Valiant Units of the Cold War




Written by Andrew Brookes

Illustrated by Chris Davey

This 96 page book is number 95 in Opsrey’s Combat Aircraft series.

Though concise, this book covers in detail the development of the Valiant from its 1947 concept through to it fruition and beyond. The British Valiant blazed the trail of many firsts:

The Vickers Valiant was the RAF’s first Cold War strategic bomber, and was procured as an insurance measure in case either the Vulcan or Victor was found to have a serious flaw. The Valiant was the equivalent of the US B-47 Stratojet, and it blazed the trail for the British airborne nuclear deterrent as the aircraft enjoyed a far more active service career than later V-bombers.

It was the launch platform for all British free fall nuclear weapons tests both in the Pacific and in central Australia, it took part in the Suez campaign in 1956 and it was the only V-bomber to drop (conventional) weapons in anger until the Falklands operation in 1982.

The Valiant was modified to serve in the electronic warfare, strategic reconnaissance and airborne tanker role. But, it had to be grounded in early 1965 when the aircraft succumbed to metal fatigue.

In 1956 it was utilized in the Suez campaign; and it dropped conventional weapons until the Falklands War in 1982.


  • Birth of a Bomber
  • Trailblazer
  • The Suez Campaign
  • Nuclear Trials
  • Training Days
  • Valiant Tankers
  • Valiant and Vigilant
  • Ready for Armageddon
  • On The Way Down
  • Appendices
  • Color Plates Commentary
  • Bibliography
  • Index

This book is written almost entirely using firsthand accounts. It includes many black and white and color photographs, plus 25 color plates of the different types of Valiant aircraft.

Available from Osprey Publishing at

Paperback: US $22.95 or eBook ePub or PDF for $18.36


Paperback: US $19.14 or Kindle $18.36