Book Review
United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps in Vietnam
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The United States Marine Corps are an unusual unit in that they bring all of the assets of a modern army under one roof. They have their own air force, armour, artillery and of course troops and as such they are uniquely qualified to tackle just about any conventional conflict from land, sea or air. This book looks at the actions and activity of the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam, most notably during the early years of the conflict during the build up of troops.

The following portion of the introduction is from Pen and Sword:
With the American-supported South Vietnamese government verging on collapse in early 1965, American President Lyndon Johnson decided to commit American conventional ground forces in the form of a United States Marine Corps (USMC) brigade of approximately 3,000 men on March 8, 1965. So began a massive and costly 10-year commitment.

At its height in 1968, the USMC had 86,000 men in South Vietnam. Almost 500,000 Marines would eventually rotate in out of South Vietnam during their typical one-year tours of duty. In the end, the fighting during such well-known battles at Con Tien, Chu Lai, Hue, Khe Sanh and Dong Ha and thousands of now forgotten smaller-scale engagements would cost the USMC 13,070 killed in action and 88,630 wounded, more casualties than they suffered during the Second World War.

In this book, well-known military historian Michael Green using hundreds of dramatic images tells the dramatic and gallant story of the Marines’ contribution to an unwinnable war; the battles, their equipment, from rifles to helicopters and jets, and the strategy adopted by the Corps.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering ‘United States Marine Corps in Vietnam’ has been authored by Michael Green. This title from Michael Green is one of 21 titles in the Images of War series covering a broad range of subjects from World War 2 to the present day and covering land and sea. The contents of this title are provided over 208 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – The Opening Acts (1965)
Chapter 2 – The Fighting Increases in Scope (1966-67)
Chapter 3 – The Defining Year (1968)
Chapter 4 – Coming to an End (1969-75)

The text entries in this title cover very well the situation in South Vietnam and the build up of United States Marine Corps personnel in the country. The steady increase in combat operations from the original advisory and defensive nature of the force is also well covered. The written material is present at the beginning of each chapter and is worth taking the time to read even if looking at the title from a modellers view point. Some of this material is presented in what I think of as a staccato approach, but I attribute this to required space rather than a weakness on the part of the author. I found that the written material provided information of which I was not aware of and enjoyed learning a little more about a war that took place during my life time.

The photographs are of course the reason most modellers will invest in this book and I feel you will not be disappointed. The photographs cover a very broad spectrum of warfare due to the many assets that the United States Marine Corps can call upon. We are provided with the aerial forces utilised in the field from logistics, rescue and combat; the ground war photographs cover the armour used including the tanks available to the soldier in the field with man portable weapons. There are some photographs that are staged for the camera such as the VC fighting and living in tunnels. Also present are some promotional images covering captured weapons. One image that may offend shows a kill count of enemy forces, an aspect that was forced upon the troops by a civilian dictate to ensure an accurate record. Each of the photographs is provided with a very well written caption that provides clear information of various lengths.

At the end of this book there are some pages provided for the reader to make notes on images that have caught their eye or details on specifics that they wish to replicate. I highly approve of this as it provides the readers notes in a location that are easy to find in relation to the book.


This title as part of the Images at War series is another great title in the line up as it covers a war many of us will remember from our childhood and others from adult hood or even fighting in this war. This book covers the United States Marine Corps really well during the early years, but not the later period of conflict; with that said war does not vary much beyond the brutality that long periods of conflict results in. All told a great visual treat for the modeller with a well written accompaniment.
Darren Baker takes a look at a recent release from Pen and Sword titled and covering 'United States Marine Corps in Vietnam'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526751232
  Suggested Retail: £15.99
  PUBLISHED: May 05, 2020
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


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