The Vietnam War - articles about the forces involved, tactics, organisation and equipment.


Historical Perspectives

"At the end of the most grandiose plans and strategies is a soldier walking point."
Forward to 'The Rise and Fall of an American Army'


The above quote, cited by Harry G. Summers in his Forward to Shelby Stanton's book, 'The Rise and Fall of an American Army', found its tragic counterpoint in Vietnam; no matter how bravely or how well the soldier on the point did his job, if the plans and strategies were faulty, all the courage and bloodshed were for naught.

In this section I have tried to present historical material relating to the War. A lot of this information comes from contemporary sources, including the Veterans themselves, as well as more 'official' documents. Much of it was found by personal research or submitted by visitors, all of it should be of  interest since it serves to flesh out the otherwise purely academic bones of what was, after all, a kaleidoscopic war.

  • Veterans Accounts - memories and recollections submitted by Veterans concerning their personal experiences of the War. These articles give a fascinating insight into the everyday lives of those that were actually there and contain detail that is generally unavailable in normal sources.
  • An Historical Perspective - a look at the events leading up to US military involvement in Vietnam from the fall of the Japanese following World War II to the adoption by John F. Kennedy of the 'many flags' policy in the fight against Communism in South-East Asia.
  • The US Army in Vietnam - an extensively abridged history of the US Army's involvement in Vietnam in 16 parts that covers the U.S. Army's initial involvement with Ho Chi Minh following the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu right up to the Fall of Saigon on 29 April 1975. All illustrations have been added by myself and do not form a part of the 'official' history.
  • Lang Vei: Tanks in the Wire - an article that chronicles the NVA attack and capture of Lang Vei Special Forces Camp in February 1968. The attack was particularly noted for the NVA's use of armor, the first instance of their employment against allied ground forces in Vietnam. 
  • PAVN Armor - an introduction to the development, organisation and employment of PAVN armored forces.
    • The Easter Offensive 1972 - in March of 1972, the North Vietnamese Army initiated the Nguyen Hue campaign. This was the first instance in which massed PAVN armor was used in the Republic of Vietnam. This article gives a commentary of the events surrounding the Easter Offensive.
  • ARVN Armored Forces - the development of the armored forces of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam: from the establishment of a Vietnamese armored force in 1950 to the fall of Saigon.
    • Fighting to the Finish : The Role of South Viet Namís III Armor Brigade and III Corps Assault Force in the Warís Final Days by 
    • The Communist Assault on Quang Tri - a purely South Vietnamese perspective of the NVA easter Offensive around Quang Tri by Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Hien
  • Organisation - details of how the various forces involved in the War were organised and equipped, including material taken from 'official' TO&E's. If you have documents relating to the TOE of any unit I would very much appreciate you contacting me.

  • Tactics - a look at the various tactics adopted by both sides in the War and the methods developed in order to counteract the effects of the enemy's tactics. Most of these material is taken directly from 'official' US military sources but also contains pertinent comments by Veterans themselves. 
  • Book Reviews - a small selection of book reviews (both fiction and non-fiction) consisting of reviews written by myself as well as contributions from visitors to this site - please feel free to send your own reviews of books to me for inclusion.
  • Combat Artist - Jim Pollock was a US Army Combat Artist in Vietnam. In this article, reproduced with permission from the author, Jim explains the Combat Artist Program and relates an experience he had on a single day in 1967, RVN.
    • See also The Art of Combat for details regarding the Indianapolis Art Center exhibition (October 27, 2000 - January 7, 2001).
  • Combat After Action Report #1 - report of a successful night ambush carried out by 1st Squad, 2d Platoon, Company C, 2d Battalion (Airmobile), 327th Infantry on 19 December 1969.

  • Combat After Action Report #3 - report of a joint combined operation against Viet Cong positions using coordinated air strikes and artillery and  which illustrates the successful integration of several fire support means.

 

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