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NILO Ha Tien By HL Serra

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Historical Fiction, U. Naval Intelligence missions and negotiates a secret weapons agreement with the Cambodian Navy, then thwarts the destruction of of the Port of Sihanoukville-- for which he is tried at Naval Board of Inquiry. The details of these events are fascinating. The book is a terrific read and one of those rare novels that speaks truth on every page about an innovative and effective strategic intelligence program.

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Contact: BernWei1 aol. A Nilo? What is a Nilo? The acronym NILO stands for "Naval Intelligence Liaison Officer" and is the role Larry Serra historically utilizes in fictional form to vicariously express his ordeal performing that very function during the Vietnam War. At the age of 24, Serra was in S.

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Asia in , previous to, during and after the most significant event of that year, the "Cambodian Incursion. Any trip to your local bookstore or a browsing of offerings on book seller Internet sites will reveal an abundance of recent Vietnam War memoirs being put out the last ten years. This outpouring actually exceeds published memoirs put out the first ten years after the war ended, i.

Why is this? Most Veterans did not like to talk about a war they considered fraught with traumatic issues, such as losing comrades, survivor's guilt, Agent Orange issues, mistreatment by an ungrateful citizenship upon return, etc. There are numerous accounts of soldiers being spit at upon coming back to "The World" or striping off their uniforms immediately upon landing on U. However, any recollection, even put out as pure nonfiction, will have an element of inventive imagination, as names, dates and even events get dimmed with the passage of time.

Nobody wants to read a straight, boring monologue of recollection, completely lacking novel imagery and cliffhanger inventiveness, features this novel is jammed packed with. The author states right in the beginning the following admonition to the reader:"This story is told as fiction for a number of reasons: to inject a textural and sensory feel for the places, people and events; to protect the innocent and the guilty, and to allow the author a flight of fancy in undertaking the prosecution of a naval officer for his intelligence activities.

You will read with indignation the humiliating ordeal a great American patriot was subjected to by just doing what he was told to do by people concerned with personal accolades and conflicting agendas, some contrary to the goal America attempted to achieve in S.

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  3. NILO Ha Tien: A Novel Of Naval Intelligence In Cambodia (English Edition) - HL Serra.

How much of "Nilo Ha Tien" is fiction? Serra answers this right in the introduction by asserting: "Virtually all the events described herein actually happened, and the author leaves the reader to guess which did not. He probably will guess wrong, truth being stranger than fiction.

His tour of S. Asia lasted three years, replacing Philip Babb as the Nilo in charge of this strategically important naval area. This book is loaded with very real photos, some provided by Mr. Babb, that gives the reader the picture that "Nilo Ha Tien's" labeling as fiction is certainly a misnomer. Frank Brown, one of the characters in this book, actually exists, teaching Mr. Serra what he labeled "Intelligence Tradecraft. Serra brings the reader into the secret world of covert operations and Navy spy networks operating in Cambodia in early Serra's protagonist, Thomas Medici, who actually is Serra's pseudonym, covertly penetrates Cambodia on U.

Naval Intelligence missions and negotiated a secret weapons agreement with the Cambodian Navy, then foiled the annihilation of the Port of Sihanoukville, for which he was ignominiously tried at a Naval Board of Inquiry. Serra's recounting of the reality that Medici faced in this Board of Inquiry truly makes the reader feel the persecution and indignation that was unjustly thrust on unselfish Americans that put themselves in harm's way. Actually, Serra took forty painstaking years to produce this thrilling novel. During this period, every small anecdote that he recalled, he meticulously recorded, as the people, places and events that he encountered all jelled together to form the basis of this book.

Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr.

March 1994

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