January-February, 1968: Battle of Hue Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On January 31, 1968, the battle for Hue begin with a fierce bombardment and military assault by North Vietnamese army regulars (NVA) of the Fourth and Sixth Regiments and Viet Cong. Hue was overrun in the first hours, except for the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) Advisory compound in southern Hue and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) First Division headquarters in the northern sector of the Citadel. Brigadier General Ngo Quang Troung, the respected commander of the First Division, quickly gave orders for major elements of the division, as well as other U.S./ARVN forces, to converge on Hue.

On January 31, 1968, the battle for Hue begin with a fierce bombardment and military assault by North Vietnamese army regulars (NVA) of the Fourth and Sixth Regiments and Viet Cong. Hue was overrun in the first hours, except for the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) Advisory compound in southern Hue and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) First Division headquarters in the northern sector of the Citadel. Brigadier General Ngo Quang Troung, the respected commander of the First Division, quickly gave orders for major elements of the division, as well as other U.S./ARVN forces, to converge on Hue.

In the next few days, major U.S. and ARVN military forces fought their way into Hue to reinforce the tottering defenses of the northern sector of the Citadel and the MACV compound, as well as to prepare for military counterattacks. In the days that followed, the allied bombardment of the Citadel and U.S. marine and ARVN airborne attacks slowly began to dislodge North Vietnamese forces from the Citadel. On February 25, the Citadel and Hue was finally secured, and NVA and Viet Cong forces in areas surrounding Hue were defeated. The Battle of Hue indicated North Vietnam’s psychological willingness to endure huge military losses to win the war.

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