Vietnam,: The Decisive Battles

Christopher J. Ailsby, Author, Marshall Editions, Author, John Pimlott, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $39.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-02-580171-4
Pimlott, deputy head of Sandhurst's War Studies Department in England, has put together an attractive, richly illustrated history of the Vietnam War from the fall of Dienbienphu in 1954 to the fall of Saigon in '75. Essentially a large-format picture book with accompanying text that traces the politics and diplomacy that provided the context for the fighting, most of the art-work is devoted to 17 decisive engagements on land, sea and in the air. Graphics include photos (many never seen in the West), computer-generated maps of the battlefields and specially commissioned paintings that depict critical moments. The battles include the airmobile assault in the Ia Drang Valley in '65, the battle of Long Tan (Aussies versus VC) in '66, the siege of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive of '68, the ARVN defense of An Loc and the bombing of the Thanh Hoa Bridge during the '72 Easter Offensive. An evenhanded, objective survey, this is a useful book for those wanting an easily digestible overview of a long and complicated war. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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