Book review of the day: Hue 1968 

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This year we are going to review books daily until the reviews run out. By doing this for individual books this gives people a chance to do their own research on the books and authors by using the links provided and not miss out by being bombarded by a whole lot at once like we have done in previous years.

Each post is set out as comprehensively as possible with the name of who submitted it, the name of the book and author and a short review in the form of a comment from whoever submitted it.

Todays review came from Jonathan

Hue 1968

By Mark Bowden

Jonathan said: “The Tet offensive early 1968  was a pivotal moment in the Vietnam war, and of that the battle for Hue was perhaps the most prominent. Ten thousand NVA and Viet Cong captured large parts of the historic city hoping to spark an uprising against the South Vietnamese government, with a few enclaves of American & South Vietnamese troops holding out. American infantry & Marines were fed into the battle in an attempt to retake the city, ultimately successful but at an appalling cost in lives and destruction.

Mark Bowden, known for ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Guests of the Ayatollah’ (my current read) has written a superb and engrossing book on this battle. Drawing from official sources as well as , most significantly, many interviews not just with American servicemen but also Vietnamese (including ex-NVA soldiers and Viet Cong) and journalists, he vividly describes the taking of the city, the confusion surrounding the initial American response when the scale of the incursion was unknown, and the experiences of all the participants, military and civilian of the fighting to retake the city. The personal stories give this a real depth as you follow characters through their involvement.

If you have any interest at all in the Vietnam War, this would be an excellent addition to your shelf.

Amazon said: “The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam’s intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front’s presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.”

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