Hûé 1968

Hûé 1968

The Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam

eBook - 2017
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Not since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down has Mark Bowden written a book about a battle. His most ambitious work yet, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. By January 1968, despite an influx of half a million American troops, the fighting in Vietnam seemed to be at a stalemate. Yet General William Westmoreland, commander of American forces, announced a new phase of the war in which "the end begins to come into view." The North Vietnamese had different ideas. In mid-1967, the leadership in Hanoi had started planning an offensive intended to win the war in a single stroke. Part military action and part popular uprising, the Tet Offensive included attacks across South Vietnam, but the most dramatic and successful would be the capture of Hue, the country's cultural capital. At 2:30 a.m. on January 31, 10,000 National Liberation Front troops descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. By morning, all of Hue was in Front hands save for two small military outposts. The commanders in country and politicians in Washington refused to believe the size and scope of the Front's presence. Captain Chuck Meadows was ordered to lead his 160-marine Golf Company against thousands of enemy troops in the first attempt to re-enter Hue later that day. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II. With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple points of view. Played out over twenty-four days of terrible fighting and ultimately costing 10,000 combatant and civilian lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. In Hue 1968, Bowden masterfully reconstructs this pivotal moment in the American War in Vietnam.
Publisher: [United States] : Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2017
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital
ISBN: 9780802189240
0802189245

Opinion

From Library Staff

In 1968 the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces attacked the ancient city of Hue. American and South Vietnamese troops sustained heavy losses. It was this battle that changed the direction of the war. Perhaps more importantly, Bowden believes the perspective of Americans would be changed foreve... Read More »


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s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

The margin between life and the hereafter was tissue thin.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

They could never let up, and forgetting that could be fatal.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

Fighting the VC and the NVA had been like trying to swat a gnat with a sledgehammer.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

Marines do not hesitate in combat.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

Real victory could come only from the people.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

The great hope of the Tet Offensive was that its very size and daring would trigger a surge of nationalism that would transcend barriers of ideology, class, and faith.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

The idea was for the offensive to be seen as a popular uprising.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

The Viet Cong were not the idealistic warriors of American antiwar propaganda; they were vicious.

s
SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

For all of these there would be a reckoning.

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elaxminn
Jan 10, 2018

It's a riveting book. Not only does it give a great perspective on the battle, it's a microcosm of the whole Vietnam conflict.

Great reading, and thought provoking at the same time.

t
tjdickey
Dec 28, 2017

Thorough and well-written, this narrative will draw you in and move you. Bowden balances first-person memoirs and interviews from all sides - American, North and South Vietnamese, military and civilian, administration and journalist's perspectives - to tell a completely human story of dedication (on both sides), miscalculation (on both sides), and sacrifice (on all sides). He favors his fellow journalists to some extent, but strives to show how in his estimation, both the Americans and the NVA lost the battle of Hue in different ways, and the trapped citizens of the city paid a heavy share of the price.

s
Spokoj
Oct 01, 2017

A thorough history of the bloodiest battle during the American war in Vietnam. The book discussed in great detail the hubris on both sides that led to this disaster for the citizens of Hue. I didn't realize how Stalingrad-like the street to street fighting was. I got drafted into the Army in 1969 and carried the images of this battle in my head when I was shipped out as an infantryman to Vietnam. The hawks in this country who talk glibly about going to war with North Korea need to read this book.

l
lukasevansherman
Aug 18, 2017

"The pivot point was the Tet Offensive and this battle, its most wrenching episode. After Tet, there was no more conjecture that the war could be won swiftly or easily. The end was not in view."
"Black Hawk Down" author Mark Bowden's latest focuses on a key battle in the Tet Offensive, which Bowden contends was a turning point in the war. General William Westmoreland continued to be optimistic (Or outright disingenuous.), but Hue showed the American public and media (Walter Cronkite especially.) that this war was not going to be won, although we wouldn't actually withdraw until 1973. I expect we'll be hearing a lot about Vietnam in the upcoming months as Ken Burns has a massive documentary coming about. Other recent books about the war worth reading: "American Reckoning," "Kill Everything That Moves," "Tree of Smoke" (novel).

j
jtbmsp
Aug 14, 2017

The Tet offensive I remember but I don't remember the horrible fight that we had on our hands there. Most of us don't know much about it because General Westmorland lied to the American people about what happened there. This book details the surprise attack and the takeover of Hue and the terribly costly fight to drive the VC out of the city. It's a fascinating read and a real eye opener. My hat goes off to all of the American soldiers that fought, were wounded and died there. Their courage against terrible odds is humbling for those of us who did not serve. Your story has now been told. Every American who wants to understand more about the Vietnam war and it's terrible costs should read this one!

m
memoral
Jul 29, 2017

As good as "Black Hawk Down." A truly bloody battle that marked the beginning of the end of the American public's support for the Vietnam war. Stories from combatants of both sides add to the intensity of this work.

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