Synopses & Reviews
A concise, accessible history of one of the most important and fascinating conflicts of the 20th century
On March 8, 1965, 3,500 U.S. Marines of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade made an amphibious landing at Da Nang on the south central coast of South Vietnam, marking the beginning of a conflict that would haunt American politics and society for many years, even after the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1972. For the people of North Vietnam it was just another in a long line of foreign invaders. For 2,000 years they had struggled for self-determination, coming into conflict during that time with the Chinese, the Mongols, the European colonial powers, the Japanese, and the French. Now it was the turn of the United States, a far-away nation reluctant to go to war but determined to prevent Vietnam from falling into Communist hands. This history explains how the U.S. became involved in its longest war, a conflict that, from the outset, many claimed it could never win. It details the escalation of American involvement from the provision of military advisors and equipment to the threatened South Vietnamese, to an all-out shooting war involving American soldiers, airmen, and sailors, of whom around 58,000 would die and more than 300,000 would be wounded. Their struggle was against an indomitable enemy, able to absorb huge losses in terms of life and infrastructure. The politics of the war are examined and the decisions and ambitions of five presidents are addressed in the light of what many have described as a defeat for American might. The book also explores the relationship of the Vietnam War to the Cold War politics of the time.
"How many are they?" The reply came in the finest traditions of accurate situation reporting, "f***ing hundreds of them!" Mirbat, South Oman, July 19, 1972 is one of the least-known yet most crucial battles of modern times. SAS Operation Storm is the inside story—told by those who took part—of the greatest secret war in SAS history. The tipping point was Mirbat, a secret battle which defines the world we all live in today. If the SAS had been defeated at Mirbat, the Russian and Chinese plan for a communist foothold in the Middle East would have succeeded, with catastrophic consequences for the oil-hungry West. This is a page-turning account of courage and resilience. Mirbat was a battle fought and won by nine SAS soldiers and a similar number of brave local people—some as young as ten years old—outnumbered by at least twenty five to one. Thousands of bullets, rockets, shells, mortars, and grenades were fired in a six hour fire-fight of staggering intensity, the tipping point in a clandestine war which went unreported at the time. Roger Cole, one of the SAS soldiers who took part, and writer Richard Belfield have interviewed every SAS survivor who fought in the battle from the beginning to the end—the first time every single one of them has revealed their experience. The authors have also talked to many other survivors from both sides, including the pilots who flew with the SAS, the SAS soldiers who joined the battle towards the end, and some of the insurgents who fought against them. SAS Operation Storm is a classic story of bravery against impossible odds—minute by minute, bullet by bullet.
The thrilling story of the young Australian Army engineers of 3 Field Troop who were the first allied soldiers to risk their lives in the darkness of the Vietcong tunnels of South Vietnam. Staring death squarely in the face every day, these young Australian Army engineers not only followed their enemy down into these unknown underground labyrinths, but matched the Vietcong's jungle warfare skills and defused thousands of their clever booby traps. Off duty, it was a different story. The bad boys of 3 Field Troop were a boozing, brawling, bonking bunch of larrikins, who cut a swathe through the bars and brothels of Saigon, fought American Military Police to a standstill, built a secret casino, and booby-trapped their own HQ to teach their officers a lesson. Thrilling, inspiring, and action packed, this is the true story of the unsung heroes of Australia's war in Vietnam. Living up to their motto of "We Make and We Break," they created the legend of the Tunnel Rats.
About the Author
Roger Cole was born in 1944. He joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1964, his first posting being to Germany. In 1968 he passed his SAS selection course and joined B Squadron, 22 SAS in Hereford. He did various tours in classified areas, including Dhofar, Oman. He returned to the RAOC in 1977 and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 1. He has served with the British Army in Germany, Cyprus, and the Falkland Islands. He retired from the army in 1986. Richard Belfield is an award-winning television producer, director, author, and playwright. His television programs have won prizes on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the author of Can You Crack the Enigma Code? and Terminate With Extreme Prejudice.