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The M113 is the most widely used and versatile armoured vehicle in the world. Fielded in 1960 as a simple 'battlefield taxi', over 80,000 M113s would see service with 50 nations around the world and 55 years later, many thousands are still in use. In addition to its original role of transporting troops across the battlefield, specialized versions perform a multitude of other functions including command and control, fire support, anti-tank and anti-aircraft defence, and casualty evacuation. This new fully illustrated study examines the service record of the M113 from its initial fielding through to the end of the Vietnam War. It will also describe the many US, South Vietnamese, and Australian variants of the M113 used in the Vietnam War as well as information on tactics, unit tables of organization and equipment, and a selection of engagements in which the M113 played a decisive role.
Valor in Vietnam focuses on 19 stories of Vietnam, stories of celebrated characters in the veteran community, compelling war narratives, vignettes of battles, and the emotional impact on the combatants. It is replete with leadership lessons as well as valuable insights that are just as applicable today as they were 40 years ago. This is an anecdotal history of America's war in Vietnam composed of firsthand narratives by Vietnam War veterans presented in chronological order. They are intense, emotional, and highly personal stories. Connecting each of them is a brief historical commentary of that period of the war, the geography of the story, and the contemporary strategy written by Dr. Lewis"Bob" Sorley, West Point class of 1956, and author of A Better War. Valor in Vietnam presents an historical overview of the war through the eyes of participants in each branch of service and throughout the entire course of the war. Simply put, their stories serve to reflect the commitment, honour and dedication with which America's veterans performed their service. About the Author Allen B. Clark graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1963. Two years later, in 1965, he volunteered for service in Vietnam and was assigned to the Fifth Special Forces Group. He was wounded in an early-morning mortar attack on the Dak To Special Forces camp on June 17, 1967, that necessitated the amputation of both legs below his knees. He lives outside Dallas in Plano, Texas, and is the author of Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior.
Having learned their trade on the subsonic MiG-17, pilots of the Vietnamese People's Air Force (VPAF) received their first examples of the legendary MiG-21 supersonic fighter in 1966. Soon thrown into combat over North Vietnam, the guided-missile equipped MiG-21 proved a deadly opponent for the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps crews striking at targets deep in communist territory. Although the communist pilots initially struggled to come to terms with the fighter's air-search radar and weapons systems, the ceaseless cycle of combat operations quickly honed their skills. Indeed, by the time the last US aircraft (a B-52) was claimed by the VPAF on 28 December 1972, no fewer than 13 pilots had become aces flying the MiG-21. Fully illustrated with wartime photographs and detailed colour artwork plates, and including enthralling combat reports, this book examines the many variants of the MiG-21 that fought in the conflict, the schemes they wore and the pilots that flew them.
In May 1968, in the western jungle of Vietnam near Laos, a Special Forces Company under the command of an Australian army captain, supported by a U.S. Marine artillery detachment, occupied an old French fort on a hill known as Ngok Tavak. Though the ensuing battle and subsequent retreat appeared relatively insignificant, they proved to have much wider implications. Nearly every major force in South Vietnam was involved, and the battle's bloody ending came to stand as a microcosm of what went wrong in the war. In its wake Ngok Tavak left issues that cried out for resolution for decades afterwards. After interviewing battle survivors and American soldiers' families, and searching through accounts from official reports that included Vietnamese documents, eyewitness statements, and war diaries, Bruce Davies pieces together the evidence that puts Ngok Tavak in context and addresses questions that still haunt those involved.
This landmark study of the Vietnamese conflict, examined through the lens of the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary movements in the rural province of Long An up until American intervention in the area, offers a human, balanced, penetrating account of war. Two new forewords by Robert K. Brigham of Vassar College and Jeffrey Record of the Air War College explore the book's enduring influence. There is a new end chapter that offers previously unpublished scholarship on the conflict.
During the Vietnam War, both the United States and the Soviet Union supplied all manner of weapon systems to the opposing sides, including tanks and armoured vehicles. Two tanks in particular took momentary prominence in the later years of the conflict. On the South Vietnamese side, it was the US M41 Walker Bulldog; for the communist North Vietnamese, the Soviet-supplied T-54 main battle tank was the core of their armoured power.
In their first major engagement, during Operation Lam Son 719 (February–March 1971), it was the Walker Bulldog in the ascendant, but in later battles the T-54s inflicted heavy losses on their lighter opponents, taking the advantage through their superior manoeuvrability and gunnery.
Illustrated with full-colour artwork as well as rare and revealing photographs from both sides, this book studies these two iconic tanks in Vietnamese service, examining how their differing designs and fighting doctrines affected their performance in this unique theatre of combat.
Scorched Earth is the first book to chronicle the effects of chemical warfare on the Vietnamese people and their environment, where, even today, more than 3 million people--including 500,000 children--are sick and dying from birth defects, cancer, and other illnesses that can be directly traced to Agent Orange/dioxin exposure. Weaving first-person accounts with original research, Vietnam War scholar Fred A. Wilcox examines long-term consequences for future generations, laying bare the ongoing monumental tragedy in Vietnam, and calls for the United States government to finally admit its role in chemical warfare in Vietnam. Wilcox also warns readers that unless we stop poisoning our air, food, and water supplies, the cancer epidemic in the United States and other countries will only worsen, and he urgently demands the chemical manufacturers of Agent Orange to compensate the victims of their greed and to stop using the Earth's rivers, lakes, and oceans as toxic waste dumps. Vietnam has chosen August 10--the day that the US began spraying Agent Orange on Vietnam--as Agent Orange Day, to commemorate all its citizens who were affected by the deadly chemical. Scorched Earth will be released upon the third anniversary of this day, in honor of all those whose families have suffered, and continue to suffer, from this tragedy.
This book narrates the history of the different peoples who have lived in the three major regions of Viet Nam over the past 3,000 years. It brings to life their relationships with these regions' landscapes, water resources, and climatic conditions, their changing cultures and religious traditions, and their interactions with their neighbors in China and Southeast Asia. Key themes include the dramatic impact of changing weather patterns from ancient to medieval and modern times, the central importance of riverine and maritime communications, ecological and economic transformations, and linguistic and literary changes. The country's long experience of regional diversity, multi-ethnic populations, and a multi-religious heritage that ranges from local spirit cults to the influences of Buddhism, Confucianism and Catholicism, makes for a vividly pluralistic narrative. The arcs of Vietnamese history include the rise and fall of different political formations, from chiefdoms to Chinese provinces, from independent kingdoms to divided regions, civil wars, French colonies, and modern republics. In the twentieth century anticolonial nationalism, the worldwide depression, Japanese occupation, a French attempt at reconquest, the traumatic American-Vietnamese war, and the 1975 communist victory all set the scene for the making of contemporary Viet Nam. Rapid economic growth in recent decades has transformed this one-party state into a global trading nation. Yet its rich history still casts a long shadow. Along with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Viet Nam is now involved in a tense territorial standoff in the South China Sea, as a rival of China and a "partner" of the United States. If its independence and future geographical unity seem assured, Viet Nam's regional security and prospects for democracy remain clouded.
There are many broad studies of the Vietnam War, but this work offers an insight into the harrowing experiences of just a small number of men from a single unit, deep in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia. Its focus is the remarkable account of a Medal of Honor recipient Leslie Sabo Jr., whose brave actions were forgotten for over three decades. Sabo and other replacement soldiers in Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry (Currahees), 101st Airborne Division, were involved in intense, bloody engagements such as the battle for Hill 474 and the Mother's Day Ambush. Beginning with their deployment at the height of the blistering Tet Offensive, and using military records and interviews with surviving soldiers, Eric Poole recreates the terror of combat amidst the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam. Company of Heroes, now published in paperback tells the remarkable story of how Sabo earned his medal, as Bravo Company forged bonds of brotherhood in their daily battle for survival.
"'I never got a chance to be a girl, ' Kate O'Hare Palmer lamented, thirty-four years after her tour as an army nurse in Vietnam. Although proud of having served, she felt that the war she never understood had robbed her of her innocence and forced her to grow up too quickly. As depicted in a photograph taken late in her tour, long hours in the operating room exhausted her both physically and mentally. Her tired eyes and gaunt face reflected th e weariness she felt after treating countless patients, some dying, some maimed, all, like her, forever changed. Still, she learned to work harder and faster than she thought she could, to trust her nursing skills, and to live independently. She developed a way to balance the dangers and benefits of being a woman in the army and in the war. Only fourteen months long, her tour in Vietnam profoundly affected her life and her beliefs."
Such vivid personal accounts abound in historian Kara Dixon Vuic's compelling look at the experiences of army nurses in the Vietnam War. Drawing on more than 100 interviews, Vuic allows the nurses to tell their own captivating stories, from their reasons for joining the military to the physical and emotional demands of a horrific war and postwar debates about how to commemorate their service.
Vuic also explores the gender issues that arose when a male-dominated army actively recruited and employed the services of 5,000 nurses in the midst of a growing feminist movement and a changing nursing profession. Women drawn to the army's patriotic promise faced disturbing realities in the virtually all-male hospitals of South Vietnam. Men who joined the nurse corps ran headlong into the army's belief that women should nurse and men should fight.
"Officer, Nurse, Woman" brings to light the nearly forgotten contributions of brave nurses who risked their lives to bring medical care to soldiers during a terrible--and divisive--war.
Born on the Fourth of July, the New York Times bestseller (more than one million copies sold), details Ron Kovic's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film version) - from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. This 40th anniversary edition includes a powerful and moving new introduction, setting this classic anti-war story in a contemporary context.
At the beginning of the Vietnam War, the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF) were equipped with slow, old Korean War generation fighters - a combination of MiG-17s and MiG-19s - types that should have offered little opposition to the cutting-edge fighter-bombers such as the F-4 Phantom II, F-105 Thunderchief and the F-8 Crusader. Yet when the USAF and US Navy unleashed their aircraft on North Vietnam in 1965 the inexperienced pilots of the VPAF were able to shatter the illusion of US air superiority. Taking advantage of their jet's unequalled low-speed maneuverability, small size and powerful cannon armament they were able to take the fight to their missile-guided opponents, with a number of Vietnamese pilots racking up ace scores. Packed with information previously unavailable in the west and only recently released from archives in Vietnam, this is the first major analysis of the exploits of Vietnamese pilots in the David and Goliath contest with the US over the skies of Vietnam.
In late 1967 as part of the Tet offensive, U.S. commanders hoped to lure the North Vietnamese Army into exposing large numbers of soldiers to their overwhelming air power. But in January 1968, a U.S. Marine Corps force found themselves surrounded by the enemy in their hilltop base at Khe Sanh. The siege lasted for nearly three months and caught the attention of the world; for many it came to epitomise the conflict. Eric Hammel's classic account is a vivid oral history, using the words of American fighting men caught up in the gruelling, deadly seventy-seven-day ordeal create a harrowing tapestry of tragedy and triumph. As two North Vietnamese Army divisions move to surround them, the vastly outnumbered U.S. Marines rush to strengthen their defenses at the isolated base and several nearby hilltop positions. The Communist forces repeatedly attack, are repeatedly repelled, and then dig in to take the American base by siege-the makings of a classic, modern "set-piece" strategy in which the defenders become bait to tie the attackers to fixed positions in which they can be pummelled and pulverized by American artillery and air support. The gripping-and moving-narrative flows from the masterfully woven threads provided by nearly a hundred men who gallantly endured the wrenching all-out struggle to hold the combat base and its vulnerable outlying positions. Re-issued in the fiftieth anniversary year of the siege, with an updated photo section and maps, this is a ground-breaking and influential history of this crucial landmark battle.
The Boys of '67 and the War They Left Behind The human experience of the Vietnam War is almost impossible to grasp - the camaraderie, the fear, the smell, the pain. Men were transformed into soldiers, and then into warriors. These warriors had wives who loved them and shared in their transformations. Some marriages were strengthened, while for others there was all too often a dark side, leaving men and their families emotionally and spiritually battered for years to come. Focusing in on just one company's experience of war and its eventual homecoming, Andrew Wiest shines a light on the shared experience of combat and both the darkness and resiliency of war's aftermath.
During his first tour in Vietnam - 1967-68 - Dick Taylor was a well trained and highly motivated amateur assigned to advise a hard-bitten ARVN infantry battalion working in the mud and streams of IV Corps. He became savvy in a hurry and found that he was both brave and resourceful. He barely survived Tet 1968, then served on an advisory team staff. For the next two years, Taylor earned a Ranger tab, served on a division staff, and schooled on. He met a woman, and married her days before he returned to Vietnam. Taylor's second tour- 1970-71 - was altogether different. He immediately assumed command of Bravo Company, 1/7 Cav, and excelled as a commander and a leader. He was aggressive in the field, confident in his command, and assertive with his superiors. He fought a good war, a successful war, and when he was forced to take a staff job it was as his battalion's intelligence officer. But the war was winding down, its purpose lost. Taylor's spirit's flagged, but not his fidelity. This well-written combat memoir is heartfelt, earnest, honest, and just a little melancholy. It is a very good book.
During the Vietnam War, hundreds of American POWs faced years of brutal conditions and horrific torture at the hands of communist interrogators who ruthlessly plied them for military intelligence and propaganda. Determined to maintain their Code of Conduct, the prisoners developed a powerful underground resistance. To quash it, the North Vietnamese singled out its eleven leaders, Vietnam's own "dirty dozen," and banished them to an isolated jail that would become known as Alcatraz. None would leave its solitary cells and interrogation rooms unscathed; one would never return. As these men suffered in Hanoi, their wives launched an extraordinary campaign that would ultimately spark the POW/MIA movement. When the survivors finally returned, one would receive the Medal of Honor, another became a U.S. Senator, and a third still serves in Congress. A story of survival and triumph in the vein of Unbroken and Band of Brothers, Defiant will inspire anyone wondering how courage, faith, and brotherhood can endure even in the darkest of situations.
Investigative reporter Patrick J. Sloyan, a former member of the White House Press Corps, revisits the last years of John F. Kennedy's presidency, his fateful involvement with Diem's assassination, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Civil Rights Movement. Using recently released White House tape recordings and interviews with key inside players, The Politics of Deception reveals: The Politics of Deception is a fresh and revealing look at an iconic president and the way he attempted to manage public opinion and forge his legacy, sure to appeal to both history buffs and those who were alive during his presidency.
Vietnam was often called a "teenager's war." The average age was 19.2 so, in the main, the War was fought by 17, 18, 19 and 20 year olds barely out of high school and often without the income, intelligence, inclination, or focus to attend college. For everyone, the draft loomed large in their futures, you could choose your branch of service or let the draft decide for you. Fresh from sock hops and college freshman mixers, young men found themselves in a fight for their lives, from the Delta to the DMZ, on animal trails, numbered hills and in remote jungle outposts. Teenagers witnessed the unspeakable carnage of war while trying to understand the collision of emotions and insult to the senses that is combat. Thousands died there and many thousands more were wounded and maimed. So the hell of combat was replaced by the painful recovery in a military hospital. For Eilert and thousands of others it was Great Lakes Naval Hospital at Great Lakes, Illinois. For Self and Country follows Eilert's many months of recovery along with the stories of the brave young men who surrounded him and sustained with friendship and humour. This is a story of family, young love, and the magnificent care administered by the Navy doctors, nurses and revered Corpsmen. Great Lakes was a place of great pain but also recovery, not just from the physical damage sustained but also the unseen emotional injuries soldiers endured but rarely talked about. Eilert recounts how most soldiers had no expectation of surviving Vietnam but found adapting back to civilian life an even harder challenge. About the Author Rick Eilert, born on 4 June 1947, enlisted in USMC in March 1967. In November 1967, Eilert sustained serious injuries and transported to Great Lakes Naval Hospital for recovery.
At Easter 1972, North Vietnam invaded the South, and there were almost no US ground troops left to stop it. But air power reinforcements could be rushed to the theater. Operation Linebacker's objective was to destroy the invading forces from the air and cut North Vietnam's supply routes – and luckily in 1972, American air power was beginning a revolution in both technology and tactics.
Most crucial was the introduction of the first effective laser-guided bombs, but the campaign also involved the fearsome AC-130 gunship and saw the debut of helicopter-mounted TOW missiles. Thanks to the new Top Gun fighter school, US naval aviators now also had a real advantage over the MiGs.
This is the fascinating story of arguably the world's first “modern” air campaign. It explains how this complex operation – involving tactical aircraft, strategic bombers, close air support and airlift – defeated the invasion. It also explains the shortcomings of the campaign, the contrasting approaches of the USAF and Navy, and the impact that Linebacker had on modern air warfare.
After the failed April 1972 invasion of South Vietnam and the heavy US tactical bombing raids in the Hanoi area, the North Vietnamese agreed to return to the Paris peace talks, yet very quickly these negotiations stalled.
In an attempt to end the war quickly and 'persuade' the North Vietnamese to return to the negotiating table, President Nixon ordered the Air Force to send the US' ultimate conventional weapon, the B-52 bomber, against their capital, Hanoi. Bristling with the latest Soviet air defence missiles, it was the most heavily defended target in Vietnam. Taking place in late December, this campaign was soon dubbed the 'Christmas Bombings'.
Using specially commissioned artwork and maps, ex-USAF fighter colonel Marshall Michel describes Linebacker II, the climax of the air war over Vietnam, and history's only example of how America's best Cold War bombers performed against contemporary Soviet air defences.
This work is a cultural history of the Vietnam War and its continuing impact upon contemporary American society. The author presents an investigation of how myths about the war evolved and why people depend on them to answer the confusing questions that have become the legacy of the war. Memories change and reconstruct the past, and in this text, the author argues that the American memory of Vietnam has left fact and experience behind so that what remains is myth and denial.
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