Started reading Mark Bowden’s (of Black Hawk Down fame) new book Hue, 1968. A couple things really surprised me about a battle I admit I thought I knew more about than I actually did.

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1) I had no idea how long American leadership and even Marine commanders in I Corps passively and even intentionally ignored the crisis in Hue. It seems like a lot of soldiers and Marines died needlessly in the early stages of the attack because commanders simply refused to acknowledge that there was a major situation unfolding in Hue.

2) I had no idea what a major part of the battle the Army played. I had believed that this fight was all Marines. I had no idea there were Army air cav and armored units fighting in and around Hue as well.

3) I had no idea the MACV compound remained occupied and defended for such a long stretch. I assumed it was overrun or abandoned early into the attack. I had no idea it held out.

If you read Black Hawk Down and loved it, or are just interested in learning more about Vietnam, Hue, 1968 is probably your best bet for anything written in the past few years. Really thorough and gripping history.

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