• by Paul Ham
  • Narrated by Peter Byrne
  • 31 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The definitive account of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, by best-selling author of Kokoda.Seen as the last 'hot' frontline of the Cold War, the 10 year struggle in the rice paddies and jungles of South Vietnam unleashed the most devastating firepower on the Vietnamese nation and visited terrible harm on civilians and soldiers. Yet the Australian forces applied tactics that were very different from those of the Americans. Guided by their commanders' experience of jungle combat, Australian troops operated with stealth, deception and restraint in pursuing a 'better war'.Drawing on hundreds of accounts by soldiers, politicians, aid workers, entertainers and the Vietnamese people, Paul Ham reconstructs for the first time the full history of our longest military campaign. From the commitment to engage, through the fight over conscription and the rise of the anti - war movement, to the tactics and horror of the battlefi eld, Ham exhumes the truth about this politicians' war - which sealed the fate of 50,000 Australian servicemen and women.More than 500 soldiers were killed and thousands wounded. Those who made it home returned to a hostile and ignorant country and a reception that scarred them forever. This is their story.


What the Critics Say

"It is the comprehensiveness of Paul Ham's blockbuster on Vietnam that is both enticing and chilling to the core, in what is uncovered and laid out with precision and compelling evidence." (The Australian)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating detailed account

Anyone interested in Vietnam, the good, bad & ugly should listen to this Australian perspective. If it has a fault it lies in that not a lot of attention is given to the Air Force & Navy roles in this conflict, but the detail on the Army role is exceptional. There are passages that will make you both laugh and cry but most importantly will give you a birds eye view of the Australian Forces role in this conflict. Well worth the listen.
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- Alan T Alcock

Brilliant and Entertaining

This is a fascinating book. Certainly it is a book about the Australian Army's war, but it also details the context of Australia's decision to become involved. The book covers the background in Australia including; domestic politics, conscription, the peace movement, families of service personnel, the media, etc. There is a relatively balanced discussion of the the North Vietnamese perspective and and their attitudes to Australia's involvement. The book covers, all of the significant actions, the use of weapons such as napalm, cluster bombs, tanks, and chemical defoliants. There is an excellent chapter on the impact of the service personal and the Vietnamese themselves of these and other chemicals. Overall it is a fascinating book. Some of the stories anger you, frustrate you and others make you laugh. The narration is fantastic. Peter Byrne offers listeners dead-pan statements, lively characterisations and emotive oration all when appropriate. Even thought the material is occasionally dry, the treatment given by both the text and narration make this easy to listen to from start to finish. If you want a book about battles only, you will be skipping forward often. however if you want to know about the war from the perspective of individual soldiers, civilians, prostitutes, politicians, children, etc, you will get a lot out of this book. I recommend it to anyone who lived military history, Australian history or just loves a well written, non-fiction essay about people who's experiences are as amazing as they are so very human.
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- Paul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-15-2008
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd