Saturday, July 25, 2015

Book Review: Air Warfare in the Missile Age

Lon O. Nordeen
Air Warfare in the Missile Age
Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002
Category: Aviation History

Rating: 5-Stars

Air Warfare in the Missile Age provides a comprehensive overview of how aerial warfare has evolved over the decades - from the Vietnam War beginning in 1964 through the Balkan Civil Wars during the 1990s.  There are of course, many books that have been written covering many of these subjects in great detail.  What sets Nordeen's book apart is the broader perspective that it provides for how air war has been conducted, and has changed across the decades.

Nordeen mixes first-hand accounts from many of the crucial conflicts, with summaries of the role of air power in each confrontation, and the armament and training of the respective air forces.  His rolling, easy-to-read style helps to make the information readily absorbed.  The book further supplements the text with a variety of tables that help to quickly summarize the respective losses and victories of each combatant, as well as the aircraft and weapons involved.

Although the book includes conflicts that have been heavily covered elsewhere - such as the Vietnam War and Arab-Israeli Wars, it also provides an overview for conflicts that are less well known, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1965 and 1971, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, and the Balkan Civil Wars of the 1990s.

Now in its second printing of its second edition (released in 2010), Air Warfare in the Missile Age offers a sweeping overview of how modern air power continues to evolve and change the face of war.

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