Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the spring of 1972, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam in what became known as the Easter Offensive. Almost all of the American forces had already withdrawn from Vietnam except for a small group of American advisers to the South Vietnamese armed forces. The 23rd ARVN Infantry Division and its American advisers were sent to defend the provincial capital of Kontum in the Central Highlands. They were surrounded and attacked by three enemy divisions with heavy artillery and tanks but, with the help of air power, ...

See more details below
Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$19.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$34.95 List Price

Overview

In the spring of 1972, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam in what became known as the Easter Offensive. Almost all of the American forces had already withdrawn from Vietnam except for a small group of American advisers to the South Vietnamese armed forces. The 23rd ARVN Infantry Division and its American advisers were sent to defend the provincial capital of Kontum in the Central Highlands. They were surrounded and attacked by three enemy divisions with heavy artillery and tanks but, with the help of air power, managed to successfully defend Kontum and prevent South Vietnam from being cut in half and defeated.

Although much has been written about the Vietnam War, little of it addresses either the Easter Offensive or the Battle of Kontum. In Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam, Thomas P. McKenna fills this gap, offering the only in-depth account available of this violent engagement. McKenna, a U.S. infantry lieutenant colonel assigned as a military adviser to the 23rd Division, participated in the battle of Kontum and combines his personal experiences with years of interviews and research from primary sources to describe the events leading up to the invasion and the battle itself.

Kontum sheds new light on the actions of U.S. advisers in combat during the Vietnam War. McKenna's book is not only an essential historical resource for America's most controversial war but a personal story of valor and survival.

Winner of the 2013 Colby Award

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Although much has been written about the Vietnam War, little of it addresses either the Easter Offensive or the Battle of Kontum. In Kontum, Thomas P. McKenna fills this gap, offering the only in-depth account available of this violent engagement." -- Military Officer

"Readers unfamiliar with the later stages of the Vietnam War will enjoy McKenna's attention to detail, particularly his account of the battle of Kontum and the realities faced by American advisors." -- H-Net Review

"The author's detailed accounts of the fighting make this book a must read for anyone interested in military history and particularly for anyone studying or who simply enjoys reading about the Vietnam War." -- Military Writers Society of America

"McKenna has done a great job of bringing us his firsthand account of the Battle of Kontum and America's pivotal role in keeping South Vietnam from being split in half and defeated in 1972. This book is compelling reading wheather you were 'in country' at the time or not." -- Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Aviator

"McKenna combines solid research and first-person interviews with his own experiences there to produce an informative book that should serve as a 'how not to' for Iraq and Afghanistan." -- The Past in Review

"A well-written book that examines a relatively brief but critical chapter of the Vietnam War." -- On Point

"A powerful testament to the indispensable role played by advisor teams, which has often been obscured in conventional combat histories.... It is a must for any veteran or scholar who wants an in depth understanding as to how the Vietnam War was fought, and why its conclusion came to be." -- Military

Publishers Weekly
McKenna, in his first book, presents a well-researched, heavily detailed look at the 1972 North Vietnamese Army invasion of South Vietnam—the so-called Easter Offensive designed to topple the South Vietnamese government and end the war. The massive, three-pronged attack, aided by Soviet and Chinese weaponry, came as the United States was rapidly withdrawing its combat troops under Nixon's "Vietnamization" plan. But tens of thousands of American troops, including advisers to the South Vietnamese Army such as McKenna, remained, and Nixon unleashed American airpower, including massive, sustained B-52 bombing operations. That onslaught overcame a less-than-stellar performance by the South Vietnamese Army, although one ARVN division stood up well. The successful defense of Kontum (and South Vietnam) was led by the legendary John Paul Vann, working for the U.S. Foreign Service. McKenna served under Vann, the subject of Neil Sheehan's A Bright Shining Lie, and offers an illuminating picture of the colorful, contradictory ex-military man in action. McKenna, severely wounded near the end of the offensive, switches from the first person to the third and includes excessive military minutiae, but does an effective job of melding his own story with the bigger picture. 29 photos; 6 maps. (Aug.)
Library Journal
In 1972, in what became known as the Easter Invasion, North Vietnam launched attacks against the South Vietnamese provincial capital of Kontum. McKenna was a lieutenant colonel serving in South Vietnam as an adviser to the 23rd Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). In this detailed account, he makes use of interviews, primary documents, and personal experience of how the 23rd successfully defended against three North Vietnamese divisions of superior numerical strength with the help of U.S. advisers and air power (almost all of the American forces had been withdrawn from Vietnam by this point). VERDICT Little has been written about the battle off Kontum. This book will be of particular interest to military historians as well as those studying the Vietnam War.—P.M.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813140360
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 7/20/2011
  • Series: Battles and Campaigns
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 1,045,941
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Thomas P. McKenna, Lt. Col., USA (Ret.), served as a military adviser to the Army of South Vietnam and has published articles on military history in Vietnam, Military Officer, and Military Heritage magazines.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

Preface xi

Prologue. Kontum: Now and Then 1

1 Autumn in the Highlands, 1971 5

2 Fighting in Phu Nhon 23

3 A Hundred Tons of Bombs 32

4 The Looming Threat 40

5 The Year of the Rat 44

6 The North Vietnamese Invasion 57

7 Attacking in An Khe Pass 74

8 Our Firebases Fall 82

9 The Collapse at Tan Canh 95

10 A Debacle at Dak To 114

11 A New Team for the Defense 125

12 Closing in on Kontum 144

13 Cut Off and Surrounded 153

14 Tanks Attacking! 166

15 Struggling to Hold It Together 186

16 "Brother, This Is Going to Be It!" 208

17 "You Are Going to Be Overrun" 217

18 The Dirty Job of Killing 231

19 All Over but the Shooting? 238

20 Finishing the Job 245

Epilogue: The End of the Fight 256

Acknowledgments 269

Glossary: Abbreviations and Military Jargon 271

Notes 277

Selected Bibliography 315

Index 325

Illustrations follow page 152

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 1, 2012

    Very Interesting, noteworthy!

    Having spend a few months in the Kontum area, I was especially interesting in this novel. Mr. McKenna wrote outstanding descriptions of the area, the problems encountered by the US advisors, and the teamwork necessary for the operational success. A good example of why the US needs to have one armed force, not four separate services.

    The 1972 - 1973 attempt was the second or third time the NVA use this avenue of approach to divide and conquer. Their last attempt in 1975 was successful because we were not there. US forces left a well equipped RVN military, but we could not leave our willingness to fight.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 24, 2011

    Courage and Professionalism

    An inspiring account of the valor and professionalism of the often forgotten US Army Advisors and their Army of the Republic of Vietnam counterparts. Together they defeated an invading North Vietnamese force that greatly outnumbered them and was equipped with Russian and Chinese armaments. A tribute to the valor of the American and South Vietnamese soldier.

    LTC Barry B Bannister, USA Ret

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)