The Collectors

Book Reviews

US and British Cold War Aerial Intelligence Gathering


A comprehensive overview of aerial intelligence during the latter years of the Cold War has been a long time coming in print – at last we have it. Author Kevin Wright has delved deep into previously classified documents in the US and UK to provide the most detailed account to date of RAF, USAF and US Navy spy plane operations around the Eastern Bloc. Beginning in the 1950s with RAF former wartime Spitfires flying out of Hong Kong, the author quickly moves on to the operations of more familiar types, such as the Canberra, RB-47, RC-135 and SR-71. But this isn’t simply a list of historical missions; the text covers the political impact when sorties went wrong and reveals previously unknown operations along the West Berlin corridor.

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