By Ernie Chamberlain, The 5th Việt Cộng Division – with an estimated strength 4,500, comprised two main force infantry regiments: the 274th (aka 4th) Regiment and the 275th (aka 5th) Regiment. During the Battle of Long Tân against Australian forces on 18 August 1966, the 275th Regiment suffered heavy casualties – over 200 killed. The 274th Regiment – the more … Read More
May 1969: The switch to pacification
By Bob Hall In July 1968 the Psyops advisor in Phuoc Tuy Province, Major Desmal C. Smith Jr. was nearing the end of his tenure in the job. He was writing his end-of-tour report giving an overall assessment of progress and recommendations for change and improvement. He argued that the achievement of physical security was the key to improving pacification … Read More
An Australian at Hamburger Hill
By Bob Hall The Background In mid-1968 General Westmoreland was replaced as Commander US Military Assistance Command Vietnam (COMUSMACV), by General Creighton Abrams. Following the heavy losses suffered by the Viet Cong and People’s Army of Vietnam during the Tet Offensive of 1968, Abrams attempted to introduce a new ‘pacification’ strategy. This reversed the previous US strategy in which top … Read More
The ARVN: Was their performance misunderstood?
By Bob Hall The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), especially their Regional Force and Popular Force (RF/PF) components, had a reputation for poor combat performance. Brigadier S.P. Weir, Commander 1ATF from 1 September 1969 to 31 May 1970, expressed the concerns of many 1ATF soldiers when he remarked that Some of these [ARVN Regional Force] companies were so … Read More