Tactical Reconnaissance in the Cold War

Review by Martin Koenigsberg

Tactical Reconnaissance is information that the ground soldiers and the frontline targetters can use- so this book is about attempts to overfly the Warsaw Pact and Chinese territory during the Cold War. Rather than the U-2s, SR-71s and satellites that may be more famous- this is about RF-80s, RF-86s, RF-84s, RB-57s, RB-66s, RF-101s and finally RF-4s, with a few other types thrown in for good measure that did the work of finding the tactical Soviet threat as opposed to the nuclear options. Doug Gordon, an author on an eclectic number of topics, uses records and a lot of personal memoirs and interview to give the pilot’s views of this history. It’s a very informative book, whether the reader is a general interest fan or a dyed in the wool military history buff. One of the treats to reading the last few chapters of this book was actually getting to have access to a former USAF F-4 Pilot who was a fellow traveler and finishing it at Clark Base in the Philippines. What few questions I had after reading this book got cleared up at breakfast or lunch. The reader with less resources will still get most of their questions about the US Air Force’s information quests answered. Some of the mishaps are quite harrowing- and the tension of the Cold War comes through every page. I think this story will hold the attention of all kinds of readers. There are a few adult themes, and some graphic injury descriptions when missions went wrong, so this book is for the Junior Reader over about 12/13 years with an interest in Aviation. For the Gamer/Modeler/Military Enthusiast- this book is a real font of information. For the Gamer, the General recon/pre-target/post target Bomb Damage Assessment recon mission, with or without escort is a basic scenario right there- and this book explains all sorts of other variations-even ECM from the late period. The Modeler gets a tonne of b/w pictures- of all sorts of aircraft in all sorts of conditions- lots of diorama/build ideas. The Military enthusiast gets a lot of great content on a realm of aviation usually over powered by the combat element. A good look at a more nuanced part of the Cold war struggle. #WhatAreYouReading #BookReviews #20thCenturyHistory #MilitaryHistory #AvGeek #AviationHistory #AmericanHistory #SovietHistory #KoreanHistory #CubanHistory #VietnamWar #ColdWar #AerialPhotography #WargameResearch #TacticalReconaissanceInTheColdWar #1945toKoreaCubaVietnamAndTheIronCurtain #DougGordon #PenAndSwordAviation #RF80 #RF86 #RF84 #RF101 #RF4 #BloodRedSkies #TeamYankee #ColdWarWargames

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