The Nation: The fierce War on the Ground

BEYOND the obvious political goals, the massive North Vietnamese ground offensive was designed to test the will of the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam—to bloody and punish it, to destroy it if possible. Last week both armies had certainly been bloodied, in a war of attrition that raised casualties to the highest levels in months. By conservative estimate, 10,000 South Vietnamese were killed or missing during three weeks of fighting; American losses were 28 killed and 108 wounded. Despite the fearsome losses inflicted by U.S. and Vietnamese air strikes, the estimated...

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