Valley of Decision: The Siege of Khe Sanh

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9781591146964: Valley of Decision: The Siege of Khe Sanh
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Widely acknowledged as the definitive history of the siege of Khe Sanh when first published in hardcover in 1991, this book tells the whole incredible story of one of the most pivotal and bloody battles of the Vietnam War. Historian John Prados and Khe Sanh survivor Ray Stubbe recount the brutal seventy-seven days of combat and present the larger political context that formed the all-important backdrop to the events on the battlefield in 1968.

From the first direct hit on the fifteen-hundred tons of ammunition stockpiled in the U.S. compound, through the day and night patrols, pounding mortar fire, and shifting battle lines, the words and deeds of the men of Khe Sanh are brought to life with a skillful combination of documentation and eyewitness accounts-from both sides of the conflict. Unique among books about the war, the comprehensiveness of this study will satisfy the most demanding specialist. Its sense of drama and action and its use of on-the-scene testimony will intrigue the general reader. 576 pages. 65 photographs. 16 line drawings. Paperback. 6 x 9 inches.

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About the Author:

John Prados is a highly regarded historian and author of seven other books, including Combined Fleet Decoded. He lives in the Washington DC area. Ray W. Stubbe, the renowned chaplain of Khe Sanh, is also the coauthor of Inside Force Recon and lives in Wauwatoso, Wisconsin.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A blow-by-blow overview of the Khe Sanh siege, which, more than 20 years after, still ranks among the Vietnam War's most controversial episodes. Prados (Keepers of the Keys, The Sky Would Fall, etc.) and Stubbe (a retired Navy chaplain who served at Khe Sanh) meld narrative and oral history to provide a stunningly detailed record of the bitter engagement. Combining big-picture perspectives with vivid accounts of small-unit actions, they pay effective tribute to the men who fought in one of the few pitched battles between American troops and North Vietnamese regulars, while giving US commanders the benefit of precious few doubts. Khe Sanh straddled Route 9, an old colonial road linking coastal Vietnam to Laotian market towns along the Mekong. During 1967, General Westmoreland began expanding the Special Forces camp there in hopes of using it as a springboard for an assault on Communist sanctuaries across the border--a scheme eventually rejected by LBJ. In the meantime, during the Tet offensive of 1968, the fortified outpost became the site of a major confrontation pitting about 6,000 Marines against two reinforced NVA divisions. Despite obvious differences, the American media likened the protracted encounter to Dien Bien Phu, where the French suffered a crushing defeat in 1954. As a practical matter, though, air superiority and a decisive advantage in firepower gave outnumbered US forces a substantive victory; the subsequent abandonment of the combat base after it had served its purpose, however, clouded this perception. Nor do the authors shed new light on the clash's outcome. Indeed, they leave essentially open the question of what both sides hoped to accomplish. Pending declassification of archives or the emergence of yet- unknown sources, Prados and Stubble provide as well-rounded a briefing as is available on a bitterly debated campaign. The engrossing text (marred only by a patent reluctance to trust the motives of military brass and their civilian masters) includes 64 photos (not seen), plus 16 helpful maps. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780395550038: Valley of Decision: The Siege of Khe Sanh

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0395550033 ISBN 13:  9780395550038
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1991
Hardcover

9780440213451: Valley of Decision

Dell, 1992
Softcover

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