USS_Maddox_(DD-731)_port_aft_1963.jpg

The USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin is shown in 1963. After a suspected torpedo attack by North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats led to plans for US retaliation, the captain of the Maddox sent a cable to the Joint Chiefs that advised "complete evaluation before any further action" due to grave doubts over whether an attack had really occurred. President Johnson and his advisers nevetheless went forward with a public announcement of an attack. Johnson asked for, and received, a resolution of war from the US Congress that led to further escalation in the conflict.

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