On 19 Oct 1965, North Vietnamese troops launch a major assault on US and South Vietnamese Special Forces Camp at Plei Me in the Central Highlands, 215 miles north of Saigon. During a week of savage fighting, defenders of the besieged outpost, manned by 12 US Green Berets, 400 Montagnard tribesmen, and a handful of South Vietnamese guerrilla specialists, repelled repeated Viet Cong attacks. The tide of the battle turned finally with the arrival of several hundred South Vietnamese reinforcements and numerous Allied air strikes. With the camp secured, General William Westmoreland, senior US military commander in Saigon, decided to seize the advantage and send in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) to “find, fix, and defeat the enemy forces” that had threatened Plei Me. This decision would result in November in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley, the war’s bloodiest battle to date. The Vietnamese Communists never won a major battle in the entire war; they lost every time.
The commander of the NVA said he was ready to pull out of the war and go back north after the beating they took as a result of the Tet 1968 fighting. However, the US media reported that the Tet campaign was their victory and the protestors in the US agreed. We soldiers who were there know better. The North Vietnamese eventually won the war because the US main-stream media started saying they were winning and the protestors in the US hit the streets. When I talk to troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan today they all say that the reporting on US TV of the war in the Mideast is totally off base; they say Fox gets it right about half the time, the rest is total BS. Beware of American media.