The Seige of Khe Sanh
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The Seige of Khe Sanh. "Not another Dienbienphu". The End of the Line: The Siege of Khe Sanh. Khe Sanh in relation to the DMZ. The hills around Khe Sanh. Khe Sanh Combat Base

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The Seige of Khe Sanh

"Not another Dienbienphu"

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The End of the Line: The Siege of Khe Sanh

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Khe Sanh

Combat Base


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US fifty caliber machine-gun on the perimeter defense of Khe Sanh

Marine snipers at Khe Sanh. Marine snipers engaged in long-running duels with NVA marksmen.

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US and ALLIED Casulties Sanh

730 Americans Killed in Action2,642 Americans Wounded in Action7 Americans Missing in Action229 South Vietnamese ARVN Killed in Action436 South Vietnamese ARVN Wounded in Action

NVA Casulties

No actual confirmed NVA kills were recorded, but with Intelligence information gathered concerning a combination of the massive air strikes and high altitude bombings, information from captured NVA, air and ground recon, and intercepted NVA communications, un-official estimates place NVA kills at between 10 and 15,000 and some experts feel that estimate is conservative

Logistical Support

From 31 March thru 8 April, Air Force C-130 and C-123 cargo planes delivered over 840 tons of supplies, ammunition, and food to the Khe Sanh Plateau by means of difficult para drops and low altitude extractionskid drops only feet above the ground

Tactical Air Support

Expert Military Analysts with information gathered over the years, now say that during the 77 day "Seige of Khe Sanh", there was more tonage of bombs dropped in support of defending Khe Sanh, then there was in all of WW II by American and Allied aircraft

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A view of the Combat Base taken from the top of Hill 950. Sanh

The river valley and parts of the river can be seen in the middle of the photo.

The site of the Combat Base, looking east to west, 1997.

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“Dienbienphu, Dienbienphu, look, it’s not always true that history repeats itself.

Khe Sanh didn’t try to be, nor could it have been, a Dienbienphu. Khe Sanh wasn’t that important to us. Or it was only to the extent that it was important to the Americans--in fact, at Khe Sanh their prestige was at stake.

Because just look at the usual paradox that you will always find with the Americans: as long as they stayed in Khe Sanh to defend their prestige, they said Khe Sanh was important; when they abandoned Khe Sanh, they said Khe Sanh had never been important.

Besides, don’t you think we won at Khe Sanh?

I say yes.”

- General Vo Nguyen Giap

“Khe Sanh will stand in history, I am convinced, as a classic example of how to defeat

a numerically superior besieging force by coordinated application of firepower.

Khe Sanh was one of the most damaging, one sided defeats among many that

the North Vietnamese incurred, and the myth of General Giap’s military genius was


- General William C. Westmoreland