VIETNAM: GROUND ZERO MACV BY ERIC HELM

Standard

Copyright 1989.

A Special Forces mission sent inside Cambodia is ambushed as soon as it crosses the border. Captain Gerber and Sgt. Fetterman are sent to find missing men. They are also ambushed and barely make it out alive. The conclusion is that there is a leak at MACV. A leak that is an American. The investigation leads to a murdered Vietnamese woman who was a VC agent. The leak is revealed to be a CIA analyst.

MACV or Military Assistance Command Vietnam was were the American war effort was run in Southeast Asia. Derisively referred as The Puzzle Place East or Disneyland East by the soldiers in the field. It is portraying in this series as much an enemy as the VC. A place were the air conditioning is so cold the women who work there have to wear sweaters in the tropics. Where bureaucrats run the war in comfort. Working a nine to five schedule. Then enjoying steak and seafood dinners at the various Saigon restaurants. While the combat troops live in rat-infested bunkers eating cold c-rations. So it gets to be the star in this entry in the series.

The book itself is ok but not the greatest. A bit slow but still has its moments. I liked that the traitor Reed was shown to look more like an dupe than a deliberate traitor. He would casually mention missions to his girlfriend who was a VC agent. In fact he was using her to get the information to the VC. A radical who decided that working in the system was the best way to sabotage the war effort. He also proved to be a psychopath as he knifed his girlfriend which was a surprise that came out of nowhere. A decent effort considering the authors had to come up with a new story every month.

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