Cauldron

The Meat Grinder - The Battle of Hamburger Hill 10-20 May 1969

Episode Summary

The fighting was intense on Dong Ap Bia (the mountain of the crouching beast), but according to U.S. command, the hill was crucial to the overall success of Operation Apache Snow. Apache Snow’s goal was to clear the A Shau Valley of the enemy. The “crouching beast” moniker was appropriate as the Communist forces were well dug in and ready for a fight. For ten days the two sides smashed and sliced through each other, the U.S. forces finally taking the hill in the 20th. A few short days later, the position that was paid for in blood was abandoned by the U.S. generals backing up the idea that the war's strategy was senseless and pointless. The​​ battle became so violent that one young sergeant was quoted about the fight, “Have you ever been inside a hamburger machine? We just got cut to pieces by extremely accurate machine-gun fire.” The battle was known from then on as Hamburger Hill, and due to the extensive media coverage, it became a symbol for the anti-war community.

Episode Notes

The fighting was intense on Dong Ap Bia (the mountain of the crouching beast), but according to U.S. command, the hill was crucial to the overall success of Operation Apache Snow. Apache Snow’s goal was to clear the A Shau Valley of the enemy. The “crouching beast” moniker was appropriate as the Communist forces were well dug in and ready for a fight. For ten days the two sides smashed and sliced through each other, the U.S. forces finally taking the hill in the 20th. A few short days later, the position that was paid for in blood was abandoned by the U.S. generals backing up the idea that the war's strategy was senseless and pointless. In fact, the battle became so violent that one young sergeant was quoted about the fight, “Have you ever been inside a hamburger machine? We just got cut to pieces by extremely accurate machine-gun fire.” The battle was known from then on as Hamburger Hill, and due to the extensive media coverage, it became a symbol for the anti-war community.

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The song we used - Sao Meo by Doug Maxwell
This weeks main source - Why the Battle for Hamburger Hill Was So Controversial by Barbara Maranzani

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