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Battle of Hue City Vietnam 1968 The TET Offensive
The Battle of Hue; during 1968 also called the Siege of Hue, was one of the bloodiest and longest battles of the Vietnam War 1959-1975. Battalions of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), two U.S. Army battalions, and three understrength U.S. Marine Corps battalions defeated more than 10,000 soldiers of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN or NVA) and the Viet Cong (Viet Cong or VC, also known as National Liberation Front or NLF).
With the beginning of the Tet Offensive on January 30, 1968, the Vietnamese lunar New Year Vietnamese: Tet Nguyen Dan large conventional American forces had been committed to combat upon Vietnamese soil for almost three years. Passing through the city of Hue, Highway One was an important supply line for ARVN, US and allied forces from the coastal city of Da Nang to the DMZ. It also provided access to the Perfume River Vietnamese: Song Hương or Hương Giang at the point the river ran through Hue, dividing the city into northern and southern areas. Huế was also a base for United States Navy supply boats. Considering its logistical value and its proximity to the DMZ only 50 kilometres 31 mi, Hue should have been well-defended, fortified, and prepared for any communist attack.
However, the city had few fortifications and was poorly defended. The South Vietnamese and U.S. forces were completely unprepared when the North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong failed to observe the promised Tet Truce. Instead, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army launched a massive assault throughout South Vietnam, attacking hundreds of military targets and population centers across the country, among them the city of Hue.
The North Vietnamese forces rapidly occupied most of the city. Over the next month they were gradually driven out during intense house-to-house fighting led by the Marines. In the end, although the Allies declared a military victory, the city of Huế was virtually destroyed and more than 5000 civilians were killed, more of them executed by the PAVN and Viet Cong according to the South Vietnamese government. The North Vietnamese forces lost an estimated 2,400 to 8,000 killed, while Allied forces lost 668 dead and 3,707 wounded. The tremendous losses negatively affected the American public's perception of the war and political support for the war began to wane.
Vietnam War - Hue City 1968