Listed below are some books that you may find interesting on AATTV. Any suggestions to additions tothelist would be appreciated. Most copies of the books are available from either theAustralian War Memorial book shop on web site http://www.awm.gov.au/shop/or from your local book store. Another web site that is helpful to hunt up literature on Vietnam War is http://www.amazon.com/which if a new copy can not be supplied then a used copy can usually be located. Any special details for ordering copies of certain books will be displayed in the relevant book title section.
Book Review – A biography of Ray Simpson VC, DCM one of Australia’s greatest soldiers – SIMMO
I picked up my copies of the book at the opening on Sunday, 1st November. My book review is shown below. I found it a great read and very satisified with the effort put in by the authors to portray the man that all knew as Simmo. Those with a background in the military will be able to relate to the story of Simmo.
Take care and Persevere,
Book Review – A biography of Ray Simpson VC,
DCM one of Australia’s greatest soldiers – SIMMO
Authors Michael J. Malone. OAM and Peter D. Lutley
Born of 1926 Ray Simpson came into a world about to suffer from the effects of the Great Depression. His family due to hard times placed Ray in a boys’ home. It is from this upbringing that Simmo, (one could claim he had come from the “school of hard knocks”) became interested in the military. His keen interest in military history and a penchant for using his fists was going to set him on a course which would see one of the greatest warriors of our time evolve. Suffice to say that in ancient times Simmo could have been a gladiator. Mick Malone and Peter Lutley have done a sterling job of bringing together anecdotes’ from a number of military characters, many themselves warriors who had served with or crossed paths with Simmo during peacetime service or from the 100 months of active service that Simmo saw in various theatres of war. His awards of the Victoria Cross (VC) and Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) came from his tours of duty with the highly decorated Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV). The book gives the reader the opportunity to gather an insight into the character and life of one of Australia’s greatest war heroes. Simmo certainly left an impression on most of those that had contact with him.
Upcoming Book Release - WO2 Ray Simpson VC, DCM
The much anticipated book release on Simmo looks like being launched in October this year.
You can order your copy or copies by following the advice in the message below from Mick Malone and Peter Lutley below.
Looking forward to the release which has been some years in the making.
Take care and Persevere,
From: Imprimatur Books [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, 11 July 2015 3:52 PM
Cc: 'Peter Lutley'
Subject: Simmo book advice
Rick, would you please alert your AATTV members that the Simmo biography is nearing completion with launch sometime in October (TBA). As we are doing it pro bono (with monies donated to Legacy and other charities) I will need those members who wish to order a copy to pay into a bank account set up for that purpose. The retail price is $65 however members of the AATTV, Cdo, RAR and SASR will attract a 20% discount. Everyone is invited to the launch either at the SAS Association House at Swanbourne or the RSL HQ in the city.(TBA) If they are attending they can pick up their signed copy on the night. If however, they can’t make the launch then postage is $15. So…members book price is $52 and postage is $15.
The bank details are:
Acc name: M.Malone and P.Lutley
Acc #: 24664 2302
Imprimatur Military Books
PO Box 227 North Perth WA 6906
Book - Walk Tall with 2nd Battalion 1st ARVN Regiment
John (Jack) Peel describes the true fighting prowess of the 1st ARVN Regiment during the Vietnam War 1970 -71
The Vietnam War has gone down in history as one of the most unpopular wars ever waged by America and its allies. What makes it more tragic is the fact that the brave soldiers who took part in the war were not given the proper respect they deserved, indeed men who fought courageously and suffered through horrible ordeals on the battlefield were maligned by the media and misunderstood by the public. In “Walk Tall” the author has written a truly eye-opening read that shows the fighting spirit of the Vietnamese military units that served in the Vietnam War.
“Walk Tall” is an Australian’s view of ‘the American War’. It is an in-depth look at the Vietnam War wherein John Peel served as a member of the highly respected AATTV allocated to 1st ARVN Regiment. It records his experiences along with his perceptions on the Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s response to constant changes in policy, by reflecting on the character, culture and religion of the South Vietnamese soldier. It exposes the battles fought against their ideological enemy on one front, and the Saigon government on another, a government which ignored their cultural traditions threatening the soldier’s family by neglect.
The author has record his experiences as an embedded member of the South Vietnamese Army’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, in order to reveal a highly proficient and professional fighting force, as the result of modern training, sound military leadership and the desire to get the job done on the battlefield. “Walk Tall” is a rarely seen alternative view point on the war in Vietnam and as such is a must read for anyone interested in military history.
About the Author
John Peel was born in Newcastle in 1943. He attended the Newcastle Secondary Junior Technical School gaining an Intermediate Certificate in 1958. The following year, he enlisted as an Apprentice tradesman in the Army, graduating in 1961. From 1962 to 1969, he served in the Royal Australian Engineers Transportation Service as an Engine Room Watch Keeper in Army Small Ships and as an Instructor at the Transportation Centre RAE. He volunteered for service with the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) in 1968. After training, he arrived in South Vietnam in 1970. During his eleven
month tour, he became the last member of the AATTV to serve with the 2nd Battalion 1st ARVN Regiment. Warrant Officer Peel was awarded the United States Army Commendation Medal and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Silver Star as a result of his service. His interest in education and training resulted in the completion of a bachelor degree in 2010. He and his wife Carole live in a sleepy country village with his family close by. His interests include volunteer service as a pastoral volunteer at a local aged care facility. He continues his military interests as Chairman of the Royal Australian Engineers Vietnam Memorial committee at the School of Military Engineering. Sydney NSW.
Walk Tall* by John (Jack) Peel
With the 2nd Battalion 1st ARVN Regiment
Publication Date: March 25, 2013
Trade Paperback; AU$29.99; 214pages; 9781493136049
Trade Hardback; AU$49.99; 214pages; 9781493136056
e-book; AU$4.25; 9781493136032
Orders placed through the AATTV Association or with the author attract a discounted price of AUD$30.00 including postage (Australia only) for paperback or SAUD$45.00 including postage (Australia only). Contact Jack at email@example.com
Book Release - VIETNAM The Complete
Story of the Australian War
Bruce Davies AATTV with Gary McKay
Review – Vietnam – The Complete Story of the Australian War
It has been quite some time since I have read such and honest and open account of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Many years ago, I did read a book called ‘About Face – the Odyssey of an American Warrior’ by Colonel David Hackworth (US Army, Ret) and formed the opinion that this book should be made compulsory reading by all junior officers aspiring to be future leaders of our men in combat. Bruce Davies assisted ably by Gary McKay has produced a book that is in the same category. It also should be compulsory reading by not only our junior leaders but by our Commanders as well. Rather direct and without bias, it is compelling reading that dispels some of the myths perpetrated since the Vietnam War by a well researched history of those involved, be they friend or foe.
For Australian veterans of the Vietnam War, many may feel that they were very lucky at the outcome of some of the actions in which they were involved after reading this book. Outcomes that could have been so very different if it had not been for good fortune as opposed to poor tactical decisions made by some commanders. The book not only covers the main Australian elements but also those activities of AATTV members spread throughout the length and breadth of South Vietnam. In conclusion, it identifies the necessity for all commanders to be well researched and versed in the tactics of their opponents, something that could be said to be missing at certain stages of this war.
Released on 2nd August 2012. RRP: $49.99 E Book available. ISBN 978 1 74175 028 7
Take care and Persevere,
Pre-Order The Biography of Ray Simpson, VC, DCM
You can pre-order your copy of "The Biography of Ray Simpson, VC, DCM written by Mick Malone, OAM and Peter Lutley (both Ex- SASR)" by following the instructionson this link: Pre-Order The Biography of Ray Simpson, VC, DCM.pdf
Take care and Persevere,
Training the Bodes by Terry Smith AATTV. ISBN: 978-1-921941-01-6. Australian Army Advisors training Cambodian infantry battalions - A postscript to the Vietnam War.
About the Author: Terry Smith served as an infantryman for 30 years in the Army Reserve. This included three and a half years on full time duty in the Regular Army, from 1970 to 1973, after volunteering for service in South Vietnam. Following training as a tropical warfare adviser, he arrived in South Vietnam on 1 July 1972 where he joined the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. In Vietnam, he served with the Phuoc Tuy Training Battalion of the United States Army Vietnam Forces Armee Nationale Khmer (FANK) Training Command, until the completion of that programme in November 1972 and thereafter, with the Jungle Warfare Training Centre at Van Kiep. Following the withdrawal of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam from South Vietnam on 18 December 1972, he completed his full time military service with the 5th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment, before returning to civilian life in December 1973. He was appointed a Member of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire in 1977 and a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2010.
I found this book a fascinating insight into the exploits of AATTV members
in the final year of our long term commitment of their involvement in the
Vietnam War. A majority of Australian and New Zealand Vietnam veterans
would be familiar with Phuoc Tuy Province and names such as, Binh Ba, Dat
Do, Long Hai, Van Kiep, Hoa Long, Duc Thanh, Xuyen Moc, The Horseshoe and
several others mentioned in the book. I found it interesting to read
about the deteriorating situation within Phuoc Tuy Province, the destruction
of places such as Dat Do and elsewhere within the Province during the course
of AATTV involvement in this final year of the war for Australia.
I also felt for those Advisers that were there until the bitter end, endeavouring
to do their bit for the Cambodians while upholding the good name of AATTV.
It is hard to imagine the feelings of those Advisers who had the realization
that they were part of a very small allied force left in South Vietnam
when compared to the high numbers in country at the height of the war.
The task of training the Cambodians, many of whom were ill equipped, un-disciplined,
poorly lead and trained, would have been a formidable task in itself.
Suffice to say that I am proud of those last Team members whom did the
final yards. I recommend the book to those that wish to understand
this important part of the history of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam
The Book: By the end of 1971, the hastily raised, poorly trained, and woefully led Cambodian army had suffered a string of defeats and heavy casualties inflicted by North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong units. With many of its best infantry battalions and much of its armour, transport and equipment destroyed, only three of its 15 brigade groups were militarily effective. In South Vietnam, America and its allies were in the process of withdrawing and handing back to the Vietnamese full responsibility for the conduct of the war.
A small group of Australians, which never numbered more than 30 officers, warrant officers and non-commissioned officers of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, helped train 27 light infantry battalions of the Cambodian army in South Vietnam during 1972. This project was, according to one historical study, ‘a classic example of using special forces as a force multiplier’, and had been recognised as one of the most successful foreign internal defence missions of the Vietnam War’. The story of these few men is told against the background of the war in South Vietnam, and in particular Phuoc Tuy province, as both sides fought to secure villages and hamlets during 1972, before the Peace Accords being negotiated in Paris to end the war were signed.
As well as describing the details of the training programme, the book provides descriptions of camp life and of the Cambodians, Vietnamese and Americans. The last days of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam’s ten and a half year service in the Vietnam War are covered, including the last contact involving Australian and Viet Cong soldiers.
Training the Bodes is an interesting and valuable
book that tells a moving story. The excerpts from letters and reports,
and the photographs, are fascinating. It fills a small gap in Australia’s
To order your copy, go to link: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/bookview.php?iid=912&vt=B
Click on Buy Now and follow the prompts.
The Dega – A Mike Force Novel by
author Shaun Darragh and published by Hellgate Press. A beautifully
well written novel by a former USSF member who served with an A Team and
Mike Force in the South Vietnam War. AATTV Team members that served
with Mike Force will no doubt see the correlation between various characters
in the book and the actual exploits by some AATTV members in South Vietnam.
This book of some 557 pages really gives the reader a great insight into the most difficult task that members of the Mike Force encountered. A mixture of US Special Forces from varying ethnic persuasions coupled with Australian advisors (officers and NCOs) training indigenous tribesmen using various dialects and interference of Vietnamese military personnel is certainly going to create a potent mixture when combined to produce a fighting force. Such was the task that faced Mike Force.
Shaun Darragh is kind enough to provide the reader with qualification as to some of the unfamiliar terms used throughout the book. It also gives the reader a detailed picture of the intricate nature of the problems faced when trying to win a war with such a mismatch of men. Without giving away too much, the period involved also includes the Montagnard uprising.
Although classed as a fictional novel, I could see quite a bit of factual detail has gone into the book especially when it comes to battle scenarios’. . Character names and places allow the reader with some knowledge to identify them. Although the characters of some involved overlap, I found it entertaining to try and identify those involved.
Well worth a second read, The Dega gives Vietnam War veterans a great insight into the working of Mike Force. You can order your copy through Harley Patrick of Hellgate Press on email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Harley will organise your copy here is Austalia. You can also order as an e-book providing you have the device to use it with. Price plus postage will be advised by Harley once he has your details.
The Tiger Man of Vietnam by author Frank Walker. Based
in the service of Barry Petersen whom served with AATTV in South Vietnam.
I have read this book in conjunction with another book "Tiger
Men - An Australian Soldier's Secret War in Vietnam "
written by Barry Petersen with John Cribbin. I found Frank Walker's book had more depth to the service of Barry Petersen and I read it in one sitting. No doubt some Team members will form their own opinions but to me it showed the story of a Team member that was put in a rather peculiar situation for his time with AATTV. He was not alone and other Team members would have their own tales to tell. Frank Walker also interviewed a number of Team members that either worked with Petersen or had knowledge of his situation while training the Montagnard tribesmen. The book also covers the darker side of the Vietnam War with CIA covert activity. A fascinating read. 978 0 7336 2366 0 (pbk.)
The Battle at Ngok Tavak. Bruce Davies AATTV. Bruce Davies has done a excellent job of this battle in which a small number of Team members were involved. Very thought provoking on the tactics used and it certainly raises a number of question as to the outcome which could have been a lot different. ISBN 978 1 74175 064 5 (pbk)
The Men Who Persevered. Bruce Davies AATTV and Gary McKay. Well researched book on the exploits of members of AATTV. Includes the Nominal Roll of members. A necessary piece of history of the Vietnam War. ISBN 1 74114 8316
Special Forces Camps in Viet Nam 1961-70. ROTTMAN Gordon, colour plates Chris Taylor. Osprey Fortress Series No 33, London 2005. SC, 64p., photos, drawings. ISBN1 84176 839 1
A very well produced little book,
its author (very prolific) served in SVN with 5th SF Group 1969-70, then
long time involvement with the US special action forces community as a
Senior NCO and supervisory civilian. Jam packed full of interesting
and appropriate photos, diagrammes, with computer developed colour prints
of various aspects of camps, and attacks upon them, the artistic work of
these gives a three dimensional feel. I sent a copy to a friend in
Seattle, see saying at he could not fault anything major (there of course
being minor errors, probably due to transcription). Well worth its
Australian price of 32 dollars. If interested can be acquired from
Napoleon's Military Bookshop in Sydney, or Battlebridge Books, Parramatta
ANZAC Elite by Cliff Lord and Julian Tennant. ".... the book makes a worthwhile contribution to the history of ANZAC airborne and special forces. is also an important reference publication that should find its place in defence force and public libraries, and ex-service organisations and historical societies." - Australian War Memorial magazine" Australian War Memorial. Details on ordering the book are located at site http://transpressbooks.homestead.com/ANZAC.html Available most book stores.
"SOG, America's Secret War inVietnam"
by John Plaster. It deals with ops in NVN, on the Ho Chi MinhTrail and
other clandestine ops in Laos, Cambodia etc.. The whole story ishere, from
recon teams and Hatchet Forces to Blackbirds, Green Hornets, and Nastyboats
--all Medal of Honor winners have separate sections, along with extensive
coverage of weapons, tactics, techniques, the Ho ChiMinh Trail, all
helicopter units, etc., etc. Some 700 photos are included. There are some
Team members that had and still have close links with their US allies.
Author: John Plaster
** See end of section for details on the book and ordering information.
The Mad Galahs **- A
Team member, Capt George Mansford now Brig (Rtd) served 40 years in theAustralian
Army and spent 20 years in battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment.
The Mad Galahs weaves historical fact into a stirring tale of Australian
Infantrymen at war. They were Citizen Soldiers, K Force, Regulars, Conscripts,
and all of them wore the badge of the Royal Australian Regiment.
ISBN 0646380044 AATTV 1966-67
** A book review is locatedatthe end of this section.
Through the Wire **- ATeam
member, Capt David Savage relates his tour to duty in South Vietnam.
Author: David Savage
ISBN 1 86448 868 9 AATTV 1968 - 69
** A book review by George Mansford - AATTV 1966 - 67 is located at the end of this section.
- Australian Army Advisers in Vietnam 1962 - 1972
Author: Ian McNeill
ISBN0 7022 2486 3 AATTV 1965 - 66
Out of Print. Only source toprocure appears to be through internet auctions.
The Team in Pictures 1962 - 1972
A pictorial history of Australian Army Training Team Vietnam 1962 - 1972
Produced by: The National Executive AATTV, Canberra ACT
ISBN 0 646 104446
- An Australian Soldier's Secret War in Vietnam
Author: Barry Petersen, MC with John
AATTV Aug 63 - Dec 65
ISBN 0 283 99816 4
The Team in Vietnam - The Lighter
Side Anecdotes of the AATTV
Author: Vic Pennington
ISBN 1 86254 288 0 AATTV 1970 - 71
Vietnam Veterans - Honours &
Awards Army - An excellent reference to those
Vietnam Veterans of the Australian Army who are recipients
of Honours and Awards for the Vietnam War. From Victoria Cross to Mention
In Despatches, this book will give you details of honours and awards given
in a very readable format.
You will find many members of Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) mentioned in this book.
ISBN 0646239783 Author:Alexander M Palmer
THE WIRE by DAVIDSAVAGE
REVIEW BY GEORGE MANSFORD
Less known activities duringthe Vietnam War were the operations of units known as Mike Force. Even less known are some of the bloody battles they fought such as Duc Lap. The author of Through the Wire provides a fascinating insight into both areas and more.
A word of warning. Do not expect the story to grab you from the first page. Nevertheless, a few pages later when the author, an SAS officer, takes command of a Mike Force Company ensure you have no pressing commitments; better still, take the phone off the hook. It's that sort of book.
You will not need a military background to be amazed at the complexities of command within a unit comprising Montagnards, commanded by American Special Forces and members of the AustralianArmy TrainingTeam. (A misnomer for a unit if there ever was one). You will certainly find it compelling reading as the Author describes in an easy flowing style the changing situations throughout the battle.
First is the suddenness of being committed to operations with minimum preparation and orders. Of landing by helicopter into unfamiliar and hostile terrain and in a very short time fighting for information on the battlefield. The unexpected setbacks asthe company encounters heavily fortified bunkers and is forced to withdraw.The sheer audacity of breaking in to reinforce the beleaguered garrison and there is always the continual and immense burden of command when the author, already wounded, has to make snap decisions based on scant information during the stubborn desperate defence as the reinforced garrison continues to be exposed to constant bombardment and infantry assaults.
It is also the story of immense bravery by numerous individuals but regrettably the publisher has not included photographs for the reader to identify with at least some of those who fought alongside the author. Thus by the last page they remain faceless and are simply names. They deserved better.
After the battle the story does not lose its pace. David Savage continues to recall his experiences in a Special Forces environment and there is ample evidence from his detailed observations to reinforce the argument that the military machine in Vietnam too often demonstrated poor command and control. The end result of such inadequate procedures was that on occasions those who bore the brunt of the fighting were exposed tounnecessary misery and danger. The author provides such an example of stupidity and ineptness with his account of two friendly sub units slaughtered by helicopter gun ships as a result of mistaken identity.
Sadly the fog of war during the battle of Duc Lap combined with misunderstanding caused by total physical and mental exhaustion results in a difference of opinions between warriors who fought in the same company. What appears to be an unfortunate comment uttered by an individual while under immense emotional strain slowly gathers momentum, spreads as a rumour, and months later challenges and even threatens the reputation of the author.
One can only hope that there ist he opportunity for reconciliation between such men now that sanity and reason has replaced such terrible and confused circumstances on the battlefield. The dedication and bravery of such warriors is too noble to be overshadowed by rumour, gossip and doubt.
Military Book - The Mad Galahs by George Mansford, AATTV 1966 - 67
The Author - George Mansford, enlisted as a Private in the Australian Army, and forty years later retired as a Brigadier. His military service included Korea, Malaya and Vietnam. One of his proudest achievements is that he served 20 years in Battalions of The Royal Australian Regiment.
The Mad Galahs weaves historical fact into a stirring tale of Australian Infantrymen at war. They were Citizen Soldiers, K Force, Regulars, Conscripts, and all of them wore the badge of the Royal Australian Regiment.
This is a story about soldiers, written by a soldier. It is a work of fiction so if you're seeking historical facts then seek elsewhere, for you won't find them here! Although many of the events depicted are true, they did not happen at the exact moment in history,or in the precise manner described here. On the other hand, if it's a good read you're seeking, one that will hold your interest from cover to cover then look no further, this book is for you.
The author makes no pretence o fprobing for deep psychological reasons why soldiers do what they do. He tells it like it is, with the added authority of personal experience.Through it spages, this book will introduce you to a group of young Australians who, each for his own reasons, chooses to make the army his career. With them you will live through the savagery that was Korea, you will share their experiences as they patrol the steamy Malayan jungles and you will accompany them as they pit their experience and courage against a fanatical, determined enemy inthe rice paddies of Vietnam, until each, in his turn, has found his ultimate destiny. There are no grand strategies, no brilliant tactical Generals or blustering, Staff Officers so common in war novels.This book is about soldiers, and about the everyday events that shape their lives.
Throughout the book, the author's admiration, one might say his love, of the ordinary "Digger" shines through like a beacon. From my point of view at least, this is one of this book's great strengths.
The author is emphatic that this is a work of fiction and that the characters in it do not represent any persons alive or dead. He is equal emphatic that there has been no intent to associate his own military service with the story. Having said that however, I feel bound to say that those who have served in the Regiment, those with the military service and indeed many with no service at all, will find the faces of people they know peering at them out of the pages as they "Fall-in" with Macka, Moff and their mates.
SOG was the Vietnam War's only covert special
warfare unit. So well did SOG keep its secrets that only a handful of Vietnam
veterans ever heard of it till long after the war was over, and most SOG
men thought their missions would never be declassified. When SOG
was disbanded in 1972, its thousands of photographs and negatives were
ordered burned. But some veterans had brought home personal copies of it's
official photos taken on operations, along with thousands of snapshots
taken by the men themselves.When Plaster, himself a three-tour SOG veteran,
began working on his history of SOG he contacted his secret war comrades
and uncovered this wealth of photos. The result is the greatest special
operations photo collection ever assembled. Be one of the first to get
your hands on more than 700 extremely rare of SOG recon teams in action
behind enemy lines in Cambodia, Laos and even North Vietnam. This powerful
book 8 1/2" x 11", hardcover, photos,illus., 496 pp.
Publisher code: SOG.P
Price: $US79.95 plus postage
You can order by going to the Paladin Press Web Site or direct to the book at: http://www.e-sell.com/e-sellpaladin/Store/prodinfo.asp?prodid=3876
This message came from the author John L. Plaster. If you mail your books to me, I'll be happy to inscribe them for you, but be sure to include anything you want me to cite, such as the name of your recon team, or assignment toCCN/CCC/CCS, 20th SOS or 90th SOS, etc. My address is PO Box 100, IronRiver, WI 54847.
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