Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970

Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970

by Keith W. Nolan
4.6 17

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Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a Vietnam vet, this tale tears your heart out as another example of how politicians and "upper-uppers" care so little for the grunts and officers who fight and die for a worthless pile of dirt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I'm sure alot of hard work was put into the writing of this book, I found it hard to get through and a little boring. I would have preferred it being in story form but to each his own. It does describe battle scenes vividly but the book is mostly recollections from the people there and their views and opinions of how things should have gone or of officers in charge and whether or not they lead well. The book seemed to jump from battle of one hill to another and it seemed to me as though a person would drop off the pages and then be mentioned again 50 pages later all of a sudden depending on which hill battle the chapter was about instead of flowing as a story. It seemed as if new people were being mentioned even as late as the last hundred pages. Though I'm sure someone that fought in these battles and alongside these people may find it very interesting to read, I found it hard to be drawn into the book or even follow along.
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EugeneTX More than 1 year ago
This is a very, very good book that manages to take you right in and through real action while leaving you unhurt. It is a mountain battle which tends to flow along natural terrain features but which channelize any other movements into ambush areas and bunkers. There is no better description of an uphill assault in which you are trying to maintain your momentum while struggling uphill with weapons, ammo, and equipment. Study the map overlay to get a good idea of the layout of the valley and the many finger ridges concerned It was easier to maintain an assault along a ridge than be up and down or even trying to cross a valley cross-compartment from one ridge line to another. This book is outstanding in every respect and should be required reading in service academies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nolan has presented a complicated engagement in a most readable way.This is not your typical 'hero' book. It is a book about real people with all their brass and with all their pimples. If you want to see military engagement in Vietnam as it really was, read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keith Nolan's writing style simply leaves nothing to the imagination. In Ripcord, the reader clearly receives a brilliant view of how costly to human life it was to fight a battle and loose the total effort. We need to learn from this compelling and excellent book. It is a must read for anyone, especially for our military leaders in Washington D.C. who need to understand what they are asking our servicemen to do in the current defense posture of half peace, half war.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Noland really hits the nail on the head with this military classic. He has every point of view of the battle scence, from generals down to privates. It focuses on a troubled time in America, and how the soldier's acted during that time. The drugs, the fights, and most of all the brotherhood. Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Seige Vietnam 1970 is an excellent title from the Vietnam War. Currahee!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Nolan's very well researched and comprehensive book gives a most excellent picture of the closing days of the Vietnam war. Many people mistakenly believe that because American commitment was waning in 1970-71, the intensity and frequency of combat was also declining. The opposite was much closer to the truth. At the same time the grunts felt abandoned and desperate - after all no one wanted to die in a war the policymakers had totally botched. I was a Company Commander in 1/502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne at this same time and now look back on my experiences and my soldiers with amazement that they were able to prevail and gratitude that they were so damned good. As another commentary states, this book should be required reading in service schools because it very accurately shows how our Army performs under extreme stress and in difficult circumstances. My thanks to Mr. Nolan for telling our story to the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was the S-3 Clerk in the TOC at Camp Evans throughout the Siege at RIPCORD. I never set foot on Ripcord, but after reading Nolan's account feel like I was right in the middle of the battle. . My perspective was somewhat different from most of the combatants. As the S-3 clerk I knew the BN CO and BN S-3 in a more relaxed manner. Unlike the comment Nolan makes that the Battalion CO's officer's knew little about him of a personal nature, he had discussed the fact that he and his wife had married in a church directly across from the church my wife and I had been married in. The S-3 was my immediate boss. I still remember him calmly orchestrating attack gunships,artillery and landing troop carring carriers while seated in the TOC at Evans. A more professional soldier I never saw. One slip and the laws of physics would have had too many objects in one place at one time. He never slipped. Nolan's knowledge of the politics of the Vietnam era help to explain many of the seemingly irrational actions taken by the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) during this stage of the war. If Ambrose is the historian for WWII, then Nolan is the Historian for Vietnam.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was There on Ripcord From the end of May to the 3rd week of July 1970. We were never told how many NVA were out there. The Troops out in the jungle around us all should all have be given the Medal Of Honor. Col. Lucus well you read the book and decide for your selves. I think the book should have had more pictures of the Fire Base. Thanks to Mr Nolan for writing this for us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a very thorough from beginning to end story of a military operation from the nam war that was supressed for many years because it was the year after hamburger hill the goverment held back the info it was classified I was there in 1970 i'm glad people are going to know about what happened .
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keith William Nolan has surpassed himself with 'Ripcord.' Easily the most comprehensive and thought-provoking manuscript he has researched and written, 'Ripcord' was also his most challenging undertaking. He does not fail the soldiers who served in this complex and deadly battle, nor will he disappoint the reader. -o- Fire Support Base Ripcord was key to 101st Airborne Division operations in spring and summer 1970. Twice the 2d Battalion, 506th Infantry tried to open the 927-meter high mountain base, and twice they were driven back by determined North Vietnamese regular resistance (March 12 and April 1). Finally, on April 11, C Co., 2d Bn., 506th Inf. secured Ripcord and began constructing what would become known as the division's premier fire base. -o- The North Vietnamese watched, waited, and played a deadly diversionary game at other fire bases (Henderson, Granite, O'Reilly). Spread thinly across their area of operations, the 101st troopers patrolling the rugged triple canopy rain forest did not detect the enemy build-up around Ripcord until it was to late. -o- Surrounded by a division of North Vietnamese regulars, the base came under siege on July 1. The stand-off attack by fire was complemented by vicious close-in combat to control surrounding terrain features--Hill 902 2 kilometers south of Ripcord, Hill 1000 a kilometer west, and Hill 805 2 1/2 klicks southeast. In the end, each of the surrounding redoubts fell, or were abandoned to the enemy. The noose tightened, and the last desperate days of fighting ensued. -o- Ripcord was neither a Dien Bien Phu (where the French lost the First IndoChina War), nor was it a Khe Sanh (where U.S. forces outlasted a determined Gen. Giap in 1968). Ripcord was the second of two book-end battle of the Vietnam War, the first being the action by the 1st Cavalry Division at Ia Drang Valley in 1965. -o- I've provided source material to Nolan for two of his books, and was a company commander at Ripcord. This obvious bias aside, I believe that you'll find 'Ripcord' a necessary addition to your military history collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Because of its graphic and amazingly detailed description of combat, Keith William Nolan's Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, 1970, is destined for comparison with Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down, which it equals in narrative quality but surpasses in drama and scope. Both were costly misadventures in doomed endeavors, but the Rangers and Delta Force troopers who died on the streets of Mogadishu, unlike those who died at Firebase Ripcord, hadn't seen the handwriting on the wall. By the time North Vietnamese regiments surrounded Firebase Ripcord in the spring of 1970, U.S. policy-makers, having written Vietnam off as a lost cause, had announced the American troop withdrawal schedule. As the acting artillery liaison officer for the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), I marveled, from the relative safety of a command and control ship, at the heroism displayed by American soldiers who could not have been blamed for feeling abandoned by their country and their higher command. What drove them up the embattled hills surrounding Ripcord in the face of withering fire or sent them scrambling to crew their howitzers in a downpour of incoming mortar rounds? The search for answers to such questions will likely make Nolan's book required reading at the U.S. Army Infantry and Artillery School, but it deserves a broader audience just as the soldiers who defended Ripcord deserved a better war.