The Raid Author:Benjamin F. Schemmer One dark November morning in 1970, an elite, helicopter-borne force of American raiders landed inside and outside the walls of Son Tay prison, only 23 miles from Hanoi. Its mission was to rescue 61 American prisioners of war who were believed to be held captive under brutal and primitive conditions. Minutes later, after a fierce fire fight, th... more »e Son Tay raiders were again airborne without suffering a single serious casualty. But they left without a single American POW; the POWs were not there.
When news of the raid flashed around the world, the headlines proclaimed another Pentagon blunder in a war that was tearing the American nation apart. Was it blunder? The Pentagon disclosed very few details; pertinent documents were classified "Top-Secret" or were destroyed. Only now, after more than five years of intensive research and extensive interviews, is Benjamin F. Schemmer able to tell the first complete story of this extraordinary operation, tracing its origin and planning over six months through the bureaucratic maze of the Pentagon to the Oval Office of the White House, where it was finally approved by President Richard M. Nixon.
Amoung the book's many revelations: the incredibly accurate information obtained by Americamn intelligence agencies about the POWs themselves, and how that intelligence was painstakingly developed; how they learned only hours before the raid was launched that Son Tay was empty; why the POWs were moved, and why the raid was not called off; what the raiders found at the "school" near the prison.
The Raid provides intimate insights into Washington's military and intelligence establishments, and into the actions of the "men at the top" as they attempted to seek a resolution to the tragic dilemma of the Vietnam war.« less