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United States Marine Corps in Vietnam :

United States Marine Corps in Vietnam :

Michael Green
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
This edition from the iconic Images of War series of books from Pen & Sword is a bit more substantial than many of the others in the series. While there are the usual plethora of photographs, many not seen before, the book also contains a lot of text explaining the role of the USMC in Vietnam, how it was different from the US army and how it policed it’s operational area.

There are several very clear maps as well showing where the USMC operated, and the text explains why these areas were chosen as important. Following a Foreword by Lt Col KW Estes, USMC, the book is set in four chapters covering the main periods in Vietnam.

Chapter One: The Opening Act (1966) explains why the Marines were sent to Vietnam and why they went in before the US Army as their Expeditionary Force contained its own logistics so could operate immediately on deployment. The US Army were not far behind but needed to build up their logistical tail first. The photographs in this section show |Marines in action and the weapons and equipment they used. The use of helicopters as a means not transporting troops into battle is discussed, as far as this type of book can.

Chapter Two: The Fighting Increases in Scope (1966-67). As the title makes clear, the fighting became very intense and the area the USMC had bordered N Vietnam and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) so initially major actions against N Vietnam troops occurred until the Viets started to loop round, through Laos.

Chapter Three: The Defining Year (1968 ). The year of the Tet Offensive by N Vietnam. This is the year that the city of Hue was attacked and the Marines had to recapture it from the Viets. It was about now that the war became even more political and although the Marines fought off and beat the North Vietnam Army strategically the war was changing. People in USA were actively moving against US participation and the atmosphere changed. The politics back home did not stop the pace of operations for the USMC.

Chapter Four: Coming to an End (1969-75). The run down of the war in Vietnam and withdrawal of the USMC, handing over to S Vietnamese army. Marines knew that the S Vietnamese army would not be able to withstand the N Vietnamese but were pulled out and returned to the USA.

A very comprehensive look at the Corps in action in Vietnam with good supporting text. On 4 June 1971 the Marine Expeditionary Brigade, the last USMC in Vietnam, handed over responsibility for their area to the US Army and withdrew from Vietnam. 500,000 Marines served in Vietnam, 13,005 died and 88,635 wounded, 20% casualty figures. The last US Marines to leave Vietnam though were the men guarding the US Embassy in Saigon who were among the last to leave in 1975.

A very good book which shows the war, warts and all, that the Marines fought in Vietnam. A good addition to the Images of War series and a good book to have if you have an interest in the Vietnam War.

3.5/5 Mr MRHs


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