Operation Giant Lance was a secret military operation by the United States that simulated a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union during the Cold War. On October 10, 1969, on the advice of National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, U.S. President Richard Nixon issued the order.
Preparations were made to send a squadron of 18 B-52s of the 92d Strategic Aerospace Wing loaded with nuclear weapons to fly toward the Soviet Union. It was hoped that this would convince the Soviets that Nixon was willing to resort to nuclear war in order to win the Vietnam War. The squadron took off on October 27 and flew towards the Soviet Union. Actions were designed to be detectable by the Soviets. Nixon cancelled the operation on October 30.
The plan was part of Nixon's madman theory, a concept based on game theory, and its details remained unknown to the public until Freedom of Information Act requests in the 2000s revealed documents about the operation.
|Operation "Giant Lance"|
|Part of the Cold War|
|United States||Soviet Union|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Richard Nixon||Leonid Brezhnev|
The 92d Air Refueling Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Mobility Command Eighteenth Air Force. It is stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The wing is also the host unit at Fairchild.
The 92d Wing is responsible for providing air refueling, as well as rapid and reliable passenger and cargo airlift and aero-medical evacuation missions supporting U.S. and coalition conventional operations as well as U.S. Strategic Command strategic deterrence missions.
Its 92d Operations Group is a successor organization to the World War II 92d Bombardment Group. It was the first VIII Bomber Command B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment group to carry out strategic bombardment operations against targets in Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany from RAF Bovingdon, England in September 1942.
Active for over 60 years, the 92d Bombardment Wing was a component organization of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force during the Cold War, as a strategic bombardment wing.
The 92d Air Refueling Wing is commanded by Colonel Derek M. Salmi, Its Vice Commander is Colonel Jeremiah S. Heathman and Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Lee P. Mills.Madman theory
The madman theory is a political theory commonly associated with U.S. President Richard Nixon's foreign policy. He and his administration tried to make the leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations think Nixon was irrational and volatile. According to the theory, those leaders would then avoid provoking the United States, fearing an unpredictable American response.Operation Chrome Dome
Operation Chrome Dome was a United States Air Force Cold-War era mission from 1960 to 1968 in which B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber aircraft armed with thermonuclear weapons remained on continuous airborne alert, flying routes to points on the Soviet Union border.Operation Head Start
Operation Head Start was an experimental program by the United States Air Force during the Cold War where Strategic Air Command bombers were launched from Loring Air Force Base and loitered off of the coast of western Greenland and eastern Canada. It was operational from mid-September to mid-December 1958. It would eventually lead to Operation Chrome Dome, as it was part of a series of programs which showed that a continuous airborne alert could be achieved.Operation Round Robin
Operation Round Robin was an operation of the United States Air Force that was designed to evaluate aircraft cross-servicing procedures and combined air tactics.Outline of the Vietnam War
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Vietnam War:
Vietnam War – Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States, Philippines and other anti-communist allies. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People's Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units to battle.United States Strike Command
In 1961 the United States Strike Command (STRICOM) was established at MacDill Air Force Base as a unified combatant command capable of responding to global crises. The name of the command was originally derived from the acronym for Swift Tactical Reaction In Every Known Environment (STRIKE). It integrated the CONUS-based forces of the Army's Continental Army Command (essentially elements from the Army's Strategic Army Corps (STRAC)) and the Air Force's Composite Air Strike Force (CASF) and Tactical Air Command .Vietnam War
The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975.
American military advisors began arriving in what was then French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U.S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state. The Việt Cộng, also known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF (the National Liberation Front), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a
guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U.S. involvement escalated in 1960, and continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels gradually surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963.By 1964, there were 23,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U.S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U.S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces. Every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. The U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; despite years of American tutelage and aid the South Vietnamese forces were unable to withstand the communist offensive and the task fell to US forces instead. The Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders; bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were used by North Vietnam as supply routes and were heavily bombed by U.S. forces.
Gradual withdrawal of U.S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress. The capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (see Vietnam War casualties). Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict, and a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, and the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun almost immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War. The end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea. Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s.
Easter Offensive (1972)
Post-Paris Peace Accords (1973–1974)