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An eBook short.In the opening years of the Vietnam War, a small group of American military advisors and their South Vietnamese allies were facing down the Viet Cong. The confident Americans were there to do what seemed elementary: help the South Vietnamese army defeat a ragtag guerrilla enemy. They were assured of swift success. But one officer, John Paul Vann, saw darker omens for the future--and in the Battle of Ap Bac, the Viet Cong proved him correct.Encapsulating the great terrors, mistakes, ironies, and courageous acts of the Vietnam War, "The Battle of Ap Bac" recounts the clash in which the Viet Cong first won their spurs. It is an exciting, terrifying, fast-paced portrait of close-contact warfare in the rice paddies, the story of John Vann's attempt to singlehandedly change the terms of battle and avoid the relentless killing grounds of Vietnam that lay ahead. A key selection from Neil Sheehan's masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie--which remains the preeminent history of the Vietnam War--it offers a prescient warning for current conflicts between powerful forces and underestimated foes.
Outspoken, professional and fearless, Lt. Col. John Paul Vann went to Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. He was soon appalled by the South Vietnamese troops' unwillingness to fight, by their random slaughter of civilians and by the arrogance and corruption of the US military. He flouted his supervisors and leaked his sharply pessimistic - and, as it turned out, accurate - assessments to the US press corps in Saigon. Among them was Sheehan, who became fascinated by the angry Vann, befriended him and followed his tragic and reckless career.
From Sheehan, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic "A Bright Shining Lie," comes the never-before-told story of the nuclear arms race that changes history--and of the visionary American Air Force officer Bernard Schriever, who leads the high-stakes effort.
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