Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75by George J Veith
Black April addresses that deficit. A culmination of exhaustive/i>
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The defeat of South Vietnam was arguably America’s worst foreign policy disaster of the 20th Century. Yet a complete understanding of the endgamefrom the 27 January 1973 signing of the Paris Peace Accords to South Vietnam’s surrender on 30 April 1975has eluded us.
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.
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Meet the Author
George J Veith: George J. Veith is the author of Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War, published by The Free Press in December 1997. Code-Name Bright Light was Book of the Month for the Military Book Club in January 1998. Mr. Veith has also published Leave No Man Behind: Bill Bell and the Search for American POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War in March 2004. He has published many symposium papers, various newspaper articles, and a well-received article on the battle for Xuan Loc in April 1975 that appeared in the January 2004 issue of the "Journal of Military History," along with. He presented papers at the following major conferences, including the October 2005 Australian War College symposium "Entangling Alliances: Coalition Warfare in the Twentieth Century," in 2006 to the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency at Fort Belvoir, VA, at the May 2008 conference in Paris on War, Diplomacy, and Public Opinion: The Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam and the End of the Vietnam War (1968-1975),” and at the 2009 Society for Military History Conference. Most recently, he helped organize a conference held in Washington, DC in April 2010 on 35-Year Retrospective Look on Vietnam.” He has appeared on Fox News and other radio and TV stations, and testified twice on the POW/MIA issue before the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been invited to speak at the American Legion National Conference, the National League of POW/MIA Families and National Alliance of Families annual meetings, and many other venues.
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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.