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1972

B-52s strike North Vietnamese positions

On this day, B-52 strikes against communist forces attacking South Vietnamese positions in the Central Highlands near Kontum remove any immediate threat to that city. Air strikes against North Vietnam continued, but were hampered by poor weather. Also on this day, the Pentagon ordered two more squadrons of B-52s to Thailand.

These actions were part of the U.S. response to the ongoing North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive, which had begun on March 30. This offensive, later more commonly known as the “Easter Offensive,” was a massive invasion by North Vietnamese forces designed to strike the blow that would win the war for the communists. The attacking force included 14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, with more than 120,000 troops and approximately 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles. The main North Vietnamese objectives, in addition to Quang Tri in the north, were Kontum in the Central Highlands, and An Loc farther to the south. The fighting, which continued into the fall, was some of the most desperate of the war. The South Vietnamese prevailed against the invaders with the help of U.S. advisors and massive American airpower.

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