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Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines' Finest Hour in Vietnamby Gregg Jones
Synopses & Reviews
In a remote mountain stronghold in 1968, six thousand US Marines awoke one January morning to find themselves surrounded by 20,000 enemy troops. Their only road to the coast was cut, and bad weather and enemy fire threatened their fragile air lifeline. The siege of Khe Sanhandmdash;the Vietnam War's epic confrontationandmdash;was under way.
For seventy-seven days, the Marines and a contingent of US Army Special Forces endured artillery barrages, sniper fire, ground assaults, and ambushes. Air Force, Marine, and Navy pilots braved perilous flying conditions to deliver supplies, evacuate casualties, and stem the North Vietnamese Army's onslaught. As President Lyndon B. Johnson weighed the use of tactical nuclear weapons, Americans watched the shocking drama unfold on nightly newscasts. Through it all, the bloodied defenders of Khe Sanh held firm and prepared for an Alamo-like last stand.
Now, Gregg Jones takes readers into the trenches and bunkers at Khe Sanh to tell the story of this extraordinary moment in American history. Last Stand at Khe Sanh captures the exceptional courage and brotherhood that sustained the American fighting men throughout the ordeal. It brings to life an unforgettable cast of charactersandmdash;young high school dropouts and rootless rebels in search of John Wayne glory; grizzled Korean War veterans; daredevil pilots; gritty platoon leaders and company commanders; and courageous Navy surgeons who volunteered to serve in combat with the storied Marines.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with siege survivors, thousands of pages of archival documents, and scores of oral history accounts, Gregg Jones delivers a poignant and heart-pounding narrative worthy of the heroic defense of Khe Sanh.
"Journalist Jones (Honor in the Dust) examines one of the most iconic and controversial engagements of the Vietnam War, the 77-day (February — April 1968) siege of the 6,000-man U.S. Marine base at Khe Sanh by some 20,000 North Vietnamese Army troops. This is not the first book to look at Khe Sanh, as a number of memoirs and military histories have chronicled the siege's brutal on-the ground-action and bigger picture strategic issues, and Jones gives cursory attention to the larger picture — who won, who lost, and why. 'Definitive answers' to questions such as the NVA's true objectives at Khe Sanh, he says, 'will likely remain elusive.' Instead, Jones concentrates on sharing the personal stories of the American Marines in the trenches, leaning heavily on interviews he conducted with veterans and making them the core of a readable narrative that also includes facts and figures from secondary sources and official records. This informative account serves as a testament to those who 'heeded the call of their duly constituted leaders' and 'went to Vietnam with the best of intentions,' earning 'a place of honor in American history.' (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The vivid, fast-paced account of the siege of Khe Sanh told through the eyes of the men who lived it.
Last Stand at Khe Sanh is a vivid, fast-paced account of the dramatic 1968 confrontation, when 6,000 US Marines held off 30,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars at a remote mountain stronghold. Based on extensive archival research and more than 100 interviews with participants, author Gregg Jones captures the courage and camaraderie of the defenders and delivers the fullest account yet of this epic battle.
For seventy-seven days in 1968, amid fears that America faced its own disastrous Dien Bien Phu, 6,000 US Marines held off 30,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars at the remote mountain stronghold called Khe Sanh. It was the biggest battle of the Vietnam War, with sharp ground engagements, devastating artillery duels, and massive US air strikes. After several weeks of heroic defense, the besieged Americans struck back in a series of bold assaults, and the North Vietnamese withdrew with heavy losses.
Last Stand at Khe Sanh is the vivid, fast-paced account of the dramatic confrontation as experienced by the men who were there: Marine riflemen and grenadiers, artillery and air observers, platoon leaders and company commanders, Navy corpsmen and helicopter pilots, and a plucky band of US Army Special Forces. Based on extensive archival research and more than 100 interviews with participants, Last Stand at Khe Sanh captures the courage and camaraderie of the defenders and delivers the fullest account yet of this epic battle.
About the Author
Gregg Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed Honor in the Dust. In his thirty years as a newspaper foreign correspondent and investigative reporter, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Awards. He has reported from twenty-eight countries, writing about everything from coups and revolutions to Indonesian shadow puppetry and Thai cinema. His reporting on military affairs has included coverage of the war in Afghanistan, civil wars in Sri Lanka and Cambodia, and insurgencies in Burma, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. He has been a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Dallas Morning News, and has been interviewed many times by CNN television and BBC radio. He lives in Texas.
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