Vietnam: The Complete Story of the Australian War

Bruce Davies, Author, Gary McKay, Author
Bruce Davies, with Gary McKay. Allen & Unwin (IPG, dist.), $49.95 (704p) ISBN 978-1-74175-028-7
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Open Ebook - 736 pages - 978-1-74176-070-5
Paperback - 690 pages - 978-1-74331-559-0
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Not many people in America realize it, but the U.S. did not fight the war in Vietnam alone. In addition to our South Vietnamese allies, combat troops and other military personnel from Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines contributed to the effort. The entire story of Australia’s participation in the war is contained in this massive, well-written, and well-researched volume by two veterans of the war who have written extensively about it (as in The Men Who Persevered). Although the authors cover virtually all of the war’s important political and geopolitical aspects, the focus is on ground-level combat. Davies and McKay provide details of dozens of engagements, large and small, and always bring the discussion back to Australian participation. The first Aussie troops, a jungle training unit, came to Vietnam in May of 1962; the first combat troops arrived three years later. Nearly all were professional soldiers, but as Australia’s commitment increased, the nation resorted to conscription. Some 500 Australian troops perished in the war; nearly 3,000 were wounded. This necessary volume fills a void in Vietnam War scholarship, at least in this country. Photos & 10 maps. (Aug.)
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