The Blackhorse in Vietnam

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam and Cambodia, 1966–1972

Donald Snedeker

The story of how the 11th Armored Cavalry overcame the perception that Vietnam was an infantry war, and demonstrated what armor could do in an insurgency.
Date Published :
March 2020
Publisher :
Illustration :
40 photos and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781612008462
Pages : 336
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
In stock
Also available as an ebook:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Google Google


When the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment came ashore at Vung Tau, South Vietnam, in September 1966, it faced a number of challenges. The enemy—Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA)—was, of course, the most critical challenge. But the terrain and weather were also factors that could adversely affect the employment of both armored vehicles and helicopters alike. The dearth of doctrine and tactics for the employment of armored cavalry in a counterinsurgency was equally challenging—especially during the pre-deployment training and initial combat operations.

But just as importantly, there was an institutional bias within the Army that an insurgency was an infantryman’s war. Despite the thick jungle and monsoonal rains, despite the lack of doctrinal guidance, Blackhorse leaders found a way to overcome the obstacles and accomplish the mission. Within a year of their arrival in Vietnam, Blackhorse troopers overcame ambushes that featured volleys of anti-tank weapons, multitudes of mines, and coordinated assaults by reinforced enemy regiments against troop-sized positions. They defeated an entire enemy division twice their size. Most importantly, the 11th Cavalry successfully demonstrated the ability to operate on and off the roads, in the jungle, and during both the wet and dry seasons. By the spring of 1967, Army leaders were beginning to realize the value of armored forces in Vietnam. With the Blackhorse Regiment leading the way, armor was considered an essential part of the combat team.

This is a history of the Blackhorse Regiment in the Vietnam War, and the stories of some of the 20,000 young Americans who served in its ranks during the war.

About The Author

Don Snedeker served in the Blackhorse Regiment in Vietnam and as a troop commander post-Vietnam. He was in active military service until 1992. For the past 20 years Don has served as the historian for the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia.


Chapter One: Preparing for War
Chapter Two: The Blackhorse Enters Combat
Chapter Three: The Fight Intensifies
Chapter Four: The Blackhorse Makes Its Reputation
Chapter Five: The Bloodiest Year
Chapter Six: Expanding the War
Chapter Seven: Mission Accomplished
Epilogue: Blackhorse Forever
Appendix 1:History and Patch of the Eleventh United States Cavalry Regiment
Appendix 2: Glossary
Appendix 3: Firepower Comparison
Appendix 4: Blackhorse Medal of Honor Recipients


"This is a well-written, extensively documented unit history of a regiment with an enviable combat record that will interest both military historians and Vietnam veterans, particularly those who served in the Blackhorse during the war and after."

- ARMY Magazine

"The subject is meticulously researched and will be of interest to historians and to anyone who served with the Blackhorse."

- The VVA Veteran

More from this publisher