Long classified, it describes not only the program's technological and bureaucratic aspects, but also its political and international context. The book begins by carefully documenting the origins of the U-2, the top-secret testing of the plane, its specially designed high-altitude cameras and complex life-support systems, and even the suggested use of potassium cyanide capsules by the pilots if captured it was up to each pilot to decide if he wanted to take one with him? Once operational, its flight over the USSR in July immediately made the U-2 the most important source of intelligence on the Soviet Union, but its use against the Soviet target for which it was designed produced a persistent tension between its program managers and President Eisenhower, with the former much more eager to expand its use and the latter going along only reluctantly.
This was hardly the end of the U-2's participation in the Cold War. From the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis to the skies of Laos and North Vietnam, the U-2 provided the same top-secret intelligence data as it had in the s on revolts in Indonesia and Tibet.
It contains a significant amount of newly declassified material with respect to the U-2 and Oxcart programs, including names of pilots; codenames and cryptonyms; locations, funding, and cover arrangements; electronic countermeasures equipment; cooperation with foreign governments; and overflights of the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, and other countries. The authors discuss the origins of the U-2, its top-secret testing, its specially designed high-altitude cameras and complex life-support systems, and even the possible use of poison capsules by its pilots, if captured.
The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954?1974
They call attention to the crucial importance of the U-2 in the gathering of strategic and tactical intelligence, as well as the controversies that the program unleashed. For the first time, the more complete release of this historical text is available in a professionally typeset format, supplemented with higher quality photographs that will bring alive these incredible aircraft and the story of their development and use by the CIA.
This edition also includes a new preface by author Gregory W. Pedlow and a foreword by U-2 expert Chris Pocock. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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