As I talked about in Episode 8 of Beyond The Foxholes (which is out tomorrow as this is published) we are changing the format for our Sunday posts. From now on Sundays will be less Flames of War focused and more focused on other historical miniatures games or historical books and TV series. So today I'm going to take a look at the TV Series Battlefield Series 3: Vietnam by Universal Pictures UK. I picked by the box set as I'm a big fan of the first two seasons that focus on 12 key battles during WW2 and to improve my knowledge of the Vietnam War with myself and James getting into Flames of War Vietnam.
The the Six discs of the box set each focus on a battle or a series of linked events from the Indochina War with the French and ends with the fall of Saigon. Each disc also follows the same format of two episodes on each conflict. The first episode normal looks at the events leading up to the battle, the leaders of each side and their motives at that stage of the war, the men, equipment and tactics being used and finally the battle plans. The second episode focusing on the beginning of the battle, the key moments and the aftermath.
The key battles chosen are:-
- The Legacy - A look at the Indochina War which the French fought up to the US sending Helicopters to Vietnam to help fight the Vietcong.
- Search and Destroy - This Episode focuses on the battles the US fought in 1965 and 1966 and the use of Helicopters in modern warfare. It takes a long look at the fighting in the Iron Triangle, Warzone C and Warzone D.
- The Tet Offensive - The main turning point of the war.
- The War Around the DMZ - Focuses on the Northern battles between the US Marines and the NVA. The Demilitarized Zone is a very active areas and then the episode rounds out looking at the very important battle of the Siege of Khe Sanh.
- Rolling Thunder - A look at the air war over North Vietnam and looks at the supplies the North Vietnamese were getting from the Soviets and Chinese.
- The Fail of Saigon - The US slowly withdrawing from Southeast Asia but not before invading the Cambodian boarder. Then the episode looks at the two attempts by the North to invade the South using conventional warfare.
The documentaries do a good job of dispelling some of the myth about the war. Firstly it shows in good detail that the Viet Cong by 1971 were a spent force and it was the PAVN than made up most of the Local Forces in South Vietnam by the time the US pulled out. Secondly the popular view that all the South Vietnamese Leaders were incompetent and corruption, while this is true of a number of them a good amount were very good officers and leaders. A lot of them were over looked for promotion so when the US forces left these officers lead some of the best units than did a good job of stopping the NVA in their areas. Finally the idea that the Guerrillas won the war is wrong, in the end it was the second attempted by the north to us conventional forces to win that war than finally ended the conflict.
Overall I would give this series 9/10, it does a great job of being before factual and interested (a difficult balance to get and what a lot of documentaries fail to do). The only negative really is the music with is a bigger shame as the music from the original series really good. The series looks at the war from a political and strategic point of view, if you are looking for something like that I can't recommend this series more highly. It also does a good job of show that Battlefront got it right with their look at Vietnam as you have a lot of battalion sized engagements.
I picked up the box set for £10 off Amazon, which I think is a very fair price.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it