Tet and Khe Sahn Video

Not sure of the origin of this clip. They label it “raw footage” but it appears to be from a show of some sort. Lots of the footage you’ve probably seen a million times. Still an interesting watch.

I don’t think I’d ever seen the press conference question about using nukes to defend Khe Sahn.

Related: What was the network television documentary series on Vietnam that aired in 1985 or so? I remember watching it but have never been able to figure out which one it was.


    1. I’ve checked that out and it doesn’t seem like it. I do actually think I’ve watched a number of episodes of that and thought it was decent. I sure can’t figure out what I watched in the the early-mid 80s. It was one summer and I watched it at my grandparents’ house.

      Maybe I dreamed it.

  1. What about “Tour of Duty”? Definitely not a documentary, but still a great show. First season came out in 1987.

    1. I did watch Tour of Duty when it first ran. Thought it was pretty good at the time, but I haven’t seen it for so long I wonder what I’d think of it now.

  2. Watching this made me think about how a similar battle staged today between forces using Russian/Soviet equipment and training and US Marines/Army/NATO forces.

    I think cluster bombs would probably make a difference, as would greater access to night vision equipment (mainly on aircraft) and drones.

    The combination of being able to have drones with night vision on station 24 hours a day, guiding A-10s, F-15Es and F-16s with PGMs and cluster bombs into enemy formations would allow for a devastating result. I don’t see how a siege could be sustained under that condition.

    Of course the NVA took a beating even back then, but with modern technology up against them I doubt they could hold out a week. Their only defence would be to bring lots of SAMs with them, but even then, with drone targeting it would be hard to hit the bombing aircraft with anything small enough to avoid destruction by HARMs or Wild Weasel aircraft. I say this mainly because it would be possible to drop PGMs from high altitude but still accurately hit formations which have been located via drone sensors.

    Does this seem like a valid analysis?

    1. Nicholas: The NVA sure did take a horrific beating during Tet. We weren’t as accurate then – but a B-52 arch light doesn’t have to be that accurate. We just erased grid squares. I think the whole firebase strategy was designed to bait the NVA into massed formations where we could kill them.

      It would certainly be faster today. Drones spotting for MLRS arty would have slaughtered NVA formations on the move.

      The biggest difference would be the ability to spot their deep bunkers and accurately target them with penetrating munitions. That would probably enable us to destroy their command structure.

  3. I saw this somewhere a long time ago. That Marine’s letter and his committment to be a good Marine someday stuck in my mind – I thought of it as my unit got in and out of bad situations (not nearly that hairy) in ’91.

  4. I think you’re thinking about “Vietnam: A Television History”, a ten part series on PBS, not on any network.

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