Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, February 22, 2004


This is coolbert:

The sequence of events that General De Puy mentions could easily lead one to assume that events were to unfold much as they did at Khe Sanh (KS) as at Dien Bien Phu (DBP).

* First, a large garrison [Marines] is set up in a remote area.

* This garrison is then isolated and cut off from overland resupply and reinforcement.

* Then a large enemy force begins a siege.

* This force is large and outnumbers the defenders of the garrison in a substantial way.

* Then a bombardment begins.

* Further reinforcement and resupply by air becomes more and more difficult.

* The enemy assault force (North Vietnamese Army (NVA)) then begins attacks to probe the defenses and even makes attacks of a nature to gain even more advantage than they already have.

* The enemy initiates sapping, mining, and trenching reminiscent of DBP.

* All this would be culminated by a massive enemy ground assault combined with an overwhelming bombardment to destroy the garrison.

This is what occurred at DBP.

Events at KS did develop at first in this way, but then the comparisons end.

* No large ground assault of divisional size of greater did occur at KS.

* Bombardment at KS from NVA artillery did not ever occur with the same intensity to threaten the garrison at KS as happened to the French at DBP.

After a prolonged siege, the enemy force at KS just seemed to fade away.

Now, it has been suggested that the enemy action at Khe Sanh was a diversion. A diversion to take the attention of U.S. commanders over the upcoming Tet Offensive. Giap himself has said this to be so. My own perception is that this just is not correct. I believe that Giap did see KS as being an analog to DBP. He would be able to destroy the Marine garrison at KS just as he had done at DBP. This did not occur, and Giap just cannot bring himself to admit this.




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home