Vietnam at War: The History: 1946-1975

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Oxford University Press, 1991 - Technology & Engineering - 838 pages
3 Reviews
Weaving together the histories of three distinct conflicts, Phillip B. Davidson follows the entire course of the Vietnam War, from the initial French skirmishes in 1946 to the dramatic fall of Saigon nearly thirty years later. His connecting thread is North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, a remarkable figure who, with no formal military training, fashioned a rag-tag militia into one of the world's largest and most formidable armies. By focusing on Giap's role throughout the war, and by making available for the first time a wealth of recently declassified North Vietnamese documents, Davidson offers unprecedented insight into Hanoi's military strategies, an insight surpassed only by his inside knowledge of American operations and planning.
Eminently qualified to write this history, Davidson--who served as chief intelligence officer under Generals Westmoreland and Abrams--tells firsthand the story of our tragic ordeal in Indochina and brings his unique understanding to bear on topics of continuing controversy, offering a chilling account, for example, of when and where the U.S. considered using nuclear weapons. The most comprehensive and authoritative history of the conflict to date, Vietnam at War sparkles with a rare immediacy, and brings to life in compelling fashion the war that tore America apart. We witness the chaos in Saigon when fireworks celebrating the Tet holiday are suddenly transformed into deadly rocket and machine-gun fire. We sit in on high-level meetings where General Westmoreland plans operations, or simply engages in some tough "headknocking" with subordinates. And in the end we learn that even the seemingly limitless resources of the U.S. military could not match the revolutionary "grand strategy" of the North Vietnamese.
With its easy movement from intimate memoir to trenchant military analysis, from the conference rooms of generals to the battle-scarred streets of Hue, this is military history at its most gripping. A monumental, engrossing, and unforgettable chronicle, Vietnam at War is indispensable for anyone hoping to understand a conflict that still rages in the American psyche.
  

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I was searching for more background information on Giap's family and some detail are misleading. Giap's only daughter from Minh Thai, Hong Anh, did not die in prison as a young child. She eventually became a professor with a Ph.D in physics and has worked in multiple labs and research projects on nuclear physics in Europe and Vietnam. She recently died in 2011. This is just something I wanted to point out. I have not read this book. I have only read the section regarding Hong Anh. 

Review: Vietnam At War: The History 1946-1975

User Review  - Teddee - Goodreads

Perspective of the US military which sets forth the thesis that the war was ended by the media which undermined public support and painted the war as a disaster when in fact the US was winning the war in all military respects Read full review

Contents

Volcano Under the Snow
3
Pike PAVN p 358
5
The French Campaign 19461947
35
The French Campaign 19481949
57
Giaps First Offensive Campaign 1950
75
Vien Final Collapse p
78
Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
95
Hosmer Keller and Jenkins The Fall p
96
Interbella 19541964
283
The Year of Crisis 1964
311
A War That Nobody Wanted 1965
333
The Inevitable
369
Oleys War Westys War and Nobodys
387
The Best of Years and the Worst of Years 1967
425
The Tet Offensive 1968
473
Decision Dissent and Defection 1968
529

Ibid p
98
Giaps General Counteroffensive January 1951May
105
Vien Final Collapse p
118
Tra Bulwark p
125
WinterSpring Campaign September 1952May
137
Vien Final Collapse p
145
The Origins of Dien Bien Phu 21 May20 November
161
Preparations for Battle 20 November
193
The Battle 12 March7 May 1954
223
A Critique
273
One of a Kind
575
Peace With Honor 1969
587
The Cambodian Raids of 1970
623
Lam Son 719 1971
637
The Whole Hog 1972
673
An Indecent Interval 19731974
735
Defeat 1975
767
Why We Lost the War
795
Copyright

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About the author (1991)


Phillip B. Davidson, a retired Army lieutenant general, not only spent two years in Vietnam as the chief intelligence officer to Generals Westmoreland and Abrams, but prior to that was Assistant Professor of Military History at West Point. The editors of Encyclopedia Britannica have recently commissioned him to rewrite their entry on the Vietnam War.

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