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Subject: Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson
GOP    4/20/2006 6:53:34 PM
I am reading the book Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson, and he gives a completely different story about the SEAL Squad that landed on top of the Ridge (which ultimately resulted in the death of Devgru operator Neil Robertson). The book says that the plan was to land on the bottom of the mountain and climb up, but that was scrapped because a B52 was in the area, and when the B-52 cleared the area, the chopper had engine damage (elapsed time was 3:30 hours). After that, the Squad leader called HQ to ask for permission to delay the mission another night (he didn't want to be pushing daylight when his squad completed it's climg to the top of the ridge), and HQ pressured him to continue the mission. By this time, a Spectre had already looked through their heat signature radar and said the Ridge was clear...this was when the team leader decided to "Break the rules" (his words) SO HE COULD COMPLETE THE MISSION AND HELP OUT THE 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISON I thought this was important to show some of you (Horsesoldier in particular) that this incident was not caused by stupidity, it was caused by bravery. The courage to land on top of a Op ("Break the rules") so the SEALs could help out the 10th Mountain Soldiers and complete their mission. I think we can quit questioning the expertise of Devgru and the SEAL teams. They have performed very well in the War on Terror, in many situations that we will probably never know about.
 
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shek    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/20/2006 9:52:15 PM
GOP, Easy in the saddle there. What Horsesoldier has portrayed accurately reflects 100% what was written by Sean Naylor in his write up of Anaconda. Obviously, the write up in the book you are reading portrays something different. Naylor's sources appear to be within the SFOD-D community, and so maybe your getting some clash of the titans effect, although there is glowing praise for most of the SEALs that worked Anaconda from the get go, and so I don't see that. It could be explained by the clash/tension between the two different command structures. In the end, you have two different stories and one will have to use their own judgement to decide which one is more probable.
 
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mough    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/20/2006 11:41:48 PM
Gop, I don't know why you keep citing these book's as evidence either way, plus saying that landing on a hill top, against all military tactic's and logic was bravery is silly, certain rules are there for a good reason, thank God Vic Hyder will never command men again
 
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mough    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/20/2006 11:58:19 PM
btw, that wasn't a slight against the guy's who were on the hill, more on the bastard's who thought they could run a battle from a 12 inch monitor that showed them what a predator UAV see's.....postage stamp view of the World
 
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Horsesoldier    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/21/2006 5:14:51 PM
I've not read McPherson's book, but was aware that it puts forth a rather different picture of the situation than Naylor's book. If I recall correctly, Naylor cites his sources (CAG guys primarily, as far as that portion of the book is concerned, as Shek noted) as specifically saying Vic Hyder was pushing for the mountain top landing before the airstrike became an issue (because the timeline for the mission got slipped), but was getting significant flack from the CAG commander who was on site (and whom Hyder was replacing because some genius higher up thought mid-operation was the ideal time to substitut one chain of command for another . . .).
 
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mough    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/21/2006 8:16:16 PM
yep, middle of an op and they chop command from TFG to TFB, the thing about the book's was, that Sean Naylors book was kind of critical of the SEAL's, then low and behold out comes Robert's Ridge, suddenly the guy's from DEVGRU are talking, it's the same old blue vs green crap, but I won't disagree with the over all assement, that Hyder was next to incompentent in command......that guy couldn't command a boy scout troop
 
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GOP    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/21/2006 9:24:38 PM
>>yep, middle of an op and they chop command from TFG to TFB, the thing about the book's was, that Sean Naylors book was kind of critical of the SEAL's, then low and behold out comes Robert's Ridge, suddenly the guy's from DEVGRU are talking, it's the same old blue vs green crap, but I won't disagree with the over all assement, that Hyder was next to incompentent in command......that guy couldn't command a boy scout troop<< I have a question. Who is Vic Hyder? So far, I have only read about the team leader nicknamed "Slab"...is this Hyder? Mough, the reason I point out books to 'prove my point' (this wasn't the case this time) is because it is the main thing I have access to regarding the military. Also, Horsesoldier, this was absolutely not meant to be a personal attack and this post wasn't mean't to be rude. I was just trying to point out that this book has a different story than Not a Good Day to Die.
 
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mough    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/21/2006 10:20:27 PM
I have a question. Who is Vic Hyder? So far, I have only read about the team leader nicknamed "Slab"...is this Hyder?<< Lt Commander Vic Hyder, , OC Task force Blue, during the op, Slab is/was CPO Slabinski I have a question. Who is Vic Hyder? So far, I have only read about the team leader nicknamed "Slab"...is this Hyder? >>Mough, the reason I point out books to 'prove my point' (this wasn't the case this time) is because it is the main thing I have access to regarding the military.<< fair enough, but you shouldn't make judgement's based on book's, remember, book's are based on recollection's, which are often distorted/hazy/down right wrong, we'll never really know what happened on that hill, especially to Neil Robert's and John Chapman, all I'm saying is, don't take them as the "truth",
 
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Horsesoldier    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/22/2006 8:15:58 AM
"Slab" was the team leader of Mako 30. Vic Hyder was basically the next guy up in the chain of command, a Lieutenant Commander who was replacing the CAG guy on the ground (a guy named Blaber if I remember right) as commander of the special operations recce effort. "Slab" does not come off very badly in Naylor's book (+/- the issue of the wounded CCT). He was not pushing the "land directly on top of the mountain" issue (that was Hyder), and when the mission missed its time window, he wanted to push the insertion back 24 hours (Hyder's choice again, though signed off on in a rather vague fashion by higher headquarters, though Naylor's book notes that said higher HQ tried to claim an enlisted guy on radio watch had given Hyder the order to go ahead . . .). Hyder, on the other hand, comes off very badly in Naylor's book, as the above information may suggest. There was probably a SEAL officer who was entirely qualified to take over the CAG-directed recce effort in the valley (though the switch in mid-operation was a horrible idea, and would have been equally bad had it been reversed with CAG taking over from DEVGRU -- you just don't do things like that, especially not for the "hey, we want some good PR too" sort of reasons Naylor suggests were the motive . . .), but Hyder appears to not have been that person, and had already demonstrated a certain tendency towards jacka$$ery while in country before ANACONDA kicked off.
 
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Ehran    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   4/22/2006 7:00:03 PM
books often are written to "justify" someone's actions or lack thereof. you always want to spend a bit of thought on the author's particular axe to grind when assessing the credibility of a book.
 
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CmdPstSig    RE:Robert's Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson   5/10/2006 3:11:34 PM
"books often are written to "justify" someone's actions or lack thereof." Completely agree. Another example is the well known almighty -up that was 'Bravo Two Zero', in which an eight man SAS team was inserted behind Iraqi lines during the first Gulf War, January 1991. Of that eight, only 5 made survived. Andy McNabb wrote his version, entitled 'Bravo Two Zero' Chris Ryan wrote his, entitled 'The one that got away', as he was the only one not to have been killed or captured. You would have thought both accounts would have been the same, but there are some massive differences. Even in Peter Radcliffe's 'Eye of the Storm' (RSM 22 SAS during the first Gulf) there are some facts that shoot holes in their story. And once, I caught a fish thiiiiiiiiiis biiiiiiiig!
 
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