Rice Paddy Recon

A Marine Officer's Second Tour in Vietnam, 1968-1970
Narrated by: Traber Burns
Length: 16 hrs and 16 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A young US Marine officer recounts his experiences of the Vietnam War over a 19-month period. He graphically describes what it was like to perform three distinct combat missions: long-range ground reconnaissance in the Annamite Mountains of I Corps, infantry operations in the rice paddies and mountains of Quang Nam Province, and special police operations for the CIA in Tay Ninh province. 

Using official Marine Corps unit histories, CIA documents, and his weekly letters home, the author relies almost exclusively on primary sources in providing an accurate and honest account of combat at the small-unit level. Of particular interest is his description of his assignment to the CIA as a Provincial Reconnaissance Unit (PRU) advisor in Tay Ninh Province, where he participated in several secret missions as part of the controversial Phoenix Program. The name and contribution of the CIA's most valuable spy during the war, the famous "Tay Ninh Source", is revealed.

©2014 Andrew R. Finlayson (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Very detailed but dry account

The author obviously kept very detailed records of his experiences as he is able to recall scores of personal conversations 40 years after they took place. He had an unusual perspective on the Vietnam conflict (compared to the hundreds of accounts I have read) and obviously saw a lot of action early on but he concentrated more on the political point of view in this lengthy, almost academic chronicle. While the book is interesting and informative, the author seems a bit stiff and repetitive at times, and the voice actor's delivery was a good pairing for the author's writing style which is characterized by erudite narration. Overall, an entertaining story.

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Less fact more storyline

Too much like a bullet point documentary not enough story line for your average war enthusiastic reader far more intricacies then story line

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The True Story

This book opened my eyes to why we failed to win the Vietnam War. Ten years of blood and treasure wasted by the Political Machine! After the French Disaster 1954 many answers where available as to how we could approach any military answers. The true answer for the future was shutting down the Ho Chin Min Traffic in Loas!

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  • Simon D.
  • 01-06-20

Longest book I have listened too.

Could of been an excellent book. Narration let it down. The voice just drones on and on. I will have to buy this and read it and I am sure I will enjoy it.