Just Another Day in Vietnam
Keith Nightingale (Author)
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Description"If you want to know about war, Keith Nightingale is your man." Tom Ricks, Pulitzer-Prize winning military correspondent.
Keith Nightingale’s accomplishments in both military and civilian life contribute the unusual depth as well as breadth of this Vietnam memoir. He was American advisor to elite Vietnamese troops, a vital perspective regrettably underrepresented in the literature of Vietnam. He brings to this book his well-informed considerations of enemy psychology, and insight into the dedication and often misunderstood role of the elite Vietnamese Ranger forces. The intelligence acquired from debriefing captured Rangers was significant – their captors had told them that the entire battle had been a carefully staged attack planned by COSVN as part of a larger ‘Total War’ strategy developed by the leadership of the North Vietnamese Army. Also included is his own eye-witness account of one of the most vicious – and heretofore forgotten – battles of the war.
Throughout Nightingale adopts a third-person perspective in order to give the reader a wider view on events, and from all sides of the conflict. Examples of these multi-layered perspectives – based on real-life characters he met – include: Hu, a VC ‘informant’ whose false information led the Rangers straight into the jaws of a ferocious ambush; General Tanh, the COSVN commander; Major Nguyen Hiep, the 52d Ranger Commander; and Ranger Prisoners of War, later returned by the North.
The result is an intense and thought-provoking memoir, reflecting close combat on the ground in Vietnam – one which targets our senses with the sights, sounds, textures, and even the tastes of war – but also leaves us with an enduring appreciation of the conflict from all sides.
15 May 2023
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