This book looks at the non-combat equipment carried by US and allied troops during the Vietnam War. It excludes the actual uniform, and any weapons, but does include ammo pouches and grenade holders. The main focus is on the webbing and all of the items that could be attached to it, from simple water bottles to the wide range of ammunition pouches available. Each item is well illustrated, individually and in place on the webbing, with a mix of Osprey illustrations, photographs of individual items and pictures of troops in the field. Although the main period of American involvement was relatively short –there were only five years with more than 300,000 men in country, the US presence did last for a decade and a half, and a new set of equipment was introduced during the most intense period of the war, so there is plenty of material to cover here.
I must admit this is one of those books I have trouble reviewing, simply because this a topic that I have no interest in, and has no relevance for me, so to a certain extent I’m guessing as to its quality! What I can say is that the book is pretty densely packed with detailed information on these items of kit, and contains a significant number of discussions of the difference between what the soldiers on the ground actually carried, and what the army thought they should be carrying. The author served in Vietnam in 1969-70, so has personal experience of the topic, and presumably plenty of contacts who can help fill in the gaps. As a result I’m sure the book is accurate, and as such will be useful for anyone who wants to know about this equipment.
M1956 Individual Load-Carrying Equipment
M1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment
Marine Corps Equipment
Additional American Equipment Items
ANZAC Web Equipment
ARVN, Free World Forces and Indigenous Equipment
Author: Gordon L. Rottman