In This Review

The Fall of South Vietnam
The Fall of South Vietnam
By Stephen T. Hosmer, Konrad Kellen and Brian M. Jenkins
Crane, Russak, 1980, 267 pp

A unique and poignant military history, this report is a summary of statements made by 27 former high-ranking South Vietnamese military officers and civilians on their perceptions of the causes of South Vietnam's collapse in 1975. These leaders believe there were grievous shortcomings in South Vietnam's political and military leadership, planning and organization; they found much to criticize in their own institutions and behavior. But, in one way or another, they consider the overarching cause of the debacle to be the American role in the drama: before the Paris Agreements, that of "a gigantic but somewhat blind and often oppressive 'super-ally'" who did not understand the nature of the war, the society or the enemy; after the Paris Agreements, the role took the form of a "callous and incomprehensible" abandonment.