A Warrior’s Quilt of Personal Military History by Albin F. Irzyk | Books in Review

Retired Army Brigadier Gen. Albin F. Irzyk, who served in the 4th Armored Division in World War II, spent two years in the Vietnam War, including, as he puts it, being “in the thick of the Tet Offensive in Saigon in 1968, ” and spending “over 600 combat hours in a helicopter directing and supervising military operations of the tactical elements of an infantry division.”

Gen. Irzyk’s book, A Warrior’s Quilt of Personal Military History (Ivy House, 375 pp., $24.95), looks at his World War II and Vietnam War service, and also contains the general’s thoughts on the differences between those two very different wars. The book contains a long, detailed chapter about the fighting that took place around the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during Tet of 1968.

“This is a book about history, ” the author says. “Thus, it is a history book. Yet, it was not written by a historian. An historian has to resort to and rely on sources. Yet, what his sources provide is often inaccurate, distorted, exaggerated, or incomplete. So his published work loses some credibility. This history book has not been written by an historian. It was written by a Participant. I was deeply involved in every action described in this book, watched them firsthand. I did not have to go to sources. I am the source. Thus, this history is as authentic as a history book can possibly be.”

—Marc Leepson

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