Titan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program

by David Stumpf

Reviewed May 25, 2004

Book CoverTitan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program is rich and detailed history of the United States' second ICBM. Authored by David Stumpf, this enjoyable book covers both technical and personal aspects of the missile program. The book is enhanced with over 170 illustrations and photographs, most that have never been published. Stumpf chronicles the technical development of the missile, a complex liquid fueled missile designed to carry a high yield nuclear device. He also explores the construction of the hardened silos, based in Arkansas, Arizona, and Kansas. Having visited the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona, I found the description and explanations enlightening.

Stumpf draws from a wide range of sources including former airmen and engineers' interviews and memoirs, declassified documents and other public material. The book also includes an extensive discussion of several accidents involving the Titan II.

This book was a fascinating look back into the legacy of one of America's principle nuclear deterrents during the 1960s and 1970s. Titan II's retirement and conversion to a satellite launch vehicle is also documented.

There are several appendices, listing the various flight tests, missile production and other details. This book is a wonderful reference. I hope future historians of other weapon systems use Mr. Stumpf's book as guide for their efforts.