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Black April addresses that deficit. A culmination of exhaustive research in three distinct areas: primary source documents from American archives, North Vietnamese publications containing primary and secondary ...
Black April addresses that deficit. A culmination of exhaustive research in three distinct areas: primary source documents from American archives, North Vietnamese publications containing primary and secondary source material, and dozens of articles and numerous interviews with key South Vietnamese participants, this book represents one of the largest Vietnamese translation projects ever accomplished, including almost one hundred rarely or never seen before North Vietnamese unit histories, battle studies, and memoirs. Most important, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of South Vietnam’s conquest, the leaders in Hanoi released several compendiums of formerly highly classified cables and memorandum between the Politburo and its military commanders in the south. This treasure trove of primary source materials provides the most complete insight into North Vietnamese decision-making ever complied. While South Vietnamese deliberations remain less clear, enough material exists to provide a decent overview.
Ultimately, whatever errors occurred on the American and South Vietnamese side, the simple fact remains that the country was conquered by a North Vietnamese military invasion despite written pledges by Hanoi’s leadership against such action. Hanoi’s momentous choice to destroy the Paris Peace Accords and militarily end the war sent a generation of South Vietnamese into exile, and exacerbated a societal trauma in America over our long Vietnam involvement that reverberates to this day. How that transpired deserves deeper scrutiny.
List of Abbreviations xv
List of Persons xvii
Military Forces xxi
Chapter 1 "The U.S. will react vigorously": Signing the Paris Peace Accords 17
Chapter 2 "South Vietnam will have both peace and war": The Collapse of the Accords 35
Chapter 3 "Enough to make the angels weep": Trading Blood for Ammunition 53
Chapter 4 "A rainy season like no other": The War Resumes 71
Chapter 5 "Even the gods weep for Phuoc Long": The Beginning of the End 91
Chapter 6 "How can the free world abandon us?": Preparing for the Strategic Blow 115
Chapter 7 "Goodbye for now, Ban Me Thuot": Beginning the "Great Spring Offensive" 141
Chapter 8 "Light at the top, heavy at the bottom": Decisions That Destroyed a Nation 171
Chapter 9 "The Road of Blood and Tears": The Retreat from the Highlands 203
Chapter 10 "Chaos and disintegration": Surrounding Saigon 235
Chapter 11 "How could I abandon this rocky soil?": Fighting to Save Hue 263
Chapter 12 "The hours of hell": The Collapse of I Corps 299
Chapter 13 "The sea is our only hope": The Battle for the Coastal Cities 331
Chapter 14 "Lightning speed, daring, surprise, certain victory": PAVN Surrounds Saigon 357
Chapter 15 "Hold fast the remaining land": The South Vietnamese Fight Back 383
Chapter 16 "No matter what happens, do not stop your attack": Capturing Phan Rang 415
Chapter 17 "I will knock them down!": ARVN Holds at Xuan Loc 435
Chapter 18 "Do not come home until victory is won": The Fall of Saigon 463
Selected Bibliography 541
Posted July 30, 2012
The author gives a great overview of the last two years of the Vietnam war. The first several chapters go over the time peroid from the signing of the paris peace accords and the opening of the Norths final offensive. Most of the book describes the final North Vietnamese offensive. The author discribes the mistakes that the South Vietnamese leadership made and more importantly, the bravery of the South Vietnamese military. The author also describes events that prevented the United States from supporting its ally.
The author uses many new primary sources (mostly North Vietnamese)to shed new light on the last years of the Vietnam War.
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Posted June 6, 2012
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