This is coolbert:
One if by land, two if by sea and three if by air.
Those large-scale combat engagements at the earliest stage of the Second-Indo China War, the American military in a heavy-handed manner with full combat force most regrettably and inauspiciously so not faring as well as might have been desired. Shapes of things to come not fully understood at the time.
1. Gulf of Tonkin incident. The "fog of war" epitomized, American naval units having thought to fought off a night-time naval action against North Vietnamese torpedo boats. An action perhaps only fictional, thought to have occurred but now generally accepted as a "mirage".
2. Flak trap. American combat aviation [USAF and naval combat air both] tactical warplanes not faring so well in the skies over North Vietnam, encountering massive and very lethal assemblages of North Vietnamese surface-to-air-missiles [SAM] and anti-aircraft-artillery [AAA]. That very deadly and unexpected combination again lethal!
3. Ia Drang Valley. American combat infantry in major ground combat with units of the North Vietnamese Army [NVA] for the first time, casualties excessive almost catastrophic!
For the first time ever, the American military prepared in ADVANCE for a war, that level of Cold War preparedness allowing for a rapid deployment of assets in as ready-to-go a state of readiness as was possible.
In the air, at sea, and on the ground the results NOT exactly as anticipated, outcomes to these initial combat actions less than favorable, again, inauspicious and even troubling.