Ho Chi Minh Trail 1964–73: Steel Tiger, Barrel Roll, and the secret air wars in Vietnam and Laos (Air Campaign) (Paperback)

Ho Chi Minh Trail 1964–73: Steel Tiger, Barrel Roll, and the secret air wars in Vietnam and Laos (Air Campaign) Cover Image
By Peter E. Davies, Adam Tooby (Illustrator)
On Our Shelves Now!
Traverse City
1 on hand, as of Jun 19 5:05pm


The secret history of America's air war to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the supply routes upon which Communist victory in the Vietnam War was dependent.

The Trails War formed a major part of the so-called “secret war” in South East Asia, yet for complex political reasons, including the involvement of the CIA, it received far less coverage than campaigns like Rolling Thunder and Linebacker. Nevertheless, the campaign had a profound effect on the outcome of the war and on its perception in the USA.

In the north, the Barrel Roll campaign was often operated by daring pilots flying obsolete aircraft, as in the early years, US forces were still flying antiquated piston-engine T-28 and A-26A aircraft. The campaign gave rise to countless heroic deeds by pilots like the Raven forward air controllers, operating from primitive airstrips in close contact with fierce enemy forces. USAF rescue services carried out extremely hazardous missions to recover aircrew who would otherwise have been swiftly executed by Pathet Lao forces, and reconnaissance pilots routinely risked their lives in solo, low-level mission over hostile territory. Further south, the Steel Tiger campaign was less covert. Arc Light B-52 strikes were flown frequently, and the fearsome AC-130 was introduced to cut the trails. At the same time, many thousands of North Vietnamese troops and civilians repeatedly made the long, arduous journey along the trail in trucks or, more often, pushing French bicycles laden with ammunition and rice. Under constant threat of air attack and enduring heavy losses, they devised extremely ingenious means of survival.

The campaign to cut the trails endured for the entire Vietnam War but nothing more than partial success could ever be achieved by the USA. This illustrated title explores the fascinating history of this campaign, analyzing the forces involved and explaining why the USA could never truly conquer the Ho Chi Minh trail.

About the Author

Peter E Davies has published more than 45 books, including over 30 for Osprey Publishing. He has specialised in the aircraft of the Vietnam and Cold War periods, analysing tactics, background politics and technologies in a range of combat situations. Original first-hand interviews and unpublished illustrative material have been a hallmark of his work. In many instances he has sought to explore specific military incidents from past conflicts. Peter has also been a contributor to publications such as Aeroplane Monthly, Aviation News and Aircraft Illustrated.

Adam Tooby is an internationally renowned digital artist and illustrator. His work can be found in publications worldwide and as box art for model aircraft kits. He also runs a successful illustration studio and aviation prints business. He is based in Cheshire, UK. To buy artwork, or contact the artist, visit http://www.adamtooby.com/.

Praise For…

"Peter Davies and illustrator Adam Tooby have crafted a valuable history of the transportation web … The photographs alone are an education, and Mr Tooby contributes some impressive paintings of warplanes in action over the trail, which by 1975 had become a network of asphalt highway thousands of miles in length." - War Bird Forum

"The Ho Chi Minh Trail, which helped supply North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces during the Vietnam War, certainly deserves a volume of its own." - Foreign Affairs

Product Details
ISBN: 9781472842534
ISBN-10: 1472842537
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2020
Pages: 96
Language: English
Series: Air Campaign