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SONS OF KOLCHAK: A company commander during the Vietnam Tet Offensive of 1968 tells the story of his men's raw courage and valor.

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30 review for SONS OF KOLCHAK: A company commander during the Vietnam Tet Offensive of 1968 tells the story of his men's raw courage and valor.

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Wikan

    It has been a distinct and unexpected honor to have the story I wrote in 1989 finally be published and reviewed favorably by so many people from so many differing backgrounds. Just to update my readers, I just signed a contract to have Sons of Kolchak published as an audiobook.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Don Rolfe

    A fast paced,well written,well documented period many of us were involved in at that time.I rate this 4 1/2 stars Thank God- no bullsh**. No "blowing of own horn". Reading his experiences makes me surprised he made it through Alive and still so meticulous in recounting his many experiences.And, thanks for NOT starting the book with the long a tedious rendition of us prior military history. A fast paced,well written,well documented period many of us were involved in at that time.I rate this 4 1/2 stars Thank God- no bullsh**. No "blowing of own horn". Reading his experiences makes me surprised he made it through Alive and still so meticulous in recounting his many experiences.And, thanks for NOT starting the book with the long a tedious rendition of us prior military history.

  3. 5 out of 5

    george arnau

    Thanks for your great leadership. I could not put your book down. I deployed from Schofield in 3/66 and left Cu Chi 3/67. George Cpt. 25th Med.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John W Hodgkin

    Great Read with minor discrepancies. I really enjoyed reading this book. I served in Vietnam in a Ranger Company attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. We were basically Long Range Patrol with six men that gathered intelligence and set up ambushes. We operated so differently that it is interesting to read how large Infantry Units, in company and Battalion sized operations conducted themselves. I noticed what I thought were discrepancies in a couple of the Authors descriptions. He mentioned a few Great Read with minor discrepancies. I really enjoyed reading this book. I served in Vietnam in a Ranger Company attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. We were basically Long Range Patrol with six men that gathered intelligence and set up ambushes. We operated so differently that it is interesting to read how large Infantry Units, in company and Battalion sized operations conducted themselves. I noticed what I thought were discrepancies in a couple of the Authors descriptions. He mentioned a few times of his Troops finding Bolt action Rifles that he called SKS. The SKS Rifle was not a bolt action rifle but a semi automatic that would fire every time the trigger was pulled until it’s 10 round attached magazine was empty. He could’ve gotten it mixed up with the WWII Russian sniper rifle the Mosin Nagant, which was a bolt action rifle that we occasionally found on the enemy. There was an operation ongoing in Vietnam from the time I arrived called “ Open Arms” which attempted to offer VC and NVA Soldiers a peaceful solution to surrender. Leaflets were dropped in heavy enemy concentrated areas by Helicopters on Psy-Ops operations. The operation was called “ Chieu Hoi “ , Open Arms. In the book, the Author called this operation “ Hoi Chan”. Possibly his editors mistake because I know the Author would know better. This is one of the best books I have read describing Infantry Operations without bravado. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ed Roby

    Sons of Kolchak is No. 1 Seriously, Mike, that is the best book on combat infantry I have ever had the privilege to read. My hat's off to a new Great Captain of powerful battlefield prose. Not just another pretty pageant of pages but an authentic testimonial to wild adventures actually lived. Your sangfroid and instinctive grasp of each developing combat situation is the rare trademark of a gifted company commander and natural-born leader. Some of that supreme confidence you so ably inspired in y Sons of Kolchak is No. 1 Seriously, Mike, that is the best book on combat infantry I have ever had the privilege to read. My hat's off to a new Great Captain of powerful battlefield prose. Not just another pretty pageant of pages but an authentic testimonial to wild adventures actually lived. Your sangfroid and instinctive grasp of each developing combat situation is the rare trademark of a gifted company commander and natural-born leader. Some of that supreme confidence you so ably inspired in your own heroic men on the ground now grips the reader of this awesome war narrative. You've proven again why infantry soldiers would follow you anywhere. What a personality, what a commander, what a man! (I'm Mike's WP classmate, commanded a mech infantry company in the Big Red One at roughly the same time, wrote Heavy Metal - Memoir of a distant war)

  6. 5 out of 5

    michael w king

    To the point, honest, and easy to read If you weren't there, you may well feel like you had been after reading this. If you were there, you know the author is telling it straight while at the same time not over-emphasizing the bloody horror of battle. I was there, and think his story telling enables the reader to easily feel the emotions and physical abuse of Vietnam service. To the point, honest, and easy to read If you weren't there, you may well feel like you had been after reading this. If you were there, you know the author is telling it straight while at the same time not over-emphasizing the bloody horror of battle. I was there, and think his story telling enables the reader to easily feel the emotions and physical abuse of Vietnam service.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    An incomparable , fascinating and sobering testament of combat in Vietnam. This recounting of events occurring during the time span before and after the TeT Offensive is a must read for all of us who honor the men and women who laid everything on the line during the Vietnam War.

  8. 5 out of 5

    jeff gilliland

    Great recollections Begining to end good stuff. None of the smaltsi child hood recap. A good insight as to how good leadership makes all the difference

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hunter

    Excellent book on what is must have been like to serve in Vietnam during a difficult time. The book puts you right in the action, explaining the strategies, and having you feel the frustrations of the author. A great book and a tribute to our brave soldiers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lane Bahr

    Outstanding real life honest account I was cautiously interested in the beginning of the book, but became completely curious about how this mans experiences would play out. A very descriptive account from a very good man. Thank you for sharing your life with the readers!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Jones

    Good Read Somewhat different story told from commander as opposed to a grunt(foot soldier) perspective. liked the NVA parts outlining there thoughts and actions.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Denis Lenihan

    Real leadership I chose this rating because I saw in Michael Wikan a real leader of men. Being an infantry soldier myself in Vietnam I had the chance to see lots of incompetent officers and n c o o,s which led to men having their lives taken from them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ron Burt

    The numerous personal experiences personal account of the Vietnam experience Had a very hard time putting this book down. The numerous personal experiences gave me a much greater appreciation of the sacrifices of the men in the trenches during the Vietnam conflict.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ray York

    Sons of Kolchak Very good read and a good history lesson of a portion of the Vietnam war, Tet Offensive. Thank you for your service.

  15. 4 out of 5

    james griffin

    this book is a ripper. I cannot get over what was achieved and done in only 12 months.it gave me a much better picture of American's at war in a clearer light, as unfortunately my thoughts have been clouded by misinformation by movies and other books. I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone to read and learn of America's Vietnam war. this book is a ripper. I cannot get over what was achieved and done in only 12 months.it gave me a much better picture of American's at war in a clearer light, as unfortunately my thoughts have been clouded by misinformation by movies and other books. I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone to read and learn of America's Vietnam war.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reg Brown

    History well told. The book was a great read about the courage of our soldiers in Nam. The truth was told about things going wrong and what cost was paid. And when the correct decision was made all went well. It was too bad when the politicians started giving the orders and making the decisions - all was lost. I thank the soldiers for their service and may God bless them all.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tim Chappell

    MEDIA LIES,AMERICANS DIE I've read innumerable books about the personal experiences of various soldiers ,during different time frames of the Vietnam War. Always interesting and inevitability infuriating,as book after book details the waste of American lives . Especially after Tet. A battle the American Military overwhelming won. But because of the American Medias lies and inaccurate reporting to the American people,the military was unable to capitalize on the utter decimation of the VC and NBA ,s MEDIA LIES,AMERICANS DIE I've read innumerable books about the personal experiences of various soldiers ,during different time frames of the Vietnam War. Always interesting and inevitability infuriating,as book after book details the waste of American lives . Especially after Tet. A battle the American Military overwhelming won. But because of the American Medias lies and inaccurate reporting to the American people,the military was unable to capitalize on the utter decimation of the VC and NBA ,subjecting our troops to a hopeless ,never-ending,war of attrition. That same MEDIA can be seen in 2020 ,lying once again to America and inflaming tensions to suit their agenda and costing American lives.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pat Appel

    TET Offensive 1968. Year of the Monkey Excellent read. Throughly enjoyed the well written book. I also had the experience of being attacked on January 31, 1968. Our battery of 155’s was on Phu Bai that night. Two of our guns took direct hits. We caught 500 NVA crossing an open rice paddy trying to re-enforce The NVA attacking Hue City and expended all ammo on them shooting high angle green bag. That’s how close they were. I’m going to recommend this book to all my Vietnam Veteran buddies. Some Arm TET Offensive 1968. Year of the Monkey Excellent read. Throughly enjoyed the well written book. I also had the experience of being attacked on January 31, 1968. Our battery of 155’s was on Phu Bai that night. Two of our guns took direct hits. We caught 500 NVA crossing an open rice paddy trying to re-enforce The NVA attacking Hue City and expended all ammo on them shooting high angle green bag. That’s how close they were. I’m going to recommend this book to all my Vietnam Veteran buddies. Some Army, some Marines. I happen to be in Cu Chi four years ago when I went back to Vietnam.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mizmoll59

    This leader's gripping account of facing the enemy kept me on edge. News reports of the war cannot compare with stories told by the brave men who had a job to do and did it to the best of their abilities. I appreciated the light moments that LTC Wikan included. They allowed me take a mental breath from imagining the tense situations he and his company faced and the life-and-death decisions that he and others had to make. Definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a "boots on the ground" This leader's gripping account of facing the enemy kept me on edge. News reports of the war cannot compare with stories told by the brave men who had a job to do and did it to the best of their abilities. I appreciated the light moments that LTC Wikan included. They allowed me take a mental breath from imagining the tense situations he and his company faced and the life-and-death decisions that he and others had to make. Definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a "boots on the ground" perspective of a leader's commitment to his men and his mission. Salute, sir. 🇺🇸

  20. 5 out of 5

    jim bowen

    Believable Yarn Worth The Price If this infantry officer and his gallant troops were in, say, the Nsvy they would have earned a dump truck load of impressive medals for sure. But they were in the grunt leg infantry where close combat with the enemy was a part of the job specifications! He lived off the taxpayers all of his working life, but did more for his paycheck than most in our huge military machine for 6 + months in Vietnam.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Cochran

    This book is a must read for anyone with an interest in history. You actually feel like you're reliving the events of Charlie Company as they took place. The book is the perfect mix of action, adventure, humor and wisdom. Excellent read. This book is a must read for anyone with an interest in history. You actually feel like you're reliving the events of Charlie Company as they took place. The book is the perfect mix of action, adventure, humor and wisdom. Excellent read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ricky E Daughtry

    Enjoyrf Very good book to read I joined the Army after dropping out of college in 72. After basic and AIT I was the seventh man to join the 25 th inf. Division 1/27 inf. Reg. Bravo Co. at Schofield Barracks . Wolfhounds.The author was a hell of an Old Man.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ernest E. Smith

    I read about 65% of the book and set it aside. It was well written and informative. I had read about 3 other Vietnam books prior to this and may have just got burnt out. Probably will finish it at a latter date

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark Walton

    Wonderful. This is a well told narrative of what and how a company commander did in active service in Vietnam. Now I have a better understanding of the war and how it was fought by the ‘sharp edge’. Just outstanding!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Walter Wikan

    Very accurate first hand account of what day to day reality was during the era. Though provoking, a tight read. One can't help but come away with the contrast of human valor in difficult, almost impossible circumstances, over some of the willful ignorance of the time. Very accurate first hand account of what day to day reality was during the era. Though provoking, a tight read. One can't help but come away with the contrast of human valor in difficult, almost impossible circumstances, over some of the willful ignorance of the time.

  26. 4 out of 5

    robert jones

    One of the best books I have read. Informative, exciting and never dull. I didn't want it to end. I will read it again in a couple of months. One of the best books I have read. Informative, exciting and never dull. I didn't want it to end. I will read it again in a couple of months.

  27. 4 out of 5

    mike howbert

    Very enjoyable Very detailed and covered a wide range of situations was very I formative I would recommend others reading it thanks

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Cullen

    The book was well written and the author/soldier was an amazingly skilled warrior. I enjoyed reading the book and it kept my interest throughout. So why only 3 stars you may ask? Well, his descriptions of killing the 'VC' soldiers during and after the Tet Offensive is devoid of the slightest bit of human compassion. He describes flushing the fleeing 'enemy' from tall grass hiding spots toward flamethrowers, machine guns, and tanks in what sounds like some inhuman game of pinball murder. Addition The book was well written and the author/soldier was an amazingly skilled warrior. I enjoyed reading the book and it kept my interest throughout. So why only 3 stars you may ask? Well, his descriptions of killing the 'VC' soldiers during and after the Tet Offensive is devoid of the slightest bit of human compassion. He describes flushing the fleeing 'enemy' from tall grass hiding spots toward flamethrowers, machine guns, and tanks in what sounds like some inhuman game of pinball murder. Additionally, the author states that the US could have 'won' the Vietnam war if we had only allowed the military to chase them into their sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos sooner than Nixon/Kissinger did in '71. He fails to go one step further and to say what in god's name we would have done with the country after we were victorious. Would we keep a half a million soldiers there as an occupying force? What would this victory have gained us as a nation? It's hard not to admire the author's battlefield prowess but his utter lack of empathy for the soldiers defending their country against an illegal, immoral, and ultimately futile invasion is stunning. The author plainly exhibits toxic masculinity and tribalism. His lack of introspection makes it easy to imagine him being an SS soldier describing military victories of the Third Reich. In the end, I was disgusted by this book despite reading it avidly.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rose Aitken

    A triumphal brag about war Well, I don’t like to brag but I was right wasn’t I? That’s the impression I mainly get from this account. It highlights Charlie company’s prowess in the field of battle as well as detailing what they did and how they did it. There are definitely passages that suggest boastfulness. Having recorded that, considering what they went through I suppose some might argue that, poisonous and nasty as war is there’s no way the pacifists will ever stop it as long as humanity has A triumphal brag about war Well, I don’t like to brag but I was right wasn’t I? That’s the impression I mainly get from this account. It highlights Charlie company’s prowess in the field of battle as well as detailing what they did and how they did it. There are definitely passages that suggest boastfulness. Having recorded that, considering what they went through I suppose some might argue that, poisonous and nasty as war is there’s no way the pacifists will ever stop it as long as humanity has within its boundaries a hierarchical system of government, it’s only right that the men that are at the sharp end of the dirty work shoul be proud of what they do. After all, it’s their job and it’s not nice but then, cleaning public toilets is not nice is it? It’s not the worst book I’ve ever read mind, it’s just a bit arrogant at Tim’s that’s all.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wharton Sinkler

    A Spectacular Subtlety This is the first book I have read which has allowed me to visualize the placement of units as similar to.the l!cements of chess pieces. But the book is also about the education of a particular captain and also about the units which he led. Plus Woman is a total force nature, strong but also an astute observer of human nature, its strengths and weaknesses.

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