Fifty years ago, the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy were enmeshed in three Far East crises. The Corps was facing its severest tests of the Vietnam War at Khe Sanh and Hue. Meanwhile, North Korea heated up the Cold War by seizing a U.S. Navy ship, the Pueblo (AGER-2), in international waters and imprisoning her crew and other personnel who were on board.
After reading Gregg Jones’ award-winning book Last Stand at Khe Sanh (Da Capo, 2014), I reached out to him to write about the grueling 11-week siege of Khe Sanh Combat Base and the surrounding hills by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops. Like his book, Jones’ article, “The Marines’ Tenacious Stand,” relies heavily on the recollections of Leatherneck participants.
Jones also contributed “Tet’s Main Event,” which encapsulates the country-wide effort by Viet Cong guerrillas and NVA troops to overthrow the South Vietnamese government. Most of the article is devoted to the Marines’ role in the Tet offensive’s longest and most brutal battle—the recapture of the former imperial capital of Hue.