Warthog: Flying the A-10 in the Gulf War

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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." —Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Exhilarating, fast-paced narrative.”

“One of the more valuable additions to the literature of the Persian Gulf War.”

“An absorbing tale of how a decidedly ugly duckling became a military hero.”

“Smallwood writes so well that we feel the sweat in the small of our backs and the adrenaline pumping. . . .”

“A fitting tribute.”

“As fascinating a flying tale as you will ever read, and it’s all true.”

Roland Green
One of the more valuable additions to the literature of the Persian Gulf War, this is the story of the pilots who flew the A-10 Thunderbolt II--affectionately dubbed the Warthog for its lack of aesthetic appeal--in it. Their experiences necessarily included getting a plane without automatic pilot halfway around the world, learning to operate an aircraft intended for daylight work by night, carrying out deep-penetration missions in a close-support plane, and surviving (in most cases) battle damage that would have sent any other plane in the world out of the sky. Smallwood's primary sources are the pilots' accounts. Although knowledge of the overall history of the war will help in fully appreciating the book, it is a definite plus for Gulf War and aviation collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574888867
  • Publisher: Potomac Books
  • Publication date: 9/30/2005
  • Series: The Warriors
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 694,980
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM L. SMALLWOOD is the author of numerous books, including McClure of Idaho and two military book club selections, Warthog: Flying the A-10 in the Gulf War and Strike Eagle: Flying the F15E in the Gulf War, both available from Potomac Books.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2006

    best book ever

    If you like the a-10 at all you will love this book it feels like you are in the cockpit. Flying into the most dangerious places and getting angry when you are told you have to fly all these crazy missions. This is the best book and writer in the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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