The Hammer Falls

The Hammer Falls

Westmoreland’s Season of Offensives, 1967

Arrigo Velicogna

After an uneven start in 1966 by January 1967 General Westmoreland was finally ready to launch his own offensives in the area north of Saigon. What followed was a series of controversial battles. This book explores these battles and puts them in the larger context of US strategy in Vietnam.
Date Published :
December 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
100 photos and maps, 15 color profiles
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804510209
Pages : 88
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


With the end of the 1966 dry season and the wrapping up of Operation Attleboro, General Westmoreland had both the resource and favourable weather to launch his planned series of offensives designed to push away Viet Cong and PAVN (People’s Army of Vietnam) forces away from the key cities of South Vietnam. As in the previous year his focus would be the area around Saigon. Having amassed two infantry divisions, two separate brigades, and a powerful armoured cavalry regiment, he felt ready to secure the area. In this he was ably supported by General Bruce Palmer, the Commander of II Field Force, Vietnam.

What followed was a constant series of offensives, including the only battalion-level combat jump made by the US military in Vietnam. These operations were large, involving multiple divisions and generating several hard-fought battles. The US and South Vietnamese forces used all the panoply of a combined arms forces with airmobile, mechanized, and infantry operations trying not only to destroy their opponents but removing their logistical infrastructure.

Until recently these operations had been largely portrayed by historians as failures that did not further US aims in Vietnam, yet after Westmoreland’s large scale offensive enemy activity in the region declined sharply. This new analysis looks at them using more recent scholarship, debunks several myths and ties them to the overall, and often misunderstood, strategy applied by General Westmoreland.

The book provides the reader with a nuanced analysis of battles and strategy bringing a fresh perspective not only on the US Army in the Vietnam War and General Westmoreland’s strategy, but also at the broader subject of ‘limited wars’ and ‘counterinsurgencies’.

About The Author

Dr. Arrigo Velicogna is an academic, a conflict simulation designer and defence consultant specialized in military history, operations, and naval warfare. He earned a PhD in War Studies in King’s College London in 2014 on the subject of the Vietnam War. He taught related subjects there and at Wolverhampton University, and worked for several British defence related organizations. Into the Iron Triangle is his first book for Helion.

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