It has become my habit to read some form of military history on long air flights. With a number of exceptions this type of book tends to be fast moving enough to keep my attention during the long hours of sleepless semi- darkness.
In this regard this was a good book, in fact it was better than many. The narrative was straightforward, but well developed and the geography of the battlefield simple enough to be able to keep a mental track of the main events.
Simply put this was a mission during the Vietnam war by a mixed infantry and armor column to rescue an outnumbered and isolated infantry unit. During the mission there were a number of casualties and acts of bravery – which probably does not separate this battle from many other similar ones.
What seems to separate this action from many others, is that many of the acts of bravery went unrecognized by the military in terms of medals and commendation’s.
The first part of the book looks at the battle itself, the second the campaign to make sure that the soldiers recommended for awards received them.
I think it’s clear that the outcome of this second campaign may have been more influenced by the apparent shift in view of how soldiers in Vietnam had been handled in the past, rather than the actual nature of the deeds preformed. But I acknowledge I could be wrong.
My biggest concern within the book was the voice adopted by the author in a few sections. At times it is not clear if sentences are the words of the author or the recollections of the soldiers involved in the battle. A lack of consideration for the nature of enemy soldiers is understandable in battle – and honest personal accounts may well include these feelings. But when they appear to be the words of the author, I think that have no place in a book like. Reporting what the “grunts in the bush” called the Vietnamese soldiers is appropriate; using the same terms in the author-generated sections of the book is not.
A clear, well structured, account of a battle and its aftermath, which at times becomes a little too partisan.
THERE ONLY APPEARS TO BE ABOUT 50-60 PAGES OF ACTUAL FIGHTING AND THAT IS NOT VERY DETAILED.THE INTERVIEWS ARE OK BUT NOT VERY CONCISE.IF YOU WANT REAL COMBAT NARRATIVES READ KEITH WILLIAM NOLANS BOOKS LIKE RIPCORD .MAGNIFICENT BASTARDS. HOUSE TO HOUSE OR DEATH VALLY , THESE BOOKS LEAVE BLACKHORSE RIDERS STANDING ,THE AUTHOR SEEMS TO BE CASHING IN ON THE REASSESSMENT AND POPULARITY OF VIETNAM VETERANS IN THE USA TODAY,OVERALL A VERY LAZY BOOK P.S WHY DID,NT THE AUTHOR INCLUDE THE BATTLE OF FIRE SUPPORT BASE ILLINGWORTH WHICH HAPPENED A DAY OR TWO LATER AND INCLUDED SOME OF THE UNITS INVOLVED IN THE BLACKHORSE RIDERS BATTLE.AT ILLINGWORTH 29 US SOLDERS ALONE WERE KILLED AND 50-60 WOUNDED COMPARED TO THE 1 KILLED IN THE 11TH ARMOURED CAV AT THE BLACKHORSE RIDERS BATTLE.BUT ILLINGSWORTH IS NOT GI JOE KICKING VC BUTT.READ NAM OR BLOODS OR EVEN JOURNAL OF A PLAGUE YEAR TO GET A BETTER VIEW OF THE REAL VIETNAM WAR