In 1962,General William Westmoreland, As Part Of The Battle

1810 WordsApr 27, 20178 Pages
In 1962, General William Westmoreland, as part of the battle plan for Vietnam known as MACV, ordered the establishment of a series of interconnected military bases in the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam. The bases were intended to serve as a barrier to the infiltration of North Vietnamese troops into South Vietnam. The Village of Khe Sanh was converted into one of these bases in 1962. Khe Sanh was initially a U.S. Special Forces outpost of the Civilian Irregular Defense Groups, a group whose purpose was to protect the locals, to keep watch over the border, and to prevent NVA infiltration of South Vietnam. It was eventually converted into a launch site for the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and…show more content…
In the spring of 1967, the North Vietnamese army, also known as PAVN, changed tactics. They decided to attempt to open up a new battlefield along the South Vietnamese border in order to lure U.S. forces into an environment favorable to the North Vietnamese. They planned to use guerilla tactics to ambush the American troops and inflict heavy losses. In accordance with this strategy the PAVN sent a reinforced regiment to the Khe Sanh area. The regiment consisted of the “95C Regiment, 325 Division, plus a battalion from the division’s 18C Regiment.” (Willbanks 116) The first encounter between the PAVN regiment and U.S. forces occurred in April of 1967. A U.S. marine patrol was ambushed on one of the hills surrounding Khe Sanh. When a rescue patrol was dispatched to retrieve the ambushed marines, they suffered heavy losses due to their M16 rifles jamming en masse. When news of this accident was relayed to Congress it sparked a wave of congressional hearings and army modifications to improve the reliability of the M16. Between the end of April and beginning of May, there were several more skirmishes that the U.S. Marines initiated on the hills occupied by the PAVN. These skirmishes became known as the Hill Fights. The Hill Fights mostly consisted of hand-to-hand fighting that resulted in the destruction of an entire PAVN regiment and a massive artillery emplacement. The victories did not come without a cost. The battles ended with 160 marine casualties and 700

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