Perspectives in Military History Lecture
Three Battalions in May
Army Combat Operations during the Communist "Mini-Tet" Offensive
Dr. Erik Villard
U.S. Army Center of Military History
On January 30, 1968, the North Vietnamese and their allies launched one of the largest, and most deadly, campaigns of the Vietnam War. With attacks across fronts spanning from the North/South Vietnam Boarder to Saigon, the country-wide campaign that became known as the Tet Offensive initially shocked the U.S Army. Less well known is the “Mini Tet” offensive in May of 1968 in which American and Allied counterattacks knocked the North Vietnamese off balance. On September 19th, 2018, at 7:15 PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, will host Dr. Erik Villard of the Center of Military History. Dr. Villard will give a talk entitled “Three Battalions in May: Army Combat Operations during the Communist ‘Mini-Tet’ Offensive.” The lecture will focus on additional research he completed based off his work for the book, Combat Operations: Staying the Course, October 1967-September 1968.
Dr. Villard will explore the May Offensive through the experience of three units: the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division at Khe Sanh and Dong Ha; the 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry; 196th Infantry Brigade at Kham Duc; and the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry (Mechanized) at An Bao. Their actions led to the success of allied counteroffensives following Tet, forcing the Communists to change and scale back their plans for the May Offensive in I Corps and northern II Corps. Dr. Villard incorporated numerous interviews he conducted with Veterans from all three units, as well as the leadership of their higher headquarters, into his books and presentation.
Dr. Erik B. Villard graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with degrees in history and English literature, later earning a master’s degree and Ph. D in history from the University of Washington in Seattle. He has worked for the U.S. Army Center of Military History since 2000 and has devoted his personal time to helping Vietnam War Veterans through history-oriented social media groups. Over the last few years, he has become involved in digital humanities, applying graphic design software, 3D modeling programs, geospatial information systems, and audio-video production to the field of military history. He is also the author of several books and articles about the Vietnam War, including Staying the Course: October 1967 to September 1968, and The 1968 Tet Offensive Battles of Quang Tri City and Hue.
DATE: Wednesday, September 19, 2018
TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM
PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room
For updates and any last-minute changes in “Perspectives” meeting times and places, please check: www.USAHEC.org or call the Information Desk: 717-245-3972.