Talk:Battle of Hamburger Hill

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


There probably needs ot be some POV changes made here as well. Specifically to the usage of the word "enemy" Aanghelescu 05:03, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Also the use of: - "treacherous Ashau Valley" in the section battle - "Vietnamese troops and supplies" (soldiers from North and South Vietnam are both Vietnamese troops thus needs to be specified) - "intelligence indicated that the Vietnamese were looking for a big fight." Which North or South? Or from South but supporting the cause the North was advocating (One Vietnam?) - The way this part is written is too much focused on US efforts and not objective report of the battle "the enemy". fbvdloo 05:03, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

    • I've attempted to address these POV issues to neutralize the focus, but the material available is thus far exclusively American in reporting. Information from the North Vietnamese POV to be added to this would be helpful. Buckboard 10:44, 20 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Also, by 1969 and thereafter, the term PAVN had been largely discontinued by English-speakers, whether in the military, media, or common language. The article switched to NVA halfway thru--so I switched all the references to NVA. Buckboard 10:53, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

== The article says the hill was of little strategic significance, but Zais himself noted that it got its import from the enemy being there, and that is obviously true. Of course, Wikipedia leans to the Left and so no doubt there would be a natural tendency to tilt any article on Vietnam toward the antiwar position. As a veteran, I could edit the article and improve it, but it would just be reverted by the next leftist kid who was taking a college course on the war from a Marxist professor who was never there either.


This article is a copy from Studies in Battle Command at the Combined Arms Research Library, a US Army organization within the DoD, and as a work of the US government, is probably in the public domain. -DialUp 15:46, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yep. Below is the info from Wikipedia:Copyright problems. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 21:37, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

  • Battle_of_Hamburger_Hill copy paste from [1] Preisler 03:26, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • NOTE: This article and the ehistory article are from Studies in Battle Command at the Combined Arms Research Library, a US Army organization within the DoD. As such is probably not under copyright as the work of the US government but I could find no notice to that effect at their site. Also, ehistory seems to be a collection of public domain works with no original works. Will add a notation to talk page so please delete it if this article is found to be under copyright. Article might need a cleanup tag due to the style. -DialUp 15:42, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Yep, CARL material is fine to use here. The license is on - "Information presented on the CGSC web site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested." --iMeowbot~Mw 18:05, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
        • No disrespect to the Army intended, but the material in this study, even considering its intended "professional audience," is very redundant in description. I have heavily editted it and also cross-checked it against Zaffiri, who not only had the after action reports but also interviewed 48 of the participants from general to private, but primarily using the company commanders and platoon leaders as primary sources. Buckboard 10:44, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Colonel "YEAST INFECTION"[edit]

What is the significance of the odd reference to Colonel Yeast Infection on line 01 of the Planning section within the Background to the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 19 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Naming coincidence?[edit]

Is it simply a coincidence that there are battles (and books/films about them) called both Pork Chop Hill and Hamburger Hill? Is the latter usage somehow a reference to the former? Is this worth noting somewhere?-- 13:20, 3 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it is coincidental. Neither has anything to do with the other. No need to cross-reference on Wikipedia. It's not unusual for hills to be referred to by their shape, like Sugarloaf or Pork Chop. --Habap 14:49, 5 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pork Chop Hill was in Korea. Hamburger Hill was in Vietnam. There's no connection.VirgilCoolerKingHilts 03:18, 26 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pork Chop Hill was so named because its outline on the topographic maps was thought to resemble the shape of a pork chop. Hamburger Hill was so called from the cost of the battle in human lives--metaphorically, the hill was like a meat-grinder which produces hamburger. Yes, both are analogies, but of a rather different nature. Terry J. Carter (talk) 22:09, 14 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hamburger Hill & Apache Snow[edit]

Does anyone know the story here? There was a hammer and anvil operation planned as (or part of) Apache Snow. The idea was to entice a force of NVA to attack a poorly defended base (the bait - FSB Airborne) then chase them with a superior force (the hammer) toward Laos. When their likely entry point into Laos was determined, a second force (the anvil) would be dropped between the NVA and Laos.

The bait (FSB Airborne) was kept intentionally poorly defended. The perimeter defenses consisted of makeshift bunkers of logs and sand bags with a single strand of concertina wire. There were 2-artillery batteries of 3-guns each. The base was on a smaller point on a ridge, surrounded on 3-sides by higher ground. The 4th side formed the head of a side valley leading to the Ashau Valley. Tunnel complexes were found off 2-sides of the hill. This set-up was very inconsistent with practices of the 101st at the time. For a week or more, all material and manpower on the hill were put into building the operation center (the TOC) and nothing was done to improve the the perimeter.

The planned operation, in addition to being rather transparent, was probably leaked to the NVA. The policy of involving the ARVN in operations usually had that effect (at least I heard some disturbing rumors).

The NVA took the bait (over-running Fire Base Airborne) then headed west. However, instead of continuing to run for Laos, they detoured to a well fortified hill (Dong Ap Bia aka Hamburger Hill) where they managed to repel several assaults from the 3rd of the 187th. When more American units joined the fight (including the 2nd of the 501st---part of which had been the bait) the NVA used their tactical advantage to continue to hold off the 101st while the majority of their force dispersed through the jungle. By the time the last assult was made, there was a reinforced platoon defending the hill and most of them escaped.

I will dig up what documentation I can and edit this comment. Meantime, the 2nd Battalion of the 501st Infantry was in the 2nd Brigade not the 3rd. They were involved in the earlier operations in the southern A Shau for 2-months then assigned to the 3rd Brigade for Apache Snow. They took over Fire Base Airborne from the 3rd of the 187th. An official publication of the 101st Division, possibly published in the fall of 1969, gives the American dead as 60+ from the assault on Dong Ap Bia. No mention is made of Fire base Airborne having been over-run. The only mention of enemy dead (as I remember) was around 40 from mop-up operations in the 2-3 days after the main battle and the assertion that captured NVA had given their losses as 80%. My best recollection is shy of 40 Americans killed on FSB Airborne, times 3 wounded (as Tom hanks character might have said). The number of NVA dead found on Airborne after the attack was 6 or 7. Initial reports from the assault on Dong Ap Bia said 20-30 American dead. This was revised to around 50. Rumors among the field troops put the American dead at 250 or more from the assault. This is probably high. The wounded from the main assaults were stabilized at a mass casualty treatment facility set up by the medical battalion of the 3rd Brigade. The number of wounded treated on the heaviest day may be listed as part of the citation recieved by the members of the medical battalion. I think 400-500 wounded might have been treated at the mass casualty facility which would not be 100% of the wounded. The 600+ NVA dead is pure fabrication. The bodies were never found. The early reports listed 500 dead as speculation based on the belief that the NVA carried away their dead. Does this mean that the remaining NVA carried 500 dead comrades through the jungle while evading 3-battalions of Americans and 1- of ARVN that, collectively, had them surrounded? The discovery of a mass grave of 500 dead NVA in the vicinity became a tired joke in the week after the battle. I would, in any case, dispute that this was an American victory. --Dennis-K 18:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hamburger Hill was part of Apache Snow. And when you say that the NVA "was surrounded," you would be mistaken. The terrain around Dong Ap Bia was extremely rugged, with many covered approach routes and good proximity to base areas in Laos. And if Dak To is any guide, the NVA would certainly have been able to evacuate their bodies. SOG teams working the Cambodian side of the border during Dak To reported many bodies being transported away from the battle. Although most SOG records are still either classified or were destroyed in the intervening years, they did still have teams working Laos. And in any case, there wasn't much to evade around Dong Ap Bia. One US battalion was trying to push its way up the slope, another was hacking through dense terrain and ambushes trying to link up with Honeycutt's men, and ARVN wasn't moving any faster.Intothatdarkness (talk) 15:13, 11 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I made that original comment and I am sticking with the story. A retired air force nurse who treated casualties from Hamburger Hill has just written a story in AARP Magazine about the battle. She put the American dead at 500. The Vietnamese are now allies. They have records. It is way past time that the truth came out about a bungled operation that threw away so many American lives. To pretend that the official army version of either this battle or what happened on FSB Airborne are anything but face saving cover ups is incredibly naïve. If you had seen the perimeter defense on Airborne (as I did) and knew anything at all of how operations were conducted, you would have no question of what really transpired.DennisK-Idaho (talk) 12:56, 26 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dead Link[edit]

The link Hamburger Hill On The Historynet appears to be dead. I replaced it with Hamburger Hill - The real Story.

I also wikilinked aerial rocket artillery to Aerial Rocket Artillery. Battery C, 4/77th artillery was supporting 3rd Brigade and was involved in the friendly fire incident. Dan D. Ric 21:52, 20 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The articles does not explain why it was called Hamburger Hill. I have always assumed that the soldiers were likening it to a meat-grinder, but the discussion about Pork Chop Hill, above, implies that the hill was so-called because it was shaped like a hamburger. -Ashley Pomeroy 16:48, 6 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It seems to be fixed now (the soldiers are said to "(refer to the fact) that those who fought on the hill were "chewed-up like hamburger mince""). -Ashley Pomeroy 18:34, 29 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article does not have a proper lead section. At the moment it is just an introduction. The lead should be a summary of the main article and enable the reader to ascertain all the salient features. Tyrenius 02:54, 4 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also isn't it A) POV and B) Given the total casualty numbers now on the article, unjustified to call this battle one of the most costly? Basmandude 14:19, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ARVN figures needed[edit]

--Captain Obvious and his crime-fighting dog (talk) 07:49, 26 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Only if ARVN was directly involved in the fighting. Which, as I recall, they were not. At least not at Dong Ap Bai. Intothatdarkness (talk) 22:07, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GI Antiwar Movement[edit]

Should some mention of the effect that Hamburger Hill had on the GI (as opposed to the civilian) antiwar movement be included? James Lewes in his book "Protest and Survive: Underground GI Newspapers during the Vietnam War" [2003. Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT. ISBN 0-275-97861-3] writes, " the six months preceding Hamburger Hill, from November 1968 to April 1969, there were only six incidents of on-base rioting, no GI-organized antiwar demonstrations, and no GI antiwar organizations formed. In the six months following Hamburger Hill, from June to November 1969, there were twelve on-base riots, eight GI organized antiwar demonstrations, and six GI antiwar organizations formed." (Page 89) He further writes that the editor of "The Ally," an underground GI newspaper, wrote in June 1969, "the battle for Dong Ap Bia indicated that after five years of failing to achieve any kind of breakthrough in Vietnam, the tactics of the brass in Saigon have not changed... Though tactics of the brass have not changed, GI attitudes toward the war are changing..." (Page 102, note 29) This is just a partial quote. He further states that in June 1969, "GIs in 101st Airborne who survived Hamburger Hill offer $10,000 reward to anybody who succeeded in fragging their commanding officer (South Vietnam)." (Page 161 in Appendix 1). I just think to be historically accurate, some mention should be made of the GI antiwar movement of the time and the possible effect that the Battle of Hamburger Hill had on that movement. Zargon2010 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:22, 13 July 2011 (UTC).Reply[reply]


This article seems to contain a lot of text very similar to this site;

Has it been plagiarised or did Wikipedia violate copyright? I tried removing some of the text but on closer look the problem is too big for me. (talk) 12:36, 15 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unit Designations[edit]

The article mentions "three airborne infantry battalions of the 101st Airborne Division":

  • 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment
  • 1st Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment

The Army dropped the designation "Parachute Infantry Regiment" in December 1947 in favor of "Airborne Infantry Regiment," and that too was discarded in the late 1950s when the Army abandoned regiments entirely in favor of battle groups. It reorganized again in the early 1960s into brigades with subordinate battalions. While regimental designations were used for purposes of lineage and honors, the term "regiment" was not used. The correct designations for these three units were:

  • 3d Battalion, 187th Infantry
  • 2d Battalion, 501st Infantry
  • 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry

The division's 1st Brigade was sent to Vietnam in 1965 and the remainder at Fort Campbell was stripped down to provide manpower for the war effort. When the rest of the division was tasked for deployment to Vietnam, it had to be filled with thousands of non-Airborne personnel from other units in the Third Army area, effectively making the division a non-Airborne unit. In addition to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), the Army needed a second airmobile division, so the 101st became the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). The parenthetical designation changed to (Air Assault) in 1974, and with the inactivation of the division's second combat aviation brigade (159th CAB) in 2015, the 101st took on the organization of a light infantry division, neither airborne nor air assault. All of the unit designations, reorganizations, etc., of the Vietnam era can be verified in the pages of Vietnam Order of Battle and The Rise and Fall of an American Army, both of which were written by Shelby Stanton.VilePig (talk)

Hill you want to die on[edit]

Apparently that phrase was originated from this battle... (according to Wiktionary) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:346:C000:3C:C0BD:9639:AA76:FA63 (talk) 23:01, 16 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]