Battle of Hue (1975)

In March 1975, on the eve of the North Vietnamese attack on South Vietnam, Hue was defended by the 369th Marine Brigade to the west, the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) 1st Division and 15th Ranger Group to the south, and the 14th Ranger Group to the north. The ARVN commander of I Corps was Lt. General Ngo Quang Truong. North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops in the B-4 Front Group and elements of the 341st Division were poised by March 19 at the My Chanh River north of Hue, while the NVA 325C and 324B divisions were preparing to move down out of the Central Highlands to attack the ARVN 1st Division and 15th Ranger Group. NVA artillery attacks were increasing in strength throughout March, and large numbers of refugees were fleeing the city, heading south along Highway 1 (Street Without Joy) toward Da Nang.

On March 20, 1975, confusing orders reached General Truong from South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu, which Truong interpreted as a command for sacrificing the defense of Hue in order to hold the line at Da Nang. At the same time, the NVA General Staff ordered a drive to cut Highway 1 and isolate Hue. The 324B and 325C divisions drove through the ARVN 1st Division and 15th Ranger Group by March 23, cutting Hue off from Da Nang. On March 24, General Truong began evacuating ARVN forces from Hue. NVA troops entered the city the same day.