A Very Short War: The Mayaguez and the Battle of Koh Tang / Edition 46

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $20.69
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 13%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $20.69   
  • New (5) from $20.69   
  • Used (3) from $20.87   


On May 12, 1975, less than two weeks after the fall of Saigon, Khmer Rouge naval forces seized the S.S. Mayaguez, an American container ship, off the Cambodian coast in the Gulf of Siam. The swift military response ordered by President Gerald Ford was designed to recapture the Mayaguez, held at anchor off the island of Koh Tang, to liberate her crew, and to demonstrate U.S. strength and resolve in the immediate aftermath of America's most humiliating defeat.

Guilmartin, a former air rescue helicopter pilot stationed in Thailand, provides a unique and compelling account of the Mayaguez-Koh Tang crisis, shedding new light on the politics, the tactics, the orders, the high-level decision makers, and the fighting men entangled in a crucial military action that nearly ended in disaster for U.S. forces.

". . . a brilliant and exceptionally clear tactical study that offers a point of departure for broader reflections on the nature of contingency and uncertainty in all military operations."--Foreign Affairs

"This is an exceptional book. . . [Guilmartin's] work transcends the events themselves, illustrating numerous aspects of men in war. His insights and observations are compelling."--Journal of Military History

". . . written with the flair and excitement of an adventure novel. Even those who know the outcome and the lessons of the Mayaguez incident will find this book hard to put down until finished."--Proceedings

JOHN F. GUILMARTIN JR., professor of history at the Ohio State University, flew 119 combat missions over Southeast Asia as an Air Force helicopter pilot.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603441964
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2010
  • Series: Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series, #46
  • Edition description: Forty-Sixth
  • Edition number: 46
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 685,375
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN F. GUILMARTIN JR., professor of history at the Ohio State University, flew 119 combat missions over Southeast Asia as an Air Force helicopter pilot.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Foreword xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxiii

Introduction 3


1 Prelude: Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind 6

2 The Incident 26

3 Strategy and Setting 32

4 Plans and Preliminary Operations 53

5 Assault 82

6 Battle 105

7 Extraction 129

8 Aftermath: Analysis and Lessons 145


A Tactical Communications 162

B The H-53: An Air Force Pilot's Perspective 167

Notes 189

Glossary 223

Bibliography 225

Index 231

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)