Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fire Base Illingworth: An Epic True Story of Remarkable Courage Against Staggering Odds” as Want to Read:
Fire Base Illingworth: An Epic True Story of Remarkable Courage Against Staggering Odds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fire Base Illingworth: An Epic True Story of Remarkable Courage Against Staggering Odds

by
4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Fire Base Illingworth is an epic, never-before-told true story of a North Vietnamese Army attack and how the men of this nearly overrun Fire Base survived.

In the early morning hours of April 1, 1970, more than four hundred North Vietnamese soldiers charged out into the open and tried to over-run FSB Illingworth. The battle went on, mostly in the dark, for hours. Exposed am
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published October 29th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Joseph
Aug 26, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
Fire Base Illingworth: An Epic True Story of Remarkable Courage Against Staggering Odds by Philip Keith is the story of the men who defended Fire Base Illington on April 1, 1970. Keith earned a degree in history from Harvard and worked on a master's at the Naval War College. He joined the navy and became an aviator serving three tours in Vietnam. Keith remained in the navy reserves and attained the rank of captain. He has written eight other books including Blackhorse Riders, his first Vietnam b ...more
Travis Starnes
Nov 26, 2013 Travis Starnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author clearly has an affinity for this area of the war and this is not his first history about it. He previously wrote a book about a small conflict just days before the events in Fire Base Illingworth and involving some of the same men. If anything this book is a continuation of that previous work, although he does a good job recapping the events of his previous book for readers not familiar with it.

Keith’s writing is excellent and he clearly has talent as a military historian, a very spec
...more
Jeremiah
Sep 10, 2013 Jeremiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever seen a war film where a fire base gets overrun in chaos but wonder what it really was like, then Fire Base Illingworth: An Epic True Story of Remarkable Courage Against Staggering Odds is the book for you. The book starts out with a bang, detailing a company sized battle that occurred nearby, a week prior to the Fire Base Illingworth battle (you also learn how the Fire Base got its name). From there it goes into detail about why FSB Illingworth was created, it's construction and d ...more
John Nellis
Nov 11, 2013 John Nellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I enjoyed reading this book, I originally didn't approach it with an open mind. I had read several reviews by veterans of the battle , that said the book was inaccurate or left things out. One review was from a family member who's brother was killed in the battle. They felt the cause of death was inaccurately portrayed , and their relatives role in the battle not given enough description. So I started to read with a little bit of a negative notion. After reading for a bit I thought mayb ...more
P.e. lolo
Oct 01, 2013 P.e. lolo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This like many books about Vietnam is hard to read or maybe frustrating or both. First let me say this is a very good book and the men, yes men for what they went through and contiune to go through from that night. They are men. Mr. Kieth does a good job in giving you all of the information leading up to the night of the battle. He goes into detail about why these fire bases were set up and who's idea was it. That a few nights before this fire base was attacked another not to far away was attack ...more
Cannon
Aug 29, 2014 Cannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fire Base Illingworth is a fast-paced nonfiction book about an artillery base in Vietnam in 1970. The book starts out with a background of the region including multiple infantry engagements. It then goes on to talk about the fire base strategy in Vietnam where artillery bases would be set up quickly within range of another artillery base. If the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) attacked one base another base could provide overlapping fire. The beginning of the book is nice with the engagements depict ...more
Ron
In Fire Base Illingworth, Philip Keith provides a window into the chaos that was the Vietnam War in 1970. Keith sets the scene with chapters discussing the strategy of using fire bases as magnets for the North Vietnamese Army and the remnants of the Viet Cong. These chapters provide the information needed in concise, easily-understood terms.

Keith next provides a brief life story for Private Illingworth, the namesake of the fire base along with a summary account of what happened at Fire Base Jay
...more
Robert Burnham
Nov 05, 2013 Robert Burnham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I have read on infantry combat in the Vietnam War. It has several minor errors, such as what to call units (for example he referred to one unit as the 3rd Battalion of the 2nd Armored Division, but I attribute to the fact the author was a naval officer and not an army officer. These errors do not significantly detract from a well written story of the chaos, terror, and courage of the men who fought that day.
Ashley
Oct 15, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this novel through Goodreads First Reads program. I never knew much about the Vietnam War fire bases. This book provided a lot detail about the war, and who made the decisions. It was captivating to read what the men went through to protect Illingworth. After reading this book it showed me how little I know about the Vietnam War and I am going to change that.
John Smith
Sep 27, 2013 John Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve
Nov 01, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing story of courage and fighting for survival and against the odds. An American fire base was under attack by the North Vietnamese Army in 1970. With courage the American soldiers fought bravely and defended the firebase.
Eric
Sep 22, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, at-library
Well worth the read. I like how the author placed this account into the overall strategy of the Vietnam conflict so I could see how it fit in.
Wurmo
Jun 04, 2015 Wurmo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really well-written book on a subject I'd never heard of. The book/story wasn't exactly a marathon read, but it kept me interested throughout. Keith is a really impressive writer.
Phil
Jun 16, 2015 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent combat account but the author strives unsuccessfully to make the battle emblematic of the larger war.
Jb3
Jb3 rated it it was ok
Sep 20, 2016
Ryan Orwick
Ryan Orwick rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2017
Sarah
Sarah rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2013
Kevin
Kevin rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2017
Erik
Erik rated it it was ok
Apr 05, 2016
Miolnier
Miolnier rated it it was amazing
Jan 28, 2016
Wreta
Wreta rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2016
Ted
Ted rated it really liked it
May 10, 2014
Sally Patton
Sally Patton rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2015
Jerry
Jerry rated it it was amazing
Oct 31, 2013
Keith
Keith rated it really liked it
May 20, 2014
Jordan Barkett
Jordan Barkett rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2015
Henrik Johansson
Henrik Johansson rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2015
April Smith
April Smith rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2015
Tyler
Tyler rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2015
Curt
Curt rated it really liked it
May 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970
  • To the Limit: An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam
  • The Crouching Beast: A United States Army Lieutenant's Account of the Battle for Hamburger Hill, May 1969
  • Dead Center: A Marine Sniper's Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War
  • Abandoned in Hell: The Fight For Vietnam's Firebase Kate
  • Hill 488
  • The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam
  • The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam
  • Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War
  • SOG: Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam
  • Low Level Hell: A Scout Pilot In The Big Red One
  • The Last Full Measure: Death in Battle Through the Ages
  • A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam
  • Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War
  • Six Silent Men: 101st LRP/Rangers
  • Blood on the Risers: An Airborne Soldier's Thirty-five Months in Vietnam
  • Vietnam: The Australian War
  • Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75
5117361
Phil graduated from Harvard. During Vietnam Phil served with distinction as a Naval aviator; worked for 2 Fortune 500 firms; CEO for three technology companies. Phil teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), is a columnist, a magazine feature writer, has published two fictional novels. Latest major work is "Fire Base Illingworth" a non-fiction account of a battle and rescue in Vietnam, ...more
More about Philip Keith...

Share This Book