Black April addresses that deficit. A culmination of exhaustive research in three distinct areas: primary source documents from American archives, North Vietnamese publications containing primary and secondary source material, and dozens of articles and numerous interviews with key South Vietnamese participants, this book represents one of the largest Vietnamese translation projects ever accomplished, including almost one hundred rarely or never seen before North Vietnamese unit histories, battle studies, and memoirs. Most important, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of South Vietnam’s conquest, the leaders in Hanoi released several compendiums of formerly highly classified cables and memorandum between the Politburo and its military commanders in the south. This treasure trove of primary source materials provides the most complete insight into North Vietnamese decision-making ever complied. While South Vietnamese deliberations remain less clear, enough material exists to provide a decent overview.
Ultimately, whatever errors occurred on the American and South Vietnamese side, the simple fact remains that the country was conquered by a North Vietnamese military invasion despite written pledges by Hanoi’s leadership against such action. Hanoi’s momentous choice to destroy the Paris Peace Accords and militarily end the war sent a generation of South Vietnamese into exile, and exacerbated a societal trauma in America over our long Vietnam involvement that reverberates to this day. How that transpired deserves deeper scrutiny.
The Twenty-five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon
General Thi fought in the Indochina War as a battery commander on the side of the French. When Viet Minh aggression began after the Geneva Accords, he served in the nascent Vietnamese National Army, and his career covers this army's entire lifespan. He was deputy commander of the 7th Infantry Division, and in 1965 he assumed command of the 9th Infantry Division. In 1966, at the age of thirty-three, he became one of the youngest generals in the Vietnamese Army. He participated in the Tet Offensive before being removed from the front lines for political reasons. When North Vietnam launched the 1972 Great Offensive, he was brought back to the field and eventually promoted to commander of an Army Corps Task Force along the Demilitarized Zone. With the fall of Saigon, he left Vietnam and emigrated to the United States.
Like his tactics during battle, General Thi pulls no punches in his denunciation of the various regimes of the Republic, and complacency and arrogance toward Vietnam in the policies of both France and the United States. Without lapsing into bitterness, this is finally a tribute to the soldiers who fell on behalf of a good cause.
The operation, dubbed Lam Son 719, went very well for the first few days, but as movement became bogged down the NVA rushed reinforcements to the battle and the ARVN forces found themselves under heavy attack. US airpower wreaked havoc on the North Vietnamese troops, but the South Vietnamese never regained momentum and ultimately began to withdraw back into their own country under heavy enemy pressure.
In this first in-depth study of this operation, military historian and Vietnam veteran James H. Willbanks traces the details of battle, analyzes what went wrong, and suggests insights into the difficulties currently being incurred with the training of indigenous forces.
In the spring of 1972, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam in what became known as the Easter Offensive. Almost all of the American forces had already withdrawn from Vietnam except for a small group of American advisers to the South Vietnamese armed forces. The 23rd ARVN Infantry Division and its American advisers were sent to defend the provincial capital of Kontum in the Central Highlands. They were surrounded and attacked by three enemy divisions with heavy artillery and tanks but, with the help of air power, managed to successfully defend Kontum and prevent South Vietnam from being cut in half and defeated.
Although much has been written about the Vietnam War, little of it addresses either the Easter Offensive or the Battle of Kontum. In Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam, Thomas P. McKenna fills this gap, offering the only in-depth account available of this violent engagement. McKenna, a U.S. infantry lieutenant colonel assigned as a military adviser to the 23rd Division, participated in the battle of Kontum and combines his personal experiences with years of interviews and research from primary sources to describe the events leading up to the invasion and the battle itself.
Kontum sheds new light on the actions of U.S. advisers in combat during the Vietnam War. McKenna's book is not only an essential historical resource for America's most controversial war but a personal story of valor and survival.
Published in cooperation with the Association of the United States Army
Willbanks also maintains that the Communists laid siege to a Marine combat base two weeks prior to the Tet Offensive-known as the Battle of Khe Sanh—to distract the United States. It is his belief that these two events are intimately linked, and in his concise and compelling history, he presents an engaging portrait of the conflicts and singles out key problems of interpretation.
Willbanks divides his study into six sections, beginning with a historical overview of the events leading up to the offensive, the attack itself, and the consequent battles of Saigon, Hue, and Khe Sahn. He continues with a critical assessment of the main themes and issues surrounding the offensive, and concludes with excerpts from American and Vietnamese documents, maps and chronologies, an annotated list of resources, and a short encyclopedia of key people, places, and events.
An experienced military historian and scholar of the Vietnam War, Willbanks has written a unique critical reference and guide that enlarges the debate surrounding this important turning point in America's longest war.
The task of clarifying the issues without oversimplifying this complex war that impacted the world is undertaken by The A to Z of the Vietnam War: first in its chronology, then in its introduction, but mainly in a substantial dictionary section including hundreds of entries on significant persons (military and political), places, events, armed units, battles and lesser engagements, and weapons. And for those seeking further information, an extensive bibliography is included.
For Bruce Davies and Gary McKay, the history of Vietnam - its wars, colonial domination, its search for freedom and its subsequent loss - speaks to an Australian anxiety of a very small population far away from the centre of an empire to which it was firmly committed. The rise of Japan, the War in the Pacific and the postcolonial independence of the peoples of Southeast Asia, coupled with the mercurial influence of Ho Chi Minh and the rise of communism, form the background to the commitment of Australian forces.
Vietnam takes the reader to the front line, describing the experiences of soldier, politician, villager, enemy; and into the war room to unpick the military and political strategies. We see the challenges the Australians faced against not only a dogged enemy, but also those by the allies in their quest to defeat a powerful counterinsurgency. The authors' new archival research in Australia and America raises questions about the operational performance of both sides, and recently discovered documents shed new light on the enemy's tactical thinking.
Meticulously researched and marked with acute critical analysis and a deep understanding of the place and the war, Vietnam shows the experience of Australian soldiers as never before.