Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Gulf of Tonkin Incident

So what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin? Well, this is what the history books would tell you:

On Aug. 2, 1964, the U.S.S. Maddox was met by three North Vietnamese patrol boats in the Gulf of Tonkin and was fired upon in International Waters. The Maddox, suffering only very minor damage, retired to South Vietnamese waters where she was joined by the destroyer C. Turner Joy.

Just two days later, both The Maddox and the C. Turner Joy were again under siege – or so they thought. The two American destroyers received radar and radio signals that they believed to signal another attack by the North Vietnamese. For some two hours the ships fired on radar targets and moved swiftly through the waters to avoid being struck by the enemy. After much study of the Tonkin incident, it appears that the U.S. ships were shooting at nothing more than water and fish – it is unlikely that any North Vietnamese forces were actually in the area during this gunfight (Wikipedia).

(Paragraph taken from here, written by a student named Zach Landres-Schnur. I don't think he'll mind.)


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