Cover

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Half Title, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xii

The region that Americans and other Westerners generally call Vietnam’s Central Highlands is the broader, southern end of the Truong Son or Annamite chain, the range of mountains that forms the boundary between Vietnam and Laos and part of the boundary between Vietnam and Cambodia. Over the years various other names have been used for the region. ...

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1. Vietnam and the Central Highlands to 1954

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pp. 1-21

The main participants in the struggle considered in the pages that follow were the Vietnamese, who became engaged in a civil war; the Highlanders (the original inhabitants of the region), who were sucked into it (in many cases against their will); and the Americans, who intervened because their leaders saw the conflict in Vietnam as part of a global struggle against communism. ...

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2. The Diem Regime and the Central Highlands, 1954–1960

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pp. 22-49

Few present on the last day of the Geneva Conference, 21 July 1954, could have felt confident that long-term peace had been restored to Indochina. The conference’s final document, sometimes called the Geneva Accords, was divided into two parts. The first was titled “Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam,” which laid down the terms for a cease-fire. ...

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3. War in the Central Highlands, 1960–1961

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pp. 50-80

Communist-led insurrection and an ensuing civil war convulsed much of South Vietnam’s countryside in the course of 1960. Over large areas, particularly in the Mekong Delta and the southern part of the coastal plain, the Diem government’s authority had practically collapsed by the middle of the year, ...

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4. Buon Enao and the Civilian Irregular Defense Group Program, 1962

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pp. 81-110

In the Central Highlands, 1962 was an eventful year, and one about which we are relatively well informed. Two chapters are devoted to it here. This chapter examines events in the Central Highlands in the context of the war as a whole, traces the rise of the Buon Enao experiment to its remarkable apogee, analyzes the factors that ultimately led to its dissolution, ...

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5. Refugees, Strategic Hamlets, and ARVN Operations, 1962

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pp. 111-133

From early 1962 (sooner in some places), Communist forces in the Central Highlands hit a crisis. They began to suffer a desperate food shortage exacerbated by a tendency for Highlanders to abandon traditional villages and take refuge in government-controlled areas. ...

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6. Reversal of Fortune, 1963

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pp. 134-172

The year 1963 brought high drama to Vietnam. At its outset the Communists were in great difficulty in the Central Highlands and in much of the rest of the South. The government’s Strategic Hamlet Program was gripping an increasing proportion of the rural population, and its armed forces were penetrating and disrupting Communist base areas with greater frequency and force.1 ...

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7. The Central Highlands, January–June 1964

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pp. 173-195

The coup of 1–2 November 1963 plunged South Vietnam into a protracted period of internal political disorder that lasted throughout 1964 and for the first half of 1965.1 In the Central Highlands, as in the rest of the country, the Communists exploited the situation as best they could. ...

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8. Crisis in the Highlands, July–December 1964

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pp. 196-219

In early July 1964 Communist forces in South Vietnam mounted a major offensive designed to put Le Duan’s GO-GU strategy into effect. The offensive was planned and organized by COSVN, the Communist general headquarters for the southern part of the country. ...

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9. An Escalating War, January–March 1965

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pp. 220-264

Although the South Vietnamese state was under acute pressure by the beginning of 1965, it had not reached the point of collapse. The Communists were not yet achieving easy or overwhelming successes in major battles. The December campaigns in the Binh Gia area of Phuoc Tuy Province and the An Lao district of Binh Dinh Province had been very hard fought. ...

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10. The Monsoon Offensive, April–August 1965

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pp. 265-302

As we saw at the end of the last chapter, at the end of February 1965 the situation in South Vietnam looked extremely worrying from an official American perspective. Yet the Vietnamese Communists also had cause for concern. Despite continuing political turmoil and weak leadership in Saigon and a serious loss of control in the countryside, ...

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11. Plei Me: Background, Siege, and Relief, August–October 1965

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pp. 303-338

The attacks on the district headquarters and the Special Forces training camp at Dak Sut in Kontum Province in mid-August were the last substantial Communist attacks in the Central Highlands during the 1965 monsoon season.1 There followed a two-month lull. ...

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12. Retreat, Search, and Pursuit, October–November 1965

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pp. 339-364

The PAVN 32d Regiment began its retreat on the morning of 24 October, shortly after its last attack on Luat’s Armored Task Force was defeated. The 33d Regiment ordered its 1st and 2d Battalions to abandon the siege of Plei Me at 2200 on 25 October. Although the 3d Battalion temporarily remained as a rear guard, it too had begun its retreat by last light on 26 October. ...

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13. Catecka and X-Ray, November 1965

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pp. 365-399

The process of removing 1st Brigade’s units from western Pleiku and substituting 3d Brigade’s started on 9 November and took about four days, the last of 3d Brigade’s battalions arriving on 12 November.1 There were no substantial contacts between the Cavalry and the North Vietnamese during the changeover. ...

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14. Albany and After, November–December 1965

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pp. 400-434

Aspects of what happened in the Ia Drang on 16–17 November 1965 are still controversial, and some matters remain inadequately explained. At this stage in the Pleiku campaign, it is the decision making on the American side that is most difficult to interpret; that in the North Vietnamese camp seems like an open book by comparison. ...

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Summary and Conclusion

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pp. 435-450

The Geneva Accords amounted to an armistice rather than a peace settlement. Everyone involved considered the renewal of large-scale violence in the near future a definite possibility. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 451-454

A large number of people have assisted in the research and writing of this book—so many that I may not have been able to remember all. To any overlooked here I humbly apologize. ...

Notes

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pp. 455-510

Bibliography

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pp. 511-520

Index

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pp. 521-538

Back Cover

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Photo Gallery

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