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Why this war was lost
am 17. Februar 2005
The common denominator of John Leppelman's three tours of duty in Vietnam shows clearly why it was not possible to win this war: poor leadership ("higher-higher" REMFs), and poor motivation on the part of the troops ("who gives a f..."). It is also obvious that most of the Vietnamese people did not want to be liberated by John, his buddies, or, for that matter, by his government.
As a personal account it is an excellent book. It shows the war from the standpoint of the soldier who finds himself in a situation in which he has no other choice than to fight. There is no melodrama and no heroics. There are no endless diatribes about the morality of war, and there are no analyses with the benefit of hindsight. The language is terse, factual, often sarcastic, and easy to read.
This is not the ultimate word on Vietnam. However, it is an interesting piece of the puzzle which constitutes this war.