What if Operation Eagle Claw succeeded

Stan_Deesey

Old-Salt
Ross Perot recruited the colonel who was involved with the Son Tay rescue mission for his Iran jolly. It ended better than the Vietnam mission did.

Uncommon Valor (1983) is (imho) is a (mostly fictional) retelling of how a millionaire got together with a Special Forces colonel to organize a hostage rescue. Gene Hackman plays the colonel and Robert Stack plays the millionaire. It's a very entertaining action move, and a cut above its contemporary Rambo.

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That´s the film starring a pre-Dirty Dancing Patrick Swayze as a former US Marine.

I remember watching it on video on the messdeck of a ship. When it came to the scene where Gene Hackman introduces their new advisor to the team, and tells them he´s going to be teaching them the latest combat tactics, there were cries of "Patrick Swayze???!", and, "What the hell is he going to do? Teach them to dance??"
 
I've heard the same story and that is besides the point.... A year later, the soviets are in afghanistan and one assumes the soviet ELINT and other intelligence, would know the operation is underway and a chance to embarrass the americans, would probably have appealed to them. If the americans switch to using massive power and blast there way into Tehran, all the better from a geo-political standpoint.

Remember the Soviet tabloid ...of the day ...Prada (??) or Pravda (probably the only one that was allowed to exist!!) their journalists covering Beruit troubles were kidnapped by the usual suspects probably invovled with Terry Waite, Jon McCarthy (Bumped into him bakc in the 90s in Cambs).

Well the journalists stay was very brief as the brother of the head kidnapper was dumped unceremoniously by Spetnatz or KGB hit squad on a street corner of Beirut The chap was little bit deceased and manhood chopped off and stuffed in his mouth. There was also a warning attached with something along the lines of 'release them or this will continue'.

Cheers
 
Hi Spartak, the pilots and crews of the 53s flown in Eagle Claw were marines.

As I remember from Charlie Beckwith´s book Delta Force, (which I haven´t read in decades), after it was decided not to use the USAF´s specialist combat rescue helicopters on the mission as it was thought that relocating some of them to the Middle East would compromise security, and to use instead the naval minesweeping version of the H-53, a group of USN pilots were attached to Delta Force to train for the mission.

These pilots weren´t suitable as they had little or no experience in NOE flying, or of flying in and around mountains. Beckwith demanded that they be replaced with the best helicopter pilots in the US military. The replacement pilots came from the USMC, which made Beckwith suspect that the Marine Corps was trying to get a piece of the action.

As to the (limited) visibility of the ´marshalers´ at Desert One, this was caused by dust being blown around by the C-130 propellers. A reconnaissance mission had been flown into the area on March 31st 1980 - 3 weeks prior to the mission. The combat control officer John Carney walked the area, placed landing beacons, and collected soil samples which he took back to the US.

During the intervening three weeks a storm deposited vast amounts of dust around the area, and this had not been expected. It was a 53 pilot losing sight of his marshaler that caused the collision between his helo and a C-130.

The dust covers on the helos had been removed to save weight - again the dust storms in the area had not been anticipated.

I don´t know how much being rumbled by the civvies would have compromised the mission. All of the civilians that they detained were to be flown out of Iran, and held on the base at Masirah, and then released when the mission was completed. In the event they were left at Desert One when the mission was aborted and the US forces evacuated the area.

Retired Colonel John T. Carney wrote a book called No Room for Error which is worth a read.
Currently working from home and that book was on the shelf next to me.

“[...]It became apparent, when al the specifications were laid out, that the 53 series met most of the requirements. Additionally, the Navy RH-53D, known as the Sea Stallion,had both foldable tail boom and rotor blades, which permitted them to be carried on aircraft carriers.“

The bit that raised my eyebrows when I originally read that book that these were used for mine sweeping! WTAF, how did that work! (I found out later, v interesting).

Good book though, will have to re-read it at some point if I ever get through the rest of my current list.
Cheers.
 
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Remember the Soviet tabloid ...of the day ...Prada (??) or Pravda (probably the only one that was allowed to exist!!) their journalists covering Beruit troubles were kidnapped by the usual suspects probably invovled with Terry Waite, Jon McCarthy (Bumped into him bakc in the 90s in Cambs).

Well the journalists stay was very brief as the brother of the head kidnapper was dumped unceremoniously by Spetnatz or KGB hit squad on a street corner of Beirut The chap was little bit deceased and manhood chopped off and stuffed in his mouth. There was also a warning attached with something along the lines of 'release them or this will continue'.

Cheers
Fair point, one could go further and the Soviet trained Khad pretty much had the urban afghanistan sewn up and similarly, Phoenix in Vietnam and our operations in South Yemen back in the colonial days and all very adept at dealing with local insurgencies, in terms of terror..

Though in the case of Eagle Claw your months after the fact. I merely highlighed the opsec for the operation was probably already compromised to Moscow and if they're told Tehran, then the operation would have seen serious fighting and possibly led to an even worse disaster.
 
That´s the film starring a pre-Dirty Dancing Patrick Swayze as a former US Marine.

I remember watching it on video on the messdeck of a ship. When it came to the scene where Gene Hackman introduces their new advisor to the team, and tells them he´s going to be teaching them the latest combat tactics, there were cries of "Patrick Swayze???!", and, "What the hell is he going to do? Teach them to dance??"

 

exsniffer

Old-Salt
Probably not, the Russians were on the Iranian hate list too. At the time, the Students had also intended to sieze the Russian embassy staff, but they dropped that idea.

the story doing the rounds at the time was the the Russian Ambassador had called in the Chief student rabble rouser Mullah to tell him to call his dogs outside off. When the Mullah shrugged and said it was out of his hands to stop the students, the Russian chap casually looked at his watch and said - it’s 11.00, but if your students storm my embassy, I can assure you in 20 minutes there won’t be a Tehran.
Oddly enough, the Mullahs decided not to call him out on the threat.
The story I heard was that the Russians pointed out that if their embassy was stormed the temperature in the holy city of Qoms would rise by about 10000 degrees centigrade
 

Stan_Deesey

Old-Salt
Currently working from home and that book was on the shelf next to me.

“[...]It became apparent, when al the specifications were laid out, that the 53 series met most of the requirements. Additionally, the Navy RH-53D, known as the Sea Stallion,had both foldable tail boom and rotor blades, which permitted them to be carried on aircraft carriers.“

The bit that raised my eyebrows when I originally read that book that these were used for mine sweeping! WTAF, how did that work! (I found out later, v interesting).

Good book though, will have to re-read it at some point if I ever get through the rest of my current list.
Cheers.

I haven´t got my copy of Delta Force anymore. I found this last night though, while re-reading No Room for Error by Col. John Carney who was the lead controller at Desert One:

Military Airlift Command had argued unsuccessfully, I learned much later, for the use of the Air Force´s new MH-53J Pave Low helicopters instead of the much less sophisticated Navy RH-53Ds. The aircraft were light years ahead of the USAF´s aging HH-53 ´Jolly Green Giant´ rescue helicopters, specifically designed for special operations work, and equipped with terrain-following radar, inertial navigation systems, doppler navigation, secure communications gear, electronic countermeasures and Gatling guns.

Although the new helicopters were not yet operational, crews were being trained on them.

In a meeting with General David Jones, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, held at MAC headquarters to discuss movement of the rescue forces, MAC´s commander-in-chief, General Huyser, made an impassioned plea to use the MH-53s

Jones would hear none of it; he was adamant that the RH-53Ds would be used, and flown by Marine Corps pilots.

At one point General Brown, (MAC´s deputy chief of operations), suggested as a compromise to use the MH-53Js, but give Marines a role in the operation: he´d simply paint “US Marine Corps” on the Pave Lows. He would recall years later, “I got my butt chewed”.
 
The story I heard was that the Russians pointed out that if their embassy was stormed the temperature in the holy city of Qoms would rise by about 10000 degrees centigrade

The version I heard was the Soviet Ambassador having a meeting with senior Iranian leadership. He took off his watch, threw it on the floor and stamped on it, smashing it to pieces. He then told the Iranians,

"The day after you take Soviets hostage, Tehran will look like that."
 
Glossing over the tactical analysis. Eagle Claw success = Carter second term.
 
Glossing over the tactical analysis. Eagle Claw success = Carter second term.
It could have happened that way. As we know though, it did not and Carter went down as a bumbling well-meaning but ineffectual one term president
 
Absolutely. But Eagle Claw working could very well have meant no Reagan presidency. Unintended consequences and all
 
Y
Interesting interview with an orginal Delta Force Operator who took part in Operation Eagle Claw, recorded on the 40th anniversary.

Yeah, I know Mike. Cool dude. :thumright:
 
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