Monday, May 16, 2011

The Tiger Man of Viet Nam.

This book by Frank Walker is not just about an Australian Army Captain who was sent to Viet Nam in 1963 but it contains a lot of information about the CIA before and during the Viet Nam war. It was a good read and I found it really interesting. The focus is not really bang, bang action storys of combat engagements.
Barry went to Viet Nam 2 years before Australian Combat Troops were officially sent there. His job was to train Montagnard tribesmen to combat the Viet Cong. His handlers for this where American CIA men. He clashed a lot with the American way of doing things and also had some sympathy with the Montagnard people who respected him so much they saw him as a Chief. The CIA eventually wanted him out of there and the book suggests that the CIA wanted Barry to have an 'accident' believing he gone totally Native. Barry later returned to Viet Nam (1970) leading Australian combat troops who operated in a different way to the American forces "I was going back to a war I knew we were going to lose". He was a soldiers, soldier though despite this thought and went on to lead patrols from the front.
Good read.

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