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The war in Vietnam was the longest war in American history. US ground troops were in Vietnam for eight long years. In all the American commitment in Southeast Asia lasted 15 years. During that time 46,370 US servicemen died in battle, more than 10,000 died from noncombat-related causes, and a further 300,000 were wounded. The Australian and New Zealand troops who fought there lost 496 dead and 2,398 wounded. But these figures pale beside Vietnamese losses. The South Vietnamese, America s ally, lost 184,000 soldiers; the Communist enemy a further 900,000. It is estimated that over a million civilians lost their lives. However, the psychological damage to America was incalculable. Vietnam was the first war that America lost. It left the country bitterly divided. Many of 2.7 million Americans who served in Vietnam suffered psychologically for decades to come and America discovered that, for all its might and technological superiority, it could not defeat the ill-equipped peasant army of a small and fiercely determined enemy.
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How did the USA, a staunchly anti-colonial nation, become involved in the most protracted war in its history, and how did arguably the world s most powerful military machine, together with its Australian and New Zealand allies, allow itself to become bogged down in a jungle war thousands of miles from home?
This comprehensive and balanced account analyses the ultimate failure of the war, and the psychological impact of the war on the American people, and its effect on future US foreign policy. This book charts the course of the war in Vietnam, but more than this, it seeks to place American involvement in Vietnam in historical perspective, and to offer answers to the vital questions above.
Chapter One: Into the Nam
On the morning of 8 March, 1965, the Leathernecks of Ninth Marine Expeditionary Brigade stormed Nam O Beach military designation Red Two outside the port of Da Nang in South Vietnam, America s ally in Southeast Asia. This was a classic World War II amphibious assault, like that on Guadalcanal, Okinawa, or the beaches of Normandy. Indeed Nam O had been used by the US Marines as a training beach before the outbreak of the Pacific War.
Six weeks before, Amphibious Task Force 76 had set sail from Japan. Their arrival in the Bay of Da Nang was supposed to coincide with the end of the monsoon, but the officer commanding, General Frederick J. Karch, himself a veteran of the landings on the Japanese-held islands of Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima during World War II, said that in the last days the Marine assault force spent bobbing up and down in heavy seas off the coast of Vietnam he experienced the worst weather he had ever encountered in the South China Sea.
Some 3,500 Marines on board the USS Vancouver Union Mount McKinley and Henrico anxiously awaited the order to make a frontal assault on the undefended beach of a friendly nation. The Leathernecks as the Marines called themselves had been drilled from boot camp that there was no such thing as a friendly beach. But the only thing here that was unfriendly was the weather. As they prepared to disembark, a light drizzle gave way to a strong on-shore wind, creating a heavy swell which snapped mooring lines and made it almost impossible for the Marines to clamber down the nets into the landing craft. H-hour had to be postponed from 0730 to 0900hrs.
At 0903, Marine frogmen reached the beach, pulled themselves out of the surf and made a dash to the line of palms and fir trees that ran along the top of the beach. Hard behind the frogmen were eleven Marine amphibious tractors LVTPs carrying thirty-four men each. They thrust their forty-five-ton steel hulls through the white foam. With the ten-foot swell, this was a high surf landing and smaller LCVPs had to be abandoned in favour of heavier landing craft. The LVTPs were followed by sixty-one-ton LCM-8s, whose steel jaws disgorged 200 men at a time. Within fifteen minutes, four waves of heavily armed Marines were digging in on the sand just as their fathers generation had on the beaches of Pacific atolls barely twenty years before. Fifty minutes later, 1,400 men were ashore, carrying rifles, machine-guns, and grenade and rocket launchers. They were ready for anything except what actually happened.
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Book Description Capella. Paperback. Condition: Good. This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Seller Inventory # G1841931551I3N00
Book Description Arcturus Publishing Limited, 2003. Paperback. Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Aged book. Please note this book is over 20 years old. It will therefore have tanned pages, age spots and plenty of shelf wear. However, for its age it is still very useable, and a great read. Seller Inventory # CHL2683547
Book Description Arcturus Publishing Limited, 2003. Paperback. Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Seller Inventory # CHL2735766
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Seller Inventory # GOR001570062
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Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Vietnam - A War Lost and Won This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-9781841931555
Book Description Arcturus Publishing Limited 01/04/2003, 2003. Condition: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 2341-9781841931555
Book Description Arcturus Publishing Limited, 2003. Paperback. Condition: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Seller Inventory # mon0002903324
Book Description Arcturus Publishing Limited 01/04/2003, 2003. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9781841931555