The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam

Overview

"In my year in Vietnam, I walked the booby-trapped rice paddies of the Delta, searching for the elusive Viet Cong, and later macheted my way through the triple-canopy jungle, fighting the North Vietnamese Regulars. I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader and a company commander. I sweated, thirsted, hunted, killed. Somewhere in all my experiences, I overlapped the situations of nearly every infantryman as well as the many other soldiers who served."

Michael Lee Lanning's journal of ...

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Overview

"In my year in Vietnam, I walked the booby-trapped rice paddies of the Delta, searching for the elusive Viet Cong, and later macheted my way through the triple-canopy jungle, fighting the North Vietnamese Regulars. I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader and a company commander. I sweated, thirsted, hunted, killed. Somewhere in all my experiences, I overlapped the situations of nearly every infantryman as well as the many other soldiers who served."

Michael Lee Lanning's journal of his tour of duty in Vietnam, where he served in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, provides an unvarnished daily account of life in the field-the blood, fear, camaraderie, and tedium of combat and maneuver. Fleshed out with narrative and detail years later, after he had returned home, Lanning's story offers a gripping insight into a war that called for the best from a generation of Americans.

In the pages of this memorable book, first published in 1987, an eager young recruit grows before our eyes into a proud but bloodied combat veteran. Subsequent volumes in his Vietnam Trilogy will detail his tour as a company commander and his post-war investigation into the mind of the enemy. Through his eyes, readers see the reality of a war that did not always receive glory but was, in the common phrase of the time, "the only war we had."

About the Author:
Michael Lee Lanning, retired from a career in the U.S. Army

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804100052
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/12/1987
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.89 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author


MICHAEL LEE LANNING, who retired from a career in the U.S. Army in 1988, was awarded the bronze star for valor with two oak-leaf clusters and numerous other decorations for his service in Vietnam. Author of over a dozen books on military history, he lives in Phoenix, Arizona
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Table of Contents


Preface to the 2007 Edition     vii
Author's Note to the Original Edition     xi
Introduction     1
Pre-Journal     4
Journal     8
Post-Journal     292
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    worth a read

    My dad loaned me this book of his and I'm glad he did. It's worth a read if you are interested in what an infantryman's day to day life was like in Vietnam. Michael Lee Lanning wrote this book based on his journal he kept while in Vietnam. This book covers his first six months over there on a day by day basis. It's slow at times and full of action at other times but it's the honesty I appreciated the most. The synopsis says it best: "Michael Lee Lanning's journal of his first tour of duty in Vietnam provides an unvarnished daily account of life in the field-the blood, fear, camaraderie, and tedium of combat and maneuver. Fleshed out with narrative and detail years later, the pages of this memorable book, first published in 1987, show an eager young recruit growing before the reader's eyes into a proud but bloodied combat veteran."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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