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[Illustrated with 1 table, 7 maps, 1 figure and 13 Illustrations]
The Battle of An Loc was one of the most important battles of the Vietnam War. It took place during the 1972 North Vietnamese Spring Offensive, after most U.S. combat troops had departed South Vietnam. The battle, which lasted over two months, resulted in the virtual destruction of three North Vietnamese divisions and blocked a Communist attack on Saigon. The sustained intensity of combat during this battle had not been previously seen in the Vietnam War. Although this battle occurred after the high point of American involvement in Vietnam, when U.S. forces were in the process of withdrawing from that country, Americans played a key role in the action. South Vietnamese ground forces and their U.S. Army advisers, working in close cooperation with U.S. Army and Air Force air support, proved a combination capable of resisting defeat and seizing victory. Because the Battle of An Loc did not involve large numbers of American troops, little has been written about the battle or American participation in it. Jim Willbanks’ study focuses on the conduct of the battle and the role American combat advisers and U.S. air power played in defeating the North Vietnamese forces during the spring of 1972.