In what is widely considered one of the most controversial battles of all time, the Battle of Khe Sahn took place in a little village in Vietnam, the Khe Sahn village. What is interesting is that both the US and Vietnam published official histories of the battle, but they disagree on virtually every aspect of the battle.
The only thing that both sides agree is that the battle of Khe Sahn was the deadliest and longest battle during the Vietnam War and it took place in 1968 in Khe Sanh.
Another interesting aspect is that many US veterans and marines consider the Khe Sahn an unnecessary territory to hold. For starters, the nearest village is Quan Tri, and it is a village 50 miles away. Other villages, such as Phu Bi, Danang and Hue are way off. The Vietnamese army simply walked south on the Laotian side of the river to Saigon.
Americans freed the village as early as 1962, and Khe Sahn was part of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). By 1968, the US troops sent more than 6,000 marines in the area to defend it. The official start of the battle was on January 21, when 10 to 15 marines were killed.
And to this day, the official count of victims is unknown. A large part of that is because the numbers are totally opposite between the Vietnamese side and the US side. According to US histories, there were more than 15,000 casualties on the Vietnamese side. In April, American media published stories like the “Siege has been lifted” and “Victory at Khe Sahn”. One day, we might know the full story. Until then, enjoy the documentary that tries to recapture both sides of the story.
Jeremy Scahill is one of the best reporters in the United States. He is the founding editor of The Intercept, an online news publication, and author of some of the best US mi...