A Raid Too Far: Operation Lam Son 719 and Vietnamization in Laos
In February 1971, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) launched an incursion into Laos in an attempt to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy North Vietnamese Army (NVA) base areas along the border. This movement would be the first real test of Vietnamization, Pres. Richard Nixon’s program to turn the fighting over to South Vietnamese forces as US combat troops were withdrawn. US ground forces would support the operation from within South Vietnam and would pave the way to the border for ARVN troops, and US air support would cover the South Vietnamese forces once they entered Laos, but the South Vietnamese forces would attack on the ground alone.
The operation, dubbed Lam Son 719, went very well for the first few days, but as movement became bogged down the NVA rushed reinforcements to the battle and the ARVN forces found themselves under heavy attack. US airpower wreaked havoc on the North Vietnamese troops, but the South Vietnamese never regained momentum and ultimately began to withdraw back into their own country under heavy enemy pressure.
In this first in-depth study of this operation, military historian and Vietnam veteran James H. Willbanks traces the details of battle, analyzes what went wrong, and suggests insights into the difficulties currently being incurred with the training of indigenous forces.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Shrike58 - LibraryThing
It's been about twenty-plus years since Keith Nolan's account of Lam Son 719 was published so it was high time that someone revisited that operation and this book probably represents about as good an ... Read full review
2 Deciding to Launch the Operation
3 The Plan
4 The Mission Receives a Green Light
5 The Other Side
6 The Battle Is Joined
7 The Attack Grinds to a Halt
Task Organization ARVN and US
Order of Battle Peoples Army of Vietnam
Casualties Operation Lam Son 719
US Army Aviation Summary Operation Lam Son 719
US Air Force Summary Operation Lam Son 719
US ARVN Artillery Summary Operation Lam Son 719
Other editions - View all
101st Airborne Division 1st ARVN Division Abrams Papers Additionally Admiral Moorer Airborne Division aircraft American armored Army artillery ARVN forces assault attack Base Area battle border Brigade Bunker Cambodia Cambodian incursion Chiefs of Staff combat communist continued Defense Delta destroyed Dewey Canyon Easter Offensive enemy enemy’s February fighting fire support base ground gunships Haig Ham Nghi Hanoi headquarters helicopters Henry Kissinger Infantry Institute of Vietnam Joint Chiefs Khe Sanh kilometers Laird Lam Son 719 Laos Laotian launched logistics Lolo Luoi MACV March McCain memorandum Military History Institute Military Region Minh Trail mission namese Nguyen Duy Hinh Nixon Library North offensive OPCON operation in Laos Operation Lam positions President Thieu President’s Quang Tri Ranger Regiment reported resupply Route 9 RVNAF Saigon situation South Viet South Vietnamese forces Squadron subj Sutherland tanks Tchepone tion units White House withdrawal XXIV Corps