By Sgt. Maj Clayton Dos Santos
During the Vietnam War, the United States (U.S.) forces launched a bold mission in the contested region called the Ia Drang Valley . Considered for many as the first major battle during the war between the U.S. Army and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), both sides showed the importance of tactics, key equipment, and capabilities to overcome an enemy in severely restricted terrain. The Battle of Ia Drang brought a clash to the confidence of U.S. Soldiers, who possessed effective fire support and close air support during operations, against a trained indigenous enemy who knew very well the terrain and was acclimatized to the weather in that region . This article will explore the intent of the forces engaged in this battle, some of the important actions developed during this conflict, and the aftermath that ensued. With these topics in mind, it is relevant to first examine the historical background in order to better exploit the lessons-learned and the outcome of this battle.
Days of Valor: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War
Days of Valor covers the height of the Vietnam War, from the nervous period just before Tet, through the defeat of that offensive, to the highly underwritten yet equally bloody NVA counteroffensive launched in May 1968. It ends with a brief note about the 199th LIB being deactivated in spring 1970, furling its colors after suffering 753 dead and some 5,000 wounded. The brigade had only been a temporary creation, intended for one purpose, and though its heroism is now a matter of history, it should remain a source of pride for all Americans.
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Alpha One Sixteen: A Combat Infantryman's Year in Vietnam
A Combat Infantryman's Year in Vietnam "Alpha One Sixteen is a great and necessary addition to the canon of Vietnam War memoirs. It may be hard to believe, but the days are numbered for America’s surviving Vietnam War veterans. Like their fellow warriors of America’s many conflicts, the memories of Vietnam veterans like Peter Clark need to be heard, studied, and appreciated. Clark and his fellow men of the 16th Infantry Regiment have earned the right to be read by a new generation of Americans."
New York Journal of Books
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Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc
The strategic potential of the three-day attack of two NVA regiments on Kham Duc, a remote and isolated Army Special Forces camp, on the eve of the first Paris peace talks in May 1968, was so significant that former President Lyndon Johnson included it in his memoirs. This gripping, original, eyewitness narrative and thoroughly researched analysis of a widely misinterpreted battle at the height of the Vietnam War radically contradicts all the other published accounts of it. In addition to the tactical details of the combat narrative, the authors consider the grand strategies and political contexts of the U.S. and North Vietnamese leaders.
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By Terry McIntosh
After serving six months in country Vietnam with Special Forces C and B Teams, I was assigned to A-Team 414 operating in the Ken Tuong Province, Mekong Delta. The base camp sat a stone’s throw from the Cambodian border, and provided front line defense aimed at NVA and Viet Cong units based in the neighboring country. The team also hosted a top secret intelligence gathering operation “over the fence” inside of Cambodia. The Intel net was a part of Project Gamma, and was illegal in regards to agreements between the United States and Vietnam, and political restraints that forbade US incursions into Cambodia at that time. The site was valuable to Project Gamma due to its location. The B57 Intelligence Office assigned three men to operate the spy network. Their cover names were Capt. Martin, radio operator Scotty, and Case Manager Mike. Cover names were used so that they could disappear on a moment’s notice without being traceable. They were spies and not protected by the Geneva Convention.
By Bob Seals
By the year 1969 United States involvement in South Vietnam was in its fourth year with no end in sight. Major U.S. ground combat forces, to include elite paratroops and marines, had been first committed in country during the spring of 1965. The fighting had increased in scale and intensity until by 1969 U.S. military strength stood at 536,000 on the ground. The Navy's 7th Fleet in the Tonkin Gulf, and Air Force strategic bombers flying from bases on Guam and Thailand provided major sea and air support for US forces on the ground. The South East Asia Treaty Organization nations of Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines would provide yet another 62,000 allied troops fighting against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Communist forces. The Vietnam War, and peace talks in Paris, continued to drag on in 1969 with little end in sight.
By Walter S. Zapotoczny
World War I was over and America's industrial might was coming of age as the United States was swiftly taking its place as the most powerful nation in the world. As the 1920s roared along, the Four Horseman of Notre Dame were giving Saturdays new meaning with their college football heroics. Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney were raising the spectacle of heavyweight boxing matches to new heights of passion. Baseball was a daytime game and a true national pastime, from the magical Yankee Stadium to the sandlots in rural America. Optimism was widespread across the nation. Flappers were dancing the Charleston and F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby. However, President Calvin Coolidge was a benign presence in the White House, content to let bankers, industrialists, and speculators run the country as they saw fit. This soon led to the stock market crash on 1929. The stock market struggled to recover from the crash, but the damage was too great. Thirteen hundred banks closed.