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Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam (Battles and Campaigns Series) Hardcover – July 20, 2011
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"A gripping combat narrative. McKenna does an excellent job of combining his personal experiences and observations with the extensive information he has drawn from official records, contemporary press reports, and published works."―David T. Zabecki, editor emeritus, Vietnam Magazine
"Tom McKenna is a 'soldier's soldier.' His reputation for integrity, courage and professional know how is known throughout the Army. His peacetime as well as wartime service marked him as one of the infantry's most remarkable leaders, the kind admired by not only his subordinates but also his peers and superior officers. This book reflects his professional acumen and contributions to freedom."―Major General Guy S. Meloy, USA (Ret.), former commanding general, 82nd Airborne Division
"A superbly written and researched account of the 1972 NVA Easter Offensive and the heroism and professionalism of the unsung heroes of the Vietnam War, the advisor teams. If you are interested in understanding why the Vietnam War ended as it did, read this book."―Major General Neal Creighton, USA (Ret.), former Commanding General of 1st Infantry Division
"McKenna sweeps away the fog of war in his detailed history of the Battle of Kontum. He expertly blends his personal experience as a military adviser to the victorious 23rd South Vietnamese Division with years of painstaking research in this significant account of one of the final battles of the Vietnam War."―Edward Richards, Emeritus Professor of English and Military Literature, Norwich University, CDR, USNR (Ret.)
"Accurately describes the important contribution of the U.S. Air Force in winning the Battle of Kontum. B-52 bombers, fighter-bombers, and gunships supported the advisors and the troops in Kontum while C-130 airlifts delivered vital supplies to the beleaguered city."―Major General James C. Pfautz, USAF (Ret.)
"Although the Easter Offensive was the biggest battle of the Vietnam War, it has been neglected by historians. McKenna helps fill the gap with his account of the battle for Kontum in the Central Highlands. His perspective as a participant in the fighting there makes this an interesting and valuable addition to the historiography."―Dale Andradé, author of America's Last Vietnam Battle: Halting Hanoi's 1972 Easter Offensive
"Offers an illuminating picture of the colorful, contradictory ex-military man in action. McKenna. . . does an effective job of melding his own story with the bigger picture."―Publishers Weekly
"McKenna, a U.S. infantry lieutenant colonel assigned as a military adviser to the 23rd Division, participated in the battle of Kontum and combines his personal experiences with years of interviews and research from primary sources to describe the events leading up to the invasion and the battle itself."―Siagon Arts, Culture, & Education Institute Newsletter
"Thomas McKenna's fine work is an important addition to our knowledge of advisors and those they advised, during a critical period of the war . . . In a balanced and detailed account McKenna tells it like it was."―Journal of Military History
"Kontum sheds new light on the actions of U.S. advisers in combat during the Vietnam War. McKenna's book is not only an essential historical resource for America's most controversial war but a personal story of valor and survival."―West Point Grad News
"McKenna was a lieutenant colonel serving in South Vietnam as an adviser to the 23rd Army of the Republic of Vietnam. In this detailed account, he makes use of interviews, primary documents, and personal experience of how the 23rd successfully defended against three North Vietnamese divisions of superior numberical strength with the help of U.S. advisers and air power."―Library Journal
"This biography details his career in the US Army...and also gives information on his early life and his marriage, drawing on the author's personal interviews with Meadows."―Book News
"Riveting account of desperate combat."―Armchair General
"McKenna's book is not only an essential historical resource for America's most controversial war but a personal story of valor and survival."―First Call
"Although much has been written about the Vietnam War, little of it addresses either the Easter Offensive or the Battle of Kontum. In Kontum, Thomas P. McKenna fills this gap, offering the only in-depth account available of this violent engagement."―Military Officer
"Readers unfamiliar with the later stages of the Vietnam War will enjoy McKenna's attention to detail, particularly his account of the battle of Kontum and the realities faced by American advisors."―H-Net Review
"The author's detailed accounts of the fighting make this book a must read for anyone interested in military history and particularly for anyone studying or who simply enjoys reading about the Vietnam War."―Military Writers Society of America
"McKenna has done a great job of bringing us his firsthand account of the Battle of Kontum and America's pivotal role in keeping South Vietnam from being split in half and defeated in 1972. This book is compelling reading wheather you were 'in country' at the time or not."―Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Aviator
"McKenna combines solid research and first-person interviews with his own experiences there to produce an informative book that should serve as a 'how not to' for Iraq and Afghanistan."―The Past in Review
"A well-written book that examines a relatively brief but critical chapter of the Vietnam War."―On Point
"A powerful testament to the indispensable role played by advisor teams, which has often been obscured in conventional combat histories. . . . It is a must for any veteran or scholar who wants an in depth understanding as to how the Vietnam War was fought, and why its conclusion came to be."―Military
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Top Customer Reviews
JOHN PLASTER, author, "SOG," "Secret Commandos"
Thomas McKenna has provided us with a gripping portrait of men engulfed in furious battle, a literal "storm of steel." Outnumbered and surrounded, the men of the South Vietnamese 23rd Infantry and their American advisors held off more than three North Vietnamese divisions while the application of massive firepower (the majority delivered by air) finally turned the tide in what had become (for both sides) a combined-arms conventional battle. What also comes through, given the nature of the American aerial bombardment, is the courage and resilience of the North Vietnamese troops, who had to advance into a literal hurricane of death. I am glad to see so many positive responses to McKenna's work. The only reason I gave it four stars was to set this review apart from the others. And, by the way, to acknowledge a fellow historian and a true gentleman.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Birdcatcher by Walter Joseph Schenck Jr. is also an extraordinary great written book about the Battle of Kontum as well as the Battle of Anloc. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Walter
Interesting, well written and gave me a better insight in the last months of the vietnam WAR. Great bookPublished 9 months ago by Harry Leggett
excellent book, within two months of me leaving Kontum. Only fault I found was mentioned of downed 57th bird and Rick Vogel was the crew chief, charlie was the gunner,Published 18 months ago by Lawrence Burbridge
Book arrived on time and in excellent condition. I bought it for my husband as a gift and do not know enough about the subject to rate the book. Read morePublished on October 9, 2013 by Nola reader
Good but almost too much detail without the overview that holds it all in perspective vis a vis the entire 1972 Easter Offensive and the entire RVN conflict.Published on June 30, 2013 by Jim Adams
I flew Col. McKenna on several support missions out of An Khe and later flew many sorties in the Battle for Kontum. Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by jim Crigler
I bought it mainly because my brother (MAJ Harold Dana Jones, KIA) is mentioned in the book. After reading it, however, I learned a lot about a subject that most people know little... Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by James P. Jones
Kontum was in my AO (Area of Operation) in Pleiku and Kontum Provinces and points west (Laos and Cambodia), but I was there a year earlier than the events described in this book,... Read morePublished on December 27, 2012 by John M. Salonich