Hue 1968

Hue 1968

A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam

eBook - 2017
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New York Times Bestseller "An extraordinary feat of journalism . . . full of emotion and color."—Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam's intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front's presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. 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 viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 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. Hue 1968 is a gripping and moving account of this pivotal moment.
Publisher: 2017
ISBN: 9780802189240
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Steve_49
Jan 16, 2019

As most people realize, the Vietnam war was a terrible conflict. This book details one of worst battles of the conflict. I remember hearing about in 1968 when I was in high school. It was a big story on the nightly news but I felt disconnected then. 51 years later I now realize what people on both sides went through. This book very vividly describes the action plus the personal stories of Marines as well as their adversaries. My only complaint about the book is how Gen. Westmoreland is always referred to as "Westy". This term seems to be used in a pejorative manner, making Westmoreland as someone not to be taken seriously. Of course, he made a lot of statements which turned out to be misleading or just plain false. Using the term "Westy" just seemed to me to reveal that the author was a little bit biased against Westmoreland. None of the NVA or VC personages in the book were ever given a less than respectful tag.

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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.

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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.

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DiabloDog
Oct 05, 2017

This is the story of the battle for Hue' City during the Tet offensive of 1968. I found it extremely well researched, giving the perspective of not only the American forces, but also from that of the North Vietnamese. It presents lots of individual stories at the personal level from both sides of the conflict. Very well done!

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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.

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srd10
Sep 25, 2017

A well-researched book by an author who describes the bravery of many...on both sides. As well as the poor decision of those who lead the military and the Government.

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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).

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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!

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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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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.

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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.

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SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

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

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SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

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

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SEBoiko
Aug 05, 2017

For all of these there would be a reckoning.

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