Engineers at War by Adrian G. Traas

The U.S. Army’s Center of Military History has been publishnig the United States Army in Vietnam series of detailed history books for decades. These huge, heavily footnoted histories, written by some of the nation’s top military historians, deal with a wide range of Vietnam War topics, including combat operations, advisory efforts, logistics, and communications.

The latest in the series is Engineers at War by Adrian G. Traas (647 pp., $80, hardcover; $35, paper). Traas, a visiting professor at the Center, is a retired Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant Colonel who served two tours in Vietnam. In his book, Traas covers the entire history of Army engineers in their support of combat operations and in carrying out construction in Vietnam during the war.

He shows how the engineers began with a handful of advisory detachments and grew to, at the height of the war, more than ten percent of the Army troops serving in South Vietnam. At its height, the Army engineer effort in Vietnam consisted of a command, two brigades, six groups, twenty-eight construction and combat battalions, and many smaller units.

The book also may be downloaded as a PDF at this URL:

—Marc Leepson