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Home > Fact Sheets > North Vietnam: Linebacker and Linebacker II


Posted 2/18/2015 Printable Fact Sheet
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B-52 refuels en route to target
B-52 refuels en route to target. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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In response to the North Vietnamese "Easter Offensive" into South Vietnam in 1972, President Nixon suspended peace talks on May 8 and ordered OPERATION LINEBACKER, the renewed bombings of North Vietnam and the aerial mining of its harbors and rivers. When North Vietnam seemed ready to talk peace in October, Nixon directed yet another bombing halt. North Vietnam then balked for two months over cease-fire provisions. So, Nixon eliminated the sanctuaries and ordered the heaviest bombing of the entire war against Hanoi and Haiphong, OPERATION LINEBACKER II.

Beginning on Dec. 18, the USAF pounded military and transportation targets with B-52s and tactical fighters. After 11 days of intense bombing, the North Vietnamese finally agreed to return to the peace table in Paris. Consequently, the U.S. restricted its air attacks on North Vietnam to the area south of the 20th parallel.

On Jan. 15, 1973, the U.S. announced an end to all mining, bombing and other offensive operations against North Vietnam. A peace agreement, initialed on Jan. 23 and officially signed on Jan. 27, took effect on Jan. 28. The communists agreed to a cease-fire and to peaceful reconciliation and reunification with South Vietnam, and the agreement brought an end to U.S. combat operations over North Vietnam. 

Click on the following links to learn more about the Southeast Asia War.

Getting Closer: Precision Guided Weapons in the Southeast Asia War
B-52 Stratofortress in Southeast Asia
F-111A in Southeast Asia

Click here to return to the Southeast Asia War Gallery.

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Other Resources
Linebacker II: A View from the Rock (Provided by AFHSO)
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