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1946 - Present Reading List
and Bookstore

As you may have guessed, there are an immense number of books on the period from 1946 to the turn of the 21st Century. Here are a few. If you don't find what you're looking for here, go to Amazon.com and do a search. Remember, if you link to Amazon through us and order online, we get a small percentage--this will help keep reenactor.Net online!

You might find book reviews on the following books on their pages at Amazon.com. If you would like to review a book, please submit your review to Amazon.com; if you would like to add a few clarifying words to my descriptions, please email me. I took most of the descriptions for these books right from the Amazon.com pages.

Really love or hate a book listed here? Want to add your favorites? Thought of a much better way for me to organize these? Please send suggestions, comments and corrections regarding this Time-Area to: Max Popov.

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The French Indochina War 1946-54 (Men-at-Arms 322) by Martin Windrow -- The states of Indochina had been French colonies or protectorates since the 19th century. However, in March 1945 the Japanese interned all French troops and officials, and turned over all civil government to local authorities. The power vacuum caused by the Japanese surrender allowed the Viet Minh, a strong revolutionary organization, to be established throughout Vietnam. When the French returned to the north, incidents between French and VM troops were inevitable, negotiations collapsed and the French opted for a military solution. This book examines the history of the conflict and the forces of both sides.
Dien Bien Phu: The Epic Battle America Forgot by Howard R. Simpson -- The Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1953-1954), stresses the author, was one of the modern era's most decisive confrontations. Simpson, who as a U.S. Information Agency correspondent visited the isolated French fortress and knew many of its defenders, relates the story in heroic terms: how General Giap's Viet Minh troops hauled artillery pieces across mountain ranges and through dense jungles to dominating heights overlooking Dien Bien Phu, their shells ultimately forcing the French surrender; the poignant call for volunteers willing to parachute into the besieged fort to reinforce the casualty-depleted garrison and the response by hundreds of men even though Dien Bien Phu was already doomed. The fall of the fort on May 7, 1954, after a 57-day siege was a disaster for France, for it spelled the end of French hegemony in Indochina and opened the way for U.S. involvement in the region. Simpson pointedly reviews the lessons that would be ignored by the Americans in their ensuing war with the NVA/VC: not to underestimate the guerrilla or overestimate U.S. air power, and above all to secure the support of domestic public opinion. Simpson ( Tiger in the Barbed Wire ) has written a military classic based on newly released documents, interviews with survivors, and his own vivid and compassionate recollections.
The Vietnam War for Dummies by Ronald B. Frankum and Stephen F. Maxner -- The Vietnam War was unlike any war the United States ever fought. Unlike the previous wars of the twentieth century, the Vietnam War left the United States divided, and it continues to influence U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Without question, the Vietnam Syndrome that emerged after the war's end altered the policies of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, and the lessons learned from the war were applied to later conflicts in the Persian Gulf.

The Vietnam War story is one that has never been fully understood and probably never will be explained to the satisfaction of those who experienced it ? and it will continue to spark debate and controversy for each new generation. The Vietnam War For Dummies attempts to tell that complicated story in a way that is easily accessible to everyone. If you've never read much about the Vietnam War, this book provides a general overview that covers all the major players and significant turning points and events of the war. If you're a history buff, this book can serve as a compact reference guide to the major subjects of the war.


Marine Sniper by Charles Henderson -- Marine Sniper is not only one of the most astonishing true stories to emerge from the Vietnam War, it has become a classic of military nonfiction, inspiring a sequel, Silent Warrior: The Marine Sniper's Vietnam Story Continues.

There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock. A legend in the Marine ranks, Hathcock stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines-on their own ground. And each time he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with 93 confirmed kills.

This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos Hathcock a legend in the brotherhood of Marines.


We Were Soldiers Once...and Young : Ia Drang - the Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore -- 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.


Reflections of a Warrior : Six Years as a Green Beret in Vietnam by Elwood J.C. Kureth -- Miller served with the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to '72, winning the Medal of Honor and six Purple Hearts. Writing with Army captain Kureth he here discusses the attractions of combat: "I loved it. I couldn't get enough." Miller is aggressively outspoken and repugnant about the business of killing ("Genuine killers are not to be confused with guys who simply spray the area and happen to kill someone") and objectionably recalls that he nearly murdered his Vietnamese girlfriend for no particular reason ("To this day I'm not sure why I wanted to kill her"). After his Medal of Honor exploit his superiors consigned him to a psychiatric ward purportedly in order to remove him from the combat zone. Miller found peacetime duty almost unendurable ("My extensive combat skills and ass-kicking abilities were no longer needed") but recovered his morale as an infantry instructor. He is still on active duty with the Army.
Armies of the Vietnam War 1962-75 (Men-at-Arms 104) -- by Philip Katcher -- Philip Katcher provides an overview to the conflict that engulfed Vietnam following the division of the country into two along the 17th Parallel in 1954. The uniforms and insignia of the US forces, including the army, Special Forces, air force, navy and marine corps, are dealt with in detail, together with those of the ARVN, the Allied Forces (such as the Royal Thai Army and Korean troops), and also the Communist NLF (Viet Cong) and NVA forces. Mike Chappell's colourful artwork provides plenty of detail to accompany this authoritative text.
Armies of the Vietnam War (2) (Men-at-Arms 143) by Lee E Russell -- On 8 march 1965 some 3,500 US Marines, the first US combat troops to arrive in Vietnam, landed in Da Nang to defend the US air base there. On 8 June, following further reinforcements, General Westmoreland authorised his troops to begin 'offensive patrolling'. Lee Russell's follow-up to Men-at-Arms 104 focuses in finer detail on the uniforms and insignia of the US Army and Marines, the ARVN and the NVA. The book is packed with superbly detailed black and white photographs of the forces in the field, and Mike Chappell's excellent illustrations provide key reference material for the contemporary uniforms and battledress.

US Army and Allied Ground Forces in Vietnam. Order of Battle by Shelby L. Stanton -- Shelby Stanton's book "Vietnam: Order of Battle" is a recent re-issue of a classic reference text that is essential for anyone who is researching America's long, troubled war in Southeast Asia. The book does not have a narrative, or an overview of the war, it is simply a well-researched and comrehensive breakdown of facts, the engagements that the United States and its allies fought, the organization and insignia of the units that serves in Vietnam, the fixed wing aircraft, the ubiquitous helicopters, small arms, heavy weapons, armor that were used, the deployments and casualties, military terms and finally, a very useful series of maps of the conflict. Shelby Stanton is an authority on the War in Vietnam and has authored many books on the subject and this large coffee-table volume is the product of an unusually dedicated and indefatigable researcher.


US Army Uniforms of the Vietnam War by Shelby L. Stanton -- This volume is designed to accurately record the development and utilization of U.S. Army clothing and individual equipment, as well as common organizational equipment carried by soldiers, during the Vietnam conflict (Second Indochina War).


US Marine in Vietnam -- by Charles Melson -- This volume provides an in-depth look at the experience of the ordinary US marine 'grunt' in Vietnam. Organisation of the corps, weaponry, equipment, uniforms, training and medical arrangements are all discussed. However, where this book differs from other similar works is not only in the detail that it goes into but also in the unifying theme of examining all these differing aspects of marine life from the point of view of a soldier serving in the conflict. The author, Charles Melson, actually served in Vietnam, and it is this personal experience that allows him to provide such a unique angle on the subject.
Vietnam Airborne (Elite 29) -- by Gordon Rottman -- The Airborne units that fought against the Viet Cong in Vietnam were a select brotherhood. Their ability to respond and move rapidly by air transport or helicopter, combined with their flexibility in ever-changing tactical situations, saved the day in many brutal fights in the jungles, swamps, plains and mountains of Vietnam. This book looks at the history, organization and uniforms of the airborne units in Vietnam. The troops covered include paratroopers, reconnaissance troops and special forces soldiers from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the Republic of Vietnam. Contemporary photographs and full page colour artwork support the text.
Green Beret in Vietnam 1957-73 (Warrior 28) by Gordon Rottman -- Vietnam was the US Special Forces most complex and controversial mission, one that began in 1957 and ended in 1973. Camp strike forces, mobile strike forces, mobile guerrilla forces, special reconnaissance projects, training missions and headquarters duty provided vastly differing experiences and circumstances for SF soldiers. Other fluctuating factors were the terrain, the weather and the shifting course of the war itself. Gordon Rottman examines the training, life, weapons and combat experiences of the Special Forces soldier in this challenging environment.

Vietnam ANZACs Australian & New Zealand Troops in Vietnam 1962-72 (Elite 103) by Kevin Lyles -- The part played by Australian and New Zealand troops in the Vietnam War is sometimes overlooked; but it is generally accepted that the 'Diggers' and 'Kiwis' were among the most effective and professional troops involved. Drawing upon the ANZACs' long experience in the jungles of South East Asia, the men of the Task Force used their expertise in patrol tactics to great effect to frustrate Viet Cong operations. Meanwhile the ANZACs? small and isolated adviser teams spent ten years passing on their skills all over South Vietnam, and in the process four were awarded the supreme decoration for valour - the Victoria Cross. This book pays tribute to their military prowess, and describes and illustrates their uniforms and equipment in unprecedented detail.


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