In considering Operation Rolling Thunder, for example—which Head dubs as “too much rolling and not enough thunder”—readers will grasp the full scope of the campaign, from specifically targeted bridges in North Vietnam to the challenges of measuring success or failure, the domestic political situation, and how over time, Head argues, “slowly, but surely, Rolling Thunder dug itself into a hole.”
Likewise, Head shows how the battles for Saigon and Hue during the Tet Offensive of 1968 were tactical defeats for the Communist forces with as many as 40,000 killed and no real gains. At the same time, however, Tet made it clear to many in Washington that victory in Vietnam would require a still greater commitment of men and resources, far more than the American people were willing to invest.
Storms over the Mekong is a blow-by-blow account of the key military events, to be sure. But beyond that, it is also a measured reconsideration of the battles and moments that Americans thought they already knew, adding up to a new history of the Vietnam War.
About the Author
Published by Texas A&M University Press