Item description for Commandos Nord Vietnam: 1951 - 1954 by Jean-Pierre Pissardy...
This highly illustrated book begins with a historical overview of the French camapigns in Vietnam in the early 50's and then continues with a detailed breakdown of the individual commando unints involved, noting their principal engagements and prersonalities and describing their insignia and badges
The final part of the book is a full color section depicting many badges and unit colors together with other historical documents.
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"The" reference quality work on Commando ops in Indochina. Aug 13, 2004
This is not a story of pasty white pastisse sippers sneaking through the Indochinese jungle. Rather it is the account of small handfuls of volunteers who took native Indochinese, often captured Viet Minh, armed and trained them, then led them on reconnaissance and combat patrol operations in the Viet Minh rear, with all the hazards that such service entailed. I first heard of Pissardy from COL Claude Ascensi of the French Army, a respected amateur historian and writer in his own right, who termed Pissardy "the giant" of modern French military historians. My first Pissardy work, "Paras d'Indochine" confirmed that judgment. With "Commandos Nord-Vietnam", Pissardy opts for an overview approach that blends official documents, tables of equipment and organization, combat journals, photos, and period articles into an easily readable but thorough history of French commando operations in North Vietnam. Having tried to piece much of the information contained in this work together over a twenty year period, I feel qualified to state that this is THE seminal work on French Commando operations in Indochina and is a must for any serious student of that conflict, modern French military operations, or counter-insurgency. The great tragedy is that a work of this scope was not available to those of us who served with Civilian Irregular Defense Corps units or Provincial Reconnaissance Units in Vietnam. It would have been invaluable. There are even some lessons of use to the current war in Iraq. The French went on to recruit and use commandos in the Algerian war with marked success. Hopefully, Pissardy's "Commandos Algerie" will soon be in print.
This is a reference quality work. No serious military historian or military librarian will be disappointed.