hamburger hiill

Topics: Vietnam War, Lyndon B. Johnson, A Shau Valley Pages: 12 (2553 words) Published: April 21, 2015
To what extent did the Battle of Hamburger Hill reflect the escalation of American involvement and negative reaction among  the  American people? 

Franklin Wang 
Candidate Number 
Total Word Count 1997 
Historical Investigation submitted 
February 18​
, 2015 


Contents Table

Plan of Investigation


Summary of Evidence


Evaluation of Sources


Summary of Evidence










Plan of Investigation.
The aim of this investigation is to determine the degree to which the battle of hamburger Hill contributed to the decline of approval of the Vietnam War. The investigation focuses on the halt of American ground operations with the United States Military and the ironic significance of the meaningless battle. It also pinpoints the morals of fighting a just war and challenges the sanctity of our presence in the modern world. The loss of life and time is also considred. In the sections entitled evaluation of sources, two sources are used for this investigation [​ In Retrospect: The

Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam ​
and The Brutal Battle of Hamburger Hill are evaluated according to their values, limitations, origins, and purposes. The Brutal Battle of Hamburger Hill also contains field reports of the battle as well.

Summary of Evidence
The many faces of the Vietnam wore not only bore scars on the soldiers themselves, but on the American people as well. The fight at Hill 937 or Hamburger Hill was not a major or a significant battle, however it did claim over 400 American casualties.1 It was part of operation Apache Snow,a part of a tough campaign to drive north Vietnam forces out of the A Shau Valley.2 American efforts to take out the pestilent NVA were disastrous for ineffective before Hamburger Hill. Furthermore, It took place on the Ap Bia Mountain by the Vietnam border. The surrounding area was also full of wilderness and jungle, especially of a plant called elephant grass. American forces that participated consisted of the 501st Infantry, 506th Infantry, 187th Infantry, the 9th Marines, and the 5th Cavalry. The troops gave them all they could muster. Finding information about the enemy itself was more than difficult. Their communications could not be traced so it took days to find contact.3

Therefore, the American force had to enter the valley by helicopter only, making the approach and the landing a tenuous process. The operation was to be a reconnaissance effort and looked good on paper, but in practice it turned out to be a disaster. The enemy’s system of entrenchments made it extremely difficult. The NVA had bunkers all across the mountain with booby traps everywhere.

At first, American units only encountered light resistance. Commander Honeycutt expected the NVA to reteat after some combat, so he intended to push his troops into the heart of the valley and punish the NVA before they escape into nearby Laos.

Zaffiri, Samuel. ​
Hamburger Hill: The Brutal Battle for Dong Ap Bia, May 11-20, 1969​ . pg88


Smith, W. Thomas.​
 Alpha Bravo Delta Guide to Decisive 20th­century American Battles pg123  Kimball, Jeffrey P. Nixon's Vietnam War. Lawrence, Kan.: University of Kansas, 1998. Print.



"Battle for Hamburger Hill Ends." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

Circumstances quickly took a turn to the worst, Cobra helicopter gunships sent to destroy the NVA accidentally took a battalion command post as the enemy and killed two americans and wounded thirty five others. The battle began to grind to a half and many units couldn't even advance more than five hundred meters a day.4 The slopes were described to be mud-covered and stalled the assault more than the enemy. The treacherous landscape caused even airborn infantry battalions to become “ground-bound” in the jungle. Helicopters found less and less spaces...

Bibliography: Zaffiri, Samuel. ​
Hamburger Hill: The Brutal Battle for Dong Ap Bia, May 11-20, 1969​
Kimball, Jeffrey P. Nixon 's Vietnam War. Lawrence, Kan.: University of Kansas, 1998. Print.
"Battle for Hamburger Hill Ends." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.
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