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

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

This is coolbert: The siege at Khe Sanh (KS) ended with a whimper rather than a bang. This was not anticipated. I think the media, the civilian leadership, and many in the military felt that KS would develop into another Dien Bien Phu (DBP). This did not occur. No massive ground assault in conjunction with a massive artillery bombardment by the besieger. Why was this? Undoubtedly the massive, overpowering Operation Niagara is the reason why. Such a massive bombardment from the air, the equivalent, as I have posted before, of five to ten Hiroshima a-bombs, was just too much for the North Vietnamese (NVA) forces. Such an unprecedented aerial assault was a spoiling attack from the air that must have upset the well laid plans of the NVA. Probably suffering casualties in such numbers that the units brought into the siege were just incapable of carrying out their mission. And to have launched a massive ground assault would only have brought even more Arc Light carpet bombing missions upon the NVA, resulting in even more catastrophic casualties!! The results were just not worth it. Now, as to KS being a diversion, and no real massive assault being planned in the first place. Well, I think the key to understanding this would be to know for a fact if General Giap was actually personally in command of the besiegers. To me, knowing that Giap was in command would tell me that this was more than a diversion. Will this actually ever be known for a fact? Probably not!



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