From the start of the Cold War to the fall of Saigon, from the jungles of Africa and beaches of Cuba to the polar icecap and mountains of Tibet, this book presents a comprehensive overview of U.S. air-supported covert operations against the Soviet bloc.
Author Curtis Peebles brings a sense of continuity to the shifting, shadowy battlefronts of the Cold War with one fascinating account after another of American intelligence services fighting against some of the most formidable secret police states the world has ever seen. To provide the big picture he draws on recent scholarship and Soviet-era archives and weaves together the known with the unknown. He describes early attempts to set up spy cells behind the Iron Curtain that were doomed by the infamous British traitor Kim Philby, Operation Mongoose, clandestine airlines, and offers details of the CIA's secret spy plane that appeared in James Bond's`Thunderball'. He reminds readers that many of the operations ended in tragedy, with the agents knowing full well that if captured, their government would disavow them. In relating each operation to the others, he illustrates the changes in U.S. Cold War strategy and governmental policy from the late 1940s to the mid 1970s.
Those looking for an exciting read won't be disappointed with this globetrotting account of gutsy spies, nor will those seeking substantive facts about covert operations in the skies. Peebles provides just the right blend of drama and realistic detail to attract a broad audience.
CURTIS PEEBLES is the author of The Corona Project and 11 other books on aerospace history. He is with the NASA History Office at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB.