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1. jim Dingeman <email@example.com> 2. Mac McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: jim Dingeman <email@example.com>----- The key thing here is what actual documents exist to detail PAVN movements around Khe Sanh at the time...what were their deployments, their strength and effectiveness and most important their calculation of logistical support to sustain an effort to take Khe Sanh at the time. All the people who I know who served there expected an attack(I am talking about grunts) but the incessant ARCLIGHTS and U.S air support around the positions simply kept the PAVN off balance with high casualties. That does not diminish the possibility of them knocking the base out if they could have done so, a long stretch of bas weather would have made that possible but in my mind , unlikely. A question that arises from this is the issue of what at the time were the DRV calculations about any kind of corps sized thrust to cut the Ho Chi Minh trail, always a possibility and something we know Westmoreland desired to do with Khe Sanh as the jump off point. But the idea of the General Offensive was to NEUTRALIZE the ARVN with uprisings and defections on a massive scale that would leave the allied Forces in a sea of political hostility, with their ARVN allies vastly reduced in effectiveness. Obviously, a overrun Marine regiment reinforced would have been a feather in their caps but I think that highly was unlikely. The forces from the south such as the 1st Cav were redeploying northwards to prevent such a outcome...and the heavy concentration of air power marked by OPERATION NIAGRA II simply prevented any possibility of that happeneing...remember they dumped 100,000 tons of ordnance and fired 200,000 artillery and mortar shells..far exceeding by many times what happened at Dien Bien Phu.en Nalty's old but goody on air power at Khe Sanh outlines the air effort. http://ia331424.us.archive.org/0/items/AirPowerAndTheFightForKheSanh/fight_for_khe_sanh.pdf It was no push over as any infatry veteran of the battle will testify..the fights for the Hills were tough and bloody actions. But, the question of the PAVN strategu and tactics requires far more knowledge about the PAVN and their intentions, back and forths from the time that I venture to say we still need to know more about. But Dien Bien Phu as an analogy, only rhetorically , not in terms of the power we mustered during the battle. Jim jim Dingeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: Mac McIntosh <email@example.com>----- Wyatt Reader suggests that Giaps book might tell the story on Khe Sanh , I would suggest that Ronnie Fords, Tet 1968: Understanding the Surprise and his Eassy : Hanoi's Intent : Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive would tell a much more convincing story. For one thing he traces Giaps near obsession with the defense of North Vietnam and his correct prediction that after CEDAR FALLS and JUNCTION CITY and Westmorelands focus on interdicting Communist infiltration routes that Westmorelands next logical step was to invade North Vietnam . Wyatt refers to the three phases of the General Offensive/General Uprising plan of Hanoi . Do remember that Hanoi more or less conceeded that in a war of solely fighting or a war of position that they were bound to lose but in both phase II and phase III they were in a 'fighting while negotiating ' phase where they felt that the Americans were particularly inept at diplomatic and political warfare. If we go back and read carefully Hanoi's Resolution 13 from July 1967 wherein the General Offensive/General Uprising plan was for the first time disseminated to COSVN in time for COSVN's Third Congress in August 1967 . At the end of this Congress General Tran Van Tra began serious preparations for the offensive. Now as to Khe Sanh the troops ammassed near there were the 304th Division under the command of General Hoang Dan and the 320th Division under command of General Sung Lam and the 325th Division under the command of Nhuyen Huu An , also a Regiment of the 324B Division . All of these assets were under the command of General Tran Qui Hai , Commander of the Route 9 Front . The Route 9 Front was not created to capture Khe Sanh but had a far more important mission . That being to open a gap in US defenses in order for PAVN regulars to follow up on the Liberation forces that would be attacking cites throughout South Vietnam . As I recall there are a number of captured documents that back up Ronnie Ford's book and Essay on the subject . Walter James McIntosh Vietnam Service 1961-1975 Mac McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----