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Iron Hand: Smashing the Enemy's Air Defences Hardcover – May 12, 2002

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Thornborough spent his childhood at operational and training bases, and later the commercial aircraft world. He is the author of over twenty aviation titles and lives in Bristol. Frank B. Mormillo is an American aviation photographer in California. He previously collaborated with Tony on Wild Weasels. (Osprey, 1992)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Haynes Publishing (May 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852606053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852606053
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,751,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard Peterson on July 11, 2007
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This is perhaps the best book I have read on the topic. It starts in 1964 and continues thru Kosovo and beyond. It is very readable, brimming with first hand accounts of action, but is still thorough, with plenty of technical detail for the knowledgable. It was very interesting to learn how the various systems looked and worked in practice. This book highlights Navy and Marine efforts, which too often are ignored in favor of focusing just on the Air Force. I was startled to learn that the Marines in 1964 outstripped both the Navy and Air Force in their emphasis on EW (to compensate for the small size of their air component, perhaps?) and that the Navy used the Shrike ARM in Vienam a year before the Air Force. The Air Force efforts are also described in considerable detail, however, particularly the creation of the Wild Weasels.

It is important to understand the focus of the book. SAC and strategic reconnaissance efforts are ignored and the efforts of jammer aircraft (altho not ignored) get comparatively short shrift. The emphasis is on the planes (and aircrew) who sought out and attacked enemy radars and SAM sites, particularly in Vietnam. If you want a broader picture, I recommend getting The History of Electronic Warfare vol. 3 (the first two volumes cover WW2 to 1964). This book is more readable, however, and gives you more of a feel for what it actually was like, packing its story into a much slimmer volume without sacrificing detail.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ong Tso Sheng on September 5, 2002
A good book that describes in some detail the development of wild weasels, associated gears and tactics. Traces development through veitnam to more current times. Good coverage of topics related to WW history and development and some Airforce / Navy politics. Good for the casual readers with no engineering background to follow and understand. For engineers or researchers this will provide a good general background and introduction into this field.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Minnick on June 28, 2003
I worked in the field of EW for 9 years, and so I am very biased about this book, but I am also a harsh critic on books about this topic. I found the book to be a great intro to what exactly electronic warfare is and how it is used on the battlefield. Stories abound, terms are explained, and the writing is in a friendly style. I did find it strange that the book is called "Iron Hand", the term the USN uses, and the front cover photo is of USAF F-16CJs. The USAF uses the term "Wild Weasel".
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John McPherson on September 20, 2014
Vague. No real back story to any of this. Iron Hand was a termed used by the USAF and USN, however it denoted a surface attack against SAM sites using regular strike aircraft. This book is about Weasels.
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