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 rapid army reaction ordered by means of President Gerald Ford was once designed to recapture the Mayaguez, held at anchor off the island of Koh Tang, to free up her staff, and to illustrate U.S. power and unravel within the instant aftermath of America's such a lot humiliating defeat.Guilmartin, a former air rescue helicopter pilot stationed in Thailand, offers 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 selection makers, and the battling males entangled in a very important army motion that almost resulted in catastrophe for U.S. forces.". . . an excellent and particularly transparent tactical research that gives some degree of departure for broader reflections at the nature of contingency and uncertainty in all army operations."--Foreign Affairs"This is an outstanding publication. . . [Guilmartin's] paintings transcends the occasions themselves, illustrating quite a few features of guys in warfare. His insights and observations are compelling."--Journal of army History". . . written with the aptitude and pleasure of an experience novel. Even those that be aware of the end result and the teachings of the Mayaguez incident will locate this e-book tough to place down until eventually finished."--Proceedings

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Additional 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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Gayler agreed to press the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to order Option IV. 65 The evacuation was on. As Air America Hueys lifted off and buses began to roll, the last vestiges of order vanished from the streets of Saigon, and Communist forces began to infiltrate the city. The plan called for the assembly to begin before dawn, when the streets were empty. As it happened, the < previous page page_21 next page > < previous page page_22 next page > Page 22 bus convoys were mobbed. One was broken up by dissident South Vietnamese military elements and abandoned; others were diverted to the embassy compound, served only by two constricted helicopter pads and never intended as a mass evacuation point.

It was 1421 hours local time in the Gulf of Siam. , it was 0321. S. 3 The news quickly worked its way up the chain of command. At twenty to eight in the morning eastern daylight time, President Gerald Ford was notified by Lt. Gen. 4 Secretary of State and national security adviser Henry Kissinger was informed of events in the Gulf of Siam at about the same < previous page page_26 next page > < previous page page_27 next page > Page 27 time. He immediately called the president. Just over six hours had elapsed since the Mayaguez transmitted her SOS.

Although such techniques produce useful planning data and lay out the physical parameters of weapons effectiveness, they cannot predict the outcome of an engagement. Such tools can, if used properly, help to delineate the outer limits of feasibilityan important considerationbut they can do no more than that. Once opposing forces come into contact, history clearly demonstrates the importance of intangible and unquantifiable variables such as leadership, discipline, training, unit cohesion, and esprit de corps in determining the outcome.

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