The B-52 Line of Maximum Destruction

B-52 Line

As darkness settled in the North Vietnamese countryside on December 18, 1972, the first aircraft in a massive force of 129 B-52 Stratofortresses heavy bombers approached its target, with its characteristic engine humming in the background. At 7:43pm, the Hoa Lac Airfield, located only 15 miles west of the North Vietnamese capital city, was impacted. For the next 12 days, the theory and viability of American high-altitude strategic bombardment would be put to the test once more, aiming for some of the most heavily defended targets in the history of aerial warfare, even to this day. In an attempt to force the North Vietnamese into returning to the negotiating table, Operation Linebacker II employed air power to its maximum capabilities, targeting radio stations, railroads, power plants, and airfields. With the 1972 mission, the United States Strategic Air Command assembled the largest heavy bomber strikes ever launched by the service since World War 2…

Credit Dark Skies