Battle of Long Tan: As told by the commanders
By Bob Grandin.
Allen and Unwin.
CPL Cameron Jamieson
MANY years Long Tan was only vaguely remembered due to the
lack of a detailed history of the battle. That all changed
in 1987 when Lex McAulay released the book The Battle of Long
It went on to be a best seller and helped to elevate the status
and public knowledge of the battle to the point where the
anniversary of the battle is now commemorated in Australia
as the Remembrance Day for the Vietnam conflict.
The Battle of Long Tan: As told by the commanders is a new
book advertised as an account of the battle by the six Australian
commanders and one New Zealander commander of the units that
That isn’t quite the case, as the co-pilot of a helicopter
or an artillery forward observer do not quite register as
commanders with me.
Nevertheless, the book is very detailed and certainly provides
the reader with possibly the best possible insight for an
outsider to understand the battle from the point of view of
those key sub-unit decision makers who fought and lived through
What sets it apart from McAulay’s book is the frank and open
criticisms the contributors make of their hierarchy and the
subsequent debacle in regards to honours and awards.
As a result, the reader is left with no doubt as to the bitterness
that remains decades after the battle. Grandin’s book sheds
new light on the subject and is definitely worth the money
if you are keen on the battle, or are interested in what goes
through the mind of tactical commanders on the battle-field.
Just be ready for the warts-and-all comments in the text.
The Service newspapers have six books for people who can name
the publisher of this book. Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
with Sec: Unclassified: and “Long
Tan giveaway” in the subject line. Entries close October 14.