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

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

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

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

by Gregg Jones

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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 Sanh-the Vietnam War's epic confrontation-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 characters-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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306823725
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 101,596
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Gregg Jones, journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist, is the author of the highly acclaimed Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream. For thirty years he has been a foreign correspondent and investigative reporter, writing for the Los Angeles Times and other US and British newspapers. He lives in Addison, Texas.

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xvii

Prologue: January 17, 1968 1

Part I

Chapter 1 Death in the Tall Grass 6

Chapter 2 The Battle of Hill 861 22

Chapter 3 "Get Up and Man Your Position!" 37

Chapter 4 Khe Sanh Village 49

Chapter 5 Muscle Shoals 62

Chapter 6 The Walking Dead 67

Chapter 7 "Should We Withdraw from Khe Sanh?" 74

Part II

Chapter 8 "Hell in a Very Small Place" 88

Chapter 9 The Battle of Hill 861 Alpha 99

Chapter 10 "Tanks in the Wire" 118

Chapter 11 The Battle of Hill 64 139

Chapter 12 "Home Is Where You Dig It" 163

Chapter 13 "What the Hell Is Out There?" 178

Chapter 14 "Proud to Be a Marine" 190

Chapter 15 Super Gaggle 196

Part III

Chapter 16 "Why Are You Leaving Us Out Here to Die?" 204

Chapter 17 "A Military Challenge Unprecedented in This War" 217

Chapter 18 "I Just Came from Hell" 227

Chapter 19 "Bitter Hardships and Blood" 235

Chapter 20 "The Agony of Khe Sanh" 249

Chapter 21 "We Made Them Pay" 254

Chapter 22 Breakout 262

Epilogue 278

Notes 297

Sources 335

Bibliography 337

Index 345

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