After months of “Reading While Standing in Line” on my Smartphone, I finally finished the book “Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm”. The term “Wild Weasels” is the code name assigned by the United States Air Force (USAF) to their aircraft assigned to seek and destroy enemy Surface to Air Missile (SAM) installations.
The first chapters of the book covered the history, description and tactics used by these Wild Weasel aircraft from its inception during the Vietnam War all the way to Desert Storm. The middle chapters covered the pre-deployment and deployment of its crews to Desert Storm and relied mostly on direct quotations from the memoirs and diaries of a couple of pilots.
The last chapters give a more detailed and technical descriptions of the aircraft and SAM systems used throughout the history of the Wild Weasels. I have to admit that I enjoyed more the first and last chapters of the book as they just seemed more interesting because of their more technical nature.
The stories by the pilot were okay, but sometimes a bit too subjective and too mundane for me, and the accounts themselves weren’t really that good in terms of the quality of writing.
Also the pilots were never really in danger except for a few number of times as the United States (US) during Desert Storm had complete dominance of the skies, so finding and destroying SAMs were relatively easy tasks.
It didn’t help that the Iraqis weren’t really that creative on using their SAMs, unlike their Eastern European counterparts a decade or so later who were a little bit more successful and gave the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces a bit more problems during the wars in Eastern Europe.
Nevertheless the book is pretty good, I am giving it an overall rating of Four out of Five Stars. The first few chapters are a must-read for me for those who want to learn more about Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) missions.
(Link to the book at the Amazon Kindle Store can be found here.)