Academic journal article Military Review

SEARCH AND DESTROY: The Story of an Armored Cavalry Squadron in Vietnam: 1-1 Cav, 1967-1968

Academic journal article Military Review

SEARCH AND DESTROY: The Story of an Armored Cavalry Squadron in Vietnam: 1-1 Cav, 1967-1968

Article excerpt

SEARCH AND DESTROY: The Story of an Armored Cavalry Squadron in Vietnam: 1-1 Cav, 1967-1968, Keith W. Nolan, Zenith Press, Minneapolis, 2010, 448 pages, $30.00.

Keith W. Nolan wrote his fi rst book on Vietnam battles when he was still a high school student in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Search and Destroy is his 12th book but, sadly, the last. Nolan passed away in 2009 from cancer at the young age of 44. In describing Nolan's key role in writing the history of the Vietnam War, perhaps St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan said it best in the 101st Airborne Division's Ripcord Association webpage:

"He developed a following among Vietnam veterans. There is nobody else in the country who has done what he has done. He has written gripping and honest historical accounts of battles and operations that would otherwise have been overlooked by everybody except the people who participated in them."

Search and Destroy is no exception to that pattern. It is a terrifi c book that tells the story of the 1-1st Cavalry Squadron, from deployment preparations in the United States to a year of combat with the Americal Division in the northern part of I Corps' area of operation. Like all of Nolan's books, this one tells its story from the fi rst-hand accounts of the soldiers and junior offi cers who fought the war on the ground and from extensive research of offi cial Army records.

Through interviews with dozens of 1-1st Cav veterans, Nolan tells it like it is, warts and all. There are accounts of breathtaking heroism, of leadership that ranges from superb and courageous to badly fl awed, and disturbing accounts of atrocities and mindless violence against Vietnamese civilians. …

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