Grab Their Belts To Fight Them: The Viet Cong's Big Unit War Against the US, 1965-1966

Overview


"During 1965 and 1966," wrote Dale Andrade, a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, "the Communists fought the Americans toe to toe, making little effort to act like guerillas." Indeed, despite pronounced disadvantages in firepower and mobility, the Communist Vietnamese endeavored to crush South Vietnam and expel the American military with a strategy predicated on "big unit" war. Orchestrated by a militant clique in Hanoi, the "big unit" war was designed to yield a quick and decisive victory ...
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Grab Their Belts to Fight Them: The Viet Cong's Big-Unit War Against the U.S., 1965-1966

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Overview


"During 1965 and 1966," wrote Dale Andrade, a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, "the Communists fought the Americans toe to toe, making little effort to act like guerillas." Indeed, despite pronounced disadvantages in firepower and mobility, the Communist Vietnamese endeavored to crush South Vietnam and expel the American military with a strategy predicated on "big unit" war. Orchestrated by a militant clique in Hanoi, the "big unit" war was designed to yield a quick and decisive victory over South Vietnam. Exploiting an extensive array of Communist Vietnamese sources, including seldom utilized unit histories and battle studies, Grab them by their Belts chronicles in rich detail the formation, development, and participation of the Viet Cong in the opening stanza of the Communist big unit war against the Americans, and how the ultimate failure of that war profoundly influenced the decision to launch the Tet Offensive.

Grab Them by their Belts, unlike much of the existing body English literature on the Vietnam War, mined the expansive Communist historiography on the conflict to craft an authentic and accurate account of the big unit war from a Communist perspective. Communist memoirs, unit histories, and battlefield studies were extensively consulted to reconstruct the formation and deployment of major VC/NVA military units, battles and campaigns, and the overarching strategic debates that informed the big unit war. Additionally, Grab them by their belts recounts how the Communist big unit war reflected the desire to crush South Vietnam quickly and decisively, and how the failure of that war influenced the decision to launch the Tet Offensive.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591149613
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 5/5/2011
  • Pages: 283
  • Sales rank: 1,380,912
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Warren Wilkins is a Fellow at the Center for Threat Awareness and a contributor to the Center's online journal, Threats Watch.He also contributes to Vietnam Magazine.
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Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Part I The Viet Cong

1 Origins, Infrastructure, and Organization 7

2 On the Field of Battle 21

3 Generating Friction 41

Part II The Big-Unit War: 1965

4 Strategic Debates and Decisions 51

5 Van Tuong 64

6 An Ninh and the la Drang Valley 82

7 The B2 Front 96

8 Cong Truong 9 Enters the Fray 105

9 The Die Is Cast 127

Part III The Big-Unit War: 1966

10 An Inauspicious Beginning 143

11 Winter-Spring Battles: Region 5 159

12 Winter-Spring Battles: The B2 Front 175

Part IV Epilogue

13 The Big-Unit War and the Road to Tet 197

14 Attitudes and Adversaries 213

Notes 229

Bibliography 261

Index 275

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