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DAYS OF VALOR: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War [Hardcover]

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Item description for DAYS OF VALOR: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War by Robert L. Tonsetic...

A nonstop maelstrom of combat action, leaving the reader nearly breathless by the end. The human courage and carnage described in these pages resonates through the centuries, from Borodino to the Bulge, but the focus here is on the Vietnam War, and a unique unit formed to take part at its height.

The 199th Light Infantry Brigade was created from three U.S. infantry battalions of long lineage, as a fast reaction force for the U.S. to place in Indochina. As the book begins, in December 1967, the brigade has been in Vietnam for a year, and many of its battered 12-month men are returning home. This is timely, as the Communists seem to be in a lull, and the brigade commander, in order to whet his new soldiers to combat, requests a transfer to a more active sector, just above Saigon. Through January the battalions scour the sector, finding increasing enemy strength, NVA personel now mixed within Viet Cong units. But the enemy is lying low, and a truce has even been declared for the Vietnamese New Year, the holiday called Tet.

On January 30, 1968, the storm breaks loose, as Saigon and nearly every provincial capital in the country is overrun by VC and NVA, bursting in unexpected strength from their base camps. In these battles we learn the most intimate details of combat, as the Communists fight with rockets, mortars, Chinese claymores, mines, machine guns and AK-47s. The battles evolve into an enemy favoring the cloak of night, the jungle-both urban and natural-and subterranean fortifications, against U.S. forces favoring direct confrontational battle supported by air and artillery. When the lines are only 25 yards apart, however, there is little way to distinguish between the firepower or courage of the assailants and the defenders, or even who is who at any given moment, as both sides have the other in direct sight. Many of the vividly described figures in this book do not make it to the end. The narrative is jarring, because even though the author was a company commander during these battles, he has based this work upon objective research including countless interviews with other soldiers of the 199th LIB. The result is that everything we once heard about Vietnam is laid bare in this book through actual experience, as U.S. troops go head-to-head at close-range against their counterparts, perhaps the most stubborn foe in our history.

Days of Valor covers the height of the Vietnam War, from the nervous period just before Tet, through the defeat of that offensive, to the highly underwritten yet equally bloody NVA counteroffensive launched in May 1968.

The book ends with a brief note about the 199th LIB being deactivated in spring 1970, furling its colors after suffering 753 dead and some 5,000 wounded. The brigade had only been a temporary creation, designed for one purpose. Though its heroism is now a matter of history, it should remain a source of pride for all Americans. This fascinating book will help to remind us.


"... Tonsetic's account is a panegyric to the soldiers he served with rather than an attempt at a general history...the work is primarily about his own experiences and those of the people around him, collected from the personal recollections of participants and contemporary after-action reports. ..of interest to subject collections."Library Journal,02/2007

"...Tonsetic, who commanded an infantry company, relies heavily first person infantrymen to paint a picture of almost non-stop combat action..." Vietnam Veterans of America 04/2007

"... this book has no other purpose other than to disclose the valor and sacrifice of those who fought during this period. ... This book took me by surprise. I had begun the task to review a log of war, to gain new admiration of valor and courage. In the end, not only had I gained a renewed appreciation of courage and valor, but more importantly I had to come face to face with the enormity of loss and grief that is forever imposed on our soldiers. This book is a path to share that cost. " Reviewed by: Edward Fennell

"...will resonate with veterans, especially grunts who served anywhere in Vietnam....offers historical insights for today...a worthy memorial."Vietnam Magazine 12/2007

"... a spell binding account of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade's actions surrounding the Tet Offensive... an excellent memorial to the exploits of this fighting unit." Collected Miscellany, 06/2008

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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Casemate
ISBN  1932033521  
ISBN13  9781932033526  

Availability  0 units.

More About Robert L. Tonsetic

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Tonsetic was born in Pennsylvania. He was commissioned as an infantry lieutenant out of the University of Pittsburgh in 1964. After a one-year tour with Special Forces in Thailand, he joined the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam. Assigned to Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, he served as company commander for six months during the Tet and May Offensives of 1968. He returned to Vietnam in 1970 and served as a senior advisor to Vietnamese Ranger and Airborne units. He retired from the army in 1991 with the rank of Colonel after twenty-seven years of service. After leaving the army, he earned a doctorate in education and taught for five years as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida. He lives with his wife Polly on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Warriors" "is his first book.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Asia > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Asia > Vietnam > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > Strategy
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > United States > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > Vietnam War

Reviews - What do customers think about DAYS OF VALOR: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War?

An Outstanding Battles Account  Sep 10, 2008
This book is about the many battles fought in Vietnam by the 199th Light Infantry Brigade during a six month period from November 1967 thru May 1968. It is authored by one of the brigades company commanders. The author's riveting accounts of the battles are rendered in great detail and include quotes from many of the officers and men who particiated. I highly recommend it to those interested in the history of this war, especially those, like me, who are veterans of the conflict.
Days of Valor including my personal experience  Apr 19, 2008
I believe this book to be a pretty accurate account of the battle on Dec 6, 1967. I am personally mentioned (PFC Allen Oakes) in chapter 3 along with my assistant gunner Pvt Jose Acevedo and Lt Wayne Morris. I was proud to belong to the 199th LT Infantry Brigade and the actions it took in Vietnam on behalf of all Americans. The book gives a good accounting of the 6 months it covers and I recommend it first for all members of the 199th and for people interested in the Vietnam war or for those who only have an inkling of what war is like. I would like to also say that each person's experience in this war were all different. Some saw hardly any action while others lives were forever changed by wounds, death or PTSD.
Forty years after Vietnam I'm still having surgury to replace a lost nose when I was wounded in the face. At any rate this book is a must read and I thank Mr Tonsetic for giving us a place in history and the research he did to make it as accurate as possible.

Allen R Oakes
Great Read  Dec 30, 2007
It's a shame men like these were led by the likes of Robert Mc Namara
I was a medic 66-68, and with fighting men like these and many others
we should have won this war.
An easy read.
Can't say why it's not a bestseller  Sep 28, 2007
Days of Valor is a readable, believable, and just plain interesting book. Since writing "Kill Me If You Can, You SOB", I've read every book about the Vietnam War that I could get my hands on, and I liked this book because it was worldly. No attempt to catch Hollywood's attention. But that might be the reason this book, like mine, is not rushing to the top of the chart. It seems with the entire world writing books now days, a sweeping, crisply written, energetic, true life adventure is not enough. Sorry, but most of us Vietnam veterans were just your run of the mill kind of guys. While we actually did for real a lot of the things that John Wayne did in the movies, our producer and director didn't spend a lot of time on the movie set. They mostly stayed in their offices in Washington, D.C., and for some reason decided the good guys would all get killed, and the fellows in black would win. If a sad ending is not a turnoff, you will enjoy this book.
For Those Who Did Not Return  Apr 12, 2007
Days of Valor is a six month snapshot of the Veit Nam War and is part of the bigger picture of the events leading up to the Tet Offensive and the events following Tet. It is a mini history of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and the men who fought during that time period. This book is an action roller coaster from start to finish. The book highlights the incredible actions, heroism, courage and valor of ordinary grunts and career soldiers of the 199th. It contains a no holds barred description of the chaos and character of the fighting in War Zone III and its major bases and cities during that time.

Robert Tonsetic, the author, describes the combat experience so vividly that one can vicariously experience combat with his soldiers. The ugliness of battle with its smells, sights and sounds is graphically documented. The environment in Viet Nam with its oppressive heat, monsoon rains, humidity and terrain is vividly described. The destructiveness of the Viet Nam War on the soldiers and the country is clearly pointed out. One can vicariously experience the fatigue and sleep deprivation caused by combat and the fighting conditions of this most brutal war.

Tonsetic has written a book that needed to be written about the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and its supporting units. It is a focused study of the combat, valor and heroism of men from PFC to General rank who performed their best during the most decisive American and Vietnamese Army victory of the war - the Tet Offensive. He concentrates on the strategy, command decisions and the execution in the field of officers and ordinary soldiers perfoming their duties. He does not focus on the political backdrop aganinst which these battles were fought. The author is a soldier's soldier. He is the type of leader soldiers wat to lead them into battle. While he was part of this story, he wrote it as if he was an objective observer.

This is not a novel about the Viet Nam War. It is a chronicle and oral history from the author and others who fought there of what the war was like for them and those they fought with during the six months of this history. It is brutally descriptive and real. It is truth about the war.
It is about the men who survived and those that died.

Viet Nam veterans have been maligned by the media and so called elites for decades. Tonsetic shows by his example and in the post war accomplishments of many of the soldiers named in the book that Viet Nam combat veterans accomplish great deeds in war and in civilian life. For those of us who were there, this is a welcome addition to the real history of the Viet Nam War. For those who hold other views of the war there can be no reconciliation.

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