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Warthog: Flying the A-10 in the Gulf War (Potomac Books' The Warriors series) Paperback – September 1, 2005


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Warthog: Flying the A-10 in the Gulf War (Potomac Books' The Warriors series) + Strike Eagle: Flying the F-15E in the Gulf War (The Warriors) + Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat
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Product Details

  • Series: The Warriors
  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (September 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574888862
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574888867
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The A-10 is a slow, stick-and-rudder airplane built around a Gatling gun capable of firing 4000 rounds a minute. It is an ugly beast (thus its nickname: Warthog), but "hog drivers" think highly of it because of its ability to remain aloft after absorbing gross punishment from enemy aircraft. Smallwood, who interviewed 143 of the pilots who flew the A-10 in the Gulf War, here presents an exhilarating, fact-packed narrative that conveys the emotional as well as the technical/tactical aspects of the Warthog effort during Desert Storm. In the war's first phase, A-10 squadrons carried out a precise preemptive campaign against targets that could affect the outcome of the allied ground campaign. Throughout that four-day operation, A-10s provided close air support for advancing coalition forces and decimated two Republican Guard divisions. The Warthogs flew an average of 193 missions per day for 42 days and are credited with destroying at least half of the Iraqi armor. Six Warthogs were lost. Two pilots were killed. A valuable addition to air-war literature. Military Book Club main selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A valentine for one of the ugliest, albeit most lethally effective, warplanes ever built--as well as for the men who flew them during the Desert Storm campaign. Drawing on interviews with over one hundred A-10 pilots who served in the Persian Gulf during the 1990-91 hostilities, Smallwood (himself an aviator and Korean War vet) offers riveting perspectives on aerial combat. Setting the stage with an informative briefing on how, in the 70's, the Air Force developed the A-10 (a.k.a. ``Warthog'') as a means of supporting ground troops with massive firepower, he moves into anecdotal vignettes detailing the ways in which so-called ``hog drivers'' and their commanders whiled away the weary hours of the calm before the storm in Saudi Arabia's inhospitable clime. At the heart of his narrative, however, are vivid accounts of how A-10s accomplished their tank-busting missions and then some once the battle was joined. Tasked, among other objectives, to take out missile launchers and artillery emplacements far behind the front lines (assignments normally reserved for jet fighters), the slow-moving, heavily armed Warthogs were credited with over half the bomb damage inflicted on Iraqi forces and installations. Employing improvisational tactics, A-10s also flew reconnaissance and assisted in rescues of coalition pilots; they even scored air-to- air kills, downing a couple of enemy choppers. Indeed, the plane's ungainly Gatling-gun platform performed so well that pilots demanded their craft be redesignated ``RFOA-10'' (for ``reconnaissance/fighter/observation/attack''). An absorbing tale of how a decidedly ugly duckling became a military hero of some consequence. (Nineteen photos, map--not seen) (Main Selection of the Military Book Club) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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It was very well researched.
James Winslow
The author does a good job explaining what it is like to deploy to a battle area without really knowing what is going to happen.
Paul D. McDaniel
A great look into the buildup before Desert Storm and what the pilots did before and during the War in the Gulf area.
eclectic reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By SD TX on March 18, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book because my son has recently been assigned to train in an A-10. I was very impressed with Mr. Smallwood's writing style. He manages to convey the excitement, danger, and novelty of the A-10's mission and the immense dedication of the brave and courageous pilots who flew in the Gulf War. I learned much of the "lingo" used by the "Hog Drivers" so if I hear it in the future I'll understand. I'm pleased to learn that my son will be flying in such a tough machine. I now call the A-10 the "Guardian Angel" of the ground troops. Please convey my appreciation to Mr. Smallwood for his excellent work. S. Doyle Houston TX
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an briliant book, even if you don't like the A-10 (which I love). It tells that story of how a ugly, slow plane became a swan during the Gulf War. You get an understanding of how it must have been to fly the Hog, on missions it wasn't designed for. As I said earlier, if you have just the smallest interest in aviation, you have to read this book, and if you like the A-10 - well then you MUST read this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bill Smallwood did a great job of capturing the true nature of A-10 operations in Desert Storm.
As a former hog driver and 40 combat mission pilot during Desert Storm (511th FS) and one of the guys who the author interviewed extensively for the book, I can assure you it is accurate.
It is an easy and fun read for a quazi-historical tome!
Enjoy!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a former Comm/Nav troop from the 76th that got out before the Gulf War. This book really helped me see what our planes did over there when all the news footage and other specials only show other bases! It was great to "hear" from people I knew on their experiences! I couldn't put the book down!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dimitrios on September 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The A-10 "Warthog" is a slow, ugly warplane but deadly efficient in battle given that it operates under complete air supremacy. The author has done a great job describing in vivid details this potent aerial weapon as well as the brave fliers who took it in the Gulf War for its battle debut. The destruction that A-10s achieved against the Iraqi Army was awesome and the enemy's armour was decimated by the combination of Maverick missiles and the GAU-8/A Anenger gun. Smallwood gives many behind the scenes details of improvisation regarding the use of weapons, the tactics and the ways the pilots used to bring more firepower on the enemy. The vast array of the iraqi air-defense weapons and the dangers that Warthog pilots faced are also presented. Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am in the Air Force, and an admitted Warthog devotee. If you like the aircraft, this is the penultimate book for you, and even if you don't, this is definitely worth a read for any serious military enthusiast. The Warthog is often overlooked, undervalued, and underestimated as a viable air asset, when in truth, it is probably the most robust and useful aircraft in the inventory. The Warthog is it's own worst enemy, however. In an Air Force plagued by cost overruns and computerized, high-end parts, the Warthog takes damage and continues to generate high sortie rates. The book expresses not only the value of the airframe, but the value of the pilots, who often improvise and overcome with their old fashioned, low-tech airplane. I highly recommend this book as an exciting, illustrative read as to the quality and dedication of the Air Force's Warthog detachments.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By LT on December 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although very well documented, it really is not about flying the A-10 but more about the business of deploying and using an airwing in a combat scenario. If you want to know what it's like to manage squadrons of attack aircraft that get shot at every day, this is a very good read. If you are like me, interested in the nitty gritty details of fliping switches and pulling stick while being shot at, look elsewhere. The shooting doesn't start until well past the halfway point of the book and then it's very condensed and perfunctory. Reading through an action sequence feels more like a debriefing than a page turner.

Well written, well documented but unfortunately mislabeled which misleads thrill seekers like me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By eclectic reader on February 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Quick, easy read about the role of the A-10 in the Gulf War. I'm a big fan of oral histories and this uses a lot of interviews with pilots and is written directly from those conversations. A great look into the buildup before Desert Storm and what the pilots did before and during the War in the Gulf area.
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