Battle of The Sanh

January 21, 2022

Most would agree that the Vietnam War, also commonly referred to as the Second Indochina War, which lasted from late 1955 to early 1975, marks a poignant time in America’s history. However, in the 20-odd years that the war raged on, some dates stand out considerably and are worthy of a deeper conversation. One such date is January 21, 1968, which marks the Battle of Khe Sanh. 

To understand the significance of this date, we should first establish the geographical location of Khe Sanh. And according to the world map, it is located in South Vietnam, bordering the much smaller Southeast Asian country Laos.

Shedding Light on the Battle of Khe Sanh

For those not as familiar with the various aspects of the larger Vietnam War, the Battle of Khe Sanh represents the bloodiest period of the war, with scores of U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers losing their lives. On January 21, 1968, military forces with the PAVN (People’s Army of North Vietnam) carried out a large-scale artillery bombardment on the U.S. In turn, this prompted retaliation by not only the U.S. Marines but also their South Vietnamese allies, which resulted in back and forth attacks that would go on for roughly 77 days.

In the end, the U.S. Marines, with help from South Vietnamese allies, destroyed the base complex of Khe Sanh and ultimately withdrew from the battle area in July 1968. All told, the Battle of Khe Sanh was about the PAVN attempting to overtake the U.S.-based garrison, a military fort that houses troops and weapons, and U.S. military soldiers fighting to prevent it from happening.

13 Comments

  1. Sam W Bass

    In light of the relationship with Vietnam today.. Its a shame the leaders couldnt come up with that conclusion of relationship before thousands of people died…

    Reply
  2. Victor DeMaria

    I flew resupply/Medivac in Khe Sanh, Hill 881S for 67+ days. (HMM364 Purple Fox’s) It was a living hell for all concerned.

    Reply
    • Deborah

      A losing battle lost alot of lives What did we gain from it except knowledge? You couldn’t tell which side someone was on children sent in with guns or bombs. So they get close to our military.

      Reply
    • Clem Mewmaw

      Thank you for your service. I salute you and all who served! I served 26 years in our US Air Force 1972-1998.

      Reply
    • PHIL ODOM

      U ARE AN AMERICAN HERO –
      THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

      PHIL ODOM
      FOX 2/1
      68 -70

      Reply
  3. Lillian Armendariz

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Humberto C Martinez

      A point that is failed to be mentioned is the similarities between Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh.
      Being just a few kilometers below the line separating North and South Vietnam, Khe Sanh seemed to the North Vietnamese Army like a likely place to destroy the US FORCES like they had done to the French at Dien Bien Phu.
      The North Vietnamese were unable to isolate the US Force there as they were able to get resupplied by helicopter and C 130 Hercules aircraft.

      Reply
  4. Robert J. Marro

    This is the most simplistic analysis of the battle of Khe Sanh I have ever seen. First of all, the title “The Sanh” is wildly incorrect – it is “Khe Sanh”. Second, no American ever “commonly” refers to the Vietnam War as “the Second Indochina War”; in France they do refer to their own 1946-1954 conflict there as “La Guerre Indochine” (the Indochina War), but typically only by those who served there, or those interested in France’s late colonial period. This “analysis” is utterly lacking in not only what happened but why both the USA and North Vietnam poured so many troops and resources into the fight, and its true strategic purpose: Was it to replicate the 1954 war-ending French defeat at Dien Bien Phu or was it a feint to distract from the Tet Offensive? For a good and brief explanation, check Wikipedia – which is also incomplete but at least provides some rational analysis.

    Reply
  5. Robert Marro

    This is the most simplistic analysis of the battle of Khe Sanh I have ever seen. First of all, the title “The Sanh” is wildly incorrect – it is “Khe Sanh”. Second, no American ever “commonly” refers to the Vietnam War as “the Second Indochina War”; in France they do refer to their own 1946-1954 conflict there as “La Guerre Indochine” (the Indochina War), but typically only by those who served there, or those interested in France’s late colonial period. This “analysis” is utterly lacking in not only what happened but why both the USA and North Vietnam poured so many troops and resources into the fight, and its true strategic purpose: Was it to replicate the 1954 war-ending French defeat at Dien Bien Phu or was it a feint to distract from the Tet Offensive? For a good and brief explanation, check Wikipedia – which is also incomplete but at least provides some rational analysis.

    Reply
  6. James T Collins

    I served with another Airborne unit at the time in II Corp Area. Most of us prayed that we would not be fed into the meat grinder that Khe Sanh had become. We were not and gave prayers of thanksgiving. Old Soldier

    Reply
  7. Irving Schlinger

    The Sanh??? No such place!!! Try Khe Sanh. If you want to commemorate history at least you should try to spell it right.

    Reply
  8. Carl

    I salute the bravery and courage of every soul who stood in the face of fear. At the same time, I condemn with every fiber of my being the evil minds who instigated and profited from this “war” who were nothing more than cowardly political sycophants obeying orders from the Elite who were already “shaping” the coming world order for their own gain.

    Reply
  9. Cheryl Davis

    Thank you for your service. You and your buddies are the true heroes

    Reply

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