The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973

By Shelby L. Stanton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 19.
ONE WAR IN THE
NORTHERN PROVINCES

1. Guarding Borders

At the beginning of 1969, some of America's toughest fighting units were lined up inside the hotly contested northernmost provinces under Lt. Gen. Richard G. Stilwell's XXIV Corps. It contained the crack 3d Marine Division along with the tank- spearheaded 1st Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and the helicopter-endowed 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). With this force MACV felt confident that General Stilwell could guard the DMZ while conducting major excursions deep into NVA base camp areas along the remote western fringes of the country.

In late January, Maj. Gen. Raymond G. Davis's 3d Marine Division picked up the pace of combat near the rugged Laotian border. The 4th Marines stalked the Khe Sanh region in Operation SCOTLAND II, and the 9th Marines initiated Operation DEWEY CANYON against a main North Vietnamese supply route which crossed into Vietnam and curved through both the upper Da Krong Valley and the A Shau Valley just below it. Since the DEWEY CANYON operational area consisted of high mountain plateaus covered by dense double-canopy jungle, the reinforced 9th Marines planned to jump off from two fire support bases on its northern rim and move south in a three-pronged advance.

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The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Foreword x
  • Introduction xv
  • Part 1 1965 1
  • Chapter 1. Advisors and Special Forces 3
  • Chapter 2. an Army Girds for Battle 18
  • Chapter 3. Marines at War 29
  • Chapter 4. an Army Goes to War 45
  • Part 2 1966 63
  • Chapter 5. the Build-Up 65
  • Chapter 6. the Area War 81
  • Chapter 7. the Central Front 97
  • Chapter 8. the Northern Front 117
  • Part3 1967 131
  • Chapter 9. the Year of the Big Battles 142
  • Chapter 11. Battle for the Highlands 157
  • Chapter 12. Holding the Line 179
  • Chapter 13. Battle for the Coast 191
  • Part 4 1968 203
  • Chapter 14. Year of Crises 205
  • Chapter 15. the Battles of Tet-68 219
  • Chapter 16. Siege and Breakthrough 247
  • Chapter 17. Counteroffensive 260
  • Part 5 1969 281
  • Chapter 18. One War 283
  • Chapter 19. One War in the Northern Provinces 295
  • Chapter 20. One War in the Southern Provinces 308
  • Part 6 333
  • Chapter 21 335
  • Chapter 22. an Army Departs the War 350
  • Guide to Unit Organization and Terms 369
  • Sources and Bibliography 371
  • Index 395
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