V Bombers
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V Bombers

Britain's Nuclear Frontline

Author:Tony Redding
Dimensions:6" x 9"
Publisher:Grub Street Publishing
Item No. 9781911667872

A sobering and necessary read for all those interested in Cold War history.

This is the story of a very British deterrent. Much has been written about the V-bombers – the Valiant, Victor and Vulcan – but virtually nothing has been said about their strategic nuclear strike role. How would Britain’s small force of subsonic bombers have retaliated following a Soviet attack? Would they have succeeded in visiting thermonuclear catastrophe on their Soviet targets? 

V-Bombers: Britain’s Nuclear Frontline in the Cold War is the first detailed account of the operational capability and credibility of the airborne nuclear deterrent during the peak years of confrontation with the Soviet Union. 

This book is the product of seven years of research by the author, Dr Tony Redding. It includes a great deal of fresh material on V-Force weapons, war mission, targeting, vulnerabilities and tactics for attacking targets within Soviet Russia. Over 70 V-Force aircrew and ground crew were interviewed and over 300 operational research reports and other official documents reviewed. The author demonstrates how the V-bombers retained a unilateral capacity to destroy a small number of the very largest cities in the Soviet Union in the period until the handover of the strategic nuclear deterrent to the Polaris submarines in 1969. 

This core retaliatory threat, centered on the destruction of Moscow and Leningrad, was judged severe enough to undermine Russia’s position in relation to the United States. In short, a few British V-bombers had the destructive capacity to destabilize the balance between the superpowers. 

The book concludes that, within the first few hours, a small force of surviving V-bombers could have unleashed the explosive power of all Allied bombs dropped on Germany in six years of war.

A sobering thought and a fascinating and necessary read for all those interested in this period of history.