Hunting the Viet Cong: Volume 2: The Fall of Diem and the Collapse of the Strategic Hamlets 1961-1964 (Asia@War) (Paperback)
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"Poole gives many examples of how the Viet Cong gained control of rural areas." -- The VVA Veteran
In the early 1960s, the American-backed South Vietnamese government began an aggressive counterinsurgency program aimed at eliminating the Viet Cong. The policy - known as the Strategic Hamlet Program - seriously hurt and 'cut up' the VC.
The second volume in this series, Hunting the Viet Cong: The Fall of Diem and the Collapse of the Strategic Hamlets, 1961-64 looks at why the strategy ultimately failed. Focussing on events in South Vietnam, the book exposes Viet Cong atrocities, South Vietnamese corruption and American military and political negligence. The book reveals just how violent and aggressive the Viet Cong were towards their own people. Fear was a weapon of choice: beheading civilians, mutilating children and destroying schools and hospitals were all legitimate tactics in the VC toolbox. The book also explains how a strategy designed to protect Vietnamese villagers made them easy targets for violent guerrillas. Finally, it reveals that there were many decent Americans in South Vietnam who understood the nation and its people but who were constantly ignored by those in power.
Using the Viet Cong's own written documentation, in-field reports from American advisors and the testimony of the South Vietnamese themselves, the second volume in the Hunting the Viet Cong series shines a light on multiple failures in South Vietnam: terror, corruption, ineptitude and arrogance caused the Strategic Hamlet Program to fail. The book covers the collapse of the Strategic Hamlet Program, the rise of the insurgency and the overthrow of President Diem.
Volume One of Hunting the Viet Cong: The Counterinsurgency Campaign in South Vietnam, 1961-63. The Strategic Hamlet Programme revealed how close the South Vietnamese Government came to eliminating the insurgency. Volume Two shows why things began to go wrong. The book changes large parts of the Historical narrative, explains why America and its allies failed, and sets the scene for the tragedy that was to follow.