The General Who Lost Vietnam

Book - 2011
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Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011
ISBN: 9780547518268
Branch Call Number: 959.7043 WESTMOR SORLEY
Characteristics: x, 395 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm


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Jun 05, 2015

Covers his upbringing, boyhood, time as a cadet at the USMA, his early military career in WWII and Korea and his ascension to commander of US troops in Vietnam and beyond. I read because I never understood how we lost the war or why we even became involved in the first place since the French had been there for a decade or so fighting with nine different generals and couldn't defeat Vo Nguyen Giap's communist troops (aka Viet Cong). Includes discussion of U.S. tactics and superiority in air power, military equipment, technology and logistics and Westmoreland's traits and abilities. Search and destroy tactics employed by the U.S. were wrong from the get-go. (I don't think Patton could have faired better.) Author explains why. Also details the general's career after Vietnam and as a civilian. I felt empathy for Westmoreland. Finally, U.S. and French tactics employed were similar to those used in the previous wars and didn't apply to guerilla jungle warfare. Read the book about leader general Von Nguyen Giap who defeated the Japanese, French and, the U.S. His is an incredible man who defeated superior armies whom had superior technology and training. One of his strategies; If enemy attacks, retreat. When enemy is in camp, attack. When enemy is tired, attack. When enemy retreats, attack. You can't search and destroy that which you can not find or is not willing to engage on your terms.


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