- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: University of Arkansas Press (July 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1557286019
- ISBN-13: 978-1557286017
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Titan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program
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From the Inside Flap
The Titan II ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) program was developed by the United States military to bolster the size, strength, and speed of the nation's strategic weapons arsenal in the 1950s and 1960s. Each missile carried a single warheadthe largest in U.S. inventoryused liquid fuel propellants, and was stored and launched from hardened underground silos. The missiles were deployed at basing facilities in Arkansas, Arizona, and Kansas and remained in active service for over twenty years. Since military deactivation in the early 1980s, the Titan II has served as a reliable satellite launch vehicle. This is the richly detailed story of the Titan II missile and the men and women who developed and operated the system. David K. Stumpf uses a wide range of sources, drawing upon interviews with and memoirs by engineers and airmen as well as recently declassified government documents and other public materials. Over 170 drawings and photographs, most of which have never been published, enhance the narrative. The three major accidents of the program are described in detail for the first time using authoritative sources. Titan II will be welcomed by librarians for its prodigious reference detail, by technology history professionals and laymen, and by the many civilian and Air Force personnel who were involved in the programa deterrent weapons system that proved to be successful in defending America from nuclear attack."
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David Stumpf previously wrote a book on the Navy's Regulus cruise missile that is a pretty comprehensive history. He did a good job with that one. Now he has turned his attention to the Titan II and done another great job.
Titan II is a detailed history of the development of the United States' second ICBM (technically, it could be considered the third, since it bears only limited resemblance to the Titan I that preceded it). This is a book focused on the technical development of the missile, the development and construction of its launch silos, its launch tests, its operational history, and its retirement from service in the 1980s. It is filled with illustrations, most of which have never been published before. And it is clear from his sources that he did not simply review previously published articles on the Titan II, but interviewed the people who worked on it and gathered information from private archives and previously classified materials.
The book does not go into the development of the space launch version of the Titan. The history of the development of the Titan III and the Titan IV rockets still awaits writing. He does, however, include a chapter on the refurbishment of old Titan II ICBMs into launch vehicles during the 1980s.
Stumpf includes an interesting discussion of the development of missile reentry vehicles. This is a subject that I personally believe could use a book in itself. I think it would be fascinating to trace the development of this technology.
Stumpf also includes an extensive discussion of several accidents involving the Titan II. And he discusses how and why the missiles were ultimately removed from service.
There are also useful appendices at the end of the book, listing the various flight tests (and their accuracy), the missiles produced, and other details.
We can only hope that he turns his attention to other early Cold War missile programs. This is an impressive piece of work.
This book contains facts, figures and an in depth look at the missile program from Atlas to Titian 2. Not a hard read or too technical. I found "The Titian 2 Handbook" an excellent companion on the subject. After reading both books make a visit to the Museum and it will all come together.