Saturday, October 6, 2018

General Westmoreland Considered Nuclear Response in Vietnam War, Cables Show

Via David

In one of the darkest moments of the Vietnam War, the top American military commander in Saigon activated a plan in 1968 to move nuclear weapons to South Vietnam until he was overruled by President Lyndon B. Johnson, according to recently declassified documents cited in a new history of wartime presidential decisions.

The documents reveal a long-secret set of preparations by the commander, Gen. William C. Westmoreland, to have nuclear weapons at hand should American forces find themselves on the brink of defeat at Khe Sanh, one of the fiercest battles of the war.

With the approval of the American commander in the Pacific, General Westmoreland had put together a secret operation, code-named Fracture Jaw, that included moving nuclear weapons into South Vietnam so that they could be used on short notice against North Vietnamese troops.


  1. I think the U.S. should have used tactical nukes very early in the war. Such a move might have risked a larger war with the Soviets, but I doubt it. It would have shown North Vietnam we had the guts to do what was necessary to win, it would have been a crushing blow to the North Vietnamese morale, and more than likely such a move would have saved thousands of American lives. I am still of the opinion of once committed to war, go all in for a speedy victory. It would work today in Persia. Nuking the "moonrock" in Mecca would destroy the muzzies will to wage war and show them whose God was real. We do have the arsenal.

  2. I had heard about this a number of years ago. I also had read a article that said nuclear artillery rounds were in fact on the ground at Biên Hòa.A number of years ago a good friend of mine's brother was fighting radiation caused cancer. He was stationed at Biên Hòa and was loading crates of artillery rounds. His crew were ordered to wera radiation suits but being hot and ignoring orders the stripped off their suits and shirts. Some crates got broken open so they just bear hugged them up into the trucks for delivery. Years later he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer but ignored his cllaim of what caused it. He fought the claim for a very long time and finally was awarded a 100% disability rating and full back pay. I don't remember the amount but they decided to make it in two equal payments. He did receive one payment but the VA took it back as he died about a week after he received. Since they always pay on the 1st of the month in advance they will take it back if you die early. This is the best I remember this advent and will try and contact his brother for a refresher on all the facts.

    1. Thanks and very interesting. Please do contact his brother and if you would like, put some words together and I will be happy to publish them.

  3. Gen MacArthur wanted to use nukes against Chinese intervention in Korea too, but was refused by Truman. Politicians prefer treasonous no-win wars and sacrificing their own troops. --Ron W