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Commandos Nord Vietnam: 1951 - 1954 Paperback – February, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Indo Editions (February 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2914086008
  • ISBN-13: 978-2914086004
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,482,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is not a story of pasty white pastisse sippers sneaking through the Indochinese jungle. Rather it is the account of small handfuls of volunteers who took native Indochinese, often captured Viet Minh, armed and trained them, then led them on reconnaissance and combat patrol operations in the Viet Minh rear, with all the hazards that such service entailed. I first heard of Pissardy from COL Claude Ascensi of the French Army, a respected amateur historian and writer in his own right, who termed Pissardy "the giant" of modern French military historians. My first Pissardy work, "Paras d'Indochine" confirmed that judgment. With "Commandos Nord-Vietnam", Pissardy opts for an overview approach that blends official documents, tables of equipment and organization, combat journals, photos, and period articles into an easily readable but thorough history of French commando operations in North Vietnam. Having tried to piece much of the information contained in this work together over a twenty year period, I feel qualified to state that this is THE seminal work on French Commando operations in Indochina and is a must for any serious student of that conflict, modern French military operations, or counter-insurgency. The great tragedy is that a work of this scope was not available to those of us who served with Civilian Irregular Defense Corps units or Provincial Reconnaissance Units in Vietnam. It would have been invaluable. There are even some lessons of use to the current war in Iraq. The French went on to recruit and use commandos in the Algerian war with marked success. Hopefully, Pissardy's "Commandos Algerie" will soon be in print.

This is a reference quality work. No serious military historian or military librarian will be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Google search only provided a cover picture and nothing too extensive regarding the content of the book. I was able to purchase off Amazon cheaper than discounted eBay sellers and secured the last copy at the time. While I knew the text would be in French I am amazed at how much detail is provided for the various Commando groups involved. Insignia, uniforms and more. If this was in English, published by H&C or Schiffer, we would be paying four times the price. With the availablilty of Google translate, key information can be extracted as required. One of a few must haves for the enthusiast!
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