Cover image for Fuelling the war : revealing an oil company's role in Vietnam
Fuelling the war : revealing an oil company's role in Vietnam
Wesseling, Louis.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2000.
Physical Description:
viii, 207 pages : map ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
DS559.8.F84 W477 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This is the story of the role of oil in the Vietnam war. Revealed here for the first time is the way American oil suppliers also ended up fuelling the communist armies--under the blind eye of Shell--with shipments flowing through indirect channels. The action takes place mostly in Saigon among ambassadors, generals, politicians, bankers, businessmen, CIA agents, spies, and hustlers, and for the first time unveils the behind-the-scenes manipulation and skulduggery which formed the unknown part of the Vietnam War.

Author Notes

Louis Wesseling is a law graduate from Leiden, USAF officer and pilot trainer in the USA and was Chief Executive of Shell Vietnam.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

As a Dutch business executive who ran Shell Oil's operations in Vietnam from 1972 to 1975, Wesseling offers a perspective that has so far been missing in the vast Vietnam War literature: that of a well-compensated, well-connected corporate higher-up living and working in Saigon. Much of the book is a re-creation of Wesseling's life and times among the business, military and political elite in Vietnam during the war's last three years. His well-drawn portraits of some of the characters he worked and rubbed shoulders with are among the book's high points. Less successful are Wesseling's sketchy history of Vietnam and anti-Communist critiques of the way the French and Americans fought their wars in Indochina from 1945 to 1975. The book's most notable absence, however, is the lack of a full account of how Shell and other oil companies actually fueled the American war machine in Vietnam. Given the well-known rampant corruption in South Vietnam during the American war, the 7% of Shell Oil that Wesseling estimates wound up in the enemy's hands seems low. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Year of the Mouse
Keepers of the Holy Grail
Who Are the Vietnamese? A Historic Point of View
Handover in Saigon
War Risks
The Red Files
Saigon Hostess
A Vietnamese Labor Dispute and a Skeleton in the Closet at Nha Be
Peace Negotiations in Paris
A Tanker Under Attack
The Price of War
Part 2 The Year of the Buffalo
Peace Celebrations
Leopard Spots
South China Sea
Organized Theft and a Dinner
Another Attack on Nha Be
The Flower of American Generalship
Cambodian Operezta and Black Tradegy
The Laotian Dream
Vietnam Highland Defenses
Part 3 The Year of the Tiger
The 1973 Oil Crisis
Nha Be Installation on Fire
Singapore Oil Embargo
The Navy Chinese Navy in Action
Ben Car
Vung Tsu Beach
Farewell Vietnam
Part 4 The Year of the Cat
Back in the Center
Peaceful Europe
A Chinese Encounter
My Return Tickets