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ROLLING THUNDER: An Historical Novel of War and Politics (Wings of War)

ROLLING THUNDER: An Historical Novel of War and Politics (Wings of War) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Berent
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A taut, exciting tale of good men in a bad war. Berent is the real thing."

Product Description

Rolling Thunder is an historical novel about the decisive role politics played during the Vietnam war. Its characters range from men in the field to the Pentagon and the White House. Fighter pilots and Special Forces warriors try to do their best but are hampered by President Johnson, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and their staff members who despise the military. Only one aging USAF general, who fought in Korea and WWII, is on their side. His clashes with his Commander in Chief, Lyndon Johnson, are epic in proportion and startling in content.
In Rolling Thunder, the time is late 1965 and 1966 in war zone places such as Saigon, Hanoi, Bien Hoa, Da Nang, and Tahkli. While back in Washington, LBJ sits over lunch and personally picks bombing targets in an attempt to fight a limited war. In Vietnam the war knows no limits

There, as the hostilities escalate, the fates of three men intertwine: USAF Captain Court Bannister, overshadowed by a famous movie star father who fought in WWII as a B-17 gunner, driven to confront missiles, MiGs, and nerve-grinding bombing raids in order to prove his worth to his comrades -- and to himself...Air Force First Lieutenant Toby Parker, fresh from the States, who hooks up with an intelligence unit for a lark, and quickly finds his innocence buried away by the lessons of war...and Special Forces Colonel Wolf Lochert, who ventures deep into the jungle to rescue a downed pilot -- only to discover a face of the enemy for which he is unprepared.
Airline stewardesses come under attack when they are forced to spend the night on a fighter base in Vietnam after their airliner develops a problem.
Through their eyes, and those of many others -- pilots, soldiers, lovers, enemy agents, commanders, politicians, profiteers -- Rolling Thunder shows us Vietnam as few other books have, or can. Berent captures all the intensity and drama of that searing war, and more, penetrates to the heart and soul of those who fought it. Rolling Thunder rings with authenticity.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2654 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0019LNUVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,797 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Berent is admirably suited to have written his five-book Vietnam airwar series for he lived each story. He served four years and one day in the Vietnam war during the period from November 1965 until August 1973.
As a captain he flew 265 missions in the F 100 in 1966 from Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam. While off duty he flew with FACs in their 0-1 aircraft to better understand the war. He also spent much time with the Special Forces III Corps Mike Force including going on patrol with them in the Loc Ninh area. (Berent had earned his jump wings with the 10th SFG, Bad Tolz, Germ.)
His next tour was as a major flying F 4Ds out of Ubon Air Base in Thailand. He flew over 200 missions, first as a flight commander in the Night Owl Squadron then as commander of the famous Wolf FACs. Both units flew over North Vietnam and all of Laos. Berent spent hundreds of hours over the Ho Chi Minh Trail both as a night strike pilot and as a fast FAC controlling strikes against guns and trucks he found on the Trail.
As a lieutenant colonel he served from from July 1971 to August 1973 first as assistant air attache then as air attache in the US Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. While there, besides flying hundreds of hours in the U 10 and C 47 gathering vital intelligence, he also logged time with the Khmer (Cambodian) Air Force in their T-28, 0-1, UH-1, and AC-47 aircraft. Additionally, he spent much time with Khmer ground forces teaching them to use air power. He earned Cambodian jump wings while there. In January 1973 when the war was over in Vietnam for US forces, all of the massive air power resources were made available for use in Cambodia until August 15th when the last mission was flown. Due to a fluke in timing, Berent and his team ran the air war in Cambodia from a most unusual place.
When asked why he kept going back, he replied: "A lot of reasons; because it was there, because I wanted a MiG, because when the threat goes up the paperwork goes down and the weinies run for cover, but mostly because the guys were still fighting. Everyday I'd pick up a paper and find another buddy KIA, MIA, or POW. I just couldn't stay on the beach."
Now he writes about these men. He has five books in print; Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, Phantom Leader, Eagle Station, and Storm Flight. Although historical fiction, the books are about the men and women who gave everything they had in a war they weren't allowed to win. FAC pilots, Phantom crews, Thud, Hun, and Buff crews, gunship pilots and gunners, green berets, grunts, carrier jocks, MAC contract stews, boomers and tankers, from corporals to colonels; the whole nine yards about the day-to-day heroism and heros we all know and loved . . . and some we hated. By way of contrast, LBJ in the Oval Office and McNamara in the Pentagon E Ring are included and the words they spoke as they picked strike targets over lunch are included in great detail, yes indeed. As are those of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden. His books have won critical acclaim from Chuck Yeager, Dale Brown, WEB Griffin, Steve Koontz, and numerous newspaper and magazine critics.
Over the years Berent has published numerous articles for such publications as Air Force Magazine, the Washington Times, numerous defense journals, and has been the tech advisor on a TV combat series. He currently interviews aviation luminaries at the Pavilion each year during the Oshkosh airshow.
Berent now resides in Scottsdale, AZ.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has the ring of truth about it. 23 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A roller coaster ride of a book which had me both wanting to "fly" through it and also ration myself because I didn't want it to end.Full of technical details, realistic personalities and real "cliff-hangers";this book had a degree of realism only available from an author who has "been there, done that".

I simply can't wait to read the next book in the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story told really well 22 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A perspective of the war that differs so much from the media leas version I recall. The characters in the tale were made very real and the journeys they each made were very tough. I look forward to reading the rest of the series
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By B Brace
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Too many abbreviations for the general reader.
The relationships between the serviceman on the ground and the presidential staff clearly explained.
Recommended for an improved understanding about what was actually going on in this south Eastern Asian war. It also managed to interweave several personal relationship situations which interspaced with the operational scene made the book a very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent 9 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Such a good read - I first read this when I was 13 (It was a bit beyon me then) but now at 35 its captivating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 23 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book telling the truth, as someone who had been there, and knows how to relay that to his readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 10 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a great personal account of a tour in Vietnam. Anyone with even a vague interest in the war or the politics behind it will enjoy this well written book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fact and Fiction! 2 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
No spin - tells the story as it must have seemed to the men involved. Looking forward to reading the follow-ons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 24 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Military might, technical detail, personal stories and political mismanagement during the mess of the Vietnam war. The authors personal experiences of the Vietnam war make this book, and indeed the entire series, a very good factual and historical read. It shows how the US`s military men bravely followed their orders, and did what was asked of them, despite a complete lack of political will power or sense.

This series is a must read for anyone who has a serious historical interest in the Vietnam war.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
This author knows what he is writing about, I like that immersive style of writing, it keeps you wanting to turn the page.
Published 4 days ago by Ray banks
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry I gave up
The author obviously had real experience of the Vietnam War and the trials of the American service men who fought there. Read more
Published 7 days ago by John Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Military thriller
Stumbled across this by accident and am pleasantly surprised. For aviation history enthusiasts, people with an interst in the Vietnam War, or just those who enjoy a good read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Egbert M. Schillings
5.0 out of 5 stars Rolling Thunder
Great book. A mixture of fact and fiction goes down well. Looking forward to reading Bk 2 in the series.
Published 2 months ago by David Symington
5.0 out of 5 stars Eyeopener
Excellent can not wait for next book in line. Characters so real and situations totally felt as if you were there
Published 2 months ago by george a strachan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Not a bad book. A few tech errors that a non Air Force background wouldn't spot. I am reading more of his stuff.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs J Honnor
2.0 out of 5 stars Two stars
Not an action book by a long way. A slow stories

Not an action book with a painfully slow story line h a d to struggle to Finnish it
Published 4 months ago by unable to open map completely useless do not done load
4.0 out of 5 stars lots of action
very good read though uses technical data like it is going out of fashion..I liked the characters and it has a strong story line.
Published 4 months ago by Terry Lee
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