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Blackhorse Tales (Hardback)

Stories of 11th Armored Cavalry Troopers at War

Military > By Century > 20th Century Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Vietnam

By Don Snedeker
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 304
Illustrations: b/w images throughout
ISBN: 9781636240428
Published: 10th December 2021



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When the U.S. Army went to war in South Vietnam in 1965, the general consensus was that counterinsurgency was an infantryman's war; if there was any role at all for armored forces, it would be strictly to support the infantry. However, from the time the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment arrived in country in September 1966, troopers of the Blackhorse Regiment demonstrated the fallacy of this assumption. By the time of Tet '68, the Army's leadership began to understand that the Regiment's mobility, firepower, flexibility, and leadership made a difference on the battlefield well beyond its numbers.Over the course of the 11th Cavalry's five-and-a-half years in combat in South Vietnam and Cambodia, over 25,000 young men served in the Regiment. Their stories - and those of their families - represent the Vietnam generation in graphic, sometimes humorous, often heart-wrenching detail. Collected by the author through hundreds of in-person, telephone, and electronic interviews over a period of 25-plus years, these "war stories" provide context for the companion volume, The Blackhorse in Vietnam.Amongst the stories of the Blackhorse troopers and their families are the tales of the wide variety of animals they encountered during their time in combat, as well as the variable landscape, from jungle to rice paddies, and weather. Blackhorse Tales concludes with a look at how the troopers have dealt with their combat experiences since returning from Vietnam. Between the chapters are combat narratives, one from each year of the Regiment's five-and-a-half years in Southeast Asia. These combat vignettes begin on 2 December 1966, when a small column of 1st Squadron vehicles and troopers were ambushed on Highway 1 and emerged victorious despite being outnumbered. They go on to describe the one-of-a-kind crossing of the Dong Nai River on 25 April 1968, as the Blackhorse Regiment rode to the rescue during Mini-Tet 1968, and the 2nd Squadron's fight to clear the Boi Loi Woods in late April 1971.

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About Don Snedeker

Don Snedeker is a second-generation Blackhorse trooper. He was commissioned in Armor Branch and arrived in Vietnam in late 1969. He was briefly assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, then served with the 2nd Squadron, 1st Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhawks), serving as an armored cavalry platoon leader and the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol platoon leader. Don returned to the 11th Cavalry in Germany, serving from 1976 to 1978 as the commander of Bravo Troop. Don retired from active military service in 1992. For the past 30 years, Don has served as the historian for the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia. He is the author of The Blackhorse in Vietnam: The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam and Cambodia, 1966–1972. Don and his wife Victoria live in Falls Church, Virginia.

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