10 books like The Bridge at Dong Ha

By John Grider Miller,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Bridge at Dong Ha. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Phase Line Green

By Nicholas Warr,

Book cover of Phase Line Green: The Battle for Hue, 1968

It is rare when an actual participant of a battle can produce such a chilling and accurate narrative that keeps a reader’s attention page after page. This was the Tet Offensive urban battle for the Citadel, a walled city containing a labyrinth of buildings and houses jammed around numerous narrow streets. This was city fighting at its worst. In the end, many thousands of the enemy lay dead.

Phase Line Green

By Nicholas Warr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Phase Line Green as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bloody, month-long battle for the Citadel in Hue during 1968 pitted U.S. Marines against an entrenched, numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. By official U.S. accounts it was a tactical and moral victory for the Marines and the United States. But a survivor's compulsion to square official accounts with his contrasting experience has produced an entirely different perspective of the battle, the most controversial to emerge from the Vietnam War in decades.

In some of the most frank, vivid prose to come out of the war, author Nicholas Warr describes with urgency and outrage the Marines' savage house-to-house fighting,…


Marine Sniper

By Charles Henderson,

Book cover of Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills

This isn’t actually a memoir, but it reads like one. In the Vietnam War, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock hunts and is hunted. With him, the reader stalks a Viet Cong general, a sniper, and others through the jungles and mountains of Southeast Asia. The North Vietnamese People’s Army of Vietnam put a bounty on Hathcock, calling him the “White Feather.” It’s difficult to imagine today’s American snipers or black ops without the influence of this man. His story is legendary.

Marine Sniper

By Charles Henderson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Marine Sniper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The explosive true story of Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a legendary Marine sniper in the Vietnam War.

There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.

He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines-on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.

This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos…


We Walked Across Their Graves

By John Strunk,

Book cover of We Walked Across Their Graves

The author has the gift of recall and detail that mesmerizes the reader as to the life of a young, high school dropout who finds himself in the most brutal fighting in the Que Son Valley. He leaves out no account to soften the blows for sensitive readers. He tells it as he experienced it. In the end, this devastating book leaves the reader on a high point... that there is salvation.

We Walked Across Their Graves

By John Strunk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Walked Across Their Graves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The naive plans of our youth often escalate to a point beyond our understanding or control. This is the story of a young man that at every turn believed the resolution for every problem was just around the next bend in the road of life. Instead with every turn came only more problems and hopelessness until finally one man came into his life showing him that during his life he was walking on the graves of his predecessors and that final the grave was an empty tomb.


To Hear Silence

By Ronald W. Hoffman,

Book cover of To Hear Silence: Charlie Battery 1st Battalion 13th Marines: The First 15 Months

This is a memoir that does not read like a memoir. It brings to the reader the harsh reality of war and a personal perspective on how one perceives war, told without shame or bravado. The reader is brought full circle from the fighting and destruction in 1967-68 to standing on the same battlefields some 45 years later, in peace.

To Hear Silence

By Ronald W. Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Hear Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To Hear Silence is the history of Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 13th Marines, from the time of its formation at Camp Horno, California, in July 1966, until the original members left Vietnam in early October 1967.Although partly written in narrative format, this book paints an accurate portrayal of the experiences of what really happened in 1966 and 1967 through its day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, accounts of the members' time in Vietnam.This book is based on a diary kept by the author while in Vietnam, the actual declassified documents kept by the Marine Corps, and the memories of those who lived…


Ride the Thunder

By Richard Botkin,

Book cover of Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph

Author Richard Botkin was a U. S. Marine Captain, who served during a time of peace, but who, like many Marines, became fascinated with Marine Corps history during the Vietnam War. This book is about the U. S. Marine officers who served as military advisors to the Vietnamese Marine Corps, and who helped the Vietnamese Marines defend their country during the so-called Easter Offensive of 1972. The North Vietnamese launched this unprecedented offensive with the intent of conquering our ally, the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) or South Vietnam as we came to know them. This was an all-out, go-for broke offensive during which the NVA launched over 1,000 Soviet tanks and massive artillery bombardments, backed by tens of thousands of NVA infantry soldiers. The intent of this offensive was “total victory.” History and this book document the fact that this juggernaut was ultimately stopped cold by the ARVN and the…

Ride the Thunder

By Richard Botkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ride the Thunder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everything Americans know about the end of the Vietnam War is wrong, contends Richard Botkin, former Marine infantry officer and author of the groundbreaking book Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph.

Now the inspiration for a major motion picture of the same name Ride the Thunder reveals the heroic, untold story of how Vietnamese Marines and their US advisers fought valiantly, turning the tide of an unpopular war and actually winning – while Americans 8,000 miles away were being fed only one version of the story.

Focusing on three Marine heroes – Colonel John W.…


The Magnificent Bastards

By Keith Nolan,

Book cover of The Magnificent Bastards: The Joint Army-Marine Defense of Dong Ha, 1968

My river boat division (Mobile Riverine Force Division 112) patrolled the Cua Viet River just south of the DMZ between North and South Vietnam during the timeline of this book so I could very much relate to the events, though the Marines took much heavier casualties than our boats did. Keith Nolan does an excellent job documenting the battles—as I read, I relived the bomb and strafing runs done by the navy aircraft carrier F-4 Phantoms (which I also wrote about in my memoir) Nolan’s very detailed account of the Marine battles on the north side of the river answered many decades-old questions for me. His use of dialogue and insights into the Marines keep the reader engrossed. 

The Magnificent Bastards

By Keith Nolan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Magnificent Bastards as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On April 29, 1968, the North Vietnamese Army is spotted less than four miles from the U.S. Marines’ Dong Ha Combat Base. Intense fighting develops in nearby Dai Do as the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, known as “the Magnificent Bastards,” struggles to eject NVA forces from this strategic position.

Yet the BLT 2/4Marines defy the brutal onslaught. Pressing forward, America’s finest warriors rout the NVA from their fortress-hamlets–often in deadly hand-to-hand combat.At the end of two weeks of desperate, grinding battles, the Marines and the infantry battalion supporting them are torn to shreds. But against all odds, they beat back…


Dien Cai Dau

By Yusef Komunyakaa,

Book cover of Dien Cai Dau

“I think of language as our first music,” notes the celebrated poet Yusef Komunyakaa. His collection of Vietnam poems, Dien Cai Dau (Vietnamese for crazy) fuses images, sounds, and sights from Vietnam into a fearful, lyrical symmetry. Born James Brown in rural Bogalusa, Louisiana, he served in Vietnam as a correspondent and editor of The Southern Cross, the newspaper of the Army’s 23rd Infantry Division (Americal). “The Vietnamese knew what was happening in the American psyche when it came to race,” claims Komunyakaa, “and sometimes they expertly played on it.” The poem “Hanoi Hannah” in Dien Cai Dau is a perfect example of this: “Ray Charles!” His voice/ calls from waist-high grass/& we duck behind gray sandbags./ “Hello, Soul Brothers. Yeah,/Georgia’s also on my mind…Here’s Hannah again…"

“That gets your attention when you’re out in the middle of nowhere,” astutely observes Komunyakaa.

Dien Cai Dau

By Yusef Komunyakaa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dien Cai Dau as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Poetry that precisely conjures images of the war in Vietnam by an award-winning author.


Enduring Vietnam

By James Wright,

Book cover of Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War

My book is a story about what often happens to some soldiers after a war, in today's lingo, PTSD. As one who is a veteran himself, I’ve always been conflicted about soldiering, war, the aftermath of war, and the American penchant for war. One book put it all into perspective for me, Enduring Vietnam by historian James Wright. Wright gives you the historical context that brought about the war; the politics that influenced the war; and the battles fought during the war. But he tells it all from the perspective of the soldiers who fought the war, from our fellow Americans and allies in South Vietnam, but also from the perspective of the enemy soldiers, the Vietcong and North Vietnamese.

Enduring Vietnam

By James Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Enduring Vietnam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Vietnam War is largely recalled as a mistake, either in the decision to engage there or in the nature of the engagement. Orboth. Veterans of the war remain largely anonymous figures, accomplices in the mistake. Critically recounting the steps that led to the war, this book does not excuse the mistakes, but it brings those who served out of the shadows. Enduring Vietnam recounts the experiences of the young Americans who fought in Vietnam and of families who grieved those who did not return. By 1969 nearly half of the junior enlisted men who died in Vietnam were draftees.…


Girls Don't

By Inette Miller,

Book cover of Girls Don't: A Woman's War in Vietnam

As a female journalist who has lived and worked abroad, including in sometimes unsafe situations but excluding war, I was drawn to Miller’s story about covering the Vietnam War. In 1970 young American women were not supposed to go to Vietnam. They were supposed to get married, and Miller didto a member of the military whose job proves her ticket to Vietnam.

As one of the rare female reporters in Vietnam, Miller captured stories her male colleagues couldn’t or wouldn’t cover such as how young Vietnamese girls were often tricked into the sex trade. An outsider in the “old boys club” of news and war Miller is able to understand better than her male colleagues how the war is impacting the locals who have in some ways been made outsiders in their own country.

Girls Don't

By Inette Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Girls Don't as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year is 1970; the war in Vietnam is five years from over. The women's movement is newly resurgent, and feminists are summarily reviled as "libbers." Inette Miller is one year out of college-a reporter for a small-town newspaper. Her boyfriend gets drafted and is issued orders to Vietnam. Within their few remaining days together, Inette marries her US Army private, determined to accompany him to war.

There are obstacles. All wives of US military are prohibited in country. With the aid of her newspaper's editor, Miller finagles a one-month work visa and becomes a war reporter. Her newspaper cannot…


Armed with Abundance

By Meredith H. Lair,

Book cover of Armed with Abundance: Consumerism and Soldiering in the Vietnam War

How music became so readily available to Vietnam soldiers is emphasized in Armed with Abundance. Trying to remedy the tenuous morale among GIs, the U.S. military provided them with “creature comforts” in an effort to make war easier, and certainly more palatable. Lair finds that consumption and satiety, more so than privation and sacrifice, defined the experience of most soldiers' Vietnam deployments. She reveals that in 1969 and 1970, for example, soldiers purchased nearly 500,000 radios, 178,000 reel-to-reel tape decks, and 220,000 cassette recorders. Rock and roll was there to stay! 

Armed with Abundance

By Meredith H. Lair,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Armed with Abundance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Popular representations of the Vietnam War tend to emphasize violence, deprivation, and trauma. By contrast, in Armed with Abundance, Meredith Lair focuses on the noncombat experiences of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, redrawing the landscape of the war so that swimming pools, ice cream, visits from celebrities, and other "comforts" share the frame with combat.

To address a tenuous morale situation, military authorities, Lair reveals, wielded abundance to insulate soldiers - and, by extension, the American public - from boredom and deprivation, making the project of war perhaps easier and certainly more palatable. The result was dozens of overbuilt bases in…


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