Vietnam War Dictionary

Linebacker II

Launched in response to North Vietnam’s withdrawal from the Paris peace talks, Linebacker II was the most brutal bombing campaign of the Vietnam War. The 11-day’s of air strikes, which began on 18th December 1972, targeted the Hanoi and Haiphong areas.

The campaign forced the Communists back to the negotiating table and, by indicating that the US would take action if North Vietnam violated a future peace agreement, was credited with finally gaining President Thieu’s consent for the accords. However, the peace deal signed in January 1973 was little changed from that negotiated in October 1972 and Nixon still had to threaten Thieu that he would sign the agreement alone if necessary.

27 US aircraft were lost, including 15 B-52s, during Linebacker II. 43 US airmen were killed and a further 41 became POWs.

See Linebacker, Rolling Thunder

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