Item description for MARINE CORPS TANK BATTLES IN VIETNAM by Oscar E. Gilbert...
In 1965 the large, loud, and highly visible tanks of 3rd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Tank Battalion landed across a beach near Da Nang, drawing unwelcome attention to America's first, almost covert, commitment of ground troops in South Vietnam. As the Marine Corps presence grew inexorably, the 1st and 3rd Tank Battalions, as well as elements of the reactivated 5th Tank Battalion, were committed to the conflict.For the United States Marine Corps the protracted and bloody struggle was marked by controversy, but for Marine Corps tankers it was marked by bitter frustration as they saw their own high levels of command turn their backs on some of the hardest-won lessons of tank-infantry cooperation learned in the Pacific War and in Korea. Nevertheless, like good Marines, the officers and enlisted men of the tank battalions sought out the enemy in the sand dunes, jungles, mountains, paddy fields, tiny villages, and ancient cities of Vietnam. Young Marine tankers fresh out of training, and cynical veterans of the Pacific War and Korea, battled two enemies. The battle-hardened Viet Cong were masters of the art of striking hard, then slipping away to fight another day. The highly motivated troops of the North Vietnamese Army, equipped with long-range artillery and able to flee across nearby borders into sanctuaries where the Marines were forbidden to follow, engaged the Marines in brutal conventional combat. Both foes were equipped with modern anti-tank weapons, and sought out the tanks as valuable symbolic targets.It was a brutal and schizophrenic war, with no front and no rear, absolutely no respite from constant danger, against a merciless foe hidden among a helpless civilian population. Some of the duties the tankers were called upon to perform were long familiar, as they provided firepower and mobility for the suffering infantry in a never-ending succession of search and destroy operations, conducted amphibious landings, and added their heavy guns to the artillery in fire support missions. Under constant threat of ambushes and huge command-detonated mines that could obliterate both tank and crew in an instant, the tankers escorted vital supply convoys, and guarded the engineers who built and maintained the roads. In their "spare time" the tankers guarded lonely bridges and isolated outposts for weeks on end, patrolled on foot to seek out the Viet Cong, operated roadblocks and ambushes, shot up boats to interdict the enemy's supply lines, and worked in the villages and hamlets to better the lives of the brutalized civilians.To the bitter end-despite the harsh conditions of climate and terrain, confusion, endless savage and debilitating combat, and ultimate frustration as their own nation turned against the war-the Marine tankers routinely demonstrated the versatility, dedication to duty, and matchless courage that Americans have come to expect of their Marines.OSCAR E. GILBERT, Ph.D., is a former marine artilleryman and currently a geoscientist living in Texas. His previous published works include the widely acclaimed "Marine Tank Battles in the Pacific" (2001) and "Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea" (2003). REVIEWS "Highly recommended for anyone interested in the Vietnam period, especially the experiences of the Marine Corps. "Armorama.com, 04/2008"... a monument to the remarkable men who sweated, fought, were wounded (sometimes in more than a simple physical sense) and who died for nothing more (or less!) than that their fellow Marines depended on them. Mr Gilbert has rightfully earned the title of the "go to guy" on the subject of USMC tank operations; this reviewer eagerly looks forward to the next book in this series from this author..." Missinglynx.com 5/2008"... A first class page turner. .. profound, profane and somewhat humorous"USMC Vietnam Tankers Association, 05/2008."... A fascinating personal account... explains in graphic detail what it was like to be 'in the thick of it'...If you have any interest in the Vietnam War or military history in general, I can thoroughly recommend MARINE CORP TANK BATTLES IN VIETNAM as a great read that's very hard to put down..." Model Military International, 7/2008 "There are many who have no idea how - or even if-Marine tanks were employed in Vietnam...Gilbert brings the Marine tanker warriors' attributes to the reader through the tankers' eyes...experiences...jump off the pages...a great read, painting a real life picture of how Marine tankers fought the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Enemy, defeating them in every encounter." Leatherneck Magazine, 07/2008"The author, himself ex-Marine Corps, has drawn upon official histories, liberally laced with no-holds barred interviews, to build up an effective picture of the war from a Marine Corps tanker's point of view... If you want to know what it was like to fight a relentless enemy, on their ground, from the inside of an M48 'bullet magnet'... then get a copy of this book." Classic Military Vehicle, 07/2008"The author, himself ex-Marine Corps, has drawn upon official histories, liberally laced with no-holds barred interviews, to build up an effective picture of the war from a Marine Corps tanker's point of view... If you want to know what it was like to fight a relentless enemy, on their ground, from the inside of an M48 'bullet magnet'... then get a copy of this book."AFV Modeler, 07/2008"...rich with "I was there" anecdotes that really bring home the events ...an excellent reference on Maine Corps in Vietnam..."Internet Modeler , 05/2008
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Reviews - What do customers think about MARINE CORPS TANK BATTLES IN VIETNAM?
ARMY CAV TROOPER Jul 9, 2008
Army tank crews do not have a different MOS for each position they all have the same MOS and the rank is indicated by a skill level 1, 2, 3, 4. An author should investigate his subject matter before making such claims. As far as recovery goes, I don't recall ever being recovered by a recovery vehicle. Always every time without fail we did self recovery and evacuation within our own platoon. Usualy the procedure was called a gang bang. Using our own tow cables we would chain any number of vehicles together, to provide whatever towing power was needed. Often this was 3 or 4. Wherever the author obtained his information, it is not accurate. There is enough misconception about the war, be more accurate.
Army Tankers in I Corps Jul 9, 2008
I served in northern I Corps in 1969/70 with A Troop, 4/12 Cav, in the Army's 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division. There are a couple of statements which the author makes on page 207 which are incorrect.
I have no idea where he got the idea that "Army tankers were not trained or tasked with recovery of their own wrecked vehicles." Believe me, Army tankers were trained and spent a lot of time recovering our stuck and disabled vehicles. The only times that I can think of where an Army tank was left in the bush for others to recover was if the tank or APC was so badly demolished or stuck in a crater that it was physically impossible to drag it out. I never saw that first hand. I did help pull out a lot of disabled tanks, however.
The other curious statement was that "each crew position in an Army tank was a separate MOS." That is simply incorrect. The MOS for Armor Crewman back then was 11E _ _. Army tankers were taught how to drive, load, and fire the gun in AIT. In Viet Nam some guys gravitated toward one position in their crew, such as driver or gunner, and stayed with that position for a long time. Some may have only held one job in the crew for their entire tour. Others rotated through various duty positions. There were not different MOS designations for each crew position in the Army, however.
Other than those items, this seems to be an interesting book.
Tanks in the Nam Jun 5, 2008
Tells a little known story of Marine operations in Viet Nam. A well wriiten and well researched account.
USMC Vietnam Tanker Opinion Jun 2, 2008
I'm a former Marine who served in Vietnam with the 3rd Tank Battalion from 1967-68. The author has written several books on Marine tanks. I found this book interesting to read because I knew many of the former Marine tankers interviewed by author Ed Gilbert. Though Ed served in the Marine Corps as a cannon cocker, one would think he was a former tanker because he displays such detailed knowledge of how our old M-48A3 Patton tanks functioned. If you want to know from numerous first hand acounts what it was like to be a Marine tanker during Vietnam, this is the book for you.
Marine Corps Tanks Battles in Vietnam May 14, 2008
The book is will written, in one or two places the events are correct but the names aren't, I know because I was there. I enjoyed the book and it brings me back to old times. Vietnam Tankers need to read this book. Semper Fi Harvey Robbie Robinson