Some Even Volunteered: The First Wolfhounds Pacify Vietnam

Some Even Volunteered: The First Wolfhounds Pacify Vietnam

Some Even Volunteered: The First Wolfhounds Pacify Vietnam

Some Even Volunteered: The First Wolfhounds Pacify Vietnam

Synopsis

"I was hooked by the unusual style and, moreso, by the unusual approach to the familiar material . . . Articulate, sensitive, and intelligent . . . an unusually readable and persuasive narrative." Robert W. Lewis North Dakota Quarterly When in 1968 an American rifle battalion known as the "First Wolfhounds" landed near Dau Tieng, a rest area controlled by the North Vietnamese Army, they expected to interdict the NVA supply line there within three days. Instead, the soldiers found a prohibitive network of NVA troops, headquarters, hospitals, supplies, and local support for the NVA. It seemed impossible, even for the Wolfhounds, famed for their numbers and fighting strength. In the vivid prose of a mission survivor, Some Even Volunteered chronicles these brave soldiers' daily, deadly contact with the NVA, their attempts to win the villagers' trust, and how they struggled to accept and survive their circumstances. Eight months later, the Wolfhounds succeeded--destroying, in the process, an NVA unit of their own size. Alfred Bradford's sardonic voice is compelling. This narrative is witty, sometimes hilarious, and always captivating. Bradford--now a history professor--also provides one of the most insightful discussions ever written of Vietnam's assumed position in military history.

Excerpt

On 24 October 1968, American troops were airlifted into an nva rest area south of Dau Tieng. the American troops had been ordered to interdict the nva supply line which stretched from the Ho Chi Minh trail in Cambodia through Dau Tieng to Saigon. the troops were expected to complete their mission in three days, but they uncovered such an extensive network of headquarters, hospitals, supply, troop concentrations, and local support that the mission was extended to a week, then to a month, and finally to eight months.

The nva had promised the local inhabitants that American troops would never come to their village. When the Americans came anyway, the nva vowed to drive them out. They calculated that a battalion could not be resupplied by air for more than a few days and could not be resupplied by road at all, but they were unable to close the road and they determined to drive the Americans away by an assault on their fire support base.

The American troops were the First Battalion of the Twenty-Seventh Infantry (First Wolfhounds). the Twenty-Seventh Infantry had been created during World War I. Its first mission, during which it won its nickname, "the Wolfhounds," had been in Russia . . . to stop the Russian Revolution ("First to Fight Communism"). the Wolfhounds had served in the Pacific in World War II and then in the Korean Conflict. in Korea the Wolfhounds gained their reputation as a first-rate fighting unit. the reputation is deserved. the First Wolfhounds (part of the 25th Infantry Division) had the highest body count of any rifle battalion in Vietnam.

In the eight-month operation (24 October 1968-9 June 1969) at Dau Tieng, the Wolfhounds made almost daily contact with the nva. Their convoy had to fight its way up and down the road every day for five weeks, their fire support base was assaulted three times, their Brigade base was assaulted twice, they established four independent forts, they ran missions throughout the Third Brigade Area of Operations (the Michelin rubber plantation, the "Iron Triangle," the "Angel's Wing," the "Parrot's Beak"), they accepted the surrender of dozens of . . .

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