4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Well written,clear,just excellent.,
This review is from: The Battle of Ap Bac, Vietnam: They Did Everything But Learn From It (Paperback)
Toczek, who is now a Lt. Col., wrote this fine book as a project back in 2001 when, I assume, he was at command school at Ft. Levenworth. Ap Bac was never delved too deeply in to until Sheehan's treatment in " A Bright Shinning Lie." Toczek takes it to a better level and leaves the reader with a much clearer picture of what went wrong with a sound battle plan. The battle failed on important levels. South Vietnamese resentment of American advice and support, fear of sucess and failure as a part of the Diem regime, lack of treatment for wounds inflicted during fighting, all contibuted to the culture that created a weak ARVN. Of course they cowered behind the dikes all day long.....wouldn't you if your own govt. refused you treatment for wounds incured? Officers above the NCO level were afaid to fail, of course, but were even more reluctant to succeed, as they could be perceived as a threat to Diem and removed from their post.
On the tactical level, Toczek explains the fight clearly from conception to finish. He is, as a writer, a bit dry like David Glantz...but that is a complement. Toczek's most astute observation, however, is of the South Vietnamese psyche which subtly effected the troops throught the war and ultimately led to their downfall.