VIET NAM: The Battle of the Dikes

IS the U.S. deliberately bombing the dikes of North Viet Nam? That was clearly the most perplexing question of the week about the war in Viet Nam, where the rival armies remained locked in a bitter, seesaw battle for Quang Tri city. The accusation was serious, since nearly 15 million peasants live in the Red River Delta, whose floodwaters are controlled by a centuries-old, 2,500-mile labyrinth of earthen dikes (TIME, July 31). In the virtual absence of uncontestable firsthand information, however, the shouting of partisans all but drowned out the testimony of...

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