Vietnam War Dictionary
Located 15 miles from the DMZ
, Khe Sanh was the site of a Marine Corps combat base that was subject to a siege by the North Vietnamese between 21st January and 8th April 1968. In an attack reminiscent of their assault on the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu
in 1954, the Communists committed over 20,000 men to the offensive and shelled the base with rockets, artillery and mortars. However, they failed to prevent air supplies reaching the besieged Marines and were eventually beaten back by a B-52 led aerial bombardment. According to U.S. estimates approximately 15,000 enemy troops were killed during the 77-day siege, compared to 500 American fatalities.
See McNamara Line
, Tet Offensive