Book Review:

America’s Backpack Nuke is the recently released classified story of America’s secret nuclear weapon which the CIA deployed, and almost detonated, during the Vietnam War. Michael Chapanar was a 19 year old dedicated United States Marine trained to deploy and detonate a ground based “backpack” nuke. He knew he would likely be on a one way mission if called upon to save his fellow Marines on the DMZ in 1967. The military Generals, the CIA, and President Johnson lied to the American people in order to feed the Military Industrial Complex and keep the war going. By 1967 things were not going well and while the Generals assured the pubic we were winning the war, as proven by enemy body counts, the truth was very much the opposite. America won every battle in Vietnam…. but we ultimately lost the war.

When Lance Corporal Michael Chapanar was sent to Vietnam the enemy was building up large forces preparing to attack and overrun our bases along the DMZ. President Johnson and General Westmoreland vowed to hold our ground at all costs fearing a repeat of the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 which ended with the capture of several thousand French soldiers of which over half died in captivity. The French defeat led to the division of Vietnam between North and South. You will read in America’s Backpack Nuke, just how very close we came to using a ground based nuclear weapon and changing the course of history.

Michael Chapanar could not talk about his military service for over 50 years as his military records including his awards were sealed and he was sworn to secrecy. He displayed great patience during the intervening years waiting for the chance to tell his personal story and this hidden chapter of the Vietnam War. In March of 2018 he requested permission from the Secretary of Defense, the Marine Corps, and President Donald Trump to have his records unsealed and be able to tell his story, On September 11, 2018, the anniversary of 9/11, he was given the official permission to finally write his account and his records were unsealed. He also received a personal letter from President Trump thanking him for his service to our country.

America’s Backpack Nuke is a must read if you like to read history, action, love, and drama. This story is a modern day Dr. Zhivago, and is destined for the Big Screen. You can order your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart, and most book seller sites on line. Enjoy the read!

Michael Hawke