For this blog I read another book about the battle of Hue, called “The 1968 Tet Offensive Battles of Quang Tri City and Hue”. I found this book very informative and helpful in my research, it kind of falls along the lines of the last book I blogged about. The author, Erik Villard, does a great job describing the city of Hue, the buildings layout, and putting you there with them.
Villard talks about at the start of the Tet holiday, January 29th, the intelligence officers were going on like it was a normal day, they didn’t believe the enemy had the guts or capability of attacking Hue at that time, but General Troung thought different. Troung knew something was wrong and that Hue was vulnerable to an attack. At the time, there were only about 1,000 troops in the city, but the General could call for U.S. marine help at anytime. There was a big issue though, the marines that were outside of the cit had been moving around and a lot of them had only the ammo and supplies that were on their backs for the next week. Knowing that all you had for an entire week was on your back would be hard, that’s not even if you were in battle, and little did they know all hell was about to break loose.
The enemy had spent the two months before the battle preparing, not only outside the city, but inside as well. They had men mingling with villagers, staking it out, and finding the best places to attack from. This was a well thought out attack. Villard says, “From those reports, the Communists concluded that a quick capture of the city was possible because Hue was nearly unprotected and the soldiers defending it had a weak morale and a poor combat capability.” The enemy defiantly knew they had the upper hand in this battle, they were ready to attack and take it over, and they had waited for the right time to do it.