The Cold War Defense of the United States

Strategy, Weapon Systems and Operations


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SKU: 9781476677200 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

During the Cold War, as part of its defense strategy against the Soviet Union, the U.S. was forced to establish means of massive long-range attack in response to Soviet advancements in weaponry. These defenses detected and tracked manned bomber aircraft, hostile submarines and missiles launched from the other side of the world. This book shows how these defenses evolved from fledgling stop-gap measures into a complex fabric of interconnected combinations of high-tech equipment over 40 years. Maps illustrate the extent of the geographic coverage required for these warning and response systems and charts display the time frames and vast numbers of both people and equipment that made up these forces.

About the Author(s)

Retired engineer John E Bronson lives in Keizer, Oregon.

Bibliographic Details

John E Bronson

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 84 photos, maps, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7720-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3581-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. Politics and Motivations 5
Changes on the World Scene and U.S. Actions 5  •  Detection and Response Forces 12
2. Defending Against Attack by Airplanes 14
Defending the U.S. from ­Long-Range Attack 21  •  The First Radar Networks: Lashup and Permanent 22  •  Initial Fighter Aircraft Area Defenses 25  • Deploying ­Ground-Based Point Defenses 42  •  The Pine Tree Line Radars 56  •     The DEW Line of Radars 59  •  Centralizing the Control of Radars, Fighters and Missiles 63
3. Defense Against Submarines 82
Finding Submarines at the End of World War II 88  •  Naval Fleet to Find Submarines 133  •  Keeping Up with the Soviets’ Improving Submarines 146  •  Improved Naval Fleet to Find Submarines 161
4. The U.S. Establishes Strategic Deterrence 165
History of Aerial Bombardment in U.S. Forces 165  •  Building SAC’s Global Bombardment Force 179  •  The First ­Long-Range Missiles: Thor, Jupiter and Atlas 199  •  Establishing Submarine Bases: Polaris, Poseidon and Trident 210  •      The Minutmen: Improved Continental Range Missiles 213
5. Sky Watching 223
Collecting the Information at a Single Site called NORAD 223  •  Ballistic Missile Early Warning System 227  •  Anti-Missile Missiles: Nike Zeus or X 228  •     Deploying an ABM: Sentinel and Safeguard 231  •  Tracking Space Objects 233  •  How NORAD Is Watching 237
6. Results and Conclusions 240
A Tremendous Amount of Building 240  •  Many People Did Military Service in These Defenses 244  •  The Fall of the Soviet Communist Threat 246  •  Where Does That Leave Us? 247
Glossary 251
Historic Sites 253
Chapter Notes 255
Bibliography 259
Index 265