Much has been written about the V-bombers – the Valiant, Victor and Vulcan – but virtually nothing has been said about their strategic nuclear strike role. How would Britain’s small force of subsonic bombers have retaliated following a Soviet attack? Would they have succeeded in visiting thermonuclear catastrophe on their Soviet targets? V-Bombers: Britain’s Nuclear Frontline in the Cold War is the first detailed account of the operational capability and credibility of Britain’s airborne nuclear deterrent during the peak years of the Cold War.
This book is the product of six years of research by the author, Dr Tony Redding. It includes a great deal of fresh material on V-force weapons, war mission, targeting, vulnerabilities and tactics for attacking targets within Soviet Russia. Over 70 V-force aircrew and ground crew were interviewed and over 300 operational research reports and other official documents were reviewed. This book demonstrates how the V-bombers retained a unilateral capacity to destroy the largest cities in the Soviet Union until the handover of the strategic nuclear deterrent to the Polaris submarines in 1969. It concludes that a small force of surviving V-bombers could have unleashed the explosive power of all Allied bombs dropped on Germany in six years of war, but in the space of the first two hours of World War 3. A sobering thought and a fascinating and necessary read for all those interested in this period of history.