A history of the Australian minefield laid in the Phuc Tuy Province in 1967 that played havoc with Australia's military operations in Vietnam and constituted the greatest tactical blunder in Australian military history since World War Two.
The Minefield tells the story of one of the greatest disasters in Australian military history.
In 1967, Brigadier Stuart Graham issued the calamitous order: First Australian Task Force would construct an 11 kilometre barrier fence minefield containing 20,292 powerful M16 landmines in southern Vietnam's Phuoc Tuy Province. What he failed to realise was that the opposing forces were well positioned to lift thousands of the mines and turn them back against the Australian Task Force with horrendous, far reaching results.
For protracted periods, Australia's own M16 mines became the enemy's most effective strike weapons, causing over 50 per cent of all task force casualties. The minefield also guaranteed the enemy's successful defence of its vital area and base complexes against task force incursions.
The Minefield is a national narrative, written with the unflinching clarity of a great tragedy.
Greg Lockhart had an academic career after serving in the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam. He is author of the critically acclaimed Nation in Arms: The Origins of the People's Army of Vietnam. He has also written on Vietnamese literature and, with his wife Monique, is a translator of a number of Vietnamese writers, including those in The Light of the Capital: Three Modern Vietnamese Classics. The 2005 Glasshouse Pictures documentary film Vietnam Minefield is based on an early draft of this book. He is Honorary Historian of the Vietnam Veterans' Federation of Australia.
Short-listed NSW Premier's History Awards 2008 AU
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format
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Battles & campaigns