• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Operation Eagle Claw

Cloud Cover

Army.ca Fixture
Subscriber
Reaction score
506
Points
1,060
Well, I’ve read just about all the good books about Dien Bien Phu.

Moving on to the Iran Hostage Crisis v1.0 (1979). Can anybody recommend good reads about Operation Eagle Claw?

Thanks!
 
Well, I’ve read just about all the good books about Dien Bien Phu.

Moving on to the Iran Hostage Crisis v1.0 (1979). Can anybody recommend good reads about Operation Eagle Claw?

Thanks!
Ken Follet wrote a non fiction work detailing how EFS attempted to exfiltrate their personnel from Iran - On Wings of Eagles.

 
Most of the in depth analysis on this is still classified, there are some great AAR books on the subject, but again stuck behind TS and higher levels of classification. Some are absolutely fascinating and also truly shocking (with the benefit of hindsight).

Most of the books done by early unit plankowners only lightly touch upon it, and even Relentless Strike only glosses over it as to the reason JSOC was created.
 
Well, I’ve read just about all the good books about Dien Bien Phu.

Moving on to the Iran Hostage Crisis v1.0 (1979). Can anybody recommend good reads about Operation Eagle Claw?

Thanks!

Operation Eagle Claw 1980, by Justin Williamson, is a generally balanced read.

Desert One, by Mike Ryan, is more an an analysis on why the mission failed so badly and links to the future structure of SOCOM and JSOC.

Both those are available on Amazon.

For a more academic (militarily speaking) view of things, particularly the higher level C2 of the effort and what went wrong in the initial phases of the op, consider Broken Stiletto: Command and Control of the Joint Task Force During Operation Eagle Claw at Desert One, by MAJ William C. Flynt on course at U.S. Army Command and General Staff Course at Ft Leavenworth.
(Ironically via link at U.S. Naval Warfare Center library: https://usnwc.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01USNWC_INST/1krl80q/alma991001094329706746 )

I don’t know if it’s available publicly, I read it during a visit to CGCS in Leavenworth a ‘few’ years ago. It was a DoD published student staff paper, but was in a book format, so I don’t know if it has an ISBN reference.

My personal take on the aspects that led to the Desert One disaster, was that preparation and coordination was lacking, not through effort or dedication, but because it was something new and daring with high risk, but without the solid risk management/mitigation that SF ops embody now. Cross loading organizations on similar but not own-platforms and less ROC drills than done today figured into things. Also the factor that adrenaline and sense of urgency without that solid sanity pause to reflect/think about what’s going on, particularly in this case where night vision and aviation were nascent…didn’t end well. Honestly, it could have been even worse at Desert One, IMO. Creation/refinement/currency/proficiency in TTPs/ROCs/etc. are better these days…in a way that better matches technical capabilities as well.
 
Operation Eagle Claw 1980, by Justin Williamson, is a generally balanced read.

Desert One, by Mike Ryan, is more an an analysis on why the mission failed so badly and links to the future structure of SOCOM and JSOC.

Both those are available on Amazon.

For a more academic (militarily speaking) view of things, particularly the higher level C2 of the effort and what went wrong in the initial phases of the op, consider Broken Stiletto: Command and Control of the Joint Task Force During Operation Eagle Claw at Desert One, by MAJ William C. Flynt on course at U.S. Army Command and General Staff Course at Ft Leavenworth.
(Ironically via link at U.S. Naval Warfare Center library: https://usnwc.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01USNWC_INST/1krl80q/alma991001094329706746 )

I don’t know if it’s available publicly, I read it during a visit to CGCS in Leavenworth a ‘few’ years ago. It was a DoD published student staff paper, but was in a book format, so I don’t know if it has an ISBN reference.

My personal take on the aspects that led to the Desert One disaster, was that preparation and coordination was lacking, not through effort or dedication, but because it was something new and daring with high risk, but without the solid risk management/mitigation that SF ops embody now. Cross loading organizations on similar but not own-platforms and less ROC drills than done today figured into things. Also the factor that adrenaline and sense of urgency without that solid sanity pause to reflect/think about what’s going on, particularly in this case where night vision and aviation were nascent…didn’t end well. Honestly, it could have been even worse at Desert One, IMO. Creation/refinement/currency/proficiency in TTPs/ROCs/etc. are better these days…in a way that better matches technical capabilities as well.

There are a few interesting clips on YouTube. I watched this one recently and learned alot about the event:

 
@daftandbarmy, I’ve met COL Fearkes at JSOU in Tampa during a speaking event he was part of and as you can imagine, this video touches on some of the elements of the OP. What the SAS left unspoken on the cases of beer at the FOB in Oman definitely meant a lot to the Eagle Claw troops. I also know one of the USAF RH-53 pilots (he’s a Jolly Green pilot, but they were flying the Navy -53s) from the op and the overall story is still one that humbles us ‘younger’ kids in the business. In the end, it wasn’t a tactically successful mission, but it was a formative event that led to the kinds of capabilities that resulted in actions like taking OBL.
 
@daftandbarmy, I’ve met COL Fearkes at JSOU in Tampa during a speaking event he was part of and as you can imagine, this video touches on some of the elements of the OP. What the SAS left unspoken on the cases of beer at the FOB in Oman definitely meant a lot to the Eagle Claw troops. I also know one of the USAF RH-53 pilots (he’s a Jolly Green pilot, but they were flying the Navy -53s) from the op and the overall story is still one that humbles us ‘younger’ kids in the business. In the end, it wasn’t a tactically successful mission, but it was a formative event that led to the kinds of capabilities that resulted in actions like taking OBL.

And it was just about the ballsiest thing I've ever heard of since WW2... hats off to 'em all!
 
And it was just about the ballsiest thing I've ever heard of since WW2... hats off to 'em all!
Second to the dudes who were training to land and take off a C-130 inside a sports stadium in Tehran…

 
Canada's ambassador to Iran, Claude Taylor, was also providing on the ground reporting while concealing the "houseguests" who had escaped the US embassy.
 
Back
Top