In the Vietnam War, American "rough riders" drove trucks through hostile territory delivering supplies, equipment, ammunition, weapons, fuel, and reinforcements to troops fighting on the war's ever-shifting front lines. But, all too often, the convoys themselves became the front lines.
Frank McAdams, a Marine Corps lieutenant, learned that the hard way during a tour of duty that began right after the 1968 Tet Offensive and the siege at Khe Sanh. In this compelling memoir he recounts his personal battles - not only with a dangerous enemy but also with an incompetent superior and a sometimes indifferent military bureaucracy.
A decidedly different take on the Vietnam experience, his chronicle focuses on the ambush-prone truck convoys that snaked their way through dangerous terrain in narrow mountain passes and overgrown jungles. When an ambush occurred, strong leadership and quick thinking were required to protect both the convoy's mission and the lives of its men.
Fast-paced and highly absorbing, his book offers an insightful look at a largely neglected aspect of the Vietnam War, while reminding us of how frequently the crucible of war reveals one's true character.
Frank McAdams had some real incompetent commanding officers in Vietnam, his Capt sounded like the typical go by the book officer and was a coward who dodged taking convoys out. As a Marine grunt myself who rode as a convoy escort, I can tell you the motor T Marines had no picnic. The convoy runs were hazardous from Quang Tri to LZ Stud. I don't know how he was able to deal with his incompetent superiors who should have been relieved of command. His Capt is lucky he wasn't fragged. My officers in my unit Charlie Company 1st bn 3rd Marines were competent, proffesionals and excellent leaders and thankful that they cared about their Marines. I highly recommend this book.
A really tough listen. I finished it, just to see what happens. I would not recommend even if you are stuck in the airport for three days!
Throughly enjoyed this book. I served in Viet Nam from 1971 to 1972 and rode in convoys through the Hai Van Pass numerous times.