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1. Mac McIntosh <email@example.com> 2. firstname.lastname@example.org 3. email@example.com -----Message from: Mac McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- John McGrath asks : If the communists' intention was not similiar to DBP then what was it ? : The single main intention of the Communists was to gauge US reaction . Giap was obsessed with the protection/defense of North Vietnam . Another key objective by moving troops into Quang Tri and Thua Thien Provinces was to draw American units in the low lands away from populated areas to make it easier for so-called Liberation Front elements to control the population . Hanoi wanted to test US reaction to corps sized attacks across the DMZ . If US reacted by invading NVN as Giap feared then they would have troops in place which could be used as a counterattack force. It was only on 21 January when Hanoi launched the main assult on Khe Sanh and still the US launched no invasion of North Vietnam that Hanoi made the decision to go ahead with the General Offensive. Of course , had Khe Sanh been won that would have been a bonus but that was never their key objective . Walter James McIntosh former chief vietnam operations -(ret) Bluff, New Zealand Mac McIntosh <email@example.com> -----Message from: firstname.lastname@example.org----- I must concur with Mr. McGrath. When the North decided Ke Sanh was a 2nd or American DBP might be the most revealing if such documents had been available; post facto, how authentic could they be ? There is documentation on the American side and some of the govt. docs are not presently avalible here, but will offer to cite them at a later date. The Pentagon Papers released by the NY Times did show some materials already part of the public record. Others include testimony of Sec. State Dean Rusk on Vietnam Assistance in 1968-69, official committee records from the period. If there are other private documents or non-published docs, someone will have to bring them forward. Far more relevent, would suggest is Gen Giap's publlished book on Guerrilla War, which lays down a classic pattern to conduct such wars. His volume called for a 3 stage effort and the 3rd stage, as remembered, was the set piece conventional war battle, which Khe Sanh was. It failed becuase the Communists were not able to match the US in conventional war capabilities, precisely the point of Gen. Westmoreland's strategy at the time in opposing guerrilla war forces with US conventional war forces. This is precisely what did take place. Wyatt Reader UCLA__Whittier College Calif. Community Colleges//private[Instructor] email@example.com -----Message from: firstname.lastname@example.org----- A big difference between Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh was that the French were unprepared for the rain of artillery fire from the surrounding hills, some of it from US cannon captured in Korea. They also did not have the capacity to resupply as well as we did in Khe Sanh. (I was in-country at that time, but never got further north than Hue during Tet.) The artillery fire on Khe Sanh was fearsome, but the Marines toughed it out, and not only repelled the attacks on the base itself (actually, the VN unit attached to them did some fierce defensive fighting too, which hardly ever gets mentioned) but all the attacks on nearby locations that were called the Hill Fights. The ability to keep planes flying in and out of the base, spotty though it was at times, was key to its survival; but the utter decimation of NVA units by the B-52 strikes was even more important. I knew men who were there and during lulls ran patrols. They would sometimes come across one of the footprints of an Arc Light strike, and find a debris field of mixed shredded vegetation and the shattered fragments of NVA troops and equipment. Nothing on the ground survived when that pattern of 750 lb bombs detonated just short of the earth. Somewhere I have a picture taken on an operation south of Da Nang of VC propaganda on a wall, showing the Marines supposedly trapped at Khe Sanh. (Will try to find and supply later.) Clearly that was something like Dien Bien Phu to them at the time, they expected to win that fight, as another super milestone in their campaign. R J Del Vecchio email@example.com ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----