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A group of US Marines demolish a bunker during the breakup of the Khe Sanh base, May 1968. Three NVA divisions surrounded the Marine base and during an attack, a 152mm Howitzer shell hit an ammunition dump that exploded destroying 1500 tons of ammunition, killing 14 Marines and injuring 43. One of the longest and most intense battles of the war followed and at one point, the NVA and Marines were fighting from trenches less then 100 yards apart. The US lost a total of over 400 men and 1800 were wounded during the siege, which ended on April 1st, 1968. Back in the US, the news (Walter Cronkite of CBS and other media) reported that Khe Sanh had been a big set back for the US. In fact, the Marines had beaten back an enemy force that greatly outnumbered them. However, the ensuing propaganda sparked tensions in the US and today, this incident is viewed by many as a turning point in the Vietnam War, resulting in a policy shift in Washington as a direct consequence of public opinion.

Khe Sanh