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The Magnificent Bastards: The Joint Army-Marine Defense of Dong Ha, 1968 Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007
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Nolan augments his reputation as a Vietnam combat chronicler with the story of the two weeks of intense fighting near Dong Ha in 1968. Involving a marine battalion, an army infantry battalion, and their supporting units, the fighting was the most basic and bloody sort of ground combat. For their deeds in it, two men won Medals of Honor, but scores of others won no more than body bags. Nolan has thoroughly researched the battle, largely through primary source documents and interviews with participants, and has produced a book that, though it requires some background knowledge of the Vietnam war in order to be fully appreciated, for serious readers will stand very high among accounts of the infantryman's war. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Throughout 1968, U.S. Marine Corps units patrolled to the edge of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and manned combat outposts stretching from the Laotian border to the South China Sea in an effort to seal the demarcation line and prevent the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) from infiltrating large units into the south. As part of the post-Tet American counter-offensive, the 3d Marine Division was preparing to attack NVA units staging along the DMZ when, on April 29, the 320th NVA Division was spotted less than four miles from the Marines's Dong Ha Combat Base. Brutal fighting soon developed in nearby Dai Do as the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, known as the "Magnificent Bastards", struggled to eject NVA forces from this strategic hamlet located just two miles from the division's headquarters and main supply base. Aided by the "Gimlets" of the U.S. Army Americal Division's 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry, who became embroiled in a bitter battle at neighboring Nhi Ha, the "Magnificent Bastards" held their ground in a see-saw contest with the larger NVA force until they were relieved by the 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, on May 3. Keith Nolan's gripping account of this nightmarish struggle reminiscent of the horrific clashes along World War I's western front is sure to become a classic in the annals of Vietnam War literature.
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Top customer reviews
In detailing the action at dong ha the author touches on some broader aspects of the war too. The marines cinderella like war when compared to the army in provisioning of helicopter casevac and artillery for example, also the jamming M16 tale which reaches epidemic levels amongst the marines here. Were they also stuck with the last of the non chromed receiver M16s and ball amunition too, these issues supposedly having been adressed by '67, lemons rather than pumpkins.
A well worth read to have a better picture of the war or at least to know what questions to ask about it.