Today, thirty-five years after the fall of Saigon, scholars and historians have had opportunities to examine the Vietnam war from diverse viewpoints and the distance of time.
But soon after the war, memories of loss still fresh, top military leaders of defeated South Vietnam recorded their observations in a series of publications sponsored by the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Insightful and poignant, unaltered and unedited by the CMH, their distinctive stories are little known and long out of print.
Veteran historian Lewis Sorley has gathered, edited, and arranged these seventeen monographs for ease of reference and access, providing valuable biographies of the generals (some including photographs), plus maps and index. The volume's chapters cover a range of topics, including:
"Leadership" by Gen. Cao Van Vien, for nearly a decade chief of the Joint General Staff (the rough equivalent of the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
"The U.S. Adviser" by General Vien and other senior officers
"Intelligence" by Col. Hoang Ngoc Lung, longtime chief intelligence officer of the RVNAF (Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces)
"Pacification" by Brig. Gen. Tran Dinh Tho
"The RVNAF" by chief logistics officer Lt. Gen. Dong Van Khuyen
"Territorial Forces" by Lt. Gen. Ngo Quang Truong, considered South Vietnam's best field commander
Augmented with Sorley's introduction and epilogue, The Vietnam War brings the South Vietnamese military experience into sharper perspective, at last available for wider use and appreciation.
Lewis Sorley is a researcher and writer in Potomac, Maryland. His previous books include Thunderbolt: General Creighton Adams and the Army of His Times, Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command, and A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam.