The Battle of Khe Sanh (21 January – 9 July 1968) was conducted in the Khe Sanh area of northwestern Quảng Trị Province, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), during the Vietnam War. The main US forces defending Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) were two regiments of US Marines supported by elements from the United States Army and the United States Air Force. There were also a small number of South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) troops.

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dbo:abstract
  • The Battle of Khe Sanh was conducted in Khe Sanh of northwestern Quảng Trị Province, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), between 21 January and 9 July 1968 during the Vietnam War. The belligerent parties were elements of the United States military III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF), 1st Cavalry Division, the US Seventh Air Force, 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment, minor elements of the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) against two to three division-size elements of the People's Army of Vietnam (generally referred to in Western sources as the North Vietnamese Army or NVA).The American command in Saigon initially believed that combat operations around the Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) during the summer of 1967 were just part of a series of minor North Vietnamese offensives in the border regions. That appraisal was altered when it was discovered that the NVA was moving major forces into the area during the autumn and winter. A build-up of US Marine Corps forces took place and actions around Khe Sanh commenced when the Marine base was isolated. During a series of desperate actions that lasted 5 months and 18 days, Khe Sanh Combat Base and the hilltop outposts around it were under constant North Vietnamese ground, artillery, mortar, and rocket attacks.During the battle, a massive aerial bombardment campaign (Operation Niagara) was launched by the United States Air Force to support the Marine base. Over 100,000 tons of bombs (equivalent in destructive force to five Hiroshima-size atomic bombs) were dropped until mid-April by aircraft of the US Navy, Air Force, and Marines onto the area surrounding Khe Sanh. This was roughly 1,300 tons of bombs dropped daily–five tons for every one of the 20,000 NVA soldiers initially estimated to have been committed to the fighting at Khe Sanh. In addition, 158,000 large-caliber shells were fired on the hills surrounding the base. This expenditure of aerial munitions dwarfs the amount of munitions fired by artillery, which totals eight shells per NVA soldier believed to have been on the battlefield. The campaign used the latest technological advances in order to locate NVA forces for targeting. The logistical effort to support KSCB, once it was isolated overland, demanded the implementation of other tactical innovations in order to keep the Marines supplied.In March 1968, an overland relief expedition (Operation Pegasus) was launched by a combined Marine–Army/South Vietnamese task force that eventually broke through to the Marines at Khe Sanh. American commanders considered the defense of Khe Sanh a success, but shortly after the siege was lifted the new American commander in Vietnam, General Creighton Abrams, decided to dismantle the base rather than risk similar battles in the future. Historians have observed that the Battle of Khe Sanh may have distracted American and GVN attention from the buildup of Viet Cong forces in the south before the early 1968 Tet Offensive. Even at the height of the Tet Offensive, General Westmoreland maintained that the true intentions of the offensive was to distract forces from Khe Sanh.On 19 June 1968, another operation began at Khe Sanh, Operation Charlie, the final evacuation and destruction of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The Marines withdrew all salvageable material and destroyed everything else. The NVA continued shelling the base, and on 1 July launched a company-sized infantry attack against its perimeter. On 9 July 1968, the flag of the Viet Cong was set up at Ta Con (Khe Sanh) airfield. On 13 July 1968, Ho Chi Minh sent a message to the soldiers of the Route 9–Khe Sanh Front affirming their victory at Khe Sanh. It was the first time in the war that the Americans abandoned a major combat base because of enemy pressure. (en)
  • The Battle of Khe Sanh was conducted in Khe Sanh of northwestern Quảng Trị Province, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), between 21 January and 9 July 1968 during the Vietnam War. The belligerent parties were elements of the United States military III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF), 1st Cavalry Division, the US Seventh Air Force, ,1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment, minor elements of the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) against two to three division-size elements of the People's Army of Vietnam (generally referred to in Western sources as the North Vietnamese Army or NVA).The American command in Saigon initially believed that combat operations around the Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) during the summer of 1967 were just part of a series of minor North Vietnamese offensives in the border regions. That appraisal was altered when it was discovered that the NVA was moving major forces into the area during the autumn and winter. A build-up of US Marine Corps forces took place and actions around Khe Sanh commenced when the Marine base was isolated. During a series of desperate actions that lasted 5 months and 18 days, Khe Sanh Combat Base and the hilltop outposts around it were under constant North Vietnamese ground, artillery, mortar, and rocket attacks.During the battle, a massive aerial bombardment campaign (Operation Niagara) was launched by the United States Air Force to support the Marine base. Over 100,000 tons of bombs (equivalent in destructive force to five Hiroshima-size atomic bombs) were dropped until mid-April by aircraft of the Air Force, US Navy and Marines onto the area surrounding Khe Sanh. This was roughly 1,300 tons of bombs dropped daily–five tons for every one of the 20,000 NVA soldiers initially estimated to have been committed to the fighting at Khe Sanh. In addition, 158,000 large-caliber shells were fired on the hills surrounding the base. This expenditure of aerial munitions dwarfs the amount of munitions fired by artillery, which totals eight shells per NVA soldier believed to have been on the battlefield. The campaign used the latest technological advances in order to locate NVA forces for targeting. The logistical effort to support KSCB, once it was isolated overland, demanded the implementation of other tactical innovations in order to keep the Marines supplied.In March 1968, an overland relief expedition (Operation Pegasus) was launched by a combined Marine–Army/South Vietnamese task force that eventually broke through to the Marines at Khe Sanh. American commanders considered the defense of Khe Sanh a success, but shortly after the siege was lifted the new American commander in Vietnam, General Creighton Abrams, decided to dismantle the base rather than risk similar battles in the future. Historians have observed that the Battle of Khe Sanh may have distracted American and GVN attention from the buildup of Viet Cong forces in the south before the early 1968 Tet Offensive. Even at the height of the Tet Offensive, General Westmoreland maintained that the true intentions of the offensive was to distract forces from Khe Sanh.On 19 June 1968, another operation began at Khe Sanh, Operation Charlie, the final evacuation and destruction of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The Marines withdrew all salvageable material and destroyed everything else. The NVA continued shelling the base, and on 1 July launched a company-sized infantry attack against its perimeter. On 9 July 1968, the flag of the Viet Cong was set up at Ta Con (Khe Sanh) airfield. On 13 July 1968, Ho Chi Minh sent a message to the soldiers of the Route 9–Khe Sanh Front affirming their victory at Khe Sanh. It was the first time in the war that the Americans abandoned a major combat base because of enemy pressure. (en)
  • The Battle of Khe Sanh (21 January – 9 July 1968) was conducted in the Khe Sanh area of northwestern Quảng Trị Province, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), during the Vietnam War. The main US forces defending Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) were two regiments of US Marines supported by elements from the United States Army and the United States Air Force. There were also a small number of South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) troops. These were pitted against two to three divisional-size elements of the North Vietnamese Army.The US command in Saigon initially believed that combat operations around KSCB during 1967 were part of a series of minor North Vietnamese offensives in the border regions. That appraisal was later altered when it was discovered that the NVA was moving major forces into the area. In response, US forces were built up before the NVA isolated the Marine base. Once the base came under siege a series of actions were fought over a period of five months. During this time, KSCB and the hilltop outposts around it were subjected to constant North Vietnamese artillery, mortar, and rocket attacks, and several infantry assaults. To support the Marine base, a massive aerial bombardment campaign (Operation Niagara) was launched by the United States Air Force. Over 100,000 tons of bombs were dropped by US aircraft and over 158,000 artillery rounds were fired in defense of the base. Throughout the campaign, US forces used the latest technology to locate NVA forces for targeting. Additionally, the logistical effort required to support the base once it was isolated demanded the implementation of other tactical innovations to keep the Marines supplied.In March 1968, an overland relief expedition (Operation Pegasus) was launched by a combined Marine–Army/South Vietnamese task force that eventually broke through to the Marines at Khe Sanh. American commanders considered the defense of Khe Sanh a success, but shortly after the siege was lifted the decision was made to dismantle the base rather than risk similar battles in the future. On 19 June 1968, the evacuation and destruction of KSCB began. Amidst heavy shelling, the Marines attempted to salvage what they could before destroying what remained as they were evacuated. Minor attacks continued before the base was officially closed on 5 July. Marines remained around Hill 689, though, and fighting in the vicinity continued until 11 July until they were finally withdrawn, bringing the battle to a close.In the aftermath, the North Vietnamese proclaimed a victory at Khe Sanh, while US forces claimed that they had withdrawn as the base was no longer required. Historians have observed that the Battle of Khe Sanh may have distracted American and South Vietnamese attention from the buildup of Viet Cong forces in the south before the early 1968 Tet Offensive. Nevertheless, the US commander during the battle, General William Westmoreland, maintained that the true intention of Tet was to distract forces from Khe Sanh. (en)
dbo:causalties
  • 7 missing
  • 12,000+ casualties
  • 2,396 wounded
  • 2,642 wounded,
  • 274 killed
  • 485 killed
  • 5 ~ 20 killed, wounded unknown
  • 730 killed
  • At Khe Sanh:
  • At least 11 marines killed, wounded unknown
  • Casualties of USAF personnel:
  • Operation Scotland I (1 November 1967 – 31 March 1968) Operation Pegasus ( 1–14 April 1968):
  • Total (21 January – 9 July):
  • U.S. losses:
  • 2,541 wounded (not including ARVN Ranger, RF/PF, Forward Operation Base 3 – US Army and Royal Laotian Army losses)
  • Operation Scotland II (15 April 1968 – July 1968):
  • ARVN losses: 229 killed, 436 wounded (not including CIDG, RF/PF and SOG losses)
  • Operation Charlie for the final evacuation (19 June – 5 July 1968):
  • During aerial resupply:
  • (2,800–3,500 killed, 9,000+ wounded, 7 missing, 250+ captured)ref|Not including ARVN Ranger, RF/PF, Forward Operation Base 3 – US Army, Royal Laotian Army and SOG commandos losses. The low figure often cited for US casualties (205 killed in action, 443 wounded, 2 missing) does not take into account US Army or Air Force casualties or those incurred during Operation Pegasus.|group=Note
  • CIDG losses: 1,000 – 1,500 killed or missing, at least 250 captured (in Lang Vei), wounded unknown
  • Kingdom of Laos: Unknown.
  • US losses:
  • 1 KC-130, 3 C-123, many helicopters
  • (Casualties of USAF personnel:)
  • (Operation Charlie for the final evacuation (19 June – 5 July 1968):)
  • (Operation Scotland II (15 April 1968 – July 1968):)
  • (2,800–3,500 killed, 9,000+ wounded, 7 missing, 250+ captured)ref|Not including ARVN Ranger, RF/PF, Forward Operation Base 3 – U.S. Army, Royal Laotian Army and SOG commandos losses. The low figure often cited for US casualties (205 killed in action, 443 wounded, 2 missing) does not take into account U.S. Army or Air Force casualties or those incurred during Operation Pegasus.|group=Note
  • (At Khe Sanh:)
  • (During aerial resupply:)
  • 1 KC-130, 3 C-123
  • (Operation Scotland I (1 November 1967 – 31 March 1968) & Operation Pegasus ( 1–14 April 1968):)
dbo:combatant
  • North Vietnam
  • South Vietnam
  • Kingdom of Laos
dbo:commander
dbo:date
  • 1968-07-09 (xsd:date)
dbo:isPartOfMilitaryConflict
dbo:place
dbo:result
  • * North Vietnamese Army gained control of the Khe Sanh region after the American withdrawal.
  • * The siege of Khe Sanh was broken by ground forces on 6 April.
  • Indecisive; both sides claimed victory:
  • * Americans destroyed the base complex of Khe Sanh and withdrew from the battle area in July 1968.
  • * Termination of theMcNamara Line. North Vietnamese lines of communication were extended further into South Vietnam.
dbo:strength
  • Operation Arc Light and operation Niagara: US Air Forces
  • Operation Pegasus: ~20,000 (1st Air Cavalry and Marine units)
  • ~45,000 in total
  • ~6,000 Marines at the Combat Base of Khe Sanh
  • Defense at Route 9: ~16,900 (320th and 324th Division)
  • Siege at Khe Sanh: Nearly 100,000
  • Operation Arc Light and operation Niagara: U.S. Air Forces
  • Siege at Khe Sanh: ~17,200 (304th and 308th Division)
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  • 2017-09-27 05:41:17Z (xsd:date)
  • 2018-04-27 14:35:37Z (xsd:date)
  • 2019-04-02 06:09:44Z (xsd:date)
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  • 2017-09-21 23:10:20Z (xsd:date)
  • 2018-04-22 02:54:51Z (xsd:date)
  • 2019-04-02 06:02:55Z (xsd:date)
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dbp:caption
  • A burning fuel dump after a mortar attack at Khe Sanh (en)
dbp:casualties
  • 5 (xsd:integer)
  • 7 (xsd:integer)
  • 274 (xsd:integer)
  • 485 (xsd:integer)
  • 730 (xsd:integer)
  • 1436 (xsd:integer)
  • 2396 (xsd:integer)
  • 2469 (xsd:integer)
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  • 2642 (xsd:integer)
  • Unknown (en)
  • At least 11 marines killed, wounded unknown ARVN losses: 229 killed, 436 wounded (en)
  • At Khe Sanh: (en)
  • Casualties of USAF personnel: (en)
  • North Vietnamese figures: (en)
  • Operation Charlie for the final evacuation : (en)
  • Operation Scotland I Operation Pegasus : (en)
  • Operation Scotland II : (en)
  • U.S. losses: (en)
  • CIDG losses: 1,000 – 1,500 killed or missing, at least 250 captured , wounded unknown (en)
  • Kingdom of Laos: Unknown. Total : 12,000+ casualties (en)
  • US losses: (en)
  • ref|Not including ARVN Ranger, RF/PF, Forward Operation Base 3 – US Army, Royal Laotian Army and SOG commandos losses. The low figure often cited for US casualties (205 killed in action, 443 wounded, 2 missing) does not take into account US Army or Air Force casualties or those incurred during Operation Pegasus.|group=Note (en)
  • At least 11 marines killed, wounded unknown During aerial resupply: 1 KC-130, 3 C-123, many helicopters ARVN losses: 229 killed, 436 wounded (en)
  • (At Khe Sanh:) (en)
  • (Operation Charlie for the final evacuation :) (en)
  • (Operation Scotland I & Operation Pegasus :) (en)
  • (Operation Scotland II :) (en)
  • ref|Not including ARVN Ranger, RF/PF, Forward Operation Base 3 – U.S. Army, Royal Laotian Army and SOG commandos losses. The low figure often cited for US casualties (205 killed in action, 443 wounded, 2 missing) does not take into account U.S. Army or Air Force casualties or those incurred during Operation Pegasus.|group=Note (en)
  • (Casualties of USAF personnel:) (en)
  • At least 11 marines killed, wounded unknown (During aerial resupply:) 1 KC-130, 3 C-123 ARVN losses: 229 killed, 436 wounded (en)
dbp:combatant
  • South Vietnam (en)
  • North Vietnam (en)
  • Kingdom of Laos (en)
dbp:commander
dbp:conflict
  • Battle of Khe Sanh (en)
dbp:date
  • --01-21
dbp:imageSize
  • 250 (xsd:integer)
  • 300 (xsd:integer)
dbp:partof
  • the Vietnam War (en)
dbp:place
  • Khe Sanh Combat Base , Quảng Trị Province, Republic of Vietnam – UTM Grid XD 852-418 (en)
dbp:result
  • --04-06
dbp:strength
  • Operation Arc Light and operation Niagara: US Air Forces (en)
  • Defense at Route 9: ~16,900 (en)
  • Siege at Khe Sanh: ~17,200 (en)
  • ~45,000 in total (en)
  • ~6,000 Marines at the Combat Base of Khe Sanh Operation Pegasus: ~20,000 (en)
  • Siege at Khe Sanh: Nearly 100,000 (en)
  • Operation Pegasus: ~20,000 (en)
  • Operation Arc Light and operation Niagara: U.S. Air Forces (en)
  • ~6,000 Marines at the Combat Base of Khe Sanh (en)
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  • The Battle of Khe Sanh (21 January – 9 July 1968) was conducted in the Khe Sanh area of northwestern Quảng Trị Province, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), during the Vietnam War. The main US forces defending Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) were two regiments of US Marines supported by elements from the United States Army and the United States Air Force. There were also a small number of South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) troops. (en)
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  • Battle of Khe Sanh (en)
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