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Rolling Thunder Hardcover – Jun 1989


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (T) (Jun. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399134395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399134395
  • Product Dimensions: 50.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,520,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Berent is admirably suited to have written his historical fiction 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, Germany.)

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 attaché then as air attaché 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 pilot and 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.

Berent's 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, and numerous defense journals, and has been the tech advisor on a TV combat series.
For years he flew his T-6 at airshows as well as interviewing aviation luminaries at the Pavilion each year during the Oshkosh airshow.

In 2012 he was inducted into the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame. Berent now resides in Scottsdale, AZ.

Product Description

Review

"A taut, exciting tale of good men in a bad war. Berent is the real thing." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bulldog Drummond 58 on 23 Oct. 2013
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H L Cooper on 22 Oct. 2013
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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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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 By Mr. Roger Morris on 13 July 2013
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I chose this rating as the writing and characterization is top notch. Characters are believable and fleshed out with care, and where comprehensive details of characters aren't immediately revealed, and are sketchy, it's because the Author doesn't want to potentially give away upcoming plot points, and further details are added as the reader is returned to the character further on in the story.

I enjoyed the story to the point that I immediately purchased the remaining volumes in the series, such is the writing skill of the Author.

My editions are all on my Kindle, and I have to say that in this case, there is little proof reading. The story is littered with miss-spellings, typographical errors, and in some places, a word is either missing, or an incorrect word substituted. So much so, that it takes away from the reader's enjoyment of the story. I'm sure that these errors never saw the light of day in the physically printed editions of the book. I actually started noting them in my Kindle, then gave up after the twentieth note..

My comments about the proof-reading apply to the next two books in the series (almost finished the third one now), the errors are numerous, and distracting..

Please Amazon, whoever you get to proof-read these stories to enable them to be transferred to Kindle, get them to earn their money!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Derek McKain on 23 Aug. 2013
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Never having ventured into aerial conflict novels that takes place in Vietnam in the 60's. I was left stunned after reading this gripping all action novel.

The author has carefully blended true ism, history and action into a careful and thoughtful depiction of events that take place in the skies, jungles and airfields during a time of conflict.

The action is relentless and heroic whilst addressing the sheer scale of war in this theatre of operations. Be aware you will end up buying all 5 books in this series as I intend too & now I'm reading the next book 'Steel Tiger'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CherokeeCT on 31 Oct. 2013
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As far as the story-line goes it is somewhat standard "Life in the Naam" fare, but the book punches well above its weight in its presentation of the characters and particularly their surroundings. One or two of the characters are perhaps a little bit too archetypal but generally the balance of characters is good and it does bring the reader into their world very well .

I certainly had the impression that I could almost feel the heat and humidity, smell the surroundings and hear the racket in the bar or in the air.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By scott newman on 24 Feb. 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Woodie on 20 Sept. 2013
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I downloaded this book a week or so ago Free but that in now way alters this review. I loved this book and shall definitely read other books by the author.I liked the way it went from adrenalin and action one minute to fascinating back story about what it was really like in Vietnam the next. I found out a lot of new facts I knew nothing about and once I started I found I had to keep reading. Very pleased I got the chance to read this book .
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