Directory of Articles

Series: Conflict Origins

We return to the years preceding the American escalation of troop levels that began in 1965 and recount events and decisions that caused the United States to deepen its military involvement in Vietnam.

Series: Helicopter Warfare

Vietnam was the first conflict in which helicopters played a major role in most operations, from the lifting outsized objects, to close support of troops, to the rescue of downed air crews, to provision of supplies, to the evacuation of casualties.

Series: Tet Offensive

One of the Vietnam War's largest military campaigns, the Tet Offensive was conceived to accomplish nothing less than the elimination of the U.S. military presence in Vietnam and the overthrow of the South Vietnamese government.

Series: Overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem

The November 1963 military coup deposing South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem was done with the approval of the Kennedy Administration, in the hope that a more popular government would be formed.

Series: Wild Weasels Over Vietnam

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.

Series: Helicopter Operations in 1963

A look at the types of helicopters used by U.S. Army advisers in South Vietnam in 1963, and how they were employed in South Vietnamese army operations.

The Significance of the Battle of Ia Drang

The first Vietnam War engagement causing heavy casualties saw history's first large-scale helicopter assault and the first use of B-52s for tactical support.

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.

Into the Iron Triangle: Operation Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls was a massive search and destroy operation undertaken to eradicate the VC stronghold in the "Iron Triangle"; considered to be a "dagger pointed at the heart of Saigon".

The Immense Tragedy of Operation Rolling Thunder

Bombing of North Vietnam was epic in its scale and destruction, leaving in its wake massive disappointment and disillusionment in American leadership.

March 1965: The Marines Land at Da Nang

Retrace the March 1965 decision to have two Marine landing teams come ashore at a beach near Da Nang, where they became the first U.S. conventional ground combat units in Vietnam.

Operation Starlite: The Marines Take the Offensive

Operation Starlite 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.

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.

Vietnam in the Aftermath of the Tet Offensive

Having faced down a North Vietnamese onslaught, U.S. military leaders in 1969 managed a race against the clock, aiming to increase South Vietnam's chances for survival before the now inevitable U.S. withdrawal.

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.

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.

The Hunt for the Elusive COSVN: Operation Junction City

In the end, the enormous scope of Operation Junction City and the ambitious hopes for its accomplishments were matched by the profound disappointment of its outcome.

Operation Pocket Money: Nixon Cuts Off Soviet Supplies

Mining Haiphong harbor had often been considered but never done, to avoid the risk of provoking the Soviet Union. That changed during North Vietnam's Spring 1972 offensive.

The B-52s: Operation Arc Light

In Operation Arc Light, B-52 strategic bombers, originally developed as a nuclear deterrent against Russia and China, entered combat for the first time in the Vietnam War.

Nixon's Decision to Bomb Cambodian Territory

Under President Johnson, Laos and Cambodia were off limits to U.S. strategic bombers. That changed after the inauguration of President Nixon, who had campaigned with a pledge to deliver an honorable end to the war in Vietnam.