Academic journal article Military Review

Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines' Finest Hour in Vietnam

Academic journal article Military Review

Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines' Finest Hour in Vietnam

Article excerpt

LAST STAND AT KHE SANH: The U.S. Marines' Finest Hour in Vietnam

Gregg Jones, Da Capo Press, Boston, Mass., 400 pages

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In late 1967, the 26th Marine Regiment moved into a remote area of Vietnam near the village of Khe Sanh to disrupt traffic along the Ho Chi Minh trail. The North Vietnamese quickly countered this move and in a few weeks had managed to surround the 6,000 Marines with nearly 40,000 soldiers. What followed from January to April 1968 were 77 days of both horrific and heroic fighting that Gregg Jones captures in his book Last Stand at Khe Sanh.

As the title implies, part of purpose for this work is to determine what happened at Khe Sanh, but the author is clearly more focused on understanding what was it like for those Americans who fought there and how it impacted their lives. In particularly, he wanted to see the battle through the eyes of those young Americans who fought at Khe Sanh. The reader will quickly discover that it is in the achievement of the latter goal that this book excels. Jones has done an incredible job gathering the firsthand accounts from those who served and weaving them into a seamless narrative that flows across both time and space.

The author vividly re-creates for the reader the incredible amount of stress these young Marines dealt with on a daily basis. Their personal narratives recount the constant threat of death from incoming artillery fire and nightly enemy probes of their positions, with everything compounded by long night watches and the ever-present shortage of food and water. However, despite being "hollow-eyed and exhausted" they continued to show amazing levels of dedication and discipline. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.