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Praise for The Gunpowder Prince



Honoring a Forgotten American Hero and All Those Who Fought at Khe Sanh

The Gunpowder Prince is a fascinating read about a fascinating figure, USMC Captain Mirza Munir Baig, an immigrant from Pakistan who came from a family of warriors, enlisted in the Marine Corps, rose to officer rank, and became a brilliant tactician whose studied knowledge of enemy tactics helped save Khe Sanh from being overrun during the famous siege. It has to be some kind of kismet that Michael Archer, who has written rivetingly about Khe Sanh in his previous books, served with Baig--indeed next to Baig-- throughout the siege. Beyond bringing to light Baig's fascinating story, Archer, through solid research that utilizes both American and Vietnamese sources, corrects the misconception of those historians who insist that the Khe Sanh siege and battles were nothing but a diversion from the PAVN and NLF Tet Offense attacks on Hue and elsewhere. In doing so he again honors those who hung in, hung on, took ground, and sacrificed for each other in those fights, including Baig, a neglected American hero.

 Wayne Karlin

           

Finally, the Harry Baig Story

As a Marine Company Commander on Hill 881S near the Khe Sanh Combat Base, I benefitted significantly and dramatically from the incredible feats of Harry Baig, even though I was totally ignorant of his existence at the time. I subsequently learned bits and pieces about his accomplishments, and always thought that somebody should write a book (or make a movie) about him. Now, here it is, and written by a young Marine who shared the 26th Marine Regiment command bunker with Harry at Khe Sanh. Thank you, Michael Archer, for this book, and thank you Harry Baig for saving my life and that of my Marines. It is a helluva story, and it is even true!

J. Thomas Esslinger

 

This book is a must-read!

 In The Gunpowder Prince, Mr. Archer shares the story of Marine Captain Munir Baig and his actions in defending Khe Sanh against a massive NVA assault. Mr. Archer occupied the Khe Sanh command bunker with Captain Baig, and observed first-hand, the strategies developed by Captain Baig to thwart enemy advances. Mr. Archer does an outstanding job describing the various battles in and around Khe Sanh and the airstrikes associated with defending the base. It was especially interesting as an outsider to observe the thought processes employed by Captain Baig to determine his plans of action.

While I found the detailed accounts of the actions taken to defend Khe Sanh fascinating, I especially enjoyed the life story of Captain Baig. Without giving away details included in the book, suffice to say that it was very interesting to read the events in Captain Baig's life that ultimately led to him occupying a command bunker in Viet Nam.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Gunpowder Prince and would strongly recommend it to other interested readers

Brian Burke

           

Was the Siege at Khe Sanh a deception or defeat?

Michael Archer's compelling new book credits the successful orchestrated defense of the Khe Sanh Base to a very unusual and brilliant Marine Corps Captain by the name of Mirza (Harry) Munir Baig. It was the gifted Captain Baig who anticipated the enemy plan of attack and directed the counter artillery and mortar fire, the attack aircraft sorties and B52 strikes that devastated the hordes of hardened NVA soldiers preparing to attack the base in massive human waves. Mr. Archer's book rightly credits Captain Baig for not only the successful defense of the base but also saving the lives of thousands of those who most certainly would have been captured and killed. From the historical beginning of Captain Baigs fascinating and complex Indian heritage to his tragic accidental death, Mr. Archer achieves another masterpiece in chronological storytelling and answers the so often asked question was (the defeat at) "Khe Sanh an elaborate deception on the part of the North Vietnamese or their bad luck...(based upon) outmoded artillery and siege practices and inept leadership on the battlefield." 

Craig W. Tourte

 

           

A great, compelling story with all the Michael Archer hallmarks

 A great, compelling story with all the Michael Archer hallmarks: thorough research using a variety of sources, and well written. This biography was long in the making. Archer served with Capt. Baig at Khe Sanh and worked with him daily at the height of the siege. He brings Baig to life and explains how this unusual Marine officer and targeting specialist brought a far superior force in numbers to its knees. The author puts events in historical context, explaining the importance of Khe Sanh to both sides of the conflict and making a firm case for the view that the battle was not simply a North Vietnamese feint to tie down US forces during the Tet Offensive. Rather, it was a meticulously planned campaign headed by Gen Giap to reprise the French capitulation at Dien Bien Phu. What Giap did not reckon for was Capt. Baig's ability to orchestrate US firepower and bring it bear at the right places and at the right time. A fascinating discussion of Baig's likely ties to US intelligence agencies concludes this strong book.  Dan Moore

 

   

 Fascinating and Factual -- A Must Read

I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating account of Captain Baig and the siege of Khe Sanh. It reads like a novel yet is wonderfully researched and very incisive. The author must have a wonderful memory as well as being a true student of this critical battle of the Viet Nam War. I was particularly interested in his well-documented argument as to why Khe Sanh was not a diversion for the Tet Offensive. Students of history would do well to include this book in their readings of the Viet Nam War. 

Rich Donaghy

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 









































  



 

 

           


           


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  Honoring a Forgotten American Hero and All Those Who Fought at Khe Sanh

The Gunpowder Prince is a fascinating read about a fascinating figure, USMC Captain Mirza Munir Baig, an immigrant from Pakistan who came from a family of warriors, enlisted in the Marine Corps, rose to officer rank, and became a brilliant tactician whose studied knowledge of enemy tactics helped save Khe Sanh from being overrun during the famous siege. It has to be some kind of kismet that Michael Archer, who has written rivetingly about Khe Sanh in his previous books, served with Baig--indeed next to Baig-- throughout the siege. Beyond bringing to light Baig's fascinating story, Archer, through solid research that utilizes both American and Vietnamese sources, corrects the misconception of those historians who insist that the Khe Sanh siege and battles were nothing but a diversion from the PAVN and NLF Tet Offense attacks on Hue and elsewhere. In doing so he again honors those who hung in, hung on, took ground, and sacrificed for each other in those fights, including Baig, a neglected American hero.

 Wayne Karlin

           

Finally, the Harry Baig Story

As a Marine Company Commander on Hill 881S near the Khe Sanh Combat Base, I benefitted significantly and dramatically from the incredible feats of Harry Baig, even though I was totally ignorant of his existence at the time. I subsequently learned bits and pieces about his accomplishments, and always thought that somebody should write a book (or make a movie) about him. Now, here it is, and written by a young Marine who shared the 26th Marine Regiment command bunker with Harry at Khe Sanh. Thank you, Michael Archer, for this book, and thank you Harry Baig for saving my life and that of my Marines. It is a helluva story, and it is even true!

J. Thomas Esslinger


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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