Flugbericht  Unterdrückung SAM 2 Flugabwehr     Dez. 1972

Flugbericht  Unterdrückung SAM 2 Flugabwehr     Dez. 1972

Flugbericht  Unterdrückung und Zerstörung von SAM durch air force   1. Nacht  "linebaker II"

Ein Augenzeuge  und Pilot