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1. jim Dingeman <email@example.com> 2. jim Dingeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> 3. Paul Doerr <email@example.com> 4. firstname.lastname@example.org -----Message from: jim Dingeman <email@example.com>----- I suggest the dissertation by Lien-Hang T. Nguyen BETWEEN THE STORMS:NORTH VIETNAMS STRATEGY DURING THE SECOND INDOCHINA WAR and this article by her on line http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/pdfplus/10.1525/vs.2006.1.1-2.4. The two books by David Elliot, The Vietnamese War: Revolution And Social Change In The Mekong Delta -2 volumes also have interesting analysis on Tet. The fighting at Khe Sanh always needs to be seen in that wider context. What is interesting in Nguyen's work is the synthesis of domestic VWP policy and factionalism within the wider context of dealing with the Sino-Soviet conflict..She argues how starting from the early sixties the idea of a general uprising(always a strong point in Communist revolutionary doctrine anyway) was part of the DRV/NLF strategy as early as 63. The problem with all this is that it raises more questions since the Tet offensive remains a sore subject.. Jim Dingeman jim Dingeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: jim Dingeman <email@example.com>----- here are quotes from the excellent Marine Corps Official History, US Marines in Vietnam:1968 The Defining Year- by Jack Shulimson p.16 "His(Westmoreland's) Northeast Monsoon Campaign Plan for the period October 1967-March 1968 centered around the 1st Cavalry Division. He wanted to use the division as a "theater exploitation force" in areas where the weather favored helicopterborne tactics. His original concept delineated a four-phased campaign. The 1st Cavalry was to conduct the first three phases in III Corps and then, as the weather improved, move north to I Corps. The objective in I Corps was the enemy's Do Xa base in western Quang Ngai and Quang Tin Provinces and the suspected headquarters of Military Region V. This fourth phase was given the code name "York."66 p.19 "At MACV Headquarters, General Westmoreland expressed his concern in early December about the enemy buildup. He disagreed with President Thieu's assessment that the North Vietnamese were creating "a diversionary effort" in the DMZ to mask their real objective, the Central Highlands. Westmoreland believed that the next enemy move would be in the northern two provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien Provinces.7 On 16 December, he once more directed that I Corps for the next 30 days receive priority of the B-52 Arclight strikes. At the same time, he ordered the immediate preparation of contingency plans to reinforce III MAF with Army troops and the development of logistic facilities to accommodate those forces.8 By the end of the year, with one eye on the growing enemy strength in the north, the MACV staff modified the York plans. York, itself, was to be a four-phased operation. As part of a larger task force, the 1st Cavalry Division was to penetrate the western Do Xa in York I. Completing that phase of the operation, the division was then to be inserted into the A Shau Valley in western Thua Thien Province and the site of a former U.S. Special Forces Camp overrun by the NVA in the spring of 1966. Following York II, the 1st Cavalry, in Phase III, was to conduct operations further north in western Quang Tri Province and sweep to the Laotian border. In the fourth phase, the Army division would return to the Do Xa. III MAF was to be responsible for the planning of York II and III and General Murray, the III MAF deputy commander, was to command the A Shau Valley operation. General Westmoreland later wrote that the purpose of the York campaign was to set the "stage for the invasion of Laos that I hoped a new administration in Washington would approve."67 p.16 "Westmoreland then ordered that the 1st Cavalry send two brigades north to Thua Thien Province. These were the 1st Brigade from the 1st Cavalry and the 2d Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, temporarily attached to the 1st Cavalry Division. The Cavalry's 2d Brigade remained in II Corps while the 3d Brigade stayed for the rime being in the Wheeler/Wallowa area in the Que Sons. In fact, on 13 January, General Westmoreland told Cushman not "to direct movement" of the 3d Brigade to northern I Corps without his specific approval. Two days later, he cabled Admiral Ulysses S. Grant Sharp, CinCPac, and Army General Earle G. Wheeler, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, that the 3d Brigade would join the division at Phu Bai at a later date. " MAPS ON THE SEIGE Khe Sanh Tactical Area Of Operations (TAOR) http://www.khesanh.org/maps/sheet-6342-3/map-6342-3.html PAVN buildup in Dec 1967 http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/1968/index.cfm?page=0033 PAVN buildup in Jan 1968 http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/1968/index.cfm?page=0036 USMC deployments in Northern Quang Tri Jan 1968 http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/1968/index.cfm?page=0043 Allied and PAVN units in Khe Sanh area Jan 1968 http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/1968/index.cfm?page=0071 PAVN Offensive in DMZ and Southern Quang Tri Jan 20-Feb 8 http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/1968/index.cfm?page=0135 The ultimate mindblowing map collection and text on the siege that I saw many years ago was when John Prados showed me the unedited history of the siege that Ray Stubbe had written..I believe this is in the USMC history collection..at some point \I hope it is digitized and placed on ine if it has not already been The Khe Sanh veterans association http://www.khesanh.org/# jim Dingeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: Paul Doerr <email@example.com>----- I had always thought that the purpose of the Khe Sanh attack was to draw American attention/reserves/resources away from targets elsewhere in the South. I think the differences between the two battles outweigh the similarities. Khe Sanh is only a short distance from Danang, while Dien Bien Phu was located far from Hanoi. The Communists deployed much smaller forces at Khe Sanh than Dien Bien Phu, which should say something about their overall strategy (ie, they had bigger fish to fry elsewhere). Dien Bien Phu was fought at the end of a war against an exhausted enemy. Khe Sanh was fought in the middle of a war against the Americans who were just achieving peak strength. And while I have never been there (are there tours?), I believe Khe Sanh is only partially surrounded by mountains, unlike Dien Bien Phu, which is wholly surrounded. And so on. As historians, I think we should resist the temptation to draw these sorts of parallels (Iraq is just like Vietnam, Afghanistan is just like Vietnam ... ). Paul Doerr Acadia University Paul Doerr <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: email@example.com----- It is greatly appreciated, Mr. McIntosh has chosen to comment with so much knowledge on the events and meaning to military history from the Vietnam war. His position, within Vietnam, does indicate his knowledge and understanding were considerable and important. Possibly, only a written reply by Gen. Giap himsel,f on Hwar, would be much more valuable. That observed, have excerpted several passages from his last reply to Hwar. Gen. Giap's book was among a number of readings, during my graudate school years and its formula for Guerrilla War was quite an eye opener at that time. Delving further into the subject, it became fairly clear, during the course of Vietnam conflict, the US, MACV, planned to opposed this dissection for guerrilla conflict by an emphasis on US' conventional, mobil force capabilities, built around a plan for 'strategic hamlets' thruout the South. From one point, it might be possible to call Khe Sanh a 'strategic hamlet' in large. But this would likely miss the obvious meaning. Khe Sanh sat astride Route 9, the major road net heading north and south. Interdiction meant a number of things to the North as well as to the Allies. I am in total agreement, Hanoi's understanding was accurate; part of what made Khe Sanh so interesting, as a military target by North Vietnam. As a war for position, their odds were not favorable, given the strength of US air power and supply, unlike the French at DBP. Still, they came forward with their attack.[Time magazine during this period ran a very fine article on the conduct of Khe Sanh's defense by the US]. The fighting while negotiating strategy explains both Communist plans and understanding of guerrilla warfare. I would suggest the US understood this also; there does remain, a question whether the American public understood this tactical approach and how patient the US public would have to be in tolerating military combat. Khe Sanh proved the US could cope adequately with the North's approach. But this view would have held only so long as it did not turn into a mini DBP repeated against the US........that, a tactical military defeat allowing for the North to strengthen their negotiating position, claims over S. Vietnam territory and the course of the war. This outcome would have been a large 'political' schock' to the American homefront and political views then prevailing. Even if the Communist had not intended a mini BPH, many on the US side saw it in such terms, recognizing the political consequences that would flow from a defeat....or victory. The Marines prevented any gap from opening and loss of KheSanh, combined with US air power. However, when N. Vietnam moved into its uprising, in all areas, a condition not anticipated by the US, their political benefit became a reality, from sacrificing so much military power to demonstrate, they would and could attempt a takeover of the entire country, by force of arms. I quite agree, the 'guess' at US resistence to 'political warfare' exceeded beyond their own expectations and was likely as big a surprise to the North, as it was to the US, such N. Vietnam military capability still existed in S. Vietnam. Footnote to the overall observation of Mr. McIntosh. General Westmoreland was never a threat to N. Vietnam, as to invasion. The obvious understanding should have been, the General could not act without orders from 'above'.....ie, the political leadership of the US at that time, the Johnson Administration. It was and would have been a most significant political act, crossing the DMZ and recognized border, separating North from South, just as happened in Korea, during McArthur and Truman's era. The likely outcome would have been similar; to re-focus Chinese military and political policy upon its own southern border with North Vietnam. Volunteers entering a ground war there also, would have been likely and the Johnson Administration was determined not to get the US into a direct conflict with China, on the ground or widen the war in that manner. It was always, I would suggest, seen as a political battle with military resources, but without understanding the requirement would be for US determination to 'see it thru', no matter how much negotiated fighting might be needed. Further, would suggest, Kissinger and Nixon had a more determined grasp on this meaning to the war. Much of how they conducted the war demonstrates that conclusion. Finally, the biggest surprise of all, coming out of both Tet and KHE, was the most valuable prize and casualty. Tet knocked Pres. Johnson out of seeking a 2nd term as a war President. His decision was based on several factors not the least was his attempt to put himself above the political struggle; but, in so doing, he may well have weakened his negotiating position rather than strengthing his own hand. There is work to do done here. None of this should suggest that all the Johnson Administration did not understand this fight while negotiate tactic/strategy and its required determination; some, most certainly did comprehend. The most valuable prize, the loss of Johnson as C In C, must have been a large shock to the Communists and N. Vietnam; they were successful, thusly, beyond possibly, their wildest dreams. History can one day determine this meaning. Thank you for this most valuable presentation. Wyatt Reader UCLA___Whittier College Calif. Community Colleges//private[Instructor] Subject: Khe Sanh , firstname.lastname@example.org ----- 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 -----