Derek H wrote: Condottiero wrote:
Cherry-picked narrative of 112 incidents, over almost a decade of direct involvement, does not count as many and Meyer - Tales of the American Empire
- falls into the same body count/numbers issue that you whinged about.
However they're quite enough to demolish your claim that "it's just that as long as there US troops in the Republic of Vietnam, the VC and NVA didn't win."
Could you explain how the action at Fire Base Ripcord, the last major battle fought by American troops in Vietnam, can be considered a victory in any way other than body count?
Victors don't normally retreat leaving artillery pieces behind, but 101st Airborne Division did.
It doesn't demolish the claim at all...
The PAVN wasn't rolling into Saigon, so long as US troops were there.
The NVA didn't briefly occupy the area around Firebase Ripcord until the US forces withdrew and the former's resources were depleted to such a point, that had the latter been reinforced, Doi's forces wouldn't have been able to make it up the hill. It was a fighting withdrawal, but not the defeat claimed by Meyers. Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord
Losses of U.S. forces were so great that officers began asking for volunteers from other units to go to Ripcord and reinforce the firebase. Finally, the U.S. command realized that the position was not defensible, and the decision was made to withdraw. Fighting from four hilltops, surrounded, and outnumbered nearly ten to one, U.S. forces caused heavy losses on eight enemy battalions, before an aerial withdrawal under heavy mortar, anti-aircraft, and small arms fire. After the 101st Airborne withdrew from the firebase, B-52 bombers were sent in to carpet bomb the area. Harrison claimed that the PAVN losses at Ripcord, just as their losses of their major offensives of the Ia Drang in 1965 and Tet in 1968, crippled their offensive capability for two full years, resulting in the delaying of their Easter Offensive from 1971 to 1972.
According to Meyers:
Battle for Firebase Ripcord - American Generals made one final attempt to block the Ho Chi Minh trail, and found more NVA troops than expected. As the NVA assaulted remote Fire Support Base Ripcord, Generals decided to evacuate the base. Four American battalions from the 3rd Brigade, 101st Division conducted a fighting aerial evacuation that lasted 23 days, with the loss of at least 75 American KIA and 463 wounded. Dozens of helicopters were shot down or damaged, while several soldiers and all major items of equipment were left behind.
Benjamin Harrison's Hell On A Hill Top: America's Last Major Battle In Vietnam
differs on the loss of equipment: pp. 127-128
Tom Marshall slightly differs from Meyers: Rescue From FSB Ripcord