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By Peter Edwards

The Vietnam struggle was once Australia's longest and such a lot debatable army dedication of the 20 th century, finishing in humiliation for the U.S. and its allies with the downfall of South Vietnam. The struggle provoked deep divisions in Australian society and politics, rather in view that for the 1st time younger males have been conscripted for abroad carrier in a hugely contentious poll method. The Vietnam period continues to be pointed out with diplomatic, army and political failure. used to be Vietnam a case of Australia battling 'other people's wars'? have been we actually 'all the way' with the U.S.? How legitimate used to be the 'domino theory'? Did the Australian forces advance new tactical equipment in past Southeast Asian conflicts, and simply how profitable have been they opposed to the unyielding enemy in Vietnam? during this landmark booklet, award-winning historian Peter Edwards skilfully unravels the complexities of the worldwide chilly conflict, decolonisation in Southeast Asia and Australian family politics to supply new, frequently impressive, solutions to those questions.

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To the men of the 1st Marine Division who were stationed in the district, Binh Nghia was just another village, with nothing peculiar to mark it. If the Marines approached on a large-unit sweep, they would find no traces of the enemy. If they happened to pass through one of its hamlets on a small patrol, they would likely receive some harassing fire from distant treelines. The villagers were uncommunicative, but not sullen. Among the Americans, Binh Nghia had no special reputation. Still, when the call went out for volunteers to live with the Vietnamese forces in the village, the response was enthusiastic.

Quang Ngai is one of the few provinces in North or South Vietnam where, even in times of peace, the population has had to struggle against starvation. Unyielding jungle and sharp mountain ranges penned the rice farmers and their families along the narrow green plain bordering the sea, where there was not enough land for a growing population. Hunger fed politics, and in 1930 famine struck Quang Ngai when a high wind washed the rivers across the rice crops and drove the fish from shore. The French colonial government allowed the local Vietnamese satraps to collect their normal rice taxes from a starving people.

The two Marines jogged to a halt and leaned forward, hands on knees, to catch their breaths. Suong came panting up, followed at a few seconds’ interval by each of the other patrol members. “I don’t believe it,” gasped Faircloth, trying to untangle the straps of two LAWs from his neck. ” Page asked. ” Beebe replied. “Page, you’re out of your gourd. We just came out. I’ll camp out here before I’ll go back and face those others. We can’t go back in. ” The men sat down along the side of the road and waited.

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