Inside An Loc

The Battle to Save Saigon, April–May 1972


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About the Book

The Battle of An Loc was one of the bloodiest battles in the Vietnam War and a defining moment in the history of the Republic of South Vietnam. A few square blocks tucked among vast rubber tree plantations, the provincial town was thought to be of little strategic value to the North Vietnamese. Yet for 66 days in 1972, it was the scene of savage house-to-house street fighting as artillery and mortar fire pounded the town daily until almost nothing was left standing. Facing three North Vietnamese infantry divisions, General Lê Văn Hưng defended the town with 7,500 men, vowing to “die with An Loc.” A decisive victory for the South Vietnamese, the battle came at a time when the United States had begun pulling out of Vietnam and few American troops were on the ground. No foreign reporters were on hand and the action was ignored or misreported by the world press. This book tells the story of An Loc from the unique perspective of an officer who shared a bunker with the general during the fight.

About the Author(s)

After the fall of Saigon, Lt. Col. Van Nguyen Duong (RVNAF) was imprisoned for 13 years for “re-education.” He immigrated to the United States in 1991 and lives in Honolulu. He has contributed to several Vietnamese magazines in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.
Nghia M. Vo, a Vietnamese-American, has written multiple books on Vietnamese culture. He helped found the nonprofit Saigon Arts, Culture & Education Institute and works to document Vietnamese-American culture through conferences, publications and a website.

Bibliographic Details

Van Nguyen Duong with Nghia M. Vo
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 268
Bibliographic Info: appendix, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9934-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2121-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Abbreviations viii

Introduction 1

I. The Border War 9

II. General Lê Văn Hưng and I 35

III. Prelude to the Bình Long Battle 48

IV. The Fall of Lộc Ninh 62

V. Crucial Decisions Made to Save An Lộc 77

VI. The First Attack on An Lộc 94

VII. A Clash of Personalities 117

VIII. The Siege 134

IX. The War Game in Chơn Thành 146

X. Breaking the Siege 154

XI. Releasing the Pressure on An Lộc 172

XII. Besieged Towns 196

XIII. Return to the Mekong Delta 208

XIV. Hell in a Very Insignificant Place 215

Epilogue 221

Appendix: War ­Self-Immolation in Vietnam (Nghia M. Vo) 225

Chapter Notes 238

Bibliography 249

Index 253