Con Thien: The Hill of Angels by James P. Coan

By James P. Coan

A memoir/history of a much-beleaguered Marine outpost of the DMZ.Throughout a lot of 1967, a distant usa Marine firebase simply miles from the demilitarized area (DMZ) captured the eye of the world’s media. That artillery-scarred outpost was once the linchpin of the so-called McNamara Line meant to discourage incursions into South Vietnam through the North Vietnamese military. As such, the struggling with alongside this territory used to be relatively excessive and bloody, and the physique count number rose daily.Con Thien combines James P. Coan’s own studies with details taken from information, interviews with conflict individuals, and reliable records to build a robust tale of the everyday life and strive against at the purple clay bulls-eye referred to as "The Hill of Angels." As a tank platoon chief in Alpha corporation, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine department, Coan used to be stationed at Con Thien for 8 months in the course of his 1967-68 provider in Vietnam and witnessed a lot of the carnage.Con Thien used to be seriously bombarded by means of enemy artillery with impunity since it was once situated in politically delicate territory and the U.S. govt wouldn't allow direct armed reaction from Marine tanks. Coan, like many different infantrymen, started to consider as if the govt was once as a lot the enemy because the NVA, but he persisted to struggle for his state with all that he had. In his riveting memoir, Coan depicts the hardships of lifestyles within the DMZ and the ineffectiveness of a lot of the U.S. army attempt in Vietnam.

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The idea was not new. As far back as the Indochina war, generals fantasized building a barrier across the narrow neck of Vietnam to separate warring factions. Robert McNamara came to the Pentagon with an impressive business background. Shortly after his selection as president of Ford Motor Company in 1960, President Kennedy asked him to be his secretary of defense. McNamara had come to worship quantitative analysis and imposed these methods on the military. Military problems could be broken McNamara’s Wall 25 down into statistical factors, and those numbers would provide viable solutions.

2 James H. , former Marine platoon and company commander, best-selling author, and former secretary of the Nav y, stated: “The NVA had great ¤re discipline and good marksmanship skills. ”3 Carlton Sherwood, who was a scout-sniper with Golf Company, 2d Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment in 1967–68, later became a successful journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. He recalled an operation he went out on near Highway 1 in Quang Tri Province. His unit came across an NVA base camp complex with “barracks, cookhouses, latrines, bomb shelters, a hospital, everything picture perfect and spotless, but totally invisible from only a few yards away.

Minutes later, hundreds of ®ag-waving Viet Minh soldiers overran the command bunker and hoisted the ®ag of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Ten thousand Frenchmen were taken prisoner. But victory had not come cheaply, as the Viet Minh suffered twenty-three thousand casualties. Despite the loss by the French of many of their ¤nest soldiers, the most important result of the battle was psychological. A demoralized French government faced escalating protests by a war-weary populace who demanded an end to the Indochina war.

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