Chrome Dome 1960–68

The B-52s' high-stakes Cold War nuclear operation

Chrome Dome 1960–68 cover

Description

In 1960, SAC's B-52s began a nonstop, eight-year, nuclear-armed patrol. Fully illustrated, this study explains how one of the Cold War's most challenging operations was conceived and flown.

Operation Chrome Dome was Strategic Air Command's unprecedented nuclear deterrence operation, a hugely elaborate and costly response to the perceived nuclear missile threat from the Soviet Union.

In this book, Cold War aviation historian Peter E. Davies explains how for eight years, Chrome Dome required 12 B-52 Stratofortresses to maintain a ceaseless airborne alert within striking distance of Soviet targets, orbiting over the Mediterranean and north of Alaska. Each bomber stayed aloft for 24 hours, flying for around 10,000 miles until relieved by another. In each cockpit a top-secret Combat Mission Folder contained details of the routes and procedures for a nuclear attack on a pre-determined Soviet target.

Dramatic and controversial, the years of unrelenting Chrome Dome missions saw several B-52 crashes and losses of nuclear weapons, most famously those in Greenland and off the Spanish coast. Drawing on first-hand information from the personnel who flew and supported these gargantuan efforts, and packed with archive photos, superb new artwork, maps and diagrams, this book offers an authoritative history of how SAC flew its most challenging operation of the Cold War.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
Airborne Alert
Stratofortress
CHRONOLOGY
ATTACKERS' CAPABILITIES
Cold warriors
The DEW Line
Ground alert
Hound dog
Looking glass
DEFENDERS' CAPABILITIES
Soviet offensive forces
Soviet weapons
Soviet defences
Cuba
Sino-Soviet missiles
THE CREWS
SAC rules
Pulling alert
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES
Planning Armageddon
SAC expansion
Finding targets
SIOP
THE CAMPAIGN
Buff riders
Chrome Dome begins
Moles
Mainland mishaps
ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

Product details

Published Jul 18 2024
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472860569
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Illustrated throughout with 65 photos and 16 pages of original colour illustrations
Series Air Campaign
Short code ACM 46
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors

Author

Peter E. Davies

Peter E. Davies has specialized in the aircraft of…

Illustrator

Adam Tooby

Adam Tooby is an internationally renowned digital…

Resources

Book Vote

Tell us what titles you would like to see published by Osprey, then vote for your favourites in our monthly book vote!

Related Titles

Sign up for Osprey membership for access to thousands of plane profiles, maps, battle scenes and more. Plus up to 30% off website purchases