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Author: Charles Henderson
Berkley

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. The life of Carlos N. Hathcock II reads like the plot summary of a summer block buster movie. Hathcock resurrected the shunned and despised art of sniping and held off an entire company of enemy soldiers for five days with only the assistance of his spotter. He infiltrated deep behind enemy lines to assassinate an enemy commander with a single shot and then escaped undetected. Later, he sacrificed his life and body to save his fellow soldiers. He was feared and respected by his comrades and adversaries alike, he never gave up and fought incredible odds time and again and each time surmounted them.

The events are all true, despite the sensational sound of them. Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills is a biography of a two times Vietnam War veteran who, despite the extraordinary and dangerous path his life took, didn’t succumb to gun fire, mines, bombs or knives. In the end, frustrated at a body that could no longer do the things he loved to do, confined to wheelchairs and hospital beds, Carlos Hathcock died of multiple sclerosis twenty years after he was unable to serve his country as a Marine any more, and after twenty years of distinguished service.

Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills follows Hathcock’s life from his enrolment in to the Marine Corps at the age of 17 through to a little after his forced retirement at the age of 37. For the most part, it is an enjoyable read and, although biographical, still manages to incorporate large doses of suspense and conflict.

Author: Randy E. M. Foster
Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Osprey (Fortress)

Impressive in terms of scale and structure, the Fire Support Base became a dominant element in ground maneuver during the Vietnam War. Initially a mobile base, it soon evolved into a semi-permanent and more sophisticated fortress as a result of enemy counterattacks and bombardments.

As a consequence, the majority of US and other allied troops found themselves pinned down in defensive or support roles, rather than being free to conduct 'search and destroy' or other mobile missions. Thus, the first and foremost function of the Fire Support Base was defensive. Troops, machine guns, mortars, artillery, surveillance radars, and command centers all had to be dug into bunkers and fire trenches by nightfall of the first day. Around these positions there would be deep belts of barbed wire, generously scattered with several different types of mines and even, in a few cases after 1967, with a brand new series of electronic sensors to detect and locate the enemy at a distance.

With the benefit of the on-site howitzers, the FSB could also deliver offensive high volume fire, reaching as far as 14,600m and eliminating enemy firing sites, supporting friendly infantry operations, or simply participating in fire missions where exact targets were not known. In fact, the fort offered such a degree of support and protection that ground maneuver was eventually hampered by the troop's reluctance to leave the comfort and safety of the FSB.

With a description of the design, development and operational history of the Fire Support Base, this book provides the key to understanding one of the main assets of US battle strategy in the Vietnam War.

Author: Franklin D. Miller and Elwood J.C. Kureth
Pocket

PFC Franklin Miller arrived in Vietnam in March 1966, and saw his first combat in a Reconnaissance Platoon. So began an odyssey that would make him into one of the most feared and respected men in the Special Forces elite, who made their own rules in the chaos of war.

In the exclusive world of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group, Miller ran missions deep into enemy territory to gather intelligence, snatch prisoners, and to kill. Leading small bands of battle-hardened Montagnard and Meo tribesmen, he was fierce and fearless -- fighting army policy to stay in combat for six tours. On a top-secret mission in 1970, Miller and a handful of men, all critically injured, held off the NVA in an incredible Alamo-like stand -- for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. When his time in Southeast Asia ended, he had also received the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and six Purple Hearts. This is his incredible story.

 

Author: Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
Presidio Press

Each year, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps selects one book that he believes is both relevant and timeless for reading by all Marines. The Commandant's choice for 1993 was We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young.

In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was chopped to pieces. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War.
How these men persevered—sacrificed themselves for their comrades and never gave up—makes a vivid portrait of war at its most inspiring and devastating.

General Moore and Joseph Galloway, the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting, have interviewed hundreds of men who fought there, including the North Vietnamese commanders. This devastating account rises above the specific ordeal it chronicles to present a picture of men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have found unimaginable only a few hours earlier. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man's most heroic and horrendous endeavor.

Author: Gordon Rottman
Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Osprey (Campaign)

Khe Sanh was a small village in northwest South Vietnam that sat astride key North Vietnamese infiltration routes. In September 1966 of the Vietnam War (1955-1975), a Marine battalion deployed into the area. Action gradually increased as the NVA attempted to destroy Free World Forces bases, and the siege of Khe Sanh proper began in October 1967. The bitter fight lasted into July 1968 when, with the changing strategic and tactical situation, the base was finally closed. This book details the siege and explains how, although the NVA successfully overran a Special Forces camp nearby, it was unable to drive US forces from Khe Sanh.


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