The Theater: Reunion in Retreat

The startling pullout by South Vietnamese troops from the northern provinces and the Central Highlands took the world by surprise, and foreign journalists stationed in the country were no exception. Actually, President Nguyen Van Thieu acted with such secrecy that even his Joint General Staff did not know of his decision to abandon the provinces until they read about it in a Saigon newspaper. To find out what was happening, journalistic improvisation was in order.

In Saigon, when the big retreat began, almost all U.S. news bureaus were shorthanded, as they had been ever since the 1972-73 U.S. troop evacuation. In many...

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