July 28

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Jul 28, 1972:

CIA reports minor damage done to North Vietnam's dikes

In response to Soviet accusations that the United States had conducted a two-month bombing campaign intentionally to destroy the dikes and dams of the Tonkin Delta in North Vietnam, a CIA report is made public by the Nixon administration. The report revealed that U.S. bombing at 12 locations had in fact caused accidental minor damage to North Vietnam's dikes, but the damage was unintentional and the dikes were not the intended targets of the bombings. The nearly 2,000 miles of dikes on the Tonkin plain, and more than 2,000 along the sea, made civilized life possible in the Red River Delta. Had the dikes been intentionally targeted, their destruction would have destroyed centuries of patient work and caused the drowning or starvation of hundreds of thousands of peasants. Bombing the dikes had been advocated by some U.S. strategists since the beginning of U.S. involvement in the war, but had been rejected outright by U.S. presidents sitting during the war as an act of terrorism.

Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

What Happened on Your Birthday?

Pick a Date

Shop HISTORY

  • Vietnam in HD DVD Set

    Vietnam in HD DVD Set

    Their story is in danger of being lost to history. This six-hour miniseries spans the massive initial troop build-up in 1965 to the fall of Saigon a decade later.

  • Dogfights Season 2 DVD

    Dogfights Season 2 DVD

    Chocks up! Jump in the cockpit and fly every exhilarating mission from the second season of this breakthrough series.

  • The White House: Behind Closed Doors DVD

    The White House: Behind Closed Doors DVD

    Learn the secrets of America's most recognizable residence.