Vietnam at War: The History, 1946-1975

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Oxford University Press, 1991 - Indochinese War, 1946-1954 - 838 pages
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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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Vietnam at war: the history, 1946-1975

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An outstanding operational history of three Indochina warsthe French, 1946-54, the American, 1964-72, and the Vietnamese, 1973-75this is also a presentation of the orthodox U.S. military perspective ... Read full review

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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. 


Volcano Under the Snow
Pike PAVN p 358
The French Campaign 19461947
The French Campaign 19481949
Giaps First Offensive Campaign 1950
Vien Final Collapse p
Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
Hosmer Keller and Jenkins The Fall p
Interbella 19541964
The Year of Crisis 1964
A War That Nobody Wanted 1965
The Inevitable
Oleys War Westys War and Nobodys
The Best of Years and the Worst of Years 1967
The Tet Offensive 1968
Decision Dissent and Defection 1968

Ibid p
Vien Final Collapse p
Tra Bulwark p
WinterSpring Campaign September 1952May
Vien Final Collapse p
The Origins of Dien Bien Phu 21 May20 November
Preparations for Battle 20 November
The Battle 12 March7 May 1954
A Critique
One of a Kind
Peace With Honor 1969
The Cambodian Raids of 1970
Lam Son 719 1971
The Whole Hog 1972
An Indecent Interval 19731974
Defeat 1975
Why We Lost the War

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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 recentlycommissioned him to rewrite their entry on the Vietnam War.

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