In 1971, whereas U.S. flooring forces have been prohibited from crossing the Laotian border, a South Vietnamese military corps, with U.S. air help, introduced the biggest airmobile operation within the heritage of conflict, Lam Son 719. the target: to sever the North Vietnamese Army’s major logistical artery, the Ho Chi Minh path, at its hub, Tchepone in Laos, an operation that, in response to common Creighton Abrams, might have been the decisive conflict of the conflict, hastening the withdrawal of U.S. forces and making sure the survival of South Vietnam. the result: defeat of the South Vietnamese military and heavy losses of U.S. helicopters and aircrews, yet a profitable preemptive strike that met President Nixon’s near-term political objectives.
Author Robert Sander, a helicopter pilot in Lam Son 719, explores why an operation of such significance failed. Drawing on information and interviews, and firsthand testimony and experiences, Sander chronicles not just the making plans and execution of the operation but in addition the maneuvers of the bastions of political and armed forces strength throughout the ten-year attempt to finish Communist infiltration of South Vietnam best as much as Lam Son 719. the result's an image from disparate views: the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations; the South Vietnamese executive led through President Nguyen Van Thieu; and senior U.S. army commanders and armed forces aviators.
Sander’s end is without delay strong and persuasively transparent. Lam Son 719 was once doomed in either the making plans and execution—a casualty of household and overseas politics, unsuitable assumptions, incompetent execution, and the unravel of the North Vietnamese military. a robust paintings of army and political heritage, this ebook bargains eloquent testimony that “failure, like good fortune, can't be measured in absolute terms.”