Writing the War

My Ten Months in the Jungles, Streets and Paddies of South Vietnam, 1968

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About the Book

The author of this Vietnam War memoir was drafted in November 1966 just before completion of his Ph.D. work in French history and entered the army, age 26, in February 1967. He arrived in Vietnam in April 1968.
Serving as both pointman and sniper, he experienced six weeks of frontline duty, averaging a firefight each week with heavy casualties. With his advanced degree and a $2.50 case of beer for a bribe, he then transferred to the 19th Military History Detachment and spent the remainder of his tour of duty traveling the Mekong Delta, Plain of Reeds, and areas near Saigon. His memoir is the result of a tour of intense fighting, careful documentation, and an illicit diary.

About the Author(s)

Stephen E. Atkins is a librarian and historian curator for French Collections in Cushing Library at Texas A&M University Libraries.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen E. Atkins
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos, appendices, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4272-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5744-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. Background and Training for the Vietnam War      11
2. First Weeks in South Vietnam      25
3. First Blooding      37
4. Operations in the First Weeks of May      45
5. Battle of the Cholon Y Bridge      58
6. Combat in the Mekong Delta      69
7. Adapting to the Rear-Echelon and the Battle of the Plain of Reeds Report      82
8. Back at Bearcat and the Thai Presidential Award      101
9. Events at Dong Tam and Special Assignment      114
10. Back at Dong Tam      126
11. Last Months in South Vietnam      139

Conclusion      152
Appendices
A. Captured Viet Cong Attack Plan      157
B. Battle of Saigon, May 1968      163
C. After Action Report, Battle of the Plain of Reeds      165
D. Evaluation of Intimate Psychological Warfare      185
E. Recondo Checkerboard Concept      188
F. Psychological Warfare Ground Action, 11 November 1966      192
G. Psyop Estimate of INPSYWAR      195
H. Air Cushion Vehicle Report      196
I. Viet Cong Strength and Combat Effectiveness, 1 August 1968      202
J. Viet Cong Order of Battle (9th Infantry Division’s Area), September 1968      203
K. “Form Letter” from the 9th Infantry Division      206

Index      209

Book Reviews & Awards

“this memoir is the result of intense fighting, careful documentation, and an illicit dairy”—Military Bookshelf.