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The U-2 Spyplane: Toward the Unknown - A New History of the Early Years Hardcover – April 1, 2000


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The U-2 Spyplane: Toward the Unknown - A New History of the Early Years + Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident + 50 Years of the U-2: The Complete Illustrated History of the Dragon Lady
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing; First Edition edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764311131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764311130
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sam on August 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
M. Pocock proves that he is the definite U-2 historian. He not only wrote a good book, he corrected his own previous work. His U-2 early history is a remarquable compilation of new facts and unbiased information on the overflights undertaken by the CIA, clearing loads of misinformation from these troubled times. This book is the one needed when it comes to get some objectivity on the CIA ops during the cold war. Also a new look on Frank Powers' sad adventure. Precise (thanks to his numerous related notes), unbiased and full of personal stories, NOT TO BE MISSED. To Be Previewed in France's AIR FAN aviation magazine
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Falcon09 on March 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really excellent look at the U-2 program from it's inception to an epilogue after Gary Francis "Frank" Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union on Mayday, 1960. The U-2 story begins with the US need to know the nuclear capabilities of the USSR in terms not only of weapons, but also in bombers and then ICBM's. Understandably, in wake of WW II, the worst nightmare of American leadership was a repeat of Pearl Harbor - this time with nucs employed against the American homeland. Eisenhower proposed an "Open Skies" program of mutual intelligence overfligts, but the secretive Communist leadership in the Kremlin rejected it. That, too was understandable. Unlike the USSR, US society was open - and well penetrated by Soviet espionage, both a marked contrast to the USSR. The U-2 flowed from the closed nature of Soviet society and the American fear of a nuclear suprise attack.
Chris Pocock outlines that need and the decision making that lead to the design and development of Kelly Johnson's "angel," the U-2. The award to Lockheed for the U-2 and its subsequent design and development is a fascinating story in itself, in part because the USAF rejected the U-2 in favor of more conventional designs. But the CIA was less concerned with convention and funded the program, which more than met the requirements for overflight of the USSR. Pocock then proceeds to explain the use of the spyplane in a variety of programs including the Soviet overflights. For around 3 years the U-2 successfully gathered an intelligence bonanza in Soviet skies, much to the frustration of Soviet leadership and the PVO - the Soviet air defense arm. Finally, time ran out, and Powers was shot down at altitude by the same SA-2 SAM which US forces would encounter in the thousands over North Vietnam a decade later.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donna Jean on February 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I bought the books from the museum, and they are all awesome! He is defininetly the top-notch historian on U-2 Dragon Lady, not question about it! The book is engaging and provides the types of details about U-2 that cannot be obtained without doing a thorough research. I work at the Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, and we consider Chris Pocock to be the UTMOST expert on the U-2!
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By cj on January 4, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
MY DAD, WHO WAS IN THE AIRFORCE, ENJOYED THIS BOOK
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chingying L. Sloan on August 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book about the U-2 capabilities and history. Something that I have wondered about for a long time and now I know.

Great book.
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More About the Author

Chris Pocock has been writing about the aerospace and defence business for nearly 30 years. He is a British citizen and a graduate of the University of Cambridge. Chris worked in the air cargo business for ten years before becoming a full-time journalist in 1983. He subsequently edited two air cargo journals before becoming defense editor for Aviation International News, which publishes on-site editions at the major aerospace trade shows. He also produces a weekly online newsletter for AIN, and contributes stories to AIN's website.
Chris has written extensively on aerial reconnaissance, including four books on the history of the U-2 spyplane. The CIA historian said that is the foremost authority on the history of the U-2.

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