The Siege at Hue

The Siege at Hue Social Studies American History Famous Historical Events Geography Government World History

This book begins with the story of uncovering bodies of loved ones.  Survivors are looking for family members who had been placed in the ground, some bound with wires or rope.

When those bodies are found - then carted-off for proper burials - the holes in the sand are left behind. We are left to ask:

  • Who were these people? 
  • Why had they died? 
  • Why was their city, Hue, targeted for a massive, urban battle?
  • Why were people who were there left with memories they could never forget?

Hue, at the time of the battle, was more populated than usual. Tet - which is the lunar new year - is Vietnam’s largest annual holiday. Because Hue is the imperial city, its Tet festival is always popular.

By the end of January, in 1968, several thousand visitors had already arrived in Vietnam’s cultural capital to celebrate. It was just the sort of population-gathering that would ensnare more people than usual (if adversaries wanted to cause a great deal of harm).

Major Ron Christmas, a Company Commander in Hue, had this to say about the urban battle which took place over 26 days in the ancient Vietnamese city in early 1968:

Fighting house-to-house is the dirtiest of all fighting. . . Just as a rat must be drawn from his burrow to be eradicated, an enemy soldier, burrowed in a building, must also be pulled from his hiding place to be eliminated. Normally, he will not come out without a fight. The attacker must go in and dig him out.

Go to Hue, with George W. Smith, and learn what happened in this pivotal event which turned so many Americans against the war in Vietnam.

Thanks to Lynne Rienner (the publisher) and Google Books, much of this work is available for online reading

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Feb 26, 2020

Media Credits

Book-cover image online, courtesy Lynne Rienner (publisher) and Google Books.


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