Cold War: Dilemma in the Delta

In the wide delta of the Mekong River last week, the swirling brown floodwaters stretched for miles. Bridges had been swept away, cattle drowned, the rice crop destroyed, villages inundated and their surviving inhabitants left starving.

Still the civil war went on. Three hundred Communist Viet Cong guerrillas escaping the flooded south clashed in a bloody fight with government troops and civil guards. In the Mekong Delta region, a Communist band stormed the military outpost of Minh Duc, inflicting "heavy" losses on the defenders. Only 18 miles from President Ngo Dinh Diem's capital of Saigon, a U.S. military adviser on a...

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