Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970

Publisher: Presidio Press
On April 10, 1970, Hill 927 was occupied by troopers of the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division. By July, the activities of the artillery and infantry of Ripcord had caught the attention of the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and a long and deadly siege ensued. Ripcord was the Screaming Eagles’ last chance to do significant damage to the NVA in the A Shau Valley before the division was withdrawn from Vietnam and returned to the United States.

At Ripcord, the enemy counterattacked with ferocity, using mortar and antiaircraft fire to inflict heavy causalities on the units operating there. The battle lasted four and a half months and exemplified the ultimate frustration of the Vietnam War: the inability of the American military to bring to bear its enormous resources to win on the battlefield. In the end, the 101st evacuated Ripcord, leaving the NVA in control of the battlefield. Contrary to the mantra “We won every battle but lost the war,” the United States was defeated at Ripcord. Now, at last, the full story of this terrible battle can be told.


Chapter 1


The first mortar salvo landed during the usual morning routines on the firebase. Lieutenant Colonel Andre Lucas was still inside his tactical operations center-the TOC-probably with a cup of coffee and the first cigarette of the day in hand as he checked the latest intelligence...
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“AN ABSOLUTELY SUPERB ACCOUNT OF WAR AT THE LEVEL OF THE INDIVIDUAL SOLDIER . . . This is a major contribution to Vietnam War literature, particularly of action at the small-unit level.”
—Military Review

“Keith Nolan’s research, his comprehension of the political as well as the military actions, his careful concern for those who were there, and, most of all, his writing, are superb. I recommend Ripcord without stint or reservation.”

“With Ripcord, Keith Nolan has added another significant battle history to his impressive list of works on the Vietnam War.”
Author of The 13th Valley