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This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Darryl Smith Darryl Smith 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #78121
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    What are your recommendations for the best books about the Vietnam War?  I’m interested in most aspects and angles, although I am particularly partial to some crunchy statistical analysis.

    #78142
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I deal mostly with skirmish in Vietnam, and the occasional 3mmmulti-battalion operational game so my books are all aimed at those experiences rather than broader strategic views and data. I do recall one huge book I used to have that had a OOB for the US, casualty figures, all sorts of stuff.  I’ll see if I can find it online.  It was pretty good, but even though it was written in the early 80’s it didn’t contain a lot of the info we have access to online nowadays, like aircraft loses and other things that have been granularly studied.  Your best bet for crunchy data may be the data vaults of Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Studies department online.  They have a veritable fortune of information and maps!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #78164
    John D Salt
    John D Salt
    Participant

    A fine place to start is the complete (thanks, US Army) collection of Vietnam Studies books, in electrical freebie form, at:

    https://history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/collect/vn-studies.html

    I especially like Ewell and Hunt’s “Sharpening the Combat Edge”, and it has a certain amount of statistical crunchiness.

    There’s also an electrical freebie version of the classic “Seven Firefights in Vietnam”:

    https://history.army.mil/html/books/070/70-4/cmhPub_70-4.pdf

    The abolute best thing in the world is I reckon John Kramer’s piece “Cohesion and Disintegration” in Strategy & Tactics no. 26, accompanying his splendid game “Grunt”; the article I think explains the Clausewitzian friction, or, if you prefer, embuggerance, of communicating across the mystifying variety of radio nets by which command is exercised in the modern era.

    For background and atmosphere I’ll list my old favourites “Chickenhawk”, “Low Level Hell”, “Journal of a Plague Year”, “Once a Warrior King”, “Flower of the Dragon” and — as a backgrounder on the country rather than the war — “A Dragon Apparent”.

    All the best,

    John.

    #78182
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    If you can fit it in, Hue 1968 is very very good.

    #78209
    Cameronian
    Cameronian
    Participant

    Vietnam, a History by Stanley Karnow.

    #78223
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    I recommend “MiGs over North Vietnam” a very interesting look at the other side of the air war. Riveting stuff, with plenty of first-hand accounts of VPAF pilots. Plenty of stats and some interesting insights on the problem of getting correct information on air victories.

    #78227
    William Harley
    William Harley
    Participant

    Vietnam, a History by Stanley Karnow.

    That’s the best one I have read.

    #78228
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    There’s also an electrical freebie version of the classic “Seven Firefights in Vietnam”: https://history.army.mil/html/books/070/70-4/cmhPub_70-4.pdf

    I’ve read about Ia Drang and LZ X-Ray, the first of those, before. It seems to have been bit of a f*** up. Attempting to airlift a battalion piecemeal into a small area that they knew had a very good chance of being ‘hot’ probably wasn’t a brilliant tactical decision. Then 2nd Batt lost even more men in an ambush…

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #78240
    Darryl Smith
    Darryl Smith
    Participant

    I’m with Darkest Star…I like the skirmish aspect so my reading leans towards that direction. Try The Village by Bing West, it is very good. I also enjoyed the Mobile Guerilla series of books (Blackjack-33, etc.). Just finished Caputo’s iconic book A Rumor of War. He writes well, but you also see why he became a leading voice for anti-war veterans. I read Once a Warrior King years ago, it is also excellent and I second John’s recommendation.

    Buckeye Six Actual

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