Description - Days of Valor by Robert L. Tonsetic
Days of Valor is a no-holds-barred account of the Tet Offensive, and reveals the shocking reality of what young US soldiers faced. The Tet Offensive was the turning point of the Vietnam War. It was a huge propaganda victory for the Viet Cong, and the beginning of the end for the US in Vietnam. The 199th Light Infantry Brigade was created from three U.S. infantry battalions of long lineage as a fast reaction force to place in Vietnam. As the book begins, in December 1967, the brigade has been at war for a year, and many of its battered 12-month men are returning home. The Communists seem to be in a lull, and the brigade commander requests a transfer to a more active sector, just above Saigon. Through January the battalions sense increasing enemy strength, NVA personnel now mixed with Viet Cong units. But the enemy is lying low, and a truce has even been declared for the Vietnamese New Year, the holiday called Tet. On January 30, 1968, the storm broke loose, as Saigon and nearly every provincial capital was overrun by VC and NVA bursting in unexpected strength from their base camps. In this book we learn the most intimate details of combat, as the Communists fight with rockets, mortars, Chinese claymores, mines, machine guns and AK-47s. The battles evolve into an enemy favouring the cloak of night, the jungle-both urban and natural-and subterranean fortifications, against U.S. forces favouring direct confrontational battle supported by air and artillery. When the lines are only 25 yards apart, however, there is little way to distinguish between the firepower or courage of the assailants and the defenders, or even who is who at any given moment, as both sides have the other in direct sight. Days of Valor covers the height of the Vietnam War, from the nervous period just before Tet, through the defeat of that offensive, to the highly underwritten yet equally bloody NVA counteroffensive launched in May 1968. It ends with a brief note about the 199th LIB being deactivated in spring 1970, furling its colours after suffering 753 dead and some 5,000 wounded. The brigade had only been a temporary creation, intended for one purpose, and though its heroism is now a matter of history, it should remain a source of pride for all Americans. Many of the characters described in this book did not make it home, and the narrative gives the reader a vivid impression of what it must have been like to fight in this horrific war. The author was a company commander during these battles, and he has interviewed many of the soldiers of the 199th who fought in this bloody conflict. AUTHOR Robert L Tonsetic is Vietnam veteran and author of Forsaken Warriors (Casemate, 2009). ILLUSTRATIONS 16 pages of photos *
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Format: Paperback / softback
(240mm x 159mm x mm)
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
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