Minuteman: A Technical History of the Missile That Defined American Nuclear Warfare Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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In Minuteman: A Technical History of the Missile That Defined American Nuclear Warfare, David K. Stumpf demystifies the intercontinental ballistic missile program that was conceived at the end of the Eisenhower administration as a key component of the US nuclear strategy of massive retaliation. Although its nuclear warhead may have lacked power relative to that of the Titan II, the Minuteman more than made up for this in terms of numbers and readiness to launch - making it the ultimate ICBM.
Minuteman offers a fascinating look at the technological breakthroughs necessary to field this weapon system that has served as a powerful component of the strategic nuclear triad for more than half a century. With exacting detail, Stumpf examines the construction of launch and launch control facilities; innovations in solid propellant, lightweight inertial guidance systems, and lightweight reentry vehicle development; and key flight tests and operational flight programs - all while situating the Minuteman program in the context of world events. In doing so, the author reveals how the historic missile has adapted to changing defense strategies - from counterforce to mutually assured destruction to sufficiency.
The book is published by The University of Arkansas Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.
“An exceptionally important contribution to the historiography of air power and the strategic triad.” (Roger D. Launius, author of Reaching for the Moon)
“An important addition to the literature on the history of US strategic missiles." (Christopher John Gainor, author of The Bomb and America’s Missile Age)
“A timely and valuable contribution.” (Leonard H. Caveny, former director of science and technology, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization)
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|Listening Length||19 hours and 3 minutes|
|Narrator||Douglas R Pratt|
|Audible.ca Release Date||June 01 2021|
|Publisher||University Press Audiobooks|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #133,466 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#318 in Astronomy & Space Science (Audible Books & Originals)
#369 in Armed Forces Military History
#386 in Computer History & Culture (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from other countries
I approached this book having spent time in the 60s at MIT Instrumentation Lab of Doc Draper working on Navigation and Guidance systems. In the late 70s I spent time as an advisor to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty negotiations and thus gained some expertise on devices. I recall the complexity of all of these issues as well as placing deliverables on various launch vehicles. The thought of targeting a 50 MT warhead to within 150 m of a target some 9000 km away id daunting. Vehicle dynamics are highly complex and onboard guidance systems must be exceptionally accurate and survivable. This book addresses these issues.
The book details each of the systems that make for the delivery platform and goes into detail as regards to the launch facilities and controls. The detail is significant.
However the book does read as if it were some Congressional Reports, filled with details. It does not educate the uneducated. For example how does the guidance and navigation work? How accurate was the system? What failure modes had been experienced? What was the impact on use? And the list goes on. If you know a great deal already you can fill in some of the blank spots.
Overall the book is a comprehensive listing of facts. If however one is seeking to understand the Minuteman as a system and how it functions and what it was intended to do, I feel the book falls short.
A sobering expose' of the straights and weakness of a critical weapons system's development.
Only complaint...reader of Audible version, constantly saying the reading out acronyms vs stay common accepted terminology. E.g. SAC ...S, A, C. not "sack". LCC, "L, C, C". not Launch control center. "L, F", not Launch facility. Drives me nuts. But no so much as to diminish value of content.