World: HOW THE BATTLE FOR KHE SANH WAS WON

As allied patrols scoured the scorched and battered moonscape around the liberated Marine garrison of Khe Sanh last week, they found North Vietnamese trenches and bunkers, tons of supplies and ammunition, some 1,300 bodies—and hardly a trace of opposition. Whether fled or dead, the formidable force of 20,000 North Vietnamese assault troops that had ringed 6,000 U.S. Marines and ARVN troops was gone. What once loomed as the largest, most decisive and most controversial battle of the Viet Nam war would now never be joined, and the forebodings of the armchair generals* who questioned the decision to defend Khe Sanh had...