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Nathaniel Weber

Guadalcanal for me—there, the Japanese worked counter to their own strategy and fought a damaging attritional fight beyond their effective operational range. Paired with Midway it was decisive, and also worked to legitimize(in the eyes of resource allocators) the basic American Pacific strategy.

Ia Drang 1965: one of those strange “both sides won” battles—the PAVN took the campaign as a whole and were satisfied with the casualty ratio and their counters to US firepower;  the Americans viewed LZ X Ray as a distinct battle and believed they had overcome the logistical/operational problems that had doomed the French, and could hit hard enough to win, therefore could focus on a military/firepower solution to the problems in SE Asia.