Essay On Fire Support Base Ripcord

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The Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord was a 23 Day battle between the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and two reinforced Vietnamese divisions. The battle begins on July 1st 1970 to the 23rd of July 1970. Ripcord was a base that the 101st built as an offensive force so troops could withdraw from Vietnam. Ripcord had only one source of support and that was a Heli pad. Firebase Ripcords other objective was to destroy enemy supply bases. On July 1st 1970 the North Vietnamese Army launched a mortar attack on the base causing 75 American deaths. The battle lasted for 23 days until Major General(ret) Ben Harrison launched an air raid that seized the battle (Ripcord Association, 2017). Multiple events happened during this 23-day long battle …show more content…

By 1970 the US was dealing with many issues in Vietnam and at home. From many American positions being weakened by cuts in troops, forces being stretched to their limits, public pressure and anti-war movements growing. The 101st Airborne were the only full strength division left in Vietnam. Under the command of General Ben Harrison, they were given the lead on an operation codenamed “Texas Star”. “Texas Star” was a plan to rebuild the abandoned Fire Support Base Ripcord in the A Shau Valley. The operation was held with as little press coverage as possible and kept on certain level of “need to know basis”. While the 101st were rebuilding the base and preparing the attack the NVA were secretly gathering intelligence at the same time launching sporadic attacks lasting from March 12 until June 30. After weeks on the morning of July 1, 1970, the North Vietnamese started firing mortars at the firebase and began to besiege the Americans in the firebase lasting 23 days. 75 US servicemen …show more content…

The battle raged for days. The 101st were outnumbered almost ten to one and running low on supplies. Due to its high ground it made it very difficult for the enemy from over running the FSB Ripcord. NVA losses at Ripcord were one of the reasons why the north postponed their Easter offensive due to the needs of resupplying and organizing after the attacks on the firebase. One of the survivors, Danny Kirkham gave his account on the event in a 2012 interview. The Battle of FSB Ripcord was not very known to the public. The reason behind this was because the Nixon administration did not want media coverage of the last major battle of the Vietnam War. In 1985 the memory of the battle was revived when the FSB Ripcord association was established to honor the fallen and remember the survivors. Three Medal of honors and five distinguished service crosses were awarded to the men to the men who fought in

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