Dak To: The 173d Airborne Brigade in South Vietnam's Central Highlands, June-November 1967

Dak To: The 173d Airborne Brigade in South Vietnam's Central Highlands, June-November 1967

by Edward F. Murphy

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of the best recent accounts of the ground war in Vietnam, this profiles the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the first Army ground combat sent there. Initially assigned to guard airfields, it was soon launched against two Vietcong strongholds, War Zone D and the Iron Triangle. But the centerpiece of this fast-paced history is the extensive account of the battle for Hill 875, where the brigade went up against the North Vietnamese for the first time. They proved to be a much tougher adversary than the VC. The Hill 875 sequences have an impressive immediacy, with the gore and carnage presented in shockingly sharp focus. According to Murphy ( Vietnam Medal of Honor Heroes ), founder of the Medal of Honor Historical Society, many of the survivors considered the battle for 875 a futile effort. But he points out that in the context of General Westmoreland's strategy of attrition, the dusty hill in the Central Highlands was ``just one more place where the enemy could be killed.'' Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Instead of fighting Communist insurgents in Vietnam using their own guerrilla tactics, General Westmoreland chose to employ conventional means, hoping that attrition would wear down the enemy's will. In June 1967 he sent the 173d Airborne to a Central Highlands mountain hamlet named Dak To. At the outset, an entire U.S. company had over half its number killed in ambush, and fighting continued until many Americans died for ground that was soon abandoned. Military historian Murphy's workmanlike account of Dak To is well detailed, though not as gritty or compelling as Eric Hammel's oral histories (e.g., Lima-6 , LJ 11/15/89). And though the author provides an ample overview of where the battle fits in the greater scheme, the late Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall, for one, bettered him in books like West to Cambodia ( LJ 12/15/68), giving greater insight into the military mind. Nonetheless, this work is recommended for libraries with large Vietnam War collections.-- Richard Paul Snyder, Cty . of Los Angeles P . L., Huntington Park

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Random House Publishing Group
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6.38(w) x 9.37(h) x 1.46(d)

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