Siege at Khe Sanh - a 77 day Siege
Sanh, a US Marine base,
was one of the most remote outposts in Vietnam and was facing a full-scale
siege by the North Vietnamese Forces.
By 1968, President Lyndon Johnson had become interested in this remote base
and a question was asked - whether to abandon the base or whether to defend
the base. American officials and the President decided to keep the base.
On the morning of 21 January, 1968, at 5:30 am, the Vietnamese Army Forces
launched the awaited attack by a barrage of shells, mortars and rockets,
and the siege of Khe Sanh began. During
the first two days, 18 Marines were killed instantly and 40 were wounded.
The Tet offensive followed on the Tet holiday January 30 - 31 1968.
By the end of February, more than 1 300 artillery rounds had hit the Khe Sanh Marine base and its outposts. To withstand the constant assaults, the bunkers were rebuilt to withstand 82 mm mortar rounds.During the first three weeks of March things became relatively quiet around the base when the North Vietnamese Forces retreated into the jungle. Without warning on the 22 March, the North Vietnamese launched a massive attack on Khe Sanh. More than 1 000 rounds hit the base, at a rate of a hundred every hour. American forces replied with heavy bombing.
Siege of Khe Sanh - The longest battle of Vietnam comes to an end
The American Forces had finally retaken Route 9 by April 8, ending the 77 day siege of Khe Sanh - the biggest single battle of the Vietnam war to that point. The official assessment of the North Vietnamese Army was just over 16 000 killed. Thousands more were probably killed by American bombing.By June 1968, highly mobile American forces were in the area, and the base no longer needed defending. General Westmoreland approved the abandonment and demolition of Khe Sanh.
of Khe Sanh
Marines dive for cover, operation niagra, flaming Napalm, flying ammo, last-ditch assaults.