The U.S. Naval Institute on Vietnam: Coastal and Riverine Warfare

Naval Institute Press
1
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The U.S. Naval Institute Wheel Books provide valuable information, pragmatic advice, and cogent analysis on topics important to all naval professionals. Drawn from the U.S. Naval Institute's vast archives, the series combines articles from the Institute's flagship publication Proceedings, selections from the oral history collection, and Naval Institute Press books to create unique guides on a wide array of fundamental professional subjects.
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About the author

Thomas J. Cutler: THOMAS J. CUTLER, Lt. Cmdr., USN (Ret.), is also the author of A Sailor's History of the U.S. Navy and The Battle of Leyte Gulf, among other books, and is the recipient of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Naval Literature.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Jun 15, 2016
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781682470497
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Vietnam War
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The book starts out picturing a young man who foolishly wants to go to war where he in visions himself receiving all these high class medals for heroism but never once taking into account what it is going to take physically and mentally to get those medals. Hes constantly playing a head game within himself and those that surround him. He like so many other young men of past eras are trying to be something that theyre not and that small initial lie grows into a tremendous reputation that he has to live with and soon regrets that hes known by such. Come walk with the author and his brothers of the sword through the dark, humid, unforgiving jungles of Vietnam and experience the death, destruction, and mental sacrificial anguish they had to endure. Come see why you fear being alone in the denseness of a jungle or a forest that you have never entered before. Feel the heat of the Asian jungle floor intermixed with the leaches, ants, mosquitoes, snakes and humans searching you out only to destroy you at any cost. You see our author starts out innocently enough but soon finds out that war is not only a physical hardship demanding its pounds of flesh, but also is a horrendous mental agonizing hazard from which there is only one means of escape and/or retreat. That means to an end is death. Yes the author and his brothers of the sword will take their heroic missions and sacrificial allegiances to the grave with them. But, the real tragedy of it all is no one really cares about them in the first place. For they were and still are the Secret Soldiers of the Second Army willing to go anywhere, any time, to do the impossible for the ungrateful.
2009 Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award for Biography
Vietnam’s Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN chronicles the lives of Pham Van Dinh and Tran Ngoc Hue, two of the brightest young stars in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Both men fought with valor in a war that seemed to have no end, exemplifying ARVN bravery and determination that is largely forgotten or ignored in the West. However, while Hue fought until he was captured by the North Vietnamese Army and then endured thirteen years of captivity, Dinh surrendered and defected to the enemy, for whom he served as a teacher in the reeducation of his former ARVN comrades.
An understanding of how two lives that were so similar diverged so dramatically provides a lens through which to understand the ARVN and South Vietnam’s complex relationship with Americas government and military. The lives of Dinh and Hue reflect the ARVNs battlefield successes, from the recapture of the Citadel in Hue City in the Tet Offensive of 1968, to Dinhs unheralded role in the seizure of Hamburger Hill a year later. However, their careers expose an ARVN that was over-politicized, tactically flawed, and dependent on American logistical and firepower support. Marginalized within an American war, ARVN faced a grim fate as U.S. forces began to exit the conflict. As the structure of the ARVN/U.S. alliance unraveled, Dinh and Hue were left alone to make the most difficult decisions of their lives.
Andrew Wiest weaves historical analysis with a compelling narrative, culled from extensive interviews with Dinh, Hue, and other key figures. Once both military superstars, Dinh is viewed by a traitor by many within the South Vietnamese community, while Hue, an expatriate living in northern Virginia, is seen as a hero who never let go of his ideals. Their experiences and legacies mirror that of the ARVNs rise and fall as well as the tragic history of South Vietnam.
The defeat of South Vietnam was arguably America’s worst foreign policy disaster of the 20th Century. Yet a complete understanding of the endgame—from the 27 January 1973 signing of the Paris Peace Accords to South Vietnam’s surrender on 30 April 1975—has eluded us.

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.
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