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Hunting the Viet Cong Vol 1

...from Helion & Co

Title: Hunting the Viet Cong Vol 1
Author: Darren Poole
Publisher: Helion & Co
ISBN: 978-1-915070-63-0

The Counterinsurgency Campaign in South Vietnam 1961-63, Volume 1, The Strategic Hamlet Programme. Number 34 in the South East Asia @ War series, an 86-page soft-cover book. It covers the period just before the direct involvement of US combat units in Vietnam and their will be a second volume that deals with the rest of this particular story.
The key element of this book is an aspect of the Vietnam War that is perhaps dealt with only briefly in other accounts, and the successes and failures of the war against the Viet Cong guerrillas. It uses documentation not just from the USA but also some records from the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong history as well. It examines the success and failure of the Strategic Hamlet programme. I had read before of how this idea, taken from the success of British use of the idea in Malaya, was not successful. This one tells us of how it worked in some areas and actually came close to working, closer than I had thought before. The Viet Cong were given a challenge on how to deal with the problems it presented and this tells us of what strategy they adopted to counter it. Add archive photos and the several pages of first class colour artwork that is in the middle of the book, including maps, there is a fair bit to this one, and I look forward to seeing volume 2 to complete the story.
I have long had an interest in the history of the Vietnam War and I found this a really good addition to the story, with a new take on a part of that history compared to what I have read before, and while the Viet Cong guerrillas were the enemy rather than the uniformed conventional North Vietnamese Army which brought the war to a close in 1975.
Thanks to Helion & Co for the review copy.


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