Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966 (Paperback)

Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966 (Paperback)
Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966 (Paperback)
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CMH Pub. 91-5-1. United States Army in Vietnam. 8th in a series. L.C. card 99-16962 Item 345.

Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, by John M. Carland, describes a critical chapter in the Vietnam conflict, the first eighteen months of combat by the U.S. Army's ground forces. Relying on official American and enemy primary sources, Carland focuses on initial deployments and early combat and takes care to present a well-balanced picture by discussing not only the successes but also the difficulties endemic to the entire effort. This fine work presents the war in all of its detail, including the enemy's strategy and tactics, General William C. Westmoreland's search and destroy operations, the helicopters and airmobile warfare, the immense firepower American forces could call upon to counter Communist control of the battlefield, the out-of-country enemy sanctuaries, and the allied efforts to win the allegiance of the South Vietnamese people to the nation's anti-Communist government.

Carland's volume demonstrates that U.S. forces succeeded in achieving their initial goals, but unexpected manpower shortages made Westmoreland realize that the transition from stemming the tide to taking the offensive would take longer. Bruising battles with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese in the Saigon area and in the Central Highlands had halted their drive to conquest in 1965 and, with major base development activities afoot, a series of high-tempo spoiling operations in 1966 kept them off balance until more U.S. fighting units arrived in the fall. Carland credits the improvements in communications and intelligence, the helicopter's capacity to extend the battlefield, and the availability of enormous firepower as the potent ingredients in Westmoreland's optimism for victory, yet realizes that the ultimate issue of how effective the U.S. Army would be and what it would accomplish during the next phase was very much a question mark.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (Summary)

PART ONE: The U.S. Army Enters the War
1. At the Crossroads 3
2. Establishing the Bridgeheads 21
3. Divisions Deploy 45
PART TWO: First Battles
4. Pressing Out From Saigon 73
5. Into the Highlands 95
6. The Pleiku Campaign 113
7. Patterns of Perseverance 151
PART THREE: The Theater Buys Time
8. The Saigon Corridors 165
9. Attrition and Pacification in Phu Yen 185
10. Testing in Binh Dinh 201
11. Spoiling Operations on the High Plateau 231
PART FOUR: The Tempo Quickens
12. New Momentum on the coast 249
13. Raising the Stakes on the Border 275
14. The 1st Division’s War 305
15. The 25th Division’s War 337
16. Summing Up
Bibliographical Note 369
Map Symbols/Terms 383
Index 385
Table: Killed in Action Statistics, January-October 1966 365


Anyone interested in the history of the Vietnam War, particularly its beginning phases, U.S. strategy, and enemy strategy will enjoy this thorough documenting of the war, including many maps and color photographs. Students, teachers, historians, military members, veterans, and the general public will all find this a fascinating and visually exciting read.

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Defense Dept., Army, Center of Military History
  • Carland, John M.
Key Phrases:
  • Center of Military History Publication 91 5 1
  • United States Army in Vietnam
  • Stemming the Tide
  • Vietnamese Conflict
  • Army History
  • Military History
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