MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 13

By David Smallwood
Editor
MilitaryCorruption.com

While our esteemed editor-in-chief and co-founder of MilitaryCorruption.com in 2000, MAJ Glenn MacDonald, USAR (Ret), is recovering from cancer surgery - he is a multi-tour Vietnam veteran, "Mustang" officer, and proudly wore Army Green between 1966 and his retirement in 1999 - I will try and continue on, one of the most popular features here at MCC, our no-holds-barred reviews of books that are, and should be, of interest to you, our valued readers.


"SAIGON HAS FALLEN"
By Peter Arnett
(www.RosettaBooks.com)

On the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war - Communist troops rolled into Saigon in victory on April 30 - May 1, 1975 - comes a very timely book by someone who covered the war from start to finish.

Peter Arnett, Associated Press Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent and famed CNN Gulf War reporter, is - according to his close friend and onetime colleague at The AP, Glenn MacDonald - "the greatest living war correspondent of them all."

SAIGON HAS FALLEN is absolute must reading for anyone who is interested how the media covered the conflict which divided the American people like no other since our Civil War.

Arnett begins his narrative in 1962, when - as a young AP correspondent born in New Zealand - he arrived in South Vietnam three years ahead of large numbers of American troops. He was on the ground and out in the field discovering the real state of affairs in the war while politicians and even some fellow journalists bought the "official line."

When the Communists were closing in on Saigon in 1975, there was Arnett, back in Vietnam to chronicle the end. And as the finest wordsmith of his time, Peter brought to his readers the terror and heartache of those Vietnamese who feared death and desperately tried to get out.

The book is 222 pages, and our only complaint is, we would have liked it to be even longer. All Vietnam veterans, regardless of their politics, need to have SAIGON HAS FALLEN on their bookshelf. Buy this book for sure!

We rate this one a full FIVE STARS, our highest recommendation.


 

"ED KENNEDY'S WAR"
By Julia Kennedy Cochran
(Louisiana State University Press)

While we're on the subject of war correspondents, here is the heart-breaking story of another Associated Press war correspondent, who, unlike Peter Arnett, did not go on to fame and fortune as well as high journalism awards.

His name - Edward Kennedy - and he was first to break the news that Germany had surrendered in World War II.

It was a tremendous scoop, but one that was mired in controversy. Some of his competitors and even Supreme Commander GEN Dwight David Eisenhower blasted him for allegedly violating an agreement not to release the news until a later time.

You will have to read this well-written book to make your own decision on whether Kennedy was justified in what he did or not. Maybe you would do the same thing if you were in his shoes.

Kennedy's career at The AP nose-dived and he ended up working on a small daily newspaper in California. Sadly, he was killed by a speeding automobile while walking home in the dark in November 1963.

This excellent book gets four stars.


"ABANDONED IN HELL"
By William Albracht and Marvin Wolf
(NAL Caliber)

In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Firebase Kate held by only twenty-seven American soldiers and 156 Montagnard militiamen, woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments - some six thousand men - crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.

Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht's men held off repeated ground assaults by the Communist forces through fierce hand-to-hand fighting, air support, and a dangerously close B-52 strike. For days, the NVA blanketed Kate in a rain of rockets, mortars, artillery and machine-gun and small-arms fire, blocking efforts to resupply, reinforce or evacuate the outpost.

Albracht continuously exposed himself to enemy fire to direct air strikes, to guide resupply helicopters, to distribute ammunition and water to his men, to retrieve the dead, and to rescue the wounded, often shielding men with his own body. Wounded by rocket shrapnel, he refused medical attention or evacuation. Exhausted from days without sleep, he continued to rally his men to beat back each new enemy attack.

After five days, Kate's defenders were out of ammo and water. Aerial resupply attempts would have been suicidal, and reinforcements were denied by military commanders who had written off Kate. Refusing to die in place or to allow his men to surrender, Albracht led his troops, including many wounded, off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines, a feat never duplicated during the Vietnam War.

ABANDONED IN HELL is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnam's heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism.

One of the best-ever Vietnam books, we give it FIVE stars.


"SHADOW COMMANDER"
By Mike Guardia
(casematepublishing.com)

This is the story of Donald J. Blackburn, U.S. Army guerilla leader in the Philippines during World War II. It is written by an old friend of MILITARY BOOKSHELF, Mike Guardia, whose earlier book AMERICAN GUERRILLA, about another brave Army officer, Russell Volckmann, rated four stars here.

After an epic resistance to the Japanese onslaught, on April 9, 1942, white flags finally appeared over the Bataan Peninsula. Woefully outnumbered, outgunned, and ill-equipped, the battered remnants of the American-Philippine Army surrendered to the forces of the Rising Sun. Yet, amongst the chaos and devastation of the American defeat, Army Capt. Donald M. Blackburn refused to lay down his arms.

Along with future Special Forces legend Russell Volckmann, Blackburn escaped from Bataan and made his way to the mountains, where he helped to raise a private army of over 22,000 men against the Japanese. Once there, Blackburn organized a guerrilla regiment from among the native tribes called "Blackburn's Headhunters." They devastated the Japanese forces and destroyed the enemy naval base at Aparri, the largest Jap anchorage in the Philippines.

It was a war fought largely in the shadows, against not only enemy troops but local collaborators and a number of tribal factions with their own political or criminal agendas. By the time U.S. troops returned to the Philippines in 1944, Japanese occupation forces had been greatly weakened by Blackburn and his guerrilla forces.

For a really superb book on this part of World War II, be sure to buy SHADOW COMMANDER.

This book rates four stars.

 

PREVIOUS BOOK REVIEWS

AT LAST! - A BOOK ON "AXIS SALLY" THAT TELLS
THE WHOLE STORY OF NAZI GERMANY'S RADIO
PROPAGANDIST - MILDRED GILLARS' FAILED
ACTING ASPIRATIONS LED HER TO A MICROPHONE
IN WORLD WAR II BERLIN - AND ULTIMATELY TO A
PRISON CELL IN THE USA - RARE GENUINE
"TOPLESS" PHOTO OF "AXIS SALLY" INCLUDED IN
BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS - CASEMATE PUBLISHERS
DESERVES MUCH CREDIT FOR RELEASING THIS
LANDMARK HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY

AT LAST! - THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO AMELIA EARHART -
WE RATE THIS OUR TOP HONOR
"FOUR STARS" - BUY IT TODAY!
WAS IT AN "ACCIDENT" OR "ASSASSINATION?"
THE STRANGE DEATH OF GEN. GEORGE PATTON
NEW BOOK REVEALS OSS HEAD "WILD BILL"
DONOVAN ORDERED "HIT" ON CONTROVERSIAL
GENERAL - PATTON HAD CALLED FOR U.S. TO
USE WHAT LEFT OF NAZI WAR MACHINE - FIGHT
THE "REAL ENEMY" - THE RUSSIANS - FORMER
OSS AGENT AND HIGHLY-DECORATED ARMY
OFFICER DOUG BAZATA DISCOUNTS "OFFICIAL
STORY" OF TRAFFIC ACCIDENT AS COVER FOR
ACTUAL ATTEMPT ON GEN. PATTON'S LIFE
GLENN MILLER "MYSTERY" SOLVED AT LAST
65 YEARS AFTER ALLEGED PLANE CRASH INTO
ENGLISH CHANNEL, TRUTH FINALLY TOLD
RETIRED ARMY OFFICER ON GEN. BRADLEY'S
STAFF SAYS HIS INVESTIGATION PROVES MILLER
DIED IN PARIS IN DEC. 1944 - HUNTON DOWNS
TELLS MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM "SPY" FOR
NAZIS IN GEN. EISENHOWER'S HQTRS BETRAYED
MILLER MISSION TO MEET WITH GERMAN REP. OF
ANTI-HITLER FORCES TO BRING EARLY END TO
WAR IN EUROPE - 90 YEAR-OLD DOWNS (FRAIL
BUT ALERT) SAYS FAMED BAND LEADER'S NUDE
DEAD BODY DUMPED OUTSIDE PARIS BROTHEL
SHE'S BACK! - FORMER NAVY LCDR SY PENLAND
FIRST FEMALE OFFICER TO BE JAILED FOR
"ADULTERY" PUBLISHES TELL-ALL BOOK "BROKEN
SILENCE" - MUTLI-TALENTED WRITER AND POETESS
DOESN'T "GET MAD," SHE "GETS EVEN"
TWO NEW BLOCKBUSTER BOOKS MARK 51ST
ANNIVERSARY OF KENNEDY ASSASSINATION
FROM AMERICA'S MOST COURAGEOUS
PUBLISHER (KRIS MILLEGAN) AT TRINEDAY
"DAVID FERRIE" AND "DR. MARY'S MONKEY"
BREAK NEW GROUND IN UNRAVELING THE
TRUTH ABOUT WHO KILLED OUR PRESIDENT
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 1
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 2
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 3
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 4
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 5
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 6
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 7
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 8
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 9
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 10
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 11
MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 12