A-4 Skyhawk vs North Vietnamese AAA

...Duel No 104, from Osprey Publishing

Title: A-4 Skyhawk vs North Vietnamese AAA
Author: Peter E. Davies
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4728-4079-0

Number 104 in the Duel series, an 80-page soft-cover book which makes interesting reading for anyone interested in the history of the Vietnam War and US Naval Aviation. Both elements in this one are high on my list of interests. Not just the background of the Vietnam War, but the power of the tiny A4 Skyhawk, a US carrier aircraft which was so small it did not need folding wings yet could carry a bomb load as much as a WW2 Lancaster! Added to that, the variety of NVA AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) employed, all in addition to the then new SA-2 SAMs.
Divided across an Introduction plus 8 more sections the book tackles a Chronology; Design & Development; Technical Specifications; The Strategic Situation; The Combatants; Combat; Statistics & Analysis; and Aftermath. Very much a story of the development of different tactics and indeed of different weapons used by both sides, all well explained, even the training that went into both sides. Illustrated with plenty of archive images and some of the fine colour artwork for which Osprey are so well known, this is a useful little reference.
Back to the days when the US Carriers were a basic component of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, when the Skyhawk was one of a whole mix of aircraft types operating from them, and when not only were the new SA-2 Guideline SAMs being used, but conventional AAA was in widespread use across North Vietnam. Useful material for historians and modellers interested in the Vietnam war, and in the changes in weapons and tactics as the world moved firmly into the missile age.
Thanks to Osprey for our review copy.