Book Review

1st Marine Division in Vietnam by Simon Dunstan

1st Marine Division in Vietnam

05 October 2009

Written by Military author and documentary maker Simon Dunstan, the latest addition to Zenith Press’ Spearhead series is a primer on the role and operations of the 1st Marine Division during the Vietnam War.

One of three Divisions that made up the III Marine Amphibious Force1, the bulk of the 1st Marine Division arrived in South Vietnam during 1966 as part of the American troop build-up. Operating in the southern two provinces of I Corps until its departure in 1971, the division was heavily involved in the fierce battle for Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

In 1st Marine Division in Vietnam, Dunstan details the unit’s activities in the war and has cleverly included a number of sections that enable the reader to dip in and out of the main text. These segments focus on different topics such as Close Air Support as provided by the 1st Marine Air Wing, the role of the Special Landing Force, and the expert long-range reconnaissance men to name a few.

Complementing the text are more than 100 colour / black & white photographs and maps that give the reader a decent feel for the Marines’ battles. To better illustrate some of the uniforms and equipment used by the Marines in Vietnam, Dunstan has also included a few photos from Kevin Lyles’ book, Vietnam: US Uniforms in Colour Photographs.

The book’s final chapters contain organisational diagrams of the 1st Division’s order of battle as well as a short biographical section covering its Generals and Medal of Honor winners.

1st Marine Division in Vietnam can be purchased from

1. The other two were the 3rd Marine Division and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing

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