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Mass Market Paperback Night of the Silver Stars: The Battle of Lang Vei Book

ISBN: 0312996810

ISBN13: 9780312996819

Night of the Silver Stars: The Battle of Lang Vei

(Part of the Naval Institute Special Warfare Series Series)

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Book Overview

In Vietnam, 1968, the enemy was planning the kind of overwhelming attack that broke the French at Dien Bien Phu. But while U.S. Marines dug in at Khe Sanh, and recon missions probed the Laotian... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A compelling tale of extraordinary heroism in Vietnam

"Night of the Silver Stars: The Battle of Lang Vei," by William R. Phillips, is a gripping nonfiction tale of the Vietnam War. The "about the author" section inside the book's back cover notes that Phillips served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is himself a Vietnam veteran. Phillips' sources for this book include interviews with a number of the participants in the battle. Retired general William C. Westmoreland contributed the book's foreword. The book's poetic title is an allusion to one of the United States military's highest decorations for valor in combat. Lang Vei was a Green Beret outpost that was the object of a major attack in 1968. Phillips strikes a very effective balance of technical details and human elements as he tells the story. The book is full of intense combat scenes. The straightforward, fact-driven style is well matched to the subject matter. Intriguingly, Phillips notes where there are disagreements or ambiguities among his sources, thus reminding us of the difficulty in capturing history on the printed page. The book is full of revealing details about weapons, vehicles, and tactics. Phillips looks carefully at the complex interlocking aspects of 20th century warfare, including human intelligence, air support, illumination, communications, first aid, and leadership. He vividly captures the "Murphy's Law" aspect of combat, whereby weapons malfunction and other things go unexpectedly wrong. Particularly fascinating is the human complexity of the battlespace in this account; the story involves not only U.S. military from different branches, but also Laotian and ethnic Vietnamese forces, as well as different tribal peoples of Vietnam. Phillips weaves the personal stories of a number of the battle participants into the overall story. He also goes into detail about the long odyssey faced by the mother of a soldier who was declared MIA in the battle. The text is further enhanced by several pages of photographs and other illustrations, as well as by a bibliography and index. Written with intelligence and compassion, "Night of the Silver Stars" is a fitting tribute to the remarkable heroism shown by the warriors of Lang Vei.

one of the best

This book fortells of the horrors to come of the Marines at Khe Sanh and the courage of the Green Beret detachment stationed Lang Vei to defend their small outpost against overwhelming odds against the first armored assult against Americans in the war. My outlook on not just the guys in spec ops but for all the grunts in the field is that they didnt fight for honor or country they fought for friendship and survival and that is one thing that truly speaks itself in this book. This is one of the best written books on small unit action of the war and will be in my collection forever!!!!

Lang Vei-

A good account of the destruction of a base that should have been evacuated months before, it offered absolutly no tactical advantage. With the Marines holding the key hills with undermanned companies, it would have been impossible to reinforce the outpost without weakening another outpost, perhaps that was the hope of the North Viets. Gen. Westmorland, "the king of blunders", should have pulled the SF team out months before as well as the Marines holding the Khe Sanh and the surrounding hills. (To think that the Marines abandoned the SF team to their fate is absurd and is just another facet of the on going jealousy that is rampant between the services as well as in the US Army, ie the Airborne vrs the Cav) Or perhaps reinforced with units of the Air Cav that arrived at LZ Stud soon after the outpost was destroyed. The book is well writtten.

At Last The Truth is told, the participants deserve no less

The author did the research and told the truth, how refreshing to have the truth wihout the "spin" of the establishment. The valor is documented and the warts are acknowledged. Those who served and paid the price with their life deserved to have it told. It brought tears to my eys and heart when I read the names of the warriors who I kniw and respected so much. From one old soliderto the author "Thank You".

Brings new meaning to the "Team" Concept.

This book brings out a new depth to the "Team" concept; of how each man was more concerned with his team mates than he was for his own life. The author brings out not only the heroism of the individuals, but the fear that did not diminish their heroism. The author also sets up the backdrop of military "in house" rivalry that almost cost the lives of everyone involved.He brings out the background that led up to that fateful day.If body count is of interest, read how 24 Americans fought off an attack by a dozen tanks and hundreds of North Vietnamese Veterans, and left 600 of their enemy dead.
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