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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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  #61  
Old 12 May 08, 01:21
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Reeducation in Postwar Vietnam: Personal Postscripts to Peace
by Huynh Van Chinh, Tran Van Phuc, Le Nguyen Binh, Edward P. Metzner (Ed.)

Lost Years: My 1,632 Days in Vietnamese Reeducation Camps by Tran Tri Vu

The Bamboo Gulag: Political Imprisonment in Communist Vietnam
by Nghia M. Vo

Prisoner of the Word: A Memoir of the Vietnamese Reeducation Camps
by Le Huu Tri

To be Made Over: Tales of Socialist Reeducation in Vietnam
by Huynh Sanh Thong (Editor)
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  #62  
Old 20 Jun 08, 15:24
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This is for BOB MCLEOD

Devil's Guard, by George Robert Elford



Quote:
The story is told in the words of "Hans Josef Wagemueller," who fights as an officer in the Waffen-SS during the Second World War. The story begins with the capitulation of Germany in 1945, while Wagemueller is fighting the Red Army and partisans near Czechoslovakia. Wagemueller escapes the Allied powers in post-war Europe by fighting his way west and using underground connections to reach France, where he joins the Foreign Legion. Wagemueller reunites with two former sergeants from his former German unit, Bernard Eisner and Erich Schulze, and is sent to French Indochina. In Indochina, Wagemueller and his comrades are incorporated into mixed Legion units that included many French territorial troops. However, under the command of French Colonel Simon Houssong, Wagmueller is put in command of an all-German battalion (around 900 troops) composed of former Nazi troops who, like Wagemueller, fled to the Legion. Their mission is to disrupt the Viet Minh in their rear supply areas, far from cities and French-controlled zones. For more than three years, the battalion runs a highly-successful and brutal guerilla war against the insurgent Viet Minh across northern Indochina, Laos and southern China. In one such case, "the battalion of the Damned" escorts a supply column north through enemy-held territory by forcing Viet Minh prisoners and family members to ride in the column's trucks, tanks and jeeps to insure safe passage. In other situations, poison, torture and natural resources are used.
Quote:
Fact or Fiction?
It is debatable as to whether or not the book is exaggerated fact, or outright fiction. The book is presented by Elford as the words of Wagemueller, who lived in Nepal at time of the book's publication. In the preamble, Elford claims to have met the man and arranged for him to dictate the events of his military life into a microphone over 18 days. It is documented that ex-SS soldiers both joined the French Foreign Legion and fought in the French Indochina War, although the book's claim that a unit was composed solely of Germans is unsupported by evidence presented by many Legion historians, records and books (such as Bernard Fall's Hell in a Very Small Place and Street Without Joy) on the French Indochina War. Skeptics have stated that the "Nazis in Indochina" myth came from communist bloc sources during the war. Elford claims his only contribution to the book is in the capacity of an editor, changing the names of soldiers and military verbiage. Critics however, point to the fact that much of the military power possessed by the characters is anachronistic, the SS seems to have almost superhuman-fighting ability and the heavy anti-communist dialogue (as well as supposed war crimes being committed by whosoever the protagonists kill en masse). The access to military records should also allow for the exact tracing of units in which Wagemueller and his comrades served, but only the name of Wagemueller's unit in eastern Europe, the 21st Special Partisanjaeger Commando, is mentioned in Devil's Guard. Supporters point to the fact that Elford is following Wagemueller's request that his details not be made traceable. Critics also point to the serialization of the book (it spawned two sequels, despite the fact the original ended towards the end of the war, 700 days from Dien Bien Phu in 1954 according to the narrator). Wagemueller ends up fighting for the US later in the series
full wiki article here
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  #63  
Old 07 Oct 08, 10:04
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I'm looking for recommendations on books that detail the history of the US Air Force in Southeast Asia prior to, during, and following Vietnam (essentially early 1960s to mid 1970s). Anything that focuses on the history of American use of Royal Thai air bases would be ideal.
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  #64  
Old 07 Oct 08, 10:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberDuck View Post
I'm looking for recommendations on books that detail the history of the US Air Force in Southeast Asia prior to, during, and following Vietnam (essentially early 1960s to mid 1970s). Anything that focuses on the history of American use of Royal Thai air bases would be ideal.
Check here.

For example:

The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: An Illustrated Account, 1961-1973(.pdf)

The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia - CIVIC ACTION (.pdf)

The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia - The Advisory Years to 1965 (.pdf)


This also appears to be a good deal.
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  #65  
Old 07 Oct 08, 13:07
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Thanks, Altus!
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  #66  
Old 10 Oct 08, 17:17
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Has anybody read a book named 'Suicide Charlie' before? My neighbor found it in an old book collection and gave it to me to read. I have quite a number to read right now and was wondering how it ranked - a must read, good read, so-so read, not so great or terrible. Your comments are appreciated.
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  #67  
Old 10 Oct 08, 17:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
Has anybody read a book named 'Suicide Charlie' before? My neighbor found it in an old book collection and gave it to me to read. I have quite a number to read right now and was wondering how it ranked - a must read, good read, so-so read, not so great or terrible. Your comments are appreciated.
I have it but haven't read it yet. But it has been a while since I read a combat memoir so I will tell you what. Tomorrow I will collect it from my library and try to read it quickly over the next few days and give you a report.
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  #68  
Old 12 Oct 08, 17:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
Has anybody read a book named 'Suicide Charlie' before? My neighbor found it in an old book collection and gave it to me to read. I have quite a number to read right now and was wondering how it ranked - a must read, good read, so-so read, not so great or terrible. Your comments are appreciated.
OK, I have read enough to give you my recommendation. It is not on the Miss Saigon "must read" list

I don't recommend you go out of your way to read it. Just my opinion
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  #69  
Old 14 Oct 08, 12:22
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Thanks MS. It goes to the bottom of the list. I appreciate your thoughts and trust them them well.
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  #70  
Old 31 Oct 08, 23:23
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I've read Devils Guard and Devils Guard II, there's also Devils Guard III. It's all fiction.
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  #71  
Old 13 Dec 08, 13:36
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Author: Tim O'Brien

I have read thru every page and didn't see anything by Tim O'Brien, author of: Going After Cacciato, In the Lake in the Woods and The Things They Carried -- all fiction but written about the truths.

His writing is absolutely fantastic. I have never been a heavy reader but I did not want to stop from page one. He was a grunt and it shows in every perfectly chosen word and story,the hilarious, brutal, and sad.

1979, Received National Book Award (fiction)
Received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians
Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Books Critics Circle Award

No, I am not related to, or know him. The Things They Carried is my favorite of the three. Steve
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  #72  
Old 13 Dec 08, 14:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve park View Post
I have read thru every page and didn't see anything by Tim O'Brien

His writing is absolutely fantastic. He was a grunt and it shows in every perfectly chosen word and story,the hilarious, brutal, and sad.

The Things They Carried is my favorite of the three. Steve
Steve, I felt I gave The Things They Carried a fair read. I found it disjointed and unsatisfying. The guy was just not sympatico and is quite self absorbed. Sort of an artsy Tracy Kidder (check with Miss Saigon on him). He also writes like he's in a drug haze. I don't like his puckish smugness in jerking the reader around between reality, fiction, and fantasy. The girlfriend gone native was more like Dungeons and Dragons in the jungle.

I wasn't a grunt so I will defer to your judgment on the authenticity on the impressions. I just can't take his writing style.

Different strokes . . .

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  #73  
Old 14 Dec 08, 10:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altus View Post
Check here.

For example:

The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: An Illustrated Account, 1961-1973(.pdf)

The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia - CIVIC ACTION (.pdf)

The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia - The Advisory Years to 1965 (.pdf)


This also appears to be a good deal.
Thanks for that link! Great reading for many an evening!

ps, can anybody recommend a definitive book on the vietnam war that is in the same style of the best modern military historians who make the narrative so interesting, with quotes from people who were in the war and the facts never are represented in a boring way...

If you know ww2 history books, I like to call then the 'new wave', books like
'd-day' by: Stephen Ambrose, or: Stalingrad, by Anthony Beevor, or Retribution by Max Hastings.

I have read some books that tell stories about a single soldiers time in vietnam, and then ofcourse the very good "We were warriors, and so very young', by that famous Para Colonel and the journalist (darn, I cannot remember their names now, but it's the one which Mel Gibson turned into a film).
Now that was a great book, but was about circa 4 days in the Ia drang.

I have tried to read books that would go through the whole war, or a large part of it, but they were exeedingly boring! Please help me out,

Yours truly,
Mr Poundr.
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  #74  
Old 14 Dec 08, 11:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17poundr View Post
ps, can anybody recommend a definitive book on the vietnam war that is in the same style of the best modern military historians who make the narrative so interesting, with quotes from people who were in the war and the facts never are represented in a boring way...

If you know ww2 history books, I like to call then the 'new wave', books like
'd-day' by: Stephen Ambrose, or: Stalingrad, by Anthony Beevor, or Retribution by Max Hastings.
The problem with the Vietnam war was that it was very long and politically charged. There is a wealth of books on the subject but I don't think there is a difinitive work that covers it all like a Norman Davies "No Simple Victory". And personally I wouldn't recommend most of the "first draft" histories written by journalists like Karnow, although most would probably recommend his book to you.

The closest thing we have to Ambrose would be Keith William Nolan. Like Ambrose he wrote books on various operations/periods of the war covering many topics, but not one that covered it all.

I would say that if Ambrose is your standard then check out the titles by Nolan and see if you like his style.













And several more titles....
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  #75  
Old 14 Dec 08, 13:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioResearcher View Post
Steve, I felt I gave The Things They Carried a fair read. I found it disjointed and unsatisfying. The guy was just not sympatico and is quite self absorbed. Sort of an artsy Tracy Kidder (check with Miss Saigon on him). He also writes like he's in a drug haze. I don't like his puckish smugness in jerking the reader around between reality, fiction, and fantasy. The girlfriend gone native was more like Dungeons and Dragons in the jungle.

I wasn't a grunt so I will defer to your judgment on the authenticity on the impressions. I just can't take his writing style.

Different strokes . . .

-- RR
Yeah RR, these things can be as subjective as a favorite color or favorite car. Normally I do not read any fiction but I haven't read anything related to Vietnam, probably since the 70's.

I was struck by O'Brien's use of various characters to show how absurd state's of mind can be, how morals are replaced by numbness, and the whole mess rattles around in the head bouncing here and there to cope or not cope with reality. But for any form of real reality - no.

I don't think I can read non-fiction books on RVN but have read several very short stories recently, some no more than an After Action Report put in sentence form. Steve
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