D - F

Davidson, Phillip B.

See "Phillip B. Davidson, Jr. and Army Intelligence Doctrine" at the Huachuca History Program under "Masters of the Intelligence Art":

1. Secrets of the Vietnam War. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1990.

Petersen: "Detailed treatment of intelligence aspects of the war."

2. Vietnam at War: The History 1946-1975. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1988.

Petersen: "Ranking intelligence officer in Vietnam provides thin coverage of intelligence in this book."

DeForest, Orrin, and David Chanoff. Slow Burn: The Rise and Bitter Fall of American Intelligence in Vietnam. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

According to Surveillant 1.1, Slow Burn tells the story of a "CIA officer's creation of a spy network in Vietnam.... [He] describes the anxieties and frustrations of the final days of U.S. involvement." Petersen identifies the author as "a disillusioned CIA regional officer who personally handled defectors and agents."

Wirtz, IJI&C 4.2, notes that from November 1968 to Spring 1975, DeForest was a "CIA operations officer in the city of Bien Hoa.... [His] reminiscences are informative.... He provides a compelling description of a single CIA success amidst the general disaster that engulfed much of American intelligence during the war." This is a "useful contribution to the literature on the Vietnam war."

Deitchman, Seymour J. "The 'Electronic Battlefield' in the Vietnam War." Journal of Military History 72, no. 3 (Jul. 2008): 869-887

From abstract: "By mid-1966 the North Vietnamese army had built an elaborate system of truck roads and personnel trails through Laos.... Interdicting movement on that system was a high priority for U.S. forces.... [T]he Jason group of scientists proposed a networked system of sensors and aircraft for the purpose. That system, although not totally successful, significantly affected the course of the war and presaged key aspects of the equipment and operation of America's armed forces today."

De Silva, Peer. Sub Rosa: The CIA and the Uses of Intelligence. New York: New York Times Books, 1978.

Clark comment: This is De Silva's memoir of his intelligence career from 1945 to 1973. He was the CIA Chief of Station in Vietnam 1964-1965, where he was injured by a terrorist bomb. For Constantinides, much of what De Silva recounts about the Vietnam War "does not enlighten us about the intelligence effort and operations that provided the basis of his ... opinions." Pforzheimer finds that De Silva's presentation "suffers from the author's garrulous details of his personal life"; however, the book "brings out the flavor of an intelligence career."

Donahue, James C. Mobile Guerrilla Force: With the Special Forces in War Zone D. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1996.

Drachman, Edward R., and Alan Shank. Presidents and Foreign Policy: Countdown to Ten Controversial Decisions. Ithaca, NY: SUNY Press, 1997.

Clark comment: The authors offer a case study of one major decision for each president from Truman to Clinton. It is possible to argue that there are better potential cases for each president than the ones selected for study, but those chosen are interestingly fitted into the authors' novel countdown approach. The cases presented include Chapter 4 on Johnson's decision to end the U.S. escalation of the Vietnam War and Chapter 5 on Nixon's decision to order the Cambodian incursion.

Larson, APSR 92.1, appreciates the authors' efforts to "present more objective criteria" than is normally the case in decision-making evaluation. Their evaluation scheme "seems plausible and reasonable on the face," but "it does not always work well when applied to specific cases." Nevertheless, "the case studies are well researched, concise, and provocative."

Dwyer, John B. Seaborne Deception: The History of U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers. New York: Praeger, 1992.

From publisher: "This book is the history of the highly trained officers and men who went by the cover name Beach Jumpers.... During World War II, their [deception] tactics were extremely successful in Sicily, Salerno, Southern France, and the Philippines. Beach Jumpers later served ashore and afloat in Vietnam. Their descendants, called Fleet Tactical Deception Groups, continue their important, highly classified work today."

Engelmann, Larry. Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

According to a Publishers Weekly (1990) reviewer (via, "these recollections by 75 eyewitnesses ... tell what it was like in the spring of 1975 as Hanoi carried out its final, successful offensive against the Republic of Vietnam. Generals, ambassadors, CIA officials, pilots, Marines, politicians, doctors, seamen, flight attendants, journalists and ordinary citizens describe the growing chaos, demoralization and panic as the collapse gained momentum. Survivors recall the chilling helicopter airlift from the U.S. embassy roof in Saigon with raw emotions"

Finlayson, Andrew R. [COL/USMC (Ret.)] Killer Kane: A Marine Long-Range Recon Team Leader in Vietnam, 1967–1968. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013.

From publisher: "The leader of one of the most successful U. S. Marine long range reconnaissance teams during the Vietnam War, Andrew Finlayson recounts his team's experiences in the year leading up to the Tet Offensive of 1968. Using primary sources, such as Marine Corps unit histories and his own weekly letters home, he presents a highly personal account of the dangerous missions conducted by this team of young Marines."

Freedman, Lawrence. Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Roberge, I&NS 17.4, calls this "the most insightful work yet produced on US national security policy during the early 1960s." However, the author's "detached style takes some of the drama out of the story."

Ford, Harold P. CIA and the Vietnam Policymakers: Three Episodes, 1962-1968. Washington, DC: History Staff, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1998.

The former officer in CIA's Office of National Estimates and, later, Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) provides "a candid view of the CIA's intelligence assessments concerning Vietnam during three episodes between 1962 and 1968 and the reactions of senior US policymakers to those assessments." (Foreword, i) The episodes presented are:

"Episode 1, 1962-1963: Distortions of Intelligence";

"Episode 2, 1963-1965: CIA Judgments on President's Johnson's Decision to 'Go Big' in Vietnam"; and

"Episode 3, 1967-1968: CIA, the Order-of-Battle Controversy, and the Tet Offensive."

Anderson, Intelligencer 9.3, calls Ford's book "one of the best studies on the Vietnam War." Goulden, Intelligencer 10.2, is similarly very positive about this book, noting that the author describes the policy debates in Washington "[w]ith consummate skill." For Shryock, IJI&C 13.4, this is an "exceptional piece of work." Three quibbles that the reviewer has with the work are that "Ford's footnotes are sometimes a mite meaty,... the index is maddeningly incomplete,... [and] there is no bibliography."

According to Bob Brewin, "Web Docs Show NSA Forecast Bloody Tet Offensive," Federal Computer Week, 2 Oct. 1998, Ford's book shows that "[i]ntercepts of enemy radio communications collected and collated" by NSA "provided U.S. commanders in Vietnam with more than two weeks' notice of the bloody 1968 Tet Offensive.... [Ford] told Federal Computer Week that he received permission from NSA to refer to its still-classified history of NSA operations in Vietnam."

Futrell, Robert F. The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: The Advisory Years to 1965. Office of Air Force History. Washington, DC: GPO, 1981. Available at:

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