Reconsidering US Marine Corps Involvement in the Vietnam War

One of the problems with “accuracy” in historical accounts is that without a time machine, such things are impossible. I have to agree with the idea that poor scholarship on Southeast Asia has clouded most studies, but looking for “accuracy” here I believe to be wrong-headed.



In the 50 years since US Marines first landed at Da Nang on the morning of 8 March 1965, the history of their involvement in the Vietnam War has been one of the most misunderstood and sometimes contentious topics in modern military history. In most cases historians assert that the Marines had neither a clear understanding of the conflict nor the American military strategy to contain the spread of Communism in South Vietnam. By extension, the Marines’ involvement from 1965 to 1968 is often depicted as a series of unplanned and isolated events, demonstrating a divide between the Marines’ long-term vision and operational approach and the overall American military strategy in Vietnam. This interpretation, whilst enduring, has come to obscure the centrality of the Marines’ approach to implementing American strategy.

The landings at Da Nang, exemplify this problem. Nearly every study on American…

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