A Very Short War: The Mayaguez and the Battle of Koh Tang by John Francis Guilmartin, John Keegan

By John Francis Guilmartin, John Keegan

On could 12, 1975, below weeks after the autumn of Saigon, Khmer Rouge naval forces seized the S.S. Mayaguez, an American box send, off the Cambodian coast within the Gulf of Siam. The rapid army reaction ordered by means of President Gerald Ford used to be designed to recapture the Mayaguez, held at anchor off the island of Koh Tang, to disencumber her group, and to illustrate U.S. power and get to the bottom of within the quick aftermath of America's such a lot humiliating defeat.Guilmartin, a former air rescue helicopter pilot stationed in Thailand, offers a special and compelling account of the Mayaguez–Koh Tang main issue, laying off new mild at the politics, the strategies, the orders, the high-level determination makers, and the combating males entangled in a very important army motion that just about led to catastrophe for U.S. forces.". . . a super and tremendously transparent tactical examine that provides some degree of departure for broader reflections at the nature of contingency and uncertainty in all army operations."--Foreign Affairs"This is a phenomenal booklet. . . [Guilmartin's] paintings transcends the occasions themselves, illustrating various elements of fellows in battle. His insights and observations are compelling."--Journal of army History". . . written with the aptitude and pleasure of an event novel. Even those that comprehend the end result and the teachings of the Mayaguez incident will locate this ebook tough to place down until eventually finished."--Proceedings

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Extra info for A Very Short War: The Mayaguez and the Battle of Koh Tang (Texas a&M University Military History Series)

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An army U-21 twin turboprop light transport was used for ad hoc reconnaissance of the island, while four army interpreters and two air force personnel trained in explosive ordnance disposal were as < previous page page_27 next page > < previous page page_28 next page > Page 28 signed to accompany the marines. A volunteer crew of six Military Sealift Command volunteers got the Mayaguez underway after recapture. Units committed to direct combat support included air force KC-135 tankers of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) for aerial refueling; various air force communications relay and intelligence gathering aircraft, notably SAC U-2s and PACAF Airborne Battlefield Command, Control, and Communications (ABCCC) EC-130s; the navy supply ship USS Vega; and air force air traffic control, hospital, and ordnance personnel at U Tapao Royal Thai Navy Base.

Air Force Security Police volunteers assigned to the special operations wing were deployed for use as a boarding party to recapture the Mayaguez only to be recalled. These forces were opposed by a dozen or so Khymer patrol boats and an understrength battalion of Khmer Kraham, the Khymer Rouge infantry. By the standards of the Vietnam War, the results of the episode seemed modest. S. S. servicemen were killed in action, with three missing and fifty wounded; and an additional helicopter was lost in a related accident with twenty-three on board killed.

The city had been gridded off into sectors of one kilometer square and assigned to OV-10 forward air control aircraft. The pilots monitored their areas for threatening activities, ready to call in suppressive fire through Cricket. While authorizing whatever level of force was necessary, the rules of engagement called for utmost restraint to minimize civilian casualties. 36 The prime minister declined, and Dean spent his final moments in the embassy pleading with him by telephone to release additional Cambodians deemed particularly at risk.

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