Sappers in the Wire: The Life and Death of Firebase Mary Ann

Sappers in the Wire The Life and Death of Firebase Mary Ann During the night of March a Viet Cong sapper company infiltrated Fire Support Base Mary Ann the forwardmost position in the d Division Americal Snipping through the defensive wire and

  • Title: Sappers in the Wire: The Life and Death of Firebase Mary Ann
  • Author: Keith William Nolan
  • ISBN: 9781585446438
  • Page: 197
  • Format: Paperback
  • During the night of 27 28 March 1971, a Viet Cong sapper company infiltrated Fire Support Base Mary Ann, the forwardmost position in the 23d Division Americal , Snipping through the defensive wire and entering the base without alerting a single guard in a single perimeter bunker, they killed thirty U.S soldiers and wounded eighty two in a humiliating defeat that soundedDuring the night of 27 28 March 1971, a Viet Cong sapper company infiltrated Fire Support Base Mary Ann, the forwardmost position in the 23d Division Americal , Snipping through the defensive wire and entering the base without alerting a single guard in a single perimeter bunker, they killed thirty U.S soldiers and wounded eighty two in a humiliating defeat that sounded the death knell for the reputation of the once proud U.S Army in Vietnam.Although one of the most famous actions of the war, it has never before received a full scale account Keith William Nolan has drawn on recently declassified documents and interviews with than fifty veterans of the 1st Battalion of the 46th Infantry the unit on Firebase Mary Ann to re create minute by minute the events of that night, as well as to understand how the military situation in the waning days of the Vietnam War allowed such a disaster to occur It was a period fraught with problems combat refusals, drug abuse, racial strife, and fraggings and Nolan shows how the 1 46th Infantry dealt with them He describes in detail the personalities of the key players in the 1 46th and the battalion s previous operations around FSB Mary Ann.The heroism of the grunts, the horror of the carnage, and the nature of guerrilla fighting are all revealed in this first full account of the firebase s story The vivid detail and immediacy of the first person accounts give an unprecedented view of the day to day tempo of operations and state of morale in the U.S Army in the tragic final period of U.S involvement in the Vietnam War.

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      197 Keith William Nolan
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      Posted by:Keith William Nolan
      Published :2018-012-15T18:53:37+00:00

    One thought on “Sappers in the Wire: The Life and Death of Firebase Mary Ann”

    1. I was a member of 1/46th, a medic with Charlie Company. LZ Mary Ann was established just before I left country in 1969. I was not in the battalion at the time of the attack. I have met many of the survivors at reunions. They all rate this book highly. What Nolan does is tell the plain truth of Mary Ann. He sets all the early press reports on their ear and with this book tells it straight. The 1/46 was one of the division's best battalions and had spent most of its deployments in 1969 through 197 [...]

    2. A devastating account of one of the nastiest debacles suffered by American forces during the war. Nolan, who also wrote Into Laos and whom David Willson reminded me was one of the premier historians on Vietnam, writes with masterful detail, clear and gripping prose, and an insider’s insight. The battalion, 1-46th Inf, “The Professionals,” was a sister battalion to O’Brien’s base battalion, 5-46th, though these events occurred approximately two years after he had DEROS’d, in March 197 [...]

    3. I read all of Mr. Nolan's books and we enjoy his writing style. Sappers in the Wire took place in 1971 and the soldiers of the Americal on the bunker line did not follow standing orders and as a result the NVA breached the wire and overan Maryann killing many of the men on the line that night.

    4. I left Mary Ann on the last resupply out the night before - and lost some friends there. It was good to know what happened.

    5. I was in the1/46 on LZ Professional before they moved to Mary Ann, good thing I got wounded before the shit hit the fan.

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