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Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75
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Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The defeat of South Vietnam was arguably America’s worst foreign policy disaster of the 20th Century. Yet a complete understanding of the endgame—from the 27 January 1973 signing of the Paris Peace Accords to South Vietnam’s surrender on 30 April 1975—has eluded us.

Black April addresses that deficit. A culmination of exhaustive research in three distinct areas: primary sou
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Encounter Books (first published November 22nd 2011)
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James Murphy
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 ended the many years of fighting in Vietnam. It provided for a ceasefire in place and the withdrawal of all non-Vietnamese forces. And it expressed a desire that both Vietnams be united by peaceful means. Within 4 months of that signing, the North Vietnamese leadership had decided to continue military operations aimed at the overthrow of the government of South Vietnam and a unification under the communist government of the North. Within those areas of the South t ...more
David Bales
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Extensively detailed military history about the collapse of South Vietnam after the U.S. troop withdrawal in 1973; Veith points out that while the general perception of the ARVN, (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) is sort of true, (that is, that they were poorly-led, corrupt and reluctant to fight) but not completely true, and that they often showed high degrees of courage and competence, especially after 1972, with American assistance. Still, the magnitude of South Vietnam's failure after 1973 i ...more
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I find this book to be a difficult book to review because it is not exactly my "cup of tea." Nevertheless, to rate it based on personal interest would not only be foolish but would also be somewhat unfair. When I bought this book I was hoping to gain a stronger look into the political aspects surrounding Black April. Having recently finished "An American Amnesia: How the U.S. Congress Forced the Surrender of North Vietnam and Cambodia" I was hoping to gain further information from a historian. W ...more
Anthony Nelson
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A very thorough look at the final campaign of South Vietnam. It's a scholarly, purely military focused look, so you may find yourself referring to the notes many times for various acronyms, but gives an excellent overview of the details of the various battles.
Stuart Bobb
The book was interesting in that it has now been long enough to get information from all sides and a more complete history is available.

It was engaging in that while I was a tween when Saigon fell, I still knew so little about the end of the war. Certainly one doesn't come away from this book with a very positive view of how the US chose to "end" this war. Clearly, the leadership of the North Vietnamese did an excellent job of predicting American behavior and South Vietnamese morale. As with mos
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A serious book for serious students of military history, and the first thorough study of the events from after the US left South Vietnam in 1973 to its fall in 1975. As many who were shouted down at the time knew, the South finally carried its own weight and performed well against the Northern invaders until the US abandoned them financially. Quite simply, Russia and China supported their client longer than the US supported ours. The outcome was not inevitable, but it is hard to fight a well equ ...more
Diogo Sena
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Black April is a tremendous work of research, a tremendous accounting of Military History. In fact the chessboard upon which the North and South face each other is painted with military precision and methodology. As a reader I enjoyed a mental visualization of the battleground, making sense of the battle fought in Vietnam. The author isn't given to any traits of romance language, nor was this book the place for such. Again it is a tremendous work of research, it is really worth highlighting that ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had previously assumed that the people of South Vietnam were simply unwilling to fight for their freedom, and my view of American involvement in Vietnam was sketched in large part out of reflections on this conclusion. This work is simply magisterial, and blew away many of the cobwebs in my mind on this issue. I am still reeling from all the new information offered in this volume. I now feel that the abandonment of South Vietnam was a more sordid affair than our years of support.
Rob Schmults
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Too detailed - to the point of obscuring the author's main points and insights. And even in some cases apparently contradicting them (US cutting off aid hamstrung ARVN but can't recall any examples of this in practice in the details of the battles). Author seemed content to skip over the big points to focus instead of exactly who hit what tank with what weapon at what point in a 2 hour fire fight for a minor village.
Dave Beeman
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So you think the South Vietnamese rolled over and gave up in the Spring of 1975. Not so says the author. He goes into great detail explaining the strategic decisions made by both North and South Vietnam; the political decisions made and in great detail takes you through the many battles fought before and up to the fall of Saigon. Well researched.
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