Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam Hardcover – 7 Sep 2017
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Meticulously analytical... excellent... gives us the clearest picture yet of what happened in Vietnam - USA Today
Hue 1968 is a meticulous and vivid retelling of an important battle. - New York Times
An extraordinary feat of journalism... To understand what it is to be human, you must understand war, which is unique to our species. In Hue 1968, we read about humanity placed in a crucible, out of which comes both refined steel and slag. Here the best and worst of human behaviour is exposed in glaring light. - Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal
Bowden tells this story with a power and a wealth of detail that no previous history of this offensive has approached - this is another instantly-recognizable classic of military history. - Christian Science Monitor
Hue 1968 is, by far, the most comprehensive (and balanced) coverage on this battle I've seen. - Brigadier General Mike Downs, USMC (ret.)
Hue 1968 unravels one of the great mysteries of our time... Did the Battle of Hue end up as a victory or defeat? The answer depends on who's asking and who's telling. Bowden takes on both roles and does it well. - Lieutenant Colonel Charles A. Krohn (ret.), author of THE LOST BATTALION OF TET
This book is a tragic tale of misunderstanding but also one of great heroism and sacrifice by those who fought in the streets of Hue and in the nearby rice paddies and villages. - Brigadier General Howard T. Prince II, USMC (ret.), Commanding Officer, Bravo Company, 5/7 Cavalry, 1968
There is no more complete, accurate and detailed book. It reads like a novel even though is it made up almost exclusively of very personal accounts.--John Wear, president of the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
Bowden's most ambitious work yet, Hue 1968 is the story of the centrepiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American war in Vietnam.See all Product description
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The Vietnam War was the most traumatic military experience which America has been involved in, far more so than Iraq or Afghanistan. It cost around 60,000 lives and destroyed two presidencies. It provoked massive social unrest and led to anti-war protestors being killed on University campuses. Congress reacted by limiting the executive branch from taking future military action without the approval of the legislature. It is estimated that some four million Vietnamese died. The true figure will never be known.
In 1968 the battle of Hue took place during the Tet offensive. This was a well prepared, all-out offensive by Vietnam Cong and North Vietnamese forces to overrun the key cities of South Vietnam. The Vietnamese forces suffered enormous losses but politically the battle sealed the fate of America's involvement in Vietnam. Some seven years later, Saigon fell.
The Hue battle was a slow, grinding campaign of attrition that lasted almost a month. As a battle it demonstrated the strengths and limitations of airmobile warfare and a primer on urban fighting in a counter-insurgency environment. This latest account by Bowden agrees that Hue was a turning point of the war. There are six parts, maps and a Glossary plus notes. Although there is little new here it is still a fine account by a journalist who also wrote Black Hawk Down. It took him five years to write.
It is a powerful portrayal of the battle, a battle that caused friction and worse between officers and their men, one that demonstrates Clausewitz's warning about friction and chance in warfare and one that showed the flea could defeat the elephant by focusing on its Achilles heel, the political will at home.The Vietnamese sacrificed some 8000 civilians to do this. The US lost 250 marines and over one thousand wounded. Hue turned out to be the bloodiest battle of the long war.
Klaus Overbeck consultant surgeon
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