The Holiday History Thread!

Welcome to this week’s History Thread! I’m going to take a break next week for Christmas (though I won’t object if someone else wants to throw something up).

This week’s discussion question: History you’ve learned in 2018. It can be big things or small things, an interesting fact or tidbit or something that really changed the way you look at the world.

Today’s picture: On December 18, 1972 Richard Nixon initiated Operation Linebacker II, the climax of America’s bombing campaign against North Vietnam. This was the most extensive air campaign of the Vietnam War, with all restrictions on destroying civilian targets and urban centers lifted. Nixon’s decision came after a hitch in the Paris Peace Talks: though North Vietnam had preliminarily agreed to a ceasefire, South Vietnam’s government refused to accept it, due to the provision of allowing NVA troops within. Thus, with the Lewis Carroll logic endemic to that war, Nixon decided to punish North Vietnam for his own ally’s intransigence. Hanoi, Haiphong and other North Vietnamese cities were leveled, with thousands of civilian casualties; the Americans lost 28 planes and 92 men killed or captured in the fighting. Whether the operation had any significant impact on the war’s outcome is questionable.