The Gulf Of Tonkin Incident

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Gulf of Tonkin incident 1964

The Gulf of Tonkin incident, also known as the USS Maddox incident, was an international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War. It involved one real and one falsely claimed confrontation between ships of North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005, proved material misrepresentation by the US government to justify a war against Vietnam. On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, was monitored by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. Maddox initiated the incident by firing three "warning" shots, and the North Vietnamese boats replied with torpedoes and machine gun fire. Maddox expended over 280 3-inch and 5-inch shells in a sea battle. One U.S. aircraft was damaged, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats were damaged, and four North Vietnamese sailors were killed, with six more wounded. There were no U.S. casualties. Encyclopedia Britannica

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