Cover image for Titan II : a history of a Cold War missile program
Titan II : a history of a Cold War missile program
Stumpf, David K., 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxii, 320 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
UG1312.I2 S78 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Titan II ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) program was developed by the United States military to bolster the size, strength, and speed of the nation's strategic weapons arsenal in the 1950s and 1960s. Each missile carried a single warhead--the largest in U.S. inventory--used liquid fuel propellants, and was stored and launched from hardened underground silos. The missiles were deployed at basing facilities in Arkansas, Arizona, and Kansas and remained in active service for over twenty years. Since military deactivation in the early 1980s, the Titan II has served as a reliable satellite launch vehicle. This is the richly detailed story of the Titan II missile and the men and women who developed and operated the system. David K. Stumpf uses a wide range of sources, drawing upon interviews with and memoirs by engineers and airmen as well as recently declassified government documents and other public materials. Over 170 drawings and photographs, most of which have never been published, enhance the narrative. The three major accidents of the program are described in detail for the first time using authoritative sources. Titan II will be welcomed by librarians for its prodigious reference detail, by technology history professionals and laymen, and by the many civilian and Air Force personnel who were involved in the program--a deterrent weapons system that proved to be successful in defending America from nuclear attack.

Author Notes

David K. Stumpf is associate research scientist at the University of Arizona.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Readers who choose this book about the Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile will find the level of detail either fascinating or mind-numbing. Stumpf (Univ. of Arizona), who has written other works on the history of military missiles, has done an awesome job of research into a vast array of government and contractor archival material. He also conducted more than 200 interviews with military personnel and others associated with the design, engineering, and deployment of one of the most lethal weapons of the Cold War era. There are numerous photos, charts, and drawings that certainly assist in making this the definitive work about the Titan program. About half of the text covers the design and engineering of the Titan II, including detailed analysis of missile silos and the considerable technical work that accompanied their construction. The remainder discusses the experiences of various missile squadrons, with commentary on daily regimens and test procedures. The most readable sections treat personnel casualties (several dozen) that occurred in the process of maintaining ICBMs filled with volatile fuels and maintained by extremely complex and sometimes fallible support systems. Most suitable for technical libraries or specialized, technical collections. Graduate students; faculty. R. E. Bilstein emeritus, University of Houston--Clear Lake

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Forewordp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
Introductionp. xxi
I The Air Force Strategic Missile Programp. 1
II The First Generation: Atlas and Titan Ip. 7
III The Second Generation: Titan IIp. 33
IV Titan II Research and Development Flight Test Historyp. 71
V Titan II Launch Complex Design and Constructionp. 99
VI Titan II in Contextp. 147
VII Manning the Titan IIp. 153
VIII Titan II Operational Flight and Evaluation Programs Historyp. 177
IX Fatal Accidents in the Titan II Programp. 215
X The End of the Titan II Erap. 253
Epiloguep. 265
Appendix I Titan I Launch Record; Titan II Air Frame Serial Numbers, Fate; Launch Crew Listp. 275
Appendix II Soviet Union Counterpart to Titan IIp. 287
Notesp. 289
Indexp. 313