December 16, 1965 : Westmoreland asks for more troops

Introduction

Gen. William Westmoreland, Commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, sends a request for more troops. With nearly 200,000 U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam already, Westmoreland sent Defense Secretary Robert McNamara a message stating that he would need an additional 243,000 men by the end of 1966. Citing a rapidly deteriorating military situation in which the South Vietnamese were losing the equivalent of an infantry battalion (500 soldiers) a week in battle, Westmoreland predicted that he would need a total of 600,000 men by the end of 1967 to defeat the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. Although the high tide of U.S. troop strength in South Vietnam never reached the 600,000, there were more than 540,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam by 1969.

Article Details:

December 16, 1965 : Westmoreland asks for more troops

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    December 16, 1965 : Westmoreland asks for more troops

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/westmoreland-asks-for-more-troops

  • Access Date

    October 23, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks