10 October 1966

This most interesting manuscript vividly recalled to mind the threats and challenges our forces faced against a common enemy just one year ago. General Vinh Loc's assessment of the significance of the battle of Plei Me is in accord with mine; history may well confirm that this represented the turning point in the war. It is all the more significant that in this crucial test of arms, Vietnamese and United States forces fought side by side as comrades, and decisively crushed the best combat units that the VC have yet been able to deploy against us.

From the standpoint of U.S. forces, Plei Me was the "test by fire" of our most recently developed instrument of war, the 1st Air Cavalry Division. The mobility, flexibility, and great impact of this division under most adverse conditions of weather and terrain portend the direction of further developments of the future.

From the standpoint of employment of joint forces, the Plei Me battle was a classic. The signal successes of the latter phases could, perhaps, never have been realized had it not been for the judgment and foresight of Vietnamese leadership. The initial preparatory effort on the ground, paving the way for the introduction of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, was accomplished by Vietnamese forces. Similarly the very successful final phase exploitation was accomplished largely by the Vietnamese Airborne Brigade. The effectiveness of this highly organized, closely integrated, cooperative effort has not often been emulated in modern warfare.

General Vinh Loc has not attempted in this work to provide a completely detailed account of this battle, nor is it yet possible, scarcely twelve months thereafter, to place the numerous individual actions of the many Vietnamese and U.S. units into accurate perspective. This cannot be accomplished with conviction until, perhaps much later, the VC accounts of this battle as seen from their side become available. Nevertheless, it is particularly interesting at this time to gain the perspective of General Vinh Loc, who served with distinction as Commander of the ARVN II Corps during the battle.

General, USA