The Battle of Kham Duc

James McLeroy, Gregory Sanders

An account of the battle of Kham Duc, one of the least known and most misunderstood battles in the American Phase of the Second Indochina War (1959 to 1975).
Date Published :
November 2022
Publisher :
Illustration :
50 images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612008127
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781636242170
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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An account of the battle of Kham Duc, one of the least known and most misunderstood battles in the American Phase of the Second Indochina War (1959 to 1975).

The strategic potential of the three-day attack of two NVA regiments on Kham Duc, a remote and isolated Army Special Forces camp, on the eve of the first Paris peace talks in May 1968, was so significant that former President Lyndon Johnson included it in his memoirs. This gripping, original, eyewitness narrative and thoroughly researched analysis of a widely misinterpreted battle at the height of the Vietnam War radically contradicts all the other published accounts of it. In addition to the tactical details of the combat narrative, the authors consider the grand strategies and political contexts of the U.S. and North Vietnamese leaders.

About The Author

James D. McLeroy lived at Kham Duc and led an elite group of U.S. and indigenous Special Forces troops in the battle.

Gregory W. Sanders witnessed a detailed analysis of the battle at the Americal Division headquarters prior to a joint U.S. and South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) operation at and around Kham Duc in 1970.


"This book is one of those rare historical narratives that explains in rich detail a battle that was little understood or reported on at the time it was fought but was of strategic importance and heroic dimension."

- Marine Corps Gazette

"The account of the battle is both detailed and exceptionally well-written; McLeroy’s participation in the battle adds authenticity to the narrative...highly recommended for anyone interested in how large-scale battles were fought in Vietnam at the height of U.S. commitment on the ground there."

- Journal of Military History

"For an authentic, detailed view of how large battles between U.S. combined-arms forces and regular North Vietnamese Army forces were fought in Vietnam in 1968, 'Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc' is required reading."

- General H. Hugh Shelton, 14th Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

“This first-hand, exhaustively documented account of a large battle in the Vietnam War shows the decisive role of air power in all its forms."

- Carl Schneider, Major General, USAF (ret.)

“…a vivid, original narrative and authoritative analysis of the large but little known 1968 Battle of Kham Duc at the height of the Vietnam War. McLeroy's participation in it gives this deeply researched narrative and analysis an authenticity missing in combat accounts by writers who have not experienced the events they write about. As a multi-year Vietnam veteran, I have studied the war for over 40 years and taught its history to military and civilian students. I will now add this excellent book to the recommended reading list for my course and strongly recommend it to anyone seriously interested in Vietnam War history.”

- Andrew Finlayson, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)

“the most authentic account to date of the historic battle of Kham Duc in the Vietnam War. It convincingly explains why, contrary to all other accounts, it was an American tactical victory. Well written, impressively researched, and filled with new details, 'Bait' is high recommended for scholars, students, and general readers of military history.”

- Robert Turner, Professor and Distinguished Fellow, University of Virginia

"A richly detailed micro (or case) study that sheds light on the meta-pattern not only of the Vietnam War, but on war itself.”

- Arthur Hansen, Professor of History (ret.), California State University

" excellent book. Besides clarifying both sides' conduct of the fighting on the ground and in the air, it sheds light on multiple levels of decision-making by their leaders. The authors' granular account of action in the trenches as well as terrain, equipment, tactical and strategic goals, and leadership is informed by their scholarship and their own experiences of Viet Nam."

- Michigan War Studies Review

"...provides a great new strategic perspective on the U.S. mid-late 1960's military approach to the Vietnam is also well written, and impeccably researched."

- Globe at War

"This book is well written containing extensive end notes to backstop assertions...another example of history best told by those who lived it. It is also highly recommended for both Vietnam War historians and veterans."

- Small Wars Journal

"...a well-written war story, a superb addition to the growing body of credible revisionist histories."

- Vietnam Magazine

"Enhanced for academia and the reader with the inclusion of a nineteen page appendix, a five page glossary, a twenty-one page listing of sources, and an eight page index, Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc is an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Vietnam War Military History collections and supplemental studies lists."

- Midwest Book Review

" of the book feel like a thriller... a quick, compelling overview of one of America’s tactical successes in Vietnam."

- The Journal of America's Military Past

"The strength[s] of 'Bait' are the authors’ exceptional style of writing, extensive use of images, and personal knowledge of events in providing an authentic, up close view of combat. The authors’ extensive research of primary and secondary sources is a quality in of itself not found in majority of Vietnam battles."

- Military Review

"I highly recommend reading this book not only to military history enthusiasts but also anyone with an interest in the Vietnam War.’’

- The Military Enthusiast Book Club

" important contribution to our understanding of this major battle during America’s most misunderstood war. It is a compelling account of true life-and-death events for anyone interested in military history and a fresh in-depth analysis of the battle for historians. Bait should be mandatory reading for military leaders at every level."

- ARMY Magazine

“Bait is the real story of one of the most significant, yet unknown, battles of the Vietnam War."

- Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Michael Lee Lanning

"This is more than simply an account of an obscure battle in the Vietnam War. It is one more important piece of the puzzle helping to explain the dynamics of the conflict that led to America’s disillusionment with the war, especially in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive."

- Air Power History

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