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“Tactical Victory, Strategic Defeat” (Vietnam)

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Vietnam war from the Army's point of view is that as far as logistics and tactics were concerned we succeeded in everything we set out to do.  At the height of the war the Army was able to move almost a million soldiers a year in and out of Vietnam, feed them, clothe them, house them, supply them with arms and ammunition, and generally sustain them better than any Army had ever been sustained in the field.  To project an Army of that size halfway around the world was a logistics and…
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How to Clear a House (Vietnam, 1968)

h.  The assault party is divided into 2 groups, the searching party and the covering party. The covering party protects and aids the advance of the searching party. The searching party provides covering fires and protection for the covering party as it displaces. The searching party enters and clears all buildings that the unit is responsible for clearing. i.  Prior to entering buildings or rooms of buildings, which are believed to contain enemy, a grenade is thrown in a window or door or some other opening in the building. j.  A searching team is normally composed of at least two…
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Coup and Counter-Counter-Coup (1963)

Returning from the Army Command and General Staff College in the summer of 1957, I had the privilege to begin a close professional association with President Diem that lasted for nearly three saw first hand the strong talent for leadership President Diem exhibited, his great concern for the people of Vietnam, and the earnest efforts he made on behalf of security for the country. I came also to appreciate the brilliance of Mr. Nhu, the President's brother.  He was an innovative thinker - not a real leader as was Diem - but a man of ideas.  The President would sign…
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Moving Out!

Here’s one of those great photos some of us were too chicken to snap when the RPGs came whizzing over the foxhole, and forget about being up there running around with cans of ammo: "MOVING OUT—Lance Cpl T. J. Gledhill dashes from position to position, passing out ammunition to his men during an enemy attack at Fire Support Base Russell. Gledhill is a squad leader in the 1st Bn., Fourth Marines. (Official USMC Photo by Cpl. J. G. McCullough)." Source:  Force Information Office, III Marine Amphibious Force, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (undated, probably 1968).
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The Tet Surprise (1968)

The year 1968 began with a stream of intelligence reports on the enemy's imminent Winter-Spring campaign which bore all the signs of a major offensive. Despite the telltale signs, both the and RVN commands were still speculating on the probability of the enemy campaign, and neither was certain when it would take place or if it would even be conducted. No evidence obtained so far had ever pointed clearly toward the inevitability. As early as 19 October 1967, the enemy had announced he would observe a 7-day truce on the Tet occasion. This was the longest truce ever proposed by…
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Report on the Morale of Forces (1968)

The morale of United States forces involved in the war in Vietnam was consistently high.  This condition could be attributed to a belief in the mission of the United States in Vietnam, pride in accomplishing this mission, esprit de corps within units, the one-year tour, and the Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Program.  The one-year tour length allowed a serviceman to know from the beginning of his tour the day he would return home.  This was considered to be the single greatest morale factor for our forces.  The R&R Program allowed each man to have one respite of five or six-day…
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Ambush on the Dak Po (1969)

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY Headquarters I Field Force Vietnam APO San Francisco 96350 19 November 1969 After Action Interview Report Ambush at the Dak Po 21-22 January 1969 Binh Dinh Province, RVN, grid coordinates BR 337461. Company A, 1st Battalion (Mech), 50th Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. 8…. a. Route 19, which runs from Pleiku City in the Central Highlands to Qui Nhon on the South China Sea, is one of the most important supply routes in II Corps Tactical Zone. Its location has seen the defeats of the French Mobile Group 100 in 1954 and the successes of the 1st…
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