After 27 years of conflict it seemed that peace would finally settle on the Indochina peninsula on 27January 1973 with the signing of a peace accord in Paris. The North Vietnamese had previously launched their greatest offensive against South Vietnam but fell short of their objectives, the destruction of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and the destruction of the Saigon regime. They now proposed, in exchange for the release of the US prisoners of war, the withdrawal of the remaining American forces in Vietnam. Far from feeling committed by the agreement, the Hanoi leadership prepared the next round, the ultimate conquest of South Vietnam now that Washington had completely evacuated its last troops from the country. That first volume sets the scene, by making an assessment of the situation on the field, in both tactical and strategic perspectives.
- Albert Grandolini
It also examines the last episode of the US gradual withdrawal as well as the implementation of part of the Peace Accords with the removal by the US Navy of the mines sown by its aircraft from the North Vietnamese ports and inland waters. The author then presents the respective opposing armed forces with particularly focus on the North Vietnamese rebuilding after the havoc wrought by the American aerial campaign of 1972. Furthermore, the expansion of the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail, vital for the logistical support of the communist troops, is thoroughly detailed. The South Vietnamese on their part placed great emphasis on developing their own air force in order to try to replace the withdrawal of American airpower. Most at all, it also details the initial fighting that not only resumed but soon escalated into divisional-level battles where the South Vietnamese still prevailed.
Regular readers will recall the series of this type of book based in the wars in Africa which I have reviewed in the past . Well Hellion and Co. have done it again a very palatable history presented in a way that is informative and interesting for the ordinary man on the Clapham omnibus . Lashings of photographic illustrations and a cleverly worded narrative making it a good way to learn some history . There's no need for a long review as this is a very good, simply produced history; buy it today and you will not be disappointed - in fact I will wager next month's pay pay packet that you will rush out to get Vol. 2, as well these books are a must for every military library .. I love 'em.