1964 Brinks Hotel bombing
|1964 Brinks Hotel bombing|
The aftermath of the bombing
|Date||Thursday, December 24, 1964|
The Brinks Hotel in
The Viet Cong commanders had planned the venture with two objectives in mind. First, by attacking an American installation in the center of the heavily guarded capital, the Viet Cong intended to demonstrate their ability to strike in
The bombing prompted debate within the administration of United States President
Following World War II, the communist-dominated
The bombing was planned and performed by two Vietcong agents who escaped uninjured and were never captured.
Nguyen Thanh Xuan recollected his involvement to historian
According to the historian
The Vietcong duo observed their target over the next month, mixing with the crowds in the busy street outside. Noting that South Vietnamese officers mingled freely with Americans, they obtained ARVN uniforms from Saigon's black market, enabling them to get closer. Xuan disguised himself as a military chauffeur, while his partner dressed as a South Vietnamese major. They mingled with the real officers so that they could copy their mannerisms, speaking style and even their way of smoking. The Vietcong pair then procured the two cars and explosives needed for the operation.
The Vietcong commanders had planned the venture with two aims in mind. Firstly, by attacking an American institution in the heart of the heavily guarded capital, the bombing would demonstrate the Vietcong's ability to strike against the Americans in Vietnam, should the United States decide to launch air raids against North Vietnam. Secondly, the attack would demonstrate to the South Vietnamese public that the Americans were vulnerable and could not be relied upon for protection. Xuan added that "all the crimes committed by the Americans were directed from this nerve center". In the month leading up to the attack, South Vietnamese military intelligence had seized communist documents indicating a strategy of attacking US military targets in urban areas during the Christmas period in order to lower the morale of the US public and therefore turn opinion against intervention in Vietnam. He recalled that the number of American officers at the Brinks Hotel had swelled on Christmas Eve because they were using the building to coordinate their celebrations, and that the attack would therefore cause more casualties than on a normal day.