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

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Overview

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.

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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: 1,370,696
  • 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.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Foreword xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxiii

Introduction 3

Chapters

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

Appendixes

A Tactical Communications 162

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

Notes 189

Glossary 223

Bibliography 225

Index 231

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