Forsaken Warriors

The Story of an American Advisor who Fought with the South Vietnamese Rangers and Airborne

Robert L. Tonsetic

An inside account of the South Vietnamese elites who strove to carry on the war against the Communists during the U.S. Army's withdrawal . . . The book is a personal memoir of the author's service as a US Army advisor during the end-stages of America's involvement in Vietnam.
Publication date:
January 2010
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Language:
English
Illustration :
Illustrated
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781935149033

Dimensions : 228 X 152 cm
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£25.00
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Overview
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An inside account of the South Vietnamese elites who strove to carry on the war against the Communists during the U.S. Army’s withdrawal . . .

The book is a personal memoir of the author’s service as a US Army advisor during the end-stages of America’s involvement in Vietnam. During the period 1970–71, the US was beginning to draw down its combat forces, and the new watchword was Vietnamization. It was the period when the will of the US to prosecute the war had slipped, and transferring responsibility to the South Vietnamese was the only remaining hope for victory.

The units that the author advised spearheaded several campaigns in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, as the US combat units withdrew. Often outnumbered and outgunned, the elite ranger and airborne units fought Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units in some of the most difficult terrain in Southeast Asia.

The role of the small US advisory teams is fully explained in the narrative. With little support from higher headquarters, these teams accompanied the Vietnamese units on highly dangerous combat operations over which they had no command or control authority. When US advisors were restricted from accompanying South Vietnamese forces on cross-border operations in Cambodia and especially Laos, the South Vietnamese forces were badly mauled, raising concerns about their readiness and training, and their ability to operate without their US advisors. As a result, a major effort was placed on training these forces while the clock continued to run on the US withdrawal.

About the Author
Robert Tonsetic served with a US infantry battalion during the peak years of the US involvement in Vietnam, and with the South Vietnamese.

REVIEWS

Of special interest is the way in which he recounts the dynamics of personalities and their effect on the indigenous commanders and units. A must read for any soldiers likely to conduct partnering activities in the future.
Soldier Magazine

The book illuminates a largely ignored chapter of American involvement in south-east Asia... there are plenty of scenarios here for wargamers... an atmospheric account, largely free of military jargon, which makes for a highly readable and insightful volume
Miniature Wargames

...not only a first-rate ‘I was there' account of a front-line combat officer's experiences with two of the most elite Vietnamese units, it is a valuable contribution to the little-known aspect of the final years of the Viet-Nam war.
Military Magazine

…unveils an aspect of the war long overlooked in American accounts.
MOAA

an insider's account of how South Vietnam's elite fighting forces struggled to carry on the war against the Communists during the US withdrawal.
Ranger Register

...an exciting account of Robert Tonsetic's combat tours during the final stages of our long involvement in the Vietnam War. Soldiers and Marines training for advisory duty in Iraq or Afghanistan would do well to read this excellent work.
Proceedings

…takes an unflinching look at both the adventure and trauma of war while aiming to fill the gaps in the record for Vietnam, documenting the contributions of Americans who risked their lives serving in advisory roles by staying behind to train South Vietnamese soldiers, and even joining them in combat.
Metro College Magazine

…illuminates a largely ignored chapter of American involvement in Southeast Asia…a highly readable and insightful volume.
Miniature Wargames

…not only a first rate "I was there” account of a front line combat officer's experiences with two of the most elite Vietnamese units, it is a valuable contribution to the little known aspect of the final years of the Vietnam War.
MILTARY