- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co.; First Thus edition (September 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0935553185
- ISBN-13: 978-0935553185
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fire in the Streets: The Battle for Hue Tet 1968 First Thus Edition
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Fire In The Streets: The Battle For Hue, Tet 1968 is the definitive combat narrative of the bitter, hard-fought, running battle of the 1968 Communist Tet Offensive. Fire In The Streets is the vivid account of the only building-by-building, street-by-street city battle of the Vietnam War involving American troops. Readers will travel the mean, bloody streets of war-shattered Hue with veteran bush Marines who must learn the deadly cat-and-mouse game one terrifying step at a time, and join two outnumbered Air Cavalry battalions as they struggle and die to cut off Hue's embattled Communist fighters from outside help. Both a primer for modern war in an urban environment and a thundering testament to the brave Marines and soldiers who wrested Vietnam's hallowed royal city from the best troops North Vietnam ever fielded, Fire In The Streets is a thrilling read that cannot be put down until the final objective has been secured and the final shot has been fired. Fire In The Streets is the definitive book on the the battle for Hue. -- Midwest Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
This was a group of Army, Air Force., Marines that worked at the Tay Loc Airfield and lived in House 8 away from the MACV compound.This was a small group of approximately 16 men that lived in this house near the CORDS compound and the hospital. Being the senior NCO of the group and having had prior artillery and probably the only good map of the city I was able to contact the MACV compound by radio. The MACV compound gave me the frequency to an Artillery battery. The Artillery group turned me over to a Artillery ship off the coast of Phu Bai.
For the 10 days we were ther I was able to direct Artillery on the Hospital and surrounding buildings. I directed artillery within 150 meters of our own position.
Letters written on our behalf after the TET offensive gave us credit for 17 KIA, 100-150 NVA KIA by artillery and the capture of 7 NVA.
Inteligence reports afterwords stated that due to the precise artillery fire on the NVA positions around us prevented the NVA from attacking the MACV compound from the South.
CPT Mike Downs was in charge of the group of marines that reached our location, and allowed us to return to the MACV compound.
Just a follow up to give a small amoutn to the men of House 8, that stood tall throug an almost unbearable situation.
All of this is verifyable by letters written by Officers afterwards.
U.S. Army (RET)
So I read military history to not only to learn, but also to continually marvel at the valor of men and women in the military.
Hammel's book is at times a jaw-dropping narrative of the ugliest type of warfare - house to house street-fighting - in possibly America's most controversial war.
It is a very story of heroism, determination, leadership and raw courage.
But as a narrative written with pace and verve, it falls short.
This is a tale of NVA bullets nicking gas canisters affixed to ammo belts of American Marines, of non-coms and commanders dodging snipers' bullets as they cross a few meters to rescue the body of a dead or wounded comrade.
And taken at that level, it is a story of heroism we all should admire, regardless of political leanings over America's war in Vietnam.
But Hammel ultimately drives the amateur historian, non-military reader into the haze and dust of confusion and repetitiveness that too many well-intentioned authors don't realize they do. By detailing the moment by moment and movement by movement actions of far too many individuals, far too many squads, platoons and companies, too many streets and boulevards, Hammel leaves even the most attentive readers confused and slogging through a cloud of detail towards the end of his work.
Thus, a tremendous story of American men at arms gets significantly lost in a fog of war that is the author's likely unintentional crafting. Sadly, it can obscure a story of heroism that needs to be told and could have been better understand by a "1,000 foot altitude" view instead of the worm's eye point of view the narrative ultimately takes.
Is "Fire in the Streets" worth reading?
Absolutely. As a monument to the American fighting men in Vietnam, this book should and needs to be read, especially if you like squad/platoon level, man to man, ultra tactical combat narratives.
But does it become an increasingly hard slog chore for the non-military, amateur historian/Vietnam War aficionado/lover of history? Regrettably, I feel that it does (I have the same thoughts about “Fire in the Streets” that I did with Bing West’s “No True Glory,” so if you enjoyed that history, I think you will very much enjoy this work. Just not my preferred narrative point of view).
For all the greatness of the story to be told - and the author's unquestionable desire to write a tribute history that creates an absolutely deserved monument to America's warriors in Hue in 1968, my overarching thought on finishing the book is "If only a Rick Atkinson would write of this battle."