Every war has its "bridge"Old North Bridge at Concord, Burnside's Bridge at Antietam, the railway bridge over Burma's River Kwai, the bridge over Germany's Rhine River at Remagen, and the bridges over Korea's Toko Ri. In Vietnam it was the bridge at Thanh Hoa, called Dragon's Jaw.
For seven long years hundreds of young US airmen flew sortie after sortie against North Vietnam's formidable and strategically important bridge, dodging a heavy concentration of anti-aircraft fire and enemy MiG planes. Many American airmen were shot down, killed, or captured and taken to the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" POW camp. But after each air attack, when the smoke cleared and the debris settled, the bridge stubbornly remained standing. For the North Vietnamese it became a symbol of their invincibility; for US war planners an obsession; for US airmen a testament to American mettle and valor.
Using after-action reports, official records, and interviews with surviving pilots, as well as untapped Vietnamese sources, Dragon's Jaw chronicles American efforts to destroy the bridge, strike by bloody strike, putting readers into the cockpits, under fire. The story of the Dragon's Jaw is a story rich in bravery, courage, audacity, and sometimes luck, sometimes tragedy. The "bridge" story of Vietnam is an epic tale of war against a determined foe.
|Product dimensions:||9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Stephen Coonts is the author of sixteen New York Times bestsellers, the first of which was the classic aviation fiction thriller Flight of the Intruder. He earned the Navy's Distinguished Flying Cross medal for his naval air service during the Vietnam War. A former lawyer, he lives and writes full time in Colorado Springs.
Date of Birth:July 19, 1946
Place of Birth:Morgantown, West Virginia
Education:B.A., West Virginia University, 1968; J.D., University of Colorado, 1979
Table of Contents
Prologue: Full Throttle ix
Map of Vietnam and Thanh Hoa Bridge xvi
1 "We Will Pay Any Price…" 1
2 A Damned Tough Nut to Crack 10
3 The First Hammer Blow 24
4 "He Did Not Want Any More MiGs Shot Down" 34
5 A Grim Business 52
6 Enter the Navy 68
7 "Unlimited Losses in Pursuit of Limited Goals" 86
8 They Needed a Bigger Bang 102
9 Paying the Price 113
10 Fools, Drunks, and Lost Fighter Pilots 123
11 Carolina Moon 131
12 The Thanh Whore Bridge 148
13 The Bridge Claims Another Victim 159
14 "We Are Mired in a Stalemate" 171
15 "Courage Is Fear That Has Said Its Prayers" 186
16 Nixon and Kissinger 199
17 "You Ain't Hit the Target Yet" 208
18 Back to North Vietnam 218
19 Pounding the North 229
20 "We Dropped the Bridge" 247
21 The Violent Crescendo 257