Bravery in Defeat: A Sailor's Journey
by Ho Van Ky Thoai, Former Rear Admiral, Republic of Viet Nam Navy

Our side.

Their side.

In war, it is convenient to separate factions, armies, countries into different sides. But in reality, the lines of the battlefield are as complex as the lives that fight within that tenuous and sometimes arbitrary separation. Through different goals, different dreams, these soldiers — though diverse — were united in their sense of duty. Such self-sacrifice should not be diminished by the notion of ‘sides,’ but remembered by future generations, in victory or defeat.

Two hundred years from now, our grandchildren, when learning history, will neither commend the winning side nor disparage the losing side, but instead will recognize acts of bravery and cowardice on both sides. They will not forget the bravery of Lieutenant Commander Le Anh Tuan on the river of South Viet Nam, nor the courage of Sea Commando Pham Viet on the sea of North Viet Nam.

In this autobiography, we see the Viet Nam War through the eyes of one of its most decorated soldiers. Both as a sailor and a witness who spent almost half his career on the frontlines of an unforgiving war, former South Vietnamese Navy Admiral Ho Van Ky-Thoai gives us keen perspective and an unparalleled viewpoint into some of the most important and often pivotal moments of the war.

From General Cao van Vien, Former Chairman of the Joint General Staff of the Republic of South Viet Nam Armed Forces:

“After reading the book “Bravery in Defeat” by Admiral Ho Van Ky-Thoai, I noted that the author recounted, to the hour and minute, details to help military historians in search of the truth.

In this book, I think the chapter “President Thieu: Re-deployment...Hold Da Nang! But, what was really happening on the battlefield?” is the most important chapter, because Admiral Thoai, belonging to the Navy, was able to accurately recount the events with impartiality.”

Hardback • in Vietnamese only  • 331 pages • $20


Copyright © 2010 Ho Van Ky Thoai. All Rights Reserved.