!Download Book ⚓ Giap ♫ General Vo Nguyen Giap Was The Commander In Chief Of The Communist Armed Forces During Two Of His Country S Most Difficult Conflicts The First Against Vietnam S Colonial Masters, The French, And The Second Against The Most Powerful Nation On Earth, The United States After Long And Bloody Conflicts, He Defeated Both Western Powers And Their Vietnamese Allies, Forever Changing Modern Warfare In Giap, Military Historian James A Warren Dives Deep Into The Conflict To Bring To Life A Revolutionary General And Reveal The Groundbreaking Strategies That Defeated World Powers Against Incredible Odds Synthesizing Ideas And Tactics From An Extraordinary Range Of Sources, Giap Was One Of The First To Realize That War Is Than A Series Of Battles Between Two Armies And That Victory Can Be Won Through The Strength Of A Society S Social Fabric As America S Wars In The Middle East Rage On, This Is An Important And Timely Look At A Man Who Was A Master At Defeating His Enemies Even As They Thought They Were Winning
General Westland, Presidents Johnson and Nixon all severely underestimated General Giap as an adversary, as did the French at Dien Bien Phu This book chronicles Giap s 30 year military career, from his alignment with Ho Chi Minh to his toppling of two superior super powers From the dust jacket Giap saw with far greater clarity than did his adversaries that the balance of forces could be fundamentally altered by ideas, events and positions far from the battlefield He was acutely conscious of the way domestic policies in France and the United States could be manipulated to drive a wedge between the people and the governments that claimed to represent them After I completed reading this book, I now understand that, even though we, the soldier, lost very few battles, we did loose the war At least our politicians, our media and our civilians did so Giap was cunning enough to use our own weaknesses against ourselves and sap our will to persist.This is a well researched and superbly written book I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see the Vietnam war through the eyes of our enemy. A must read for everybody who is interested in insurgency strategies Warren describes much than how Giap defeated the US in the Vietnam war He describes how Giap is a leading strategist during the countries struggle for independence from 1945 1975 Warren focuses on ends, ways and means of Giap s strategy against the French until 1955, and the United States and South Vietnam until 1975, when his forces win the war and reunite the country A short and easy read. Well done, though short The definitive biography of Vo Nguyen Giap has yet to be written, however, in my view Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap recently passed away on October 4, 2013 at the age of 102 From the time he was born in 1911 until the communist victory over South Vietnam in 1975, his country was either occupied by a foreign power, or at war Next to Ho Chi Minh, Giap is probably the most revered Vietnamese founding father Certainly the most well known in the United States He is the mastermind behind the French defeat at Dien Bin Phu, the Tet Offensive, the Easter Offensive, and the 1975 Spring Offensive which finally defeated South Vietnam and united the country under the communist government.The publication of Warren s book is timely, but that s not the reason to read a biography of this man Vo Nguyen Giap s life is a history of Vietnam in the Twentieth Century and the United States was one of the key players His leadership and military decisions were instrumental in ending the American involvement in Southeast Asia James Warren conveys this without pounding the reader over the head with it The book is not lengthy at just over 200 pages but it thorough enough so that the reader gets a clear picture of not only the life of a self taught military genius too much but also a summary history of the French and American involvement in Vietnam.Giap was in fact a self taught military strategist While studying in Hue before WWII, he was a voracious reader of military history and politics p 7 He also spent time as a history teacher p 10 However, his greatest insight with a little help from his political mentor Ho Chi Minh and implementation of the concept, was that the army and the people are one p 25 This set the stage for building a guerrilla army whose key to victory was outlasting their opponent Although it took thirty years, Giap served as commander in chief of an army that defeated both France and the United States.Warren s writing style is straightforward and readable His conclusions are also clear and in my view inarguable When I was an army officer, I read quite a few biographies of military figures It was part of how you learned your trade I would have added this book to my reading list If you would read a book about Rommel or Robert E Lee, then you might want to read a book about Vo Nguyen Giap James Warren s book in a great choice. General Vo Nguyen Giap may be remembered by US citizens who followed the events in Vietnam in the 1960 s and 1970 s The General appeared on the world stage in the early 1960 s as the commander of a rag tag military force that outsmarted the most powerful military force in the world More than 50k young Americans died in Vietnam fighting Giap s soldiers The war and the inability of the US to find success in the war sparked thousands of protests Some protested the war Others protested the protesters Giap certainly wasn t the sole reason that we went through turmoil as a nation But, his skills and strategies in the battle field marked the growing up years of many of us Biographer James Warren gives us some ability to understand why our military could not overcome a third world military power Giap learned how to defeat a powerful enemy in fighting and then evicting France s colonial domination of his country The battle against the French in the 1950 s prepared Giap to find ways to defeat the much powerful American military in the 1960 s He had an exceptional knowledge of Vietnam s territory and culture The author provides many powerful examples of Giap s ability to make the underdog come out as a victor One powerful example in the book paints a picture of North Vietnamese soldiers going to war with bicycles to attack the French We also get some insights about American military leaders who had grand strategies for defeating rebels The passages about Giap s strategies give us a glimpse into the thinking of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and lots of generals In Warren terms, Giap did not see a divided country North South communist democratic This leads Warren to provide multiple examples of the corrupt and ineffective South Vietnamese politician, Diem, and the South Vietnamese military Warren also brings back the words and ames we heard so often during the late 60 s and the early 70 s Ho Chi Mien the man and the trail , the Tet Offensive, Khe Sham, Charlie, Dien Ben Phu and many Warren sometimes gets bogged down in the details of battles and military strategies The second half of the book is about the politics and less about Giap s skills and strategies on the battlefield Nevertheless, it s a book worth reading to understand why the Vietnam war was different from any other war and remains a mystery to so many Americans. After travelling to Vietnam in 2008 I developed an interest in understanding about the recent history of the country I was only young when the Vietnam War occurred and only saw it by the media coverage in the UK and then Australia Naturally, that coverage was pro West and Anti communist.I found this book a valuable insight to both the Giap the man and the political climate of the day An excellent read, worthwhile for anyone interested in military history and politics of the era. Only gets a second star for the respectful take on a fascinating and little known in the West personality Unfortunately this is sketchy and full of conjecture The writing is also really bad I mean crazy bad I m talking badder than Leroy Brown, badder than Twilight, badder than Justin Bieber singing Tone Loc covers So insanely bad that this paragraph is a model of Standard Written English in comparison. Why am I reading this I don t know It looked nice and slim 218 pages, excluding the bibliography, notes and index and I hoped it might shed some light on what made the Communist victory in Vietnam so inevitable Authoritarianism without the grace of a shared sense of common humanity doesn t work well, as we have seen in many examples in the past half century General Gi p without H Ch Minh may not have been able to throw off the yolk of French colonial management, but the two together were bigger than the sum of their parts.So what was the glue that held the PAVN Gi p s army together Political work in the ranks is of the first importance It is the soul of the army It wasn t Marxist Leninist doctrine, however, but the political education was concerned with instilling a commitment to one s fellow soldiers, to the army as a whole, and the Party as a vehicle for national liberation p 54 Warren goes further With the sage guidance of H Ch Minh and political leader Tr ng Chinh, Gi p developed a highly nuanced and sophisticated understanding of how to use socio political activity organization, mobilization, and thought control or consciousness raising to focus the energies of the entire population under Vietminh control on achieving the Revolution s objectives Taken together, these techniques of political dau tranh allowed Gi p to mobilize an astonishing amount of on going human activity, choreographed in minute detail, toward 1 building an alternative society and government, marked by revolutionary fervor, high morale, and unity of purpose as defined by the senior leadership and 2 the breakdown of the legitimacy of the colonial puppet government in the eyes of the entire country Thus, political dau tranh was at once a constructive and a corrosive activity p 57 General V Nguy n Gi p brilliantly applied what historian Douglas Pike calls the two pincers of revolutionary power, political struggle and armed struggle, placing greater emphasis on one form over the other at various stages of the Revolution Perhaps Gi p s most important contributions to protracted warfare were his flexible integration of three types of forces local militia in the villages, regional forces, and full time main force units , and his creative use of various fighting forms guerilla warfare, mobile independent operations by battalions, conventional set piece battles, and political mobilization from the Introduction, p x Interestingly, although Gi p started with a military organization that looked like the American one with four core functional divisions e.g., personnel, intelligence, operations and logistics , in the later stages of the war it was reorganized along the lines of the Chinese PLA with overlapping Party and military responsibilities As Warren says, the structure was byzantine and redundant and I would add, organic and impenetrable Elsewhere Warren adds that the redundancies of authority and overlapping responsibilities ensured smooth functioning even when association leaders were killed or captured p 25 And I thought this was interesting A unique feature of PAVN s approach to war concerned its extensive logistical preparation Western forces on the offensive are typically supplied via motorized vehicles from the rear, or from the air PAVN supply officers, however, developed ingenious ways of preparing a battlefield and its approaches with supplies and fortifications before the arrival of maneuver forces This required superb planning and highly disciplined bunker and supply depot construction units, often working under sustained time pressure p.55 Warren is a historian focused on recent military history, and in this book he talks a great deal about each of the decisive battles that studded Gi p s campaign He also mentions a new kind of yardstick which emerged to measure success anything that convinced the French they had to withdraw their forces from Vietnam was a victory for the Vietminh This may not mean battles won in the conventional sense Dien Bien Phu was the decisive battle that brought the U.S into Vietnam and Warren quotes historian George Herring The Eisenhower Administration in 1954 used its resources unsparingly to construct in southern Vietnam a viable, non communist nation that would stand as the cornerstone of the Free World in Southeast Asia Had it looked all over the world, the United Sates could not have chosen a less promising place for an experiment in nation building How horrifyingly familiar.And Warren s conclusions Gi p never doubted that the power of his soldiers and citizens commitment to the Vietnamese revolutionary vision would compensate for the inferiority of their military forces He presented the Communist revolution as the only way to give the people power to shape their own history and destiny Whether this was true or not in some objective sense hardly mattered What did matter was that the people and the soldiers loyal to the Revolution believed it was true.When all is said and done, Gi p s enduring importance lies in recognizing that he was a successful general largely because he could see with extraordinary clarity all the factors and forces that shaped the trajectory of the wars in which he fought, and how each element related to all the others He understood that the relative importance of each element was constantly in a state of flux, and one s strategy, and one s tactics, must be constantly recalibrated in light of those changes p 217 Anyway, this is not my field of expertise, but I would say it was a fairly concise and interesting addition to the literature for anyone thinking about future uninitiated, please military engagements in Asia. How does a suppressed backward nation beat two modern western military powers Keep losing battles till the enemy can t win any General Giap , and the North Vietnamese people survived and endured through sheer willpower and never giving up I can thoroughly recommend this book as an example of overcoming all obstacles.