The Siege at Hue

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Overview

This well-documented narrative by former U.S. Army Captain George W. Smith is the most complete account to date of the longest continuous battle of the Vietnam War. Charged with monitoring the huge civilian press corps that descended on Hue during the Tet offensive, Captain Smith, an information adviser to South Vietnam's 1st Infantry Division, was an eyewitness to the twenty-five-day struggle. He recounts the separate, poorly coordinated battles that were fought in the retaking of the city, documenting the ...
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Overview

This well-documented narrative by former U.S. Army Captain George W. Smith is the most complete account to date of the longest continuous battle of the Vietnam War. Charged with monitoring the huge civilian press corps that descended on Hue during the Tet offensive, Captain Smith, an information adviser to South Vietnam's 1st Infantry Division, was an eyewitness to the twenty-five-day struggle. He recounts the separate, poorly coordinated battles that were fought in the retaking of the city, documenting the little known contributions of the brave South Vietnamese forces who prevented the Citadel area of Hue from being overrun, and who then assisted the U.S. Marine Corps in evicting the North Vietnamese Army. He also tells of the social and political upheaval in the city, reporting the execution of nearly 3,000 civilians by the NVA and the Vietcong. The tenacity of the NVA forces in Hue earned the respect of the allied troops on the field and triggered a sequence of attitudinal changes in the United States. It was those changes, Smith suggests, that eventually led the United States to abandon the war.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong surprise attack on the South Vietnamese city of Hue played a pivotal role in the Tet Offensive of 1968. The city of 140,000 was lightly held by a token South Vietnamese force at the time of the stunning assault. The street fighting was as savage as any in war, and the NVA/VC managed to hold out for 25 days. By the end, a total of 1500 Americans, 2200 South Vietnamese, and 5100 NVA/VC combatants had been killed or wounded. More than 3000 civilians had lost their lives, a high percentage of them murdered by Communist killer teams. Smith was present as a U.S. Marine officer and provides a sense of intimate knowledge as he outlines the desperate nature of the urban combat. His inclusion of South Vietnamese units and the description of the role they played stands out in the reporting of the war. Missing from his chronicle, though, is any treatment of strategic Communist goals, analysis of their forces, or discussion of the reasons behind the uncoordinated Allied attacks. Still, the dramatic presentation of the siege makes the book worthy of Vietnam War collections in academic and public libraries.--John R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., Loudonville, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Now a writer for the Associated Press, in 1968 Smith was a US captain monitoring the civilian press corp during the 25-day campaign for the city, which was part of the Tet Offensive that proved a watershed in US public opinion. He describes chaos and uncoordinated campaigns among US and South Vietnamese troops, South Vietnamese troops holding the Citadel part of the city, social and political upheaval, executions of nearly 3,000 civilian, and other events and conditions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804119467
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/5/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

George W. Smith served in Vietnam as a U.S. Army captain. He is a former sportswriter for The Hartford Courant.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2007

    Siege at Hue

    A good book for those interested in the Tet offensive, the climactic event of the Vietnam War. A good insiders view of the battle at Hue, where 3000 civilians were massacred by the Viet Cong.

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