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Street Without Joy (Stackpole Military History Series) Hardcover – March 1, 1994
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"...A dramatic treatment of a historic event ... the vast panorama of the Indochina struggle emerges with graphic impact." --The New York Times Book Review
"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek --Newsweek
"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek
"...A dramatic treatment of a historic event ... the vast panorama of the Indochina struggle emerges with graphic impact." -- The New York Times Book Review<br /><br />"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Bernard B. Fall was born in France and fought with the French Resistance during World War II. While traveling in Vietnam in 1967, he was killed by a Vietcong explosive. His other works include Hell in a Very Small Place (0-306-81157-X) and Last Reflections on a War (0-8117-0904-3).
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why didn't JFK and LBJ study this???
The book is a remarkably complete account of the war in Indochina. The author combined the investigation, the history and his own experiences along its fifteen chapters. So far, in my opinion the best chapters are the "End of a Task Force" wich describes the annihilation of the "Group Mobile 100" and Diem Bien Phu where the French troops were decisively defeated in a set piece battle that the French High Command had been looking for, and finally met but under General Giap conditions.
I think the book could teach us lessons at strategic and operational level.
Al strategic level we must understand that only "put steel on target" in this kind of conflict is a nonsense if the military and politicians don't work together to solve the social problems that cause the insurgency.
At operational level, the first thing to learn in the book is that the traditional military culture is the first enemy to defeat in order to fight insurgencies. The look for a battle with division corps, armies and so on is a waste of time; this was the same misunderstanding of soviets in Afghanistan. The second cultural issue to improve the counterinsurgency skills is to realize that this war is waged at platoon or company, and the main characters are sergeants and lieutenants.
In conclusion, the lessons of this book are very important and should never be discarded by thinking they are old-fashioned
It was very clear to me that the French were completely unprepared for fighting a war without any clearly defined front. The human wave attacks with the seemingly unlimited amount of supplies from Russia & China lead to the downfall of the French in Viet Nam. This was vividly depicted through the book.
I enjoyed the book and the author's style made it hard to stop reading. I highly recommend this book for any military enthusiast who wants to know what happened to the French in Viet Nam.
"Street Without Joy" is a text that warns us again that before one goes to war: Know your enemy and know yourself.
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