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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #1  
Old 20 Jan 13, 19:45
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Best military history of the war?

What would be the best military history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam?
Is there one?
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  #2  
Old 20 Jan 13, 21:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
What would be the best military history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam?
Is there one?
I guess it depends what you mean by best history. Is it the best all-encompassing history? Or is it the best history focused on one segment? Histories with a narrow focus are usually much more complete about the segment they focus on. I'd be interested to see what some of the other readers here say. If I made a a stab at it I would just come up with a long list.
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  #3  
Old 20 Jan 13, 22:19
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Still waiting

There are some good histories of the war, but to my knowledge no comprehensive history that covers its origins, politics, strategy, operational level planning, and tactical battles. Considering that it took the French some 50 years to come up with such a book on their own war (La Guerre en Indochine by novelist and historian Georges Fleury, first published by Plon in 1994), I assume we're still a good fifteen years away from our own.
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  #4  
Old 21 Jan 13, 01:35
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For a pure military history of the war, grab a copy of The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973 by Shelby Stanton.

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Old 22 Jan 13, 00:29
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Stanton shows the limits of the field pretty heavily, though. It doesn't cover the air war in the North, covert aspects of US involvement etc. It's also pretty bland both as a narrative and an analysis. It's probably still the best starting point, but realistically until CMH get the Official Histories finished (and that will take some time) I don't think there'll be a really good single volume military history of US involvement.
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Old 23 Jan 13, 00:46
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Single Volume Histories are Tough to Find

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
What would be the best military history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam?
Is there one?
Probably one of the best single volume histories is actually an anthology. It is titled "Light at the End of the Tunnel" (Revised Edition) Edited by Andrew J. Rotter. Scholarly Resources Inc. 1999, 440 pages. ISBN 0-8420-2713-0.

It is one of the best balanced volumes I have come across, though the writer is an academic and, in his summation, displays a bit of anti-war bias, though not painfully overt.
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Old 27 Jan 13, 00:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
What would be the best military history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam?
Is there one?
Most books focus almost entirely on major US actions beginning in 1965, but I read this one about four years ago and it gave me a lot of insight into what the situation was like: http://www.amazon.com/Triumph-Forsak.../dp/0521757630
I can't summarize it right now because it's been too long, but I remember thinking that it should be required reading on Vietnam. I do remember that it made it clear how little the rest of the world actually understood what was going on during Diem's presidency.
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Old 27 Jan 13, 00:58
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There is yet to be if it's possible at all a sole best history written on the war. The book that Boonie recommended is the best starting point from a military point of view. It's shortcomings are well laid out above by others and it's a great fall back reference, but you'll find yourself wanting more upon conclusion. I read and enjoyed Palmer's Summons of the Trumpet. I thought it was an excellent introduction volume on the political and strategic situation as well. This and Stanton's book were the first two real histories I read on the war. I'm expecting that a lot more will be written in the future now that the entirety of the pentagon papers have been released.
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Old 27 Jan 13, 05:09
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A great deal of historical facts about the war can be found right here on this site. Just about every subject has been brought up and discussed at length.
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