Directory of Articles

Series: Wild Weasel Aircraft

Wild Weasel aircraft began to be produced in the summer of 1965, after Soviet SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missiles deployed to North Vietnam stunned Pentagon officials with their deadly effectiveness against U.S. fighter aircraft.

The Battle of Ia Drang Valley

The Battle of Ia Drang was the United States' first large-unit battle in Vietnam and the first engagement causing heavy casualties. Ia Drang saw history's first large scale helicopter air assault and the first-ever use of B-52 strategic bombers in a tactical support role.

The Use of Landmines in the Vietnam War

Landmines were a significant cause of American casualties in the Vietnam War, not to mention those among Vietnamese military personnel and civilians. These devices had a profound effect on ground soldier morale.

Da Nang and the Mini-Tet Offensive

In May 1968, the major port city of Da Nang was threatened by mounting North Vietnamese and Viet Cong deployments. An assault on Da Nang was prevented by U.S. Marine Corps operations to the southwest of that city.

Prelude to the Battle of Hue

How a North Vietnamese offensive intended to spark a general uprising in the South, together with erroneous U.S. assessment of the primary targets of that campaign, led to a battle that would virtually destroy the former Vietnamese Imperial City at Hue.

February 1968: The Titanic Struggle for Hue

The titanic struggle for control of the city of Hue occurred at the height of the Tet Offensive. One of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War, America has not experienced urban combat since then exceeding the scale of the fighting in Hue.

January 1967: Operation Cedar Falls

The story of a massive search and destroy operation undertaken by the U.S. Army in order to eradicate the National Liberation Front stronghold in the "Iron Triangle", an area considered to be a "dagger pointed at the heart of Saigon".

Air War: Operation Rolling Thunder

Operation Rolling Thunder was intended at the outset to convince North Vietnam to cease supporting the insurgency in the South. Waged from 1965 through 1968, the bombing campaign resulted in a growing realization of the limits of U.S. capabilities in Vietnam.

March 1965: Send in the Marines!

Retrace the sequence of events leading to the March 1965 decision to send two Marine battalion landing teams to come ashore at the Red Beach Base Area northwest of Da Nang, becoming the first U.S. conventional ground combat units in South Vietnam.

Operation Starlite: The Marines Take the Offensive

Operation Starlite was a resounding success for the U.S. Marines. Fought in August 1965, it was the first major offensive action in Vietnam involving American ground forces alone, sending the Vietnam War into headlines across the U.S.

ARVN's Last Stand: The Battle Of Xuan Loc

Xuan Loc held together the final line defending the South Vietnamese capitol. The nation's last remaining reserve forces were committed to this epic battle and their defeat signaled the arrival of its final days.

The Bell AH-1 Cobra: The First Helicopter Gunship

The massive escalation of American military involvement in Vietnam introduced a new era of aerial warfare. Utility helicopters were the linchpin of U.S. Army air assault tactics and their protection was a vital requirement. This led to the creation of the Bell AH-1 Cobra.

Carlos Hathcock: Legendary Marine Sniper

USMC Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock became a legend through two tours of duty in Vietnam, delivering 93 confirmed sniper kills. As a testament to the fear he instilled in the enemy, North Vietnam once placed a $30,000 bounty on his head.

Airmobile Warfare: The U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division

Vietnam saw the U.S. rely on the helicopter as never before, as thousands of choppers transported personnel throughout the war zone. In this role the "Huey" became the ubiquitous symbol of the Vietnam War, itself remembered as the Helicopter War.

In the Aftermath of the Tet Offensive

Having faced down a North Vietnamese onslaught, but suffering a loss of morale on the home front, U.S. military leaders in 1969 managed a race against the clock, aiming to increase South Vietnam's chances for survival before the inevitable U.S. withdrawal.

The Scout Helicopter Pilot: A Different Breed

During the Vietnam War, OH-6 Cayuse helicopters served in huge numbers and were used for light observation, utility roles and in "hunter-killer" missions. Crew survival depended on skill, instinct and quick reflexes, not to mention fortuitous timing.

The Battle of Hill 488

In a unique incident of exceptional bravery, a lone U.S. Marine reconnaissance platoon on a hilltop observation post holds off a North Vietnamese regiment, to become one of the most highly decorated small units in American military history.

Assault Helicopter Company in the Central Highlands

The 119th Assault Helicopter Company operated throughout the Central Highlands, providing helicopter support for the U.S. and South Vietnamese Armies, the U.S. Marine Corps, Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrols and Special Operations units operating in Laos and Cambodia.

Quang Tri in the Tet Offensive: A Prime Target

Located only thirty kilometers south of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone, the city of Quang Tri was arguably South Vietnam's most vulnerable provincial capital. As the 1968 Tet holiday drew near, the question was not whether the Communists would attack Quang Tri, but when.

Nixon Bombs Cambodia: Operation Menu and the MACV-SOG

Under President Johnson, U.S. bombers avoided Laotian and Cambodian territory, in observation of those nation's neutrality. That policy changed after the inauguration of President Nixon, who had campaigned with a pledge to deliver an honorable end to the war in Vietnam.

Le Duan on "Fighting and Talking"

In late 1965, as the United States was escalating its military involvement in Vietnam, including the bombing of North Vietnam, Le Duan opposed internal calls for negotiations, arguing that the time had not yet arrived.

Operation Junction City: The Hunt for the Elusive COSVN Begins

On February 22, 1967, the U.S. Army, in conjunction with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, opened up their largest offensive operation of the Vietnam War.

Operation Pocket Money: Nixon Cuts Off Soviet Supplies

The mining of Haiphong harbor had often been considered but was never done, to avoid the risk of provoking a larger conflict. That changed during the North Vietnamese offensive of spring 1972.

The B-52s: Operation Arc Light

Strategic Air Command's fleet of B-52 strategic bombers, originally developed as a nuclear deterrent against Russia and China, entered combat for the first time during the Vietnam War, in Operation Arc Light.