Warren E Thompson describes the intensive Linebacker bombing campaigns of late 1972 against North Vietnam


A B-52 on its way back to Andersen, Guam, from a mission over Hanoi.

More than 30,000 North Vietnamese troops marched south, violating the De-Militarized Zone, on March 30, 1972. The South Vietnamese army established a defensive line four days later, but this did not stop a force of 20,000 crossing the Cambodian border into South Vietnam. The enemy had the advantage of sheer numbers, and was equipped with armour and heavy artillery.

This happened at a Time when fewer than 10,000 American army personnel remained in South Vietnam. The number of combat aircraft was half of what it had been in 1969.

Only three squadrons of McDonnell F-4 Phantoms – 76 aircraft – were in-country.

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