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Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975 (Modern War Studies) Hardcover – May 1, 2002
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From the Back Cover
"Pribbenow's skillful and graceful translation provides valuable insights into many aspects of the Vietnam War from the North Vietnamese perspective, which is often surprisingly candid. He deserves our thanks for making this important volume accessible to a wider audience."--Lewis Sorley, author of A Better War
"Fills a yawning gap in the growing literature on the Vietnam War."--William J. Duiker, author of Ho Chi Minh: A Life
Top Customer Reviews
With respect to the content of the book, I'm quite surprised. The Vietnamese have been surprisingly honest in their recounting of the war. Of course, there was the usual ideologically shaped rhetoric that one often encounters while reading communist prose...sloganeering such as "war against the Americans to save the nation," for example. Americans were always “imperialist” or “neo-colonial,” while South Vietnamese were always “puppets.” Several times I found myself pondering how to calculate the number of Americans that would have to have been in Vietnam to support the numbers which the Vietnamese claim to have killed (they did leave room for interpretation..."killed" was invariably accompanied by qualifiers such as "or dispersed" and "or taken out of action").Read more ›
Communist sympathizers in the US have claimed for decades that the war was a civil war devoid of participation by North Vietnamese Army troops, but their own official history celebrates the infiltration and combat of their forces in South Vietnam. It has also been claimed the the "central office for South Vietnam" was a myth the Americans manufactured to excuse Nixon's incursions into Cambodia. Well, the North Vietnamese write of COSVN more times that I can count. They also write proudly of the supplies they infilitrated into South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trai, and document the American efforts to interdict it.
Interestingly there is almost no mention of the communist guerrillas, the National Liberation Front/Viet Cong. Perhaps the Hanoi government wants to take all of the credit for the conquest.
There are interesting nuggets in the book worth mining, but in the main it is a reflection of the brutal, hysterically ideological culture that was communist Vietnam in the 1960s-1980s--a government uninterested in and unable to appreciate anything approaching objectivity and truth. The one exception was the chapter that admitted the severe problems the communist army had after the Tet offensive. Even here, the authors portray the starvation of its troops as proof of perseverance, not of defeat.Read more ›