• Silent Warriors, Incredible Courage

  • The Declassified Stories of Cold War Reconnaissance Flights and the Men Who Flew Them
  • By: Wolfgang W. E. Samuel
  • Narrated by: Wayne M. Lane
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 took the American military by surprise. Rushing to respond, the US and its allies developed a selective overflight program to gather intelligence. Silent Warriors, Incredible Courage is a history of the Cold War overflights of the Soviet Union, its allies, and the People's Republic of China, based on extensive interviews with dozens of pilots who flew these dangerous missions. 

In 1954 the number of flights expanded, and the highly classified SENSINT program was born. Soon, American RB-45C, RB-47E/H, RF/100s, and various versions of the RB-57 were in the air on an almost constant basis, providing the president and military leadership with hard facts about enemy capabilities and intentions. Eventually the SENSINT program was replaced by the high-flying U-2 spy plane. The U-2 overflights removed the mysteries of Soviet military power. These flights remained active until 1960 when a U-2 was shot down by Russian missiles, leading to the end of the program. Shortly thereafter planes were replaced by spy satellites. 

The overflights were so highly classified that no one, planner or participant, was allowed to talk about them - and no one did, until the overflight program and its pictorial record was declassified in the 1990's. Through extensive research of existing literature on the overflights and interviews conducted by Wolfgang W. E. Samuel, this audiobook reveals the story of the entire overflight program through the eyes of the pilots and crew who flew the planes. Samuel's account tells the stories of American heroes who risked their lives - and sometimes lost them - to protect their country.

The book is published by University Press of Mississippi. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2019 University Press of Mississippi (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Silent Warriors, Incredible Courage

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worst Narration Ever

Horrible narration. Outrageously bad. I want my money back! I am a huge cold war buff but I had to skip through this.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting Times

Good book. Very interesting back stories about some dangerous missions. Had an issue with the narrator repeatedly using the term "AFB" when most with a military background would know the base by its name (eg Offutt vs Offutt AFB, Andrews vs Andrews AFB). Also, find a shortened version for the Overflight Symposium meeting that was mentioned countless times....

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incredible and awesome!

great book awesome stories of individual heroism in the heroes in all the air another great book in the best generation that ever lived

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Great read.

This story about the 55th SRW was fantastic. My father was one of those pilots. I learned a ton about him and his friends. All stories that were top secret right up until he died at 72 in Oklahoma of natural causes. I sure wish I could have heard and discussed these stories with him when he was still alive.

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Content is there, execution was terrible.

Seems like the author took snippets from the "Early Cold War Overflights Symposium" (because it was repeated hundreds of times throughout the book) and mashed them together. I found myself listening to same exact story multiple times thinking they playback had skipped around.