Warthog : Flying the A-10 in the Gulf War

4.15 (307 ratings by Goodreads)

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 268 pages
  • 125 x 205 x 20.32mm | 317.51g
  • Dulles, United States
  • English
  • 19 b&w photographs, maps
  • 1574888862
  • 9781574888867
  • 111,189

Review quote

"Smallwood writes so well that we feel the sweat in the small of our backs and the adrenaline pumping."--F. Clifton Berry Jr. and author of CNN: War In the Gulf
-- (06/02/2017) "An absorbing tale of how a decidedly ugly duckling became a military hero of some consequence."--Kirkus Reviews
--Kirkus Reviews (06/02/2017) "One of the more valuable additions to the literature of the Persian Gulf War."--Booklist
--Booklist (06/02/2017) "Exhilarating, fast-paced narrative."--Publishers Weekly
--Publishers Weekly (06/02/2017) "As fascinating a flying tale as you will ever read, and it's all true."--Mark Berent, author of Steel Tiger
--Mark Berent "A fitting tribute."--Stephen Coonts, author of Flight of the Intruder
--Stephen Coonts
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About William L. Smallwood

An experienced pilot himself, William L. Smallwood served in the Air Force during the Korean War and is the author of Strike Eagle: Flying the F-15E in the Gulf War and the highly acclaimed Warthog: Flying the A-10 in the Gulf War, both part of Brassey's series The Warriors. He lives in Buhl, Idaho.
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Rating details

307 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 38% (117)
4 42% (129)
3 18% (55)
2 2% (5)
1 0% (1)
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