Michael Archer’s latest book, The Gunpowder Prince, tells the rarely told story of US Marine Captain Mirza Munir Baig who not only saved the lives of a few thousand US Army personnel but also won the battle of Khe Sanh against the NVA during the historical Vietnam War during which lasted very long, almost two decades. In this book, Michael tells the readers in retrospect the developments which led to Khe Sanh battle and the scenario which emerged. He also tells about the valuable contribution of Captain Mirza Munir Baig who understood each and every move of NVA and led his army of 6,000 to not only survive but succeed in the battle against the army of more than 30,000! This is a non-fiction book but not lesser exciting and thrilling…
Let me clarify at first that the book is not a very voluminous one and it is a short and pleasant first-person narrative of the events, situations and circumstances witnessed by Michael Archer himself. A US Marine veteran, Archer has served as a radio operative in the Khe Sanh. Other than offering the true and unbiased account of the battle of Khe Sanh, the author has also offered his analysis of the events, pre and post the Khe Sanh and some family history of Captain Munir Baig who was born in India.
The book is dedicated to the hero of that battle – Captain Baig and the so, the subtitle of the book clarifies that as well. “How Marine Corps Captain Mirza Munir Baig Saved Khe Sanh” – this is the subtitle and it tells the larger part of the story. However, worth to be mentioned, Michael did not mince his words and has said what he had to say. Talking about the journalists and their special attention in the Khe Sanh battle, he writes:
“When the apocalypse that these journalists promised did not materialize, they quickly abandoned Khe Sanh, leaving many of us defenders with the vague impression that they were slightly disappointed that we had been successful and survived.”
Likewise, the author and the war veteran also raises several interesting and critical points about various aspects of the war, the politics around it and the role of the Pentagon. This book, other than giving a detailed information of the role of Captain Baig in the battle, will also offer many things related to the Khe Sanh battle that most of the readers must not be knowing. Even I found myself more learned about the battle after reading the book.
To the Indian readers, I would love to say that it’s another opportunity to know another war hero who was born in India and shared a valued relationship with Indian soil. Educated and sophisticated, trained and sharp-brained, strong and witty, Captain Baig will prove to be an inspiring hero that the readers will surely like. You can get the book from Amazon India store of Ebooks and enjoy the war story by Michael.
Review by Simran for Book Reviews Lab