* The Cold War led the United States to develop a strategic nuclear deterrent force featuring a wide range of weapons. One of the more impressive was the big Boeing "B-52 Stratofortress" eight-engine jet bomber. Although it was designed for the nuclear strike mission, it never saw combat in that role, but it has seen plenty of action dropping conventional weapons in Vietnam and in post-Cold War conflicts. The B-52 still remains in service, if in dwindling numbers, in the 21st century, long after its builders would have expected its retirement. This document provides a history and description of the Boeing B-52.