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Expendable Warriors - 
      Bruce B. G. Clarke

Expendable Warriors

The Battle of Khe Sanh and the Vietnam War

"Expendable Warriors reveals a little-known chapter in the story of the siege of Khe Sanh--how the battle really began and who was targeted in the first and biggest North Vietnamese assault in the opening round of an epic clash. Les mer
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"Expendable Warriors reveals a little-known chapter in the story of the siege of Khe Sanh--how the battle really began and who was targeted in the first and biggest North Vietnamese assault in the opening round of an epic clash." -- Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young and Triumph Without Victory: The History of the Persian Gulf "Warrior, professor, deep thinker, and highly engaging and articulate writer, Bruce Clarke has written with compassion and wisdom borne of his personal experience in the village of Khe Sanh, 38 years ago. Good war stories take a long time to write, and this one is worth the wait. I am fascinated by the tale and the wonderful new insights that this major historian and military analyst brings to the reader. His sharing of the battle before the battle, the defeat of an NVA Regiment before the main Khe Sanh battle ever began, is masterfully told. A real page turner. And the lessons learned that he shares are well worth noting at a time when we are again, as a nation, engaged in war." -- John K. Swensson, Dean, Language Arts Division; De Anza College and Custodian, The DeCillis Viet Nam Conflict Collection "Most books studying the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh focus on the Marine Corps' defense of the base and the hilltops to the north. Other books examine the fall of the nearby Lang Vei Special Forces Camp overrun by North Vietnamese tanks. To most Khe Sanh was a Marine battle. While heavily shelled and the hilltop outposts fought off attacks, the main base experienced only minor ground attacks. There was another battle though, unheralded in most books, the vicious fight for Khe Sanh Village south of the main base. This fight saw 25 Army and Marine advisors and 175 Vietnamese irregular troops fighting off a North Vietnamese regular battalion. Bruce Clark aptly describes the valor and spirit of the defenders as they beat back repeated assaults with little support from the main base. This is a first person account of a virtually unheard of battle characterized by heroism and dedication to duty." -- Gordon L. Rottman, author of Khe Sanh 1967-68 "I'm honored that Bruce Clarke has portrayed the bravery of not only the Americans but all of us who fought and won the largest ground battle of the siege of Khe Sanh. We believed in our cause and dedicated our lives to it and this book clearly illustrates what many efforts about the Vietnam War do not--the bravery and efforts of the warriors who fought beside the Americans in the Vietnam War." -- CPt Nhi, Vietnamese District Chief

«Clarke's purpose is to set the record straight--clarifying reports and stories that have failed to accurately depict what happened." - ARMY»

«Clarke describes the experiences of himself and his colleagues in the battles around the Khe Sanh Combat base in 1968, during the Vietnam War. He looks at the decision-making at multiple levels surrounding the battle, which he judges to have been a bloody tactical victory and a strategic defeat for the United States." - Reference & Research Book News»












































































































































































































































































Forewordix




John W. Vessey

Prefacexi
Acknowledgmentsxv
Abbreviationsxvii




Chapter 1

1(5)




Chapter 2

6(9)




Vietnam

6(2)




Khe Sanh before the Battle

8(7)




Chapter 3

15(14)




District Headquarters

15(5)




The Village Participants

20(9)




Chapter 4

29(10)




Day-to-Day Operations of the Advisory Team

29(10)




Chapter 5

39(8)




Giap's Strategy

39(4)




The NVA Tactical Plan

43(1)




The American Plan

43(4)




Chapter 6

47(5)




The Situation Changes---The Prelude to the Battle in Khe Sanh

47(5)




Chapter 7

52(13)




The Battle Is Joined

52(6)




The Western Approach to the Village---CAC-OSCAR 2's Fight

58(2)




Air Strikes Take Their Toll

60(5)




Chapter 8

65(18)




Black Cats to the Rescue

65(1)




The Black Cats

66(2)




The Combat Assault

68(5)




The NVA Await

73(1)




Enroute to Khe Sanh

73(1)




Arriving at the Landing Zone at the Old French Fort

74(9)




Chapter 9

83(12)




The Battle Continues

83(6)




What Could Have Been Done Differently

89(4)




The Evacuation of the District Headquarters

93(2)




Chapter 10

95(14)




The Advisory Team on the Move

95(2)




Lang Vei Falls

97(2)




Life at FOB-3

99(1)




A Corpsman's Perspective

100(1)




The Northern Half of FOB-3

101(3)




The Bru

104(1)




The Extended Siege

105(1)




The End of the Siege

106(3)




Chapter 11

109(7)




Observations on a Lost War

109(1)




The Need for Unity of Command

109(2)




The Tension Between Secrecy and Operational Requirements

111(1)




The Relationship of Battlefield Events and Political Decisions

112(2)




The Roots of Historical Revisionism/Why History Is Difficult to Chronicle Accurately

114(1)




Conclusion

115(1)




Epilogue

116(15)




The Participants Today

116(2)




MIA---Still Missing, But Not Forgotten

118(3)




The Bru Leave Khe Sanh

121(10)




Appendices

131(32)




Appendix 1: JCS After-Action Report

132(5)




Appendix 2: Wichita Eagle, April 4, 1968, Article

137(3)




Appendix 3: The Participants

140(6)




Appendix 4: NVA Plan

146(5)




Appendix 5: Recently Unclassified Intelligence

151(2)




Appendix 6: Invasion of Laos

153(2)




Appendix 7: Wichita Eagle Article---After-Action Report

155(2)




Appendix 8: Award Citations

157(3)




Appendix 9: Terrain Map of Area Around Khe Sanh Village

160(3)
Index163
Bruce B. G. Clarke (Col., U.S. Army, ret.) was Director of National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War College, and is the author of Conflict Termination: A Rational Model (Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College).