Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
By January 1968, despite an influx of half a million American troops, the fighting in Vietnam seemed to be at a stalemate.Yet General William Westmoreland, commander of American forces, announced a new phase of the war in which 'the end begins to come into view.' The North Vietnamese had different ideas. In mid-1967, the leadership in Hanoi had started planning an offensiv...more
The Tet Offensive took the Americans completely by surprise. The way the NVA and Viet Cong were able to move ...more
― Mark Bowden, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
I told my kids the other day that they were both indirect results of Vietnam. My wife's father, now dead, had a draft number of one, so enlisted so that he would have a better chance of chosing HOW he would enter the Vietnam War. He came in at the end of Vietnam and became a professional soldier and officer (green-to-gold). The Army trained him with helicopters and tanks, ...more
Mark Bowden’s work is impressive here. Even if you don’t like ...more
I really felt for the poor soldiers/Marines and the platoon and company commanders fighting not ...more
The Book is titled a turning point, but it is not the macro s ...more
Here's reviewer and Vietnam vet Karl Marlantes:
"For me it brought back many memories, most of them angry, of my time as a Marine in Vietnam. I remember one night a fellow lieutenant radioing from a jungle hilltop on the Laotian border to battalion headquarters, over 20 kilometers away, saying that he’d sighted a convoy of trucks. The battalion commander radioed back that it was impossible: There were no trucks anywhere near him. There was a long p ...more
Hue 1968 is a complicated, tragic and phenomenal story – extraordinarily well told.
Mark Bowden has out done himself on researching a terrible time during a terrible and, in hindsight from many perspectives, senseless battle in a senseless war. The book shares stories from all sides in an absolutely riveting manner.
I particularly appreciated the contribution of the many journalists, including Walter Cronkite, who risked it all to be on the gro ...more
The book follows a number of combatants on both sides throughout vicious street fighting, and equally importantly it also follows some of the civilians trapped in the city and suffering through it's r ...more
I'm fond of believing war stories haven't progressed all that much in the 5,000 years since the Iliad, and that the ...more
Every book I have read about Vietnam led me to believe that it was totally a war fo ...more
What sets this book apart is its "human perspective" on the battle at Hue, the great success of the Viet Cong-NVA-local volunteers rising in cities across South Viet Nam. Then uprising in most other places was squelch ...more
The author stresses the significance of the city of Hue with a geographical location midway between Saigon in South Vietnam and Hanoi in North Vietnam that made it ...more
I've always been aware of the Tet Offensive as an overall event in the Vietnam War and it's place in history as a tipping point for the war. And while I was familiar with Hue and the battle I never realized how brutal and devastating it was to both sides of the conflict as well as the civilian population trapped in the city.
With viewpoints from both sides, Bowden tells pers ...more
This battle was described as the turning point of the war, and the outcome of this offensive likely led to Johnson's decision not to seek reelection, along with the removal of ...more
Mark Bowden meticulously writes of one battle in the Vietnam War. His argument is that this battle, the American fight to take back the city Hue from the Vietcong was the battle that showed America that they were fighting a futile war.
Bowden treats the subject with sensitivity and objectivity. His chapters rotate from members of the Vietcong, whose stories he got years later, to the American marines who fought them and t ...more
Opening quote: "Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good."--Gabriel García Márquez.
From the introduction: "Hours before daylight on January 31, 1968, the first day of Tet, the Lunar New Year, nearly 10,000 NVA and VC troops descended from hidden camps in the Central Highlands and overran the city of Hue, the historical capital of Vietnam. They took all of Hue except for ...more
Let me start with the elephant in the room - the politics of the war and of revisionist history. I remember the Vietnam war and how contentious it was - and remains. It was from working through some of the ...more
I enjoyed reading Black Hawk Down and Killing Pablo, so when I saw this one on a shelf, I got it, and found it to be extremely well written.
The book is about the Tet Offensive, the surprise series of attacks by joint Vietnamese forces across all of Vietnam during the Tet holiday in 1968, focused on the taking of the historic capital city of Hue in a masterpiece mission over a single night. Stunned by the ferocity of the enemy action, the American forces moun ...more