Disclaimer: I read this book in the Dutch translation The 13th Valley by John Del Vecchio has been called the classic Vietnam novel. Other classic books (e.g. Dispatches by Michael Herr, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian, Chickenhawk by Robert Mason) were first-hand accounts, although O’Brian often crosses the […]

The 13th Valley

The Flugausstellung Hermeskeil in the Hunsrück mountains in western Germany has an interesting collection of mostly Cold War-era military aircraft. It consists of several indoor halls and a large outdoor area. German and British aircraft are well represented, while US Navy aircraft are absent. Among the largest aircraft are a […]

Flugausstellung Hermeskeil

In its 30+ year career with the US Air Force, the F-4 Phantom II wore several distinctive paint schemes, unlike its  Navy brothers. They started out in the same scheme, though – Gull gray and white: This scheme was still in use during the first months of the Vietnam War, […]

USAF F-4 Phantom II paint schemes

To me, the F-4 Phantom II is the greatest jet fighter, and possibly the greatest combat aircraft, ever. A development period of just a few years (compare that to current project such as the Eurofighter, F-22, or JSF) yielded an aircraft that, from its first flight in 1958, set new […]

Review: The Phantom Story

In The Age of Airpower, Martin van Creveld writes about the history and development of airpower. The book is divided into five parts: The beginnings, World War II, the Cold War, smaller wars from 1945 on, and what he calls “war amongst the people”, i.e. counterinsurgency warfare. As such, it […]

Review: The Age of Airpower

In Street without Joy, Bernard Fall describes and analyses France’s failure in the First Indochina War, focusing on the second half (1950-1954). Based on his personal experiences and thorough research both in French and Vietnamese archives (he met and interviewed Ho Chi Minh during one of his visits to North […]

Street without Joy

Chickenhawk, by Robert Mason, tells the story of a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War. Mason had always wanted to fly and already held a private pilot’s license when he volunteered for the Army to fly helicopters. His flight training is recounted in the book. He is then assigned to […]

Chickenhawk & Thud Ridge

The use of Forward Air Controllers is an interesting aspect of aerial and ground warfare. Mosquitoes to Wolves by G.R. Lester describes how airborne FACs matured during the Korean War. Flying the T-6, the “Mosquitoes”  directed close air support strikes and interdiction near the front line. Sadly, lessons learned in […]

Mosquitoes to Wolves