Hue 1968
Not since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down has Mark Bowden written a book about a battle. His most ambitious work yet, Huế 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. By January 1968, despite an influx of half a million American troops, the fighting in Vietnam seemed to be at a stalemate. Yet General William Westmoreland, commander of American forces, announced a new phase of the war in which "the end begins to come into view." The North Vietnamese had different ideas. In mid-1967, the leadership in Hanoi had started planning an offensive intended to win the war in a single stroke. Part military action and part popular uprising, the Tet Offensive included attacks across South Vietnam, but the most dramatic and successful would be the capture of Hue, the country's cultural capital. At 2:30 a.m. on January 31, 10,000 National Liberation Front troops descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. By morning, all of Huế was in Front hands save for two small military outposts. The commanders in country and politicians in Washington refused to believe the size and scope of the Front's presence. Captain Chuck Meadows was ordered to lead his 160-marine Golf Company against thousands of enemy troops in the first attempt to re-enter Hue later that day. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II. With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple points of view. Played out over twenty-four days of terrible fighting and ultimately costing 10,000 combatant and civilian lives, the Battle of Huế was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. In Huế 1968, Bowden masterfully reconstructs this pivotal moment in the American War in Vietnam.

Hue 1968 Details

TitleHue 1968
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJun 6th, 2017
PublisherAtlantic Monthly Press
ISBN0802127002
ISBN-139780802127006
Number of pages608 pages
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, Military, Military History

Hue 1968 Review

  • Harold
    May 11, 2017
    This is a detailed, precise view of the Vietnam war, Tet Offensive, and specifically the battle of Hue. It is an in depth close up, focusing moment by moment on the battle, like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. It is meticulously researched (or appears so) with mini biographies, often no more than a paragraph or two, of the soldiers in the heat of battle, and often accompanied by a vivd description of their deaths or maiming. The Book is titled a turning point, but it is not the macro s This is a detailed, precise view of the Vietnam war, Tet Offensive, and specifically the battle of Hue. It is an in depth close up, focusing moment by moment on the battle, like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. It is meticulously researched (or appears so) with mini biographies, often no more than a paragraph or two, of the soldiers in the heat of battle, and often accompanied by a vivd description of their deaths or maiming. The Book is titled a turning point, but it is not the macro story of the war. There is some description of why it is a turning point, but very little of the history of the war, how we got into it, why exactly this turned the tide, and what happened afterward. This is the micro story of who got a bullet in their head, and why. You are a witness to the brutality and futility of war. If you ever want be a soldier, or encourage your son or daughter to be a soldier, particularly if there is any chance of war (as there always seems to be) read this first, and make them read this. While perhaps out of date in our time of drones and precision bombs, nothing is as brutal or horrifying as hand to hand combat come alive and accompanied by the tragic stories of those who suffered and died.
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  • Steve Sarner
    June 10, 2017
    “Pockets of resistance” were actually bundles of lies.Hue 1968 is a complicated, tragic and phenomenal story – extraordinarily well told.Mark Bowden has out done himself on researching a terrible time during a terrible and, in hindsight from many perspectives, senseless battle in a senseless war. The book shares stories from all sides in an absolutely riveting manner.I particularly appreciated the contribution of the many journalists, including Walter Cronkite, who risked it all to be on the gro “Pockets of resistance” were actually bundles of lies.Hue 1968 is a complicated, tragic and phenomenal story – extraordinarily well told.Mark Bowden has out done himself on researching a terrible time during a terrible and, in hindsight from many perspectives, senseless battle in a senseless war. The book shares stories from all sides in an absolutely riveting manner.I particularly appreciated the contribution of the many journalists, including Walter Cronkite, who risked it all to be on the ground in Hue to see the situation for firsthand. In 1968, it seems America was essentially accepting of whatever General Westmoreland said as fact. Fortunately that is not the case today.Hue 1968 is an incredible read.Disclosure – Grove Atlantic provided me a complementary Advance Reading Copy and being a fan of war history I gratefully accepted it.
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  • Peter Tillman
    June 5, 2017
    Consider:https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-bloo...Here's reviewer and Vietnam vet Karl Marlantes:For me it brought back many memories, most of them angry, of my time as a Marine in Vietnam. I remember one night a fellow lieutenant radioing from a jungle hilltop on the Laotian border to battalion headquarters, over 20 kilometers away, saying that he’d sighted a convoy of trucks. The battalion commander radioed back that it was impossible: There were no trucks anywhere near him. There was a long pa Consider:https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-bloo...Here's reviewer and Vietnam vet Karl Marlantes:For me it brought back many memories, most of them angry, of my time as a Marine in Vietnam. I remember one night a fellow lieutenant radioing from a jungle hilltop on the Laotian border to battalion headquarters, over 20 kilometers away, saying that he’d sighted a convoy of trucks. The battalion commander radioed back that it was impossible: There were no trucks anywhere near him. There was a long pause in transmission. Then, in a very slow Texas drawl, the lieutenant said: “Be advised. I am where I am and you are where you are. Where I am, I see goddamned trucks.”
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  • Steve
    June 9, 2017
    An interesting and detailed book about the Battle of Hue in which the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong launched a surprise attack on the first day of the lunar New Year: January 31, 1968, which is known as Tet. The attack was called the Tet Offensive. This was the first street to street battle by the United States Marines during the Vietnam War as well as the bloodiest.
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