Steel and Blood: South Vietnamese Armor and the War for Southeast Asia

Naval Institute Press
Free sample

Col. Ha Mai Viet presents a historically accurate and detailed account of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the South Vietnamese armor forces. Highly decorated for his valor and leadership of the armored units, the author spent ten years documenting what went on so he could offer an analysis of the war based on facts. He interviewed hundreds of people, including all senior South Vietnamese officers involved and many of lesser rank, as well as American advisers. Viet tells the story without glossing over the shortcomings of his fellow soldiers. His efforts serve as an invaluable record of his army's organization, combat operations, and interaction with U.S. advisers. Published in cooperation with the Association of the United States Army.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Nov 15, 2013
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9781612514338
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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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Available on Android devices
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More than 8.7 million Americans reported for military duty in Southeast Asia, but only a select few wore the Green Beret, the distinctive symbol of the U.S. Army Special Forces. Operating out of small outposts in some of the worlds most rugged terrain, these elite soldiers played a crucial role during the protracted conflict.

Special Forces at War: an Illustrated History, Southeast Asia 1957-1975 by wartime veteran and military historian Shelby l. Stanton comprises ten chapters, chronologically arranged, that show Special Forces' activity from the first deployments of Green Berets into battle, through their ever-expanding instruction and training, wartime advisory, border surveillance, strike force, and special operations roles. No matter what the task, the Special Forces served with valor and dedication.

This photographic history is unprecedented in scope. Featuring rare and unpublished images, it presents an exclusive, insider view of covert activities such as Project Delta, whose Special Forces-trained Vietnamese commandos, nicknamed "road-runners," posed as North Vietnamese Army or Viet Cong troops behind communist lines. It depicts Special Forces' camps before, during, and after enemy assaults. It features an array of lethal weapons used by resourceful Green Berets fighting to preserve their remote outposts, as well as allied and enemy documents and propaganda. From ordinary camp life to special missions, no aspect of Special Forces activities during the Second Indochina War has been overlooked. Stanton knows his subject first hand.

During six years of active duty as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, he served as a paratrooper platoon leader, an airborne ranger advisor to the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare Center, and a Special Forces long-range reconnaissance team commander in Southeast Asia before being wounded in combat in Nam Yu, LaosThrough his contacts with Special Forces veterans and his own research, Stanton has assembled hundreds of photographs, details.
Stunning in its insight, On Strategy is required reading not just for everyone who is interested in the Vietnam War, but for anyone who is concerned about the place of the United States on the world stage and how America can, and more importantly cannot, employ its immense military force to help bring peace to an increasingly troubled world.

“On Stategy is just about the best thing I have read on Vietnam.”—Drew Middleton, The New York Times
 
“Perhaps the most trenchant single postmortem to date of our defeat in Vietnam . . . a classic . . . compact, subtle—and surprisingly readable.”—Newsweek
 
“At our house, we sleep less easily now that Harry G. Summers Jr., Colonel of Infantry, is no longer defending us. After two wars and 38 years of active duty, Summers has retired from the Army. . . . Every taxpayer should mourn his loss. Colonel Summers is perhaps the most influential thinker of our time: his book On Strategy is required reading at the Army and Naval War Colleges.”—Jack Beatty,  Boston Globe
 
“This investigation of the U.S. army’s role in the Vietnam War is widely recognized as the single most useful postmortem on the unpopular war.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“The most detailed exposition of this view—that the U.S. threw away whatever chance for victory it may have had through blunders that must not be repeated—comes from Col. Harry Summers, whose book, On Strategy, has become must reading for young officers.”—Time
 
“A masterful analysis of the strategy, or lack thereof, in the Vietnam War . . . The best critique of the war I have read and a book every policy maker in Washington should absorb.”—Max Cleland, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
In the Tet Offensive of 1968, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces launched a massive countrywide attack on South Vietnam. Though the Communists failed to achieve their tactical and operational objectives, James Willbanks claims Hanoi won a strategic victory. The offensive proved that America's progress was grossly overstated and caused many Americans and key presidential advisors to question the wisdom of prolonging combat.

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.

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