By John Francis Guilmartin, John Keegan
On could 12, 1975, under 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 speedy 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 free up her team, and to illustrate U.S. power and get to the bottom of within the rapid aftermath of America's such a lot humiliating defeat.Guilmartin, a former air rescue helicopter pilot stationed in Thailand, presents a distinct and compelling account of the Mayaguez–Koh Tang concern, laying off new gentle at the politics, the strategies, the orders, the high-level choice makers, and the combating males entangled in an important army motion that almost led to catastrophe for U.S. forces.". . . a super and awfully transparent tactical research that gives some extent of departure for broader reflections at the nature of contingency and uncertainty in all army operations."--Foreign Affairs"This is a phenomenal e-book. . . [Guilmartin's] paintings transcends the occasions themselves, illustrating a variety of elements of fellows in struggle. His insights and observations are compelling."--Journal of army History". . . written with the aptitude and pleasure of an event novel. Even those that be aware of the result and the teachings of the Mayaguez incident will locate this e-book demanding to place down till 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)
Both the 40th and 21st were young squadrons with respect to officer seniority; as a relatively junior major, therefore, I was the 40th's senior line pilot. But I was new to the H-53 and acquired the time needed for upgrade to instructor pilot only after the Saigon evacuation. In the interim I specialized in maintenance check flights; that is, test flights following maintenance. This is a much less routine procedure in helicopters than in fixed-wing aircraft and was even less so with air force versions of the H-53, for reasons that are addressed in detail in Appendix B.
I applied it to myself shortly after recovery aboard Midway, committing my impressions of the evacuation to my journal while they were fresh in my mind. Returning to the journal a week or so later, I was struck by the extent to which my memory had smoothed the jagged edges off of my discordant impressions of the moment, imposing order on chaosand I take pride in the fact that I was using the term chaos to describe the reality of combat long before the appearance of chaos mathematics. It was almost like reading someone else's account.
If something is good, people want more of it. One of the most striking developments in warfare since the appearance of the tactical radio has been its refinement and multiplication. More and more participants have radios which net into wider and wider systems; satellite technology so ramifies the mechanism that a head of state may follow small-unit action on a minute-by-minute basis; he may alsoand this is really Guilmartin's moraldirectly intervene, with highly undesirable effect. Worse, his may not be the only intervention; there can be others at the intermediate level, with the result that the formidable capacity of a modern communications network is forced to devote itself to explaining confusions and contradictions thus produced, so that the miracle of radio results in the nightmare of crossed wires and Chinese whispers.