The author of Black Hawk Down vividly recounts a pivotal Vietnam War battle in this New York Times bestseller: “An extraordinary feat of journalism”. —Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal
In Hue 1968, Mark Bowden presents a detailed, day-by-day reconstruction of the most critical battle of the Tet Offensive. In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched attacks across South Vietnam. The lynchpin of this campaign was the capture of Hue, Vietnam’s intellectual and cultural capital. 10,000 troops descended from hidden camps and surged across the city, taking everything but two small military outposts.
American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the siege, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city block by block, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.
With unprecedented access to war archives in the United States and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave.
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist in History
Winner of the 2018 Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Greene Award for a distinguished work of nonfiction