Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN [NOOK Book]

Overview


2009 Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award for Biography

Vietnam’s Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN chronicles the lives of Pham Van Dinh and Tran Ngoc Hue, two of the brightest young stars in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Both men fought with valor in a war that seemed to have no end, exemplifying ARVN bravery and determination that is largely forgotten or ignored in the West. However, while Hue fought until he was captured by the ...

See more details below
Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • 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 Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 42%)$19.20 List Price

Overview


2009 Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award for Biography

Vietnam’s Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN chronicles the lives of Pham Van Dinh and Tran Ngoc Hue, two of the brightest young stars in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Both men fought with valor in a war that seemed to have no end, exemplifying ARVN bravery and determination that is largely forgotten or ignored in the West. However, while Hue fought until he was captured by the North Vietnamese Army and then endured thirteen years of captivity, Dinh surrendered and defected to the enemy, for whom he served as a teacher in the reeducation of his former ARVN comrades.

An understanding of how two lives that were so similar diverged so dramatically provides a lens through which to understand the ARVN and South Vietnam’s complex relationship with Americas government and military. The lives of Dinh and Hue reflect the ARVNs battlefield successes, from the recapture of the Citadel in Hue City in the Tet Offensive of 1968, to Dinhs unheralded role in the seizure of Hamburger Hill a year later. However, their careers expose an ARVN that was over-politicized, tactically flawed, and dependent on American logistical and firepower support. Marginalized within an American war, ARVN faced a grim fate as U.S. forces began to exit the conflict. As the structure of the ARVN/U.S. alliance unraveled, Dinh and Hue were left alone to make the most difficult decisions of their lives.

Andrew Wiest weaves historical analysis with a compelling narrative, culled from extensive interviews with Dinh, Hue, and other key figures. Once both military superstars, Dinh is viewed by a traitor by many within the South Vietnamese community, while Hue, an expatriate living in northern Virginia, is seen as a hero who never let go of his ideals. Their experiences and legacies mirror that of the ARVNs rise and fall as well as the tragic history of South Vietnam.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This sympathetic biography of Pham Van Dinh and Tran Ngoc Hue, mid-level officers in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), provides a unique perspective among American war histories. Built by American advisers in 1955 to repel a conventional invasion, the ARVN was a Western-style force that actually spent most of its 25-year life battling a lightly armed insurgency. Ironically, its destruction came at the hands of a traditional invading army from North Vietnam, but by this time U.S. forces (which it had relied on for heavy artillery and airpower) were gone. Vietnam's army suffered a chronic lack of imaginative leadership at the top, yet historian Wiest (Haig) makes a good case that it often fought well, especially at the battalion and regimental level, when led by good officers such as Dinh and Hue. Wiest describes their energetic leadership as the war intensified during the 1960s, but it is not a story that ends happily. Hue spent 13 years in a North Vietnamese prison after his capture in 1970. Dinh surrendered his regiment in 1972, finishing his career in the NVA. Readers who persist through dense nuts-and-bolts battle descriptions will gain new respect for the mishandled South Vietnamese army. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

This is a fascinating study of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)-the South Vietnamese army-during America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Historian Wiest (Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited) focuses on two ARVN officers, Tran Ngoc Hue and Pham Van Dinh, and their parallel but ultimately divergent paths as successful young officers who demonstrated extraordinary courage and tactical skill, painting them as symbolizing the best hope for victory against the Communists. However, they both believed that South Vietnam was doomed to lose the war. Hue continued to fight, was captured by the North Vietnamese in 1971, and spent years in virtual poverty until he migrated to the United States, where he was perceived as a hero. Dinh, hoping to save the lives of his men, surrendered to Communist forces in 1972, defected to their side, and was seen as a traitor by most South Vietnamese émigrés. Wiest argues that had American strategy focused more on enabling the arvin and had U.S. troops not been withdrawn so quickly, the war might have been won. This well-written, compassionate study is a major contribution to most libraries.
—A.O. Edmonds

Kirkus Reviews
Admiring biography of two officers in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), which fought far better than most American histories have acknowledged. Vietnam has a long martial tradition, writes military historian Wiest (Haig: The Evolution of a Commander, 2005, etc.), so there was no shortage of young men eager for a military career when ARVN was created in the 1950s. They fought for 25 years and suffered more than 200,000 casualties, laboring under two critical flaws. Vietnamese leaders wanted a lightly armed, mobile anti-insurgency force, but American military advisors insisted on a heavily armed, Western-style army dependent on the United States for equipment and logistics. In addition, Vietnamese rulers relied on the army to remain in power, so they chose senior officers for loyalty rather than competence. Despite this, good commanders existed, and some ARVN units fought well. Wiest tells the story of two officers, Pham Van Dinh and Tran Ngoc Hue, who led their units with courage and energy well documented in reports from American advisors who worked with them. Hue was captured during the disastrous invasion of Laos in 1970 and spent 13 years in North Vietnamese prisons. Dinh switched sides during the equally disastrous 1972 Easter Offensive and served in the North Vietnamese Army until his retirement. The author spends a great deal of time describing the fighting. While several hundred pages on small-unit actions will interest only military buffs, they present the war from the unfamiliar point of view of the Vietnamese. For example, ARVN did much of the fighting in the epic 1968 battle for the Citadel of Hue City, but saw Vietnamese contributions downplayed by Americanjournalists more interested in depicting heroic Marines. The later offensives make painful reading as lack of good generalship and absence of American firepower undid the efforts of many brave Vietnamese soldiers. A unique perspective on the Vietnam War, though no less depressing than the old one.
From the Publisher

“No book about the Vietnam War can be simply a book about the Vietnam War. Vietnam’s Forgotten Army appears in the midst of a raging debate over American armed interventions abroad and over the proper lessons to draw from Vietnam for the war in Iraq.”
-The Nation

,

“While tactical history can seem stilted and dry at times, Andrew Wiest, in Vietnam's Forgotten Army, presents an enriched and dynamic history of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) by chronicling the careers of two of ARVN's best young officers, Tran Ngoc Hue and Pham Van Dinh, as they fought in the Vietnam War. Wiest seeks to dispel the myth of the ARVN as an ineffective fighting force... The value of Vietnam's Forgotten Army lies in the author's appreciation for ARVN fighting prowess and the book's interesting perspective of the Vietnam War.”
-Military Review

,

“Wiest's excellent book helps to fill a yawning void in the history of the Vietnam War.”
-Journal of Military History

,

“This sympathetic biography of Pham Van Dinh and Tran Ngoc Hue, mid-level officers in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), provides a unique perspective among American war histories. . . . [Readers] will gain new respect for the mishandled South Vietnamese army.”
-Publishers Weekly

,

“This is a fascinating study of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)—the South Vietnamese army—during America's involvement in the Vietnam War. . . . This well-written, compassionate study is a major contribution to most libraries.”
-Library Journal

,

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814794517
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 896,267
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Andrew Wiest is Professor of History and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is co-editor of War in the Age of Technology: Myriad Faces of Modern Armed Combat (NYU Press, 2001) and author or co-author of numerous books, including Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited, Atlas of World War II, and The Vietnam War, 1959–1975. He lives in Hattiesburg, MS.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Foreword   James Webb     xiii
Preface: Welcome to America     xvii
Introduction: Welcome to Vietnam     1
Coming of Age in a Time of War     11
A War Transformed: Battle, Politics, and the Americanization of the War, 1963-1966     31
Fighting Two Wars: Years of Attrition and Pacification, 1966-1967     65
A Time for Heroes: The Tet Offensive     95
After Tet: The Year of Hope     124
Hamburger Hill: The Untold Story of the Battle for Dong Ap Bia     157
A War Transformed: Vietnamization, 1969-1970     177
Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams: Operation Lam Son 719     197
The Making of a Traitor     229
Journeys Home: Life in the Wake of a Lost War     273
Conclusion     298
Notes     305
Bibliography     329
Index     339
About the Author     350
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

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

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