Khe Sanh




 
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November 16th, 2014  
tetvet
 

Topic: Khe Sanh


I never have fully understood the purpose of Khe Sanh though I don't think Westmoreland needed any advice from me , the way I understand it the Marines at Khe Sanh tied up or was suppose to tie up 3 NVA Divisions from what ? , Hue was the prize in that area and the NVA did damage a lot of damage at Hue , I talked to a few Khe Sanh vets they mostly mentioned the Rats the place was covered with them , the downed C-130 that is seen in every photo of Khe Sanh was the only one that was downed .
November 16th, 2014  
dadsgirl
 
 
Thank you for sharing, Tetvet. I can only imagine what these experiences mean to you. God bless.
November 16th, 2014  
JOC
 
 
A lot of brave marines fought at Khe Sanh. Then after all those bloody months and losses they were relieved and called back. Like why did they take that hill - mountain. Just so senior Rank could see that it could be done? I never understood that battle from what I've seen on the documentaries books.
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November 16th, 2014  
Kesse81
 
Its difficult to see a meaning.
The battle was a tactical victory for the Marines, while the strategic significance remains unclear.
November 17th, 2014  
Remington 1858
 
 
The verdict still isn't in on the military significance of the battle, but the political stakes were high. President Johnson would not give up Khe Sanh and was terrified of losing it. A loss like Dien Bien Phu would have been a political disaster that the Democratic Party would have around their necks for decades. Johnson made each and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pledge in writing that Khe Sanh would be held. He had a model of Khe Sanh in the White House map room and would demand detailed briefings several times a day, sometimes in the middle of the night.
Johnson and the military essentially had a tiger by the tail and didn't dare let go. The late General Giap made the claim that Khe Sanh was a diversion. If so, it was an expensive one for the NVA. Their casualties were horrendous. However, as they showed time and time again, casualties wasn't something that bothered them a great deal.
November 19th, 2014  
MikeP
 
 
Common think is that Khe Sanh was a big diversion for Tet, 68.

It kept vast amounts of resources tied up allowing more of their mischief to go on further south.
They had no intention of capturing or holding the place, that would have been impossible.
They let off the pressure and withdrew proportionately to their actions in the rest of the country.
Tet 68 served them in two ways. It totally decimated the NLF, or Viet Cong, giving the commie insurgents from the north the final upper hand.
It totally discredited LBJ and his "on the ropes" statement. He did not run again over that. Related to this is that the strength and determination showed by the event further eroded support at home which was ebbing fast.
An unfortunate incident was when the surviving strikers and their families from the over run SF camp at Lang Vei showed up at Khe Sanh.
The Marine CO had them disarmed and turned away. They all were never seen again.
November 20th, 2014  
brinktk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeP
Common think is that Khe Sanh was a big diversion for Tet, 68.

It kept vast amounts of resources tied up allowing more of their mischief to go on further south.
They had no intention of capturing or holding the place, that would have been impossible.
They let off the pressure and withdrew proportionately to their actions in the rest of the country.
Tet 68 served them in two ways. It totally decimated the NLF, or Viet Cong, giving the commie insurgents from the north the final upper hand.
It totally discredited LBJ and his "on the ropes" statement. He did not run again over that. Related to this is that the strength and determination showed by the event further eroded support at home which was ebbing fast.
An unfortunate incident was when the surviving strikers and their families from the over run SF camp at Lang Vei showed up at Khe Sanh.
The Marine CO had them disarmed and turned away. They all were never seen again.
After reading both "Night of the Silver Stars" and "The Hill fights" I have the distinct impression that there was bad blood between Khe Sanh and Lang Vei from the get-go. This was only exacerbated when Lang Vei was hit and Khe Sahn did nothing to help, even though they were supposed to be acting as a kind of quick reaction force for one another...I don't know if it was inter-service rivalry or just a clash of personalities between the different commanders but it certainly complicated things and lots of people died because of it.
November 22nd, 2014  
MikeP
 
 
There was only a handful of Americans at Khe Sanh and the Marine CO simply had no concept or interest in what was involved there.

Real big difference in philosophies and reaction.

I think I read he got his ass in a crack over that lack of response, but don't know.

I was still at Ft Bragg when this took place and we had a guy who had just left a tour at Lang Vei and was freaking out.
You get real involved with the folks in such a small isolated camp.
 


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