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Home >> Vietnam War Operations



The Battle of Ap Bac was a small-scale action early in the Vietnam War that resulted in the first major combat victory by Viet Cong guerrillas against regular South Vietnamese forces. The battle took place on January 2, 1963, near the hamlet ("ap" in Vietnamese) of Ap Bac, 65 kilometers southwest of Saigon in the Mekong Delta. Forces of the 7th Division of the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN), equipped with armored personnel carriers (APCs) and artillery and supported by helicopters, faced off against an entrenched battalion of Viet Cong.


The Battle of Binh Gia was a battle of the Vietnam War that pitched the Viet Cong against the ARVN and their American advisors.

Towards the end of 1964 South Vietnam was facing political instability following the coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem. Taking advantage of the government's political and military situation, the National Liberation Front sought to commemorate the fourth anniversary of its establishment with a major victory in the battlefield. The first operational Viet Cong unit, the 9th Division, was given the honour of carrying out the mission.


The Viet Cong attack on Pleiku airbase (aka Camp Holloway Airfield) occurred on the night of February 6, 1965. The attack left nine Americans dead and 128 wounded, and it prompted the United States to launch Operation Flaming Dart against North Vietnam in retaliation. The Pleiku attack and an attack on positions the same day at Qui Nhon were used by the Johnson Administration as justification for committing combat troops to South Vietnam, ostensibly to provide security for U.S. Installations.


The Battle of Song Be was a major action between the NLF (Viet Cong) and ARVN, the South Vietnamese army. Planned as a major show of force against the rapidly collapsing ARVN forces, the NLF attempted to capture the capital of Phuoc Long province, Song Be. Perhaps to their surprise, ARVN forces in the area rallied and re-took the town by the end of the second day of combat. Several additional days of chasing the NLF forces involved proved fruitless.


The Battle of Dong Xoai was a battle that occurred during the early stages of the Vietnam War. Dong Xoai district was manned by US-trained South Vietnamese special forces (Luc Luong Dac Biet, LLDB) and militiamen (Civil Irregular Defense Force, CIDG), those troops were reinforced with two more battalions following VC attacks on Phuoc Binh and Song Be. With a strong defence system the ARVN were confident that their base could withstand a Viet Cong attack, but they were wrong


Operation Starlite was the first offensive military action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the commander of the South Vietnamese forces in northern I Corps area of South Vietnam. Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt, devised a plan to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Viet Cong regiment to nullify the threat on the Chu Lai base.


The operation was conducted as a combined arms assault involving ground, air and naval units. Marines were deployed by helicopter insertion into the designated landing zone while an amphibious landing was used to deploy other Marines.


The Battle of Gang Toi was fought on November 8, 1965. It was one of the first engagements between Australian and Viet Cong troops during the conflict.


The battle occurred when the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, struck a Viet Cong bunker system in the Gang Toi Hills while in support of Operation Hump.


The Battle of Ia Drang was the first major battle of the Vietnam War between the United States Army and the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN).


The two-part battle took place between November 14 and November 18, 1965, at two landing zones (LZ's) northwest of Plei Me in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam. The battle derives its name from the Drang River which runs through the valley northwest of Plei Me, in which the engagement took place. "Ia" means "river" in the local Montagnard language.


Representing the American forces were elements of the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry, the 2nd Battalion 7th Cavalry, and the 1st Battalion 5th Cavalry of the United States Army. The communist forces included the 33rd, 66th, and 320th Regiments of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), as well National Liberation Front (NLF) of the H15 Battalion.


Operation Hastings was an American military operation in the Vietnam War.


On July 7, 1966, United States Marine Corps General Lew Walt led a joint U.S. Marine and ARVN force of 8,500 and 3,000 troops in a strike through the Demilitarized Zone. The goal of the operation was to thwart the North Vietnamese 324 B Division's efforts to take control of Quang Tri Province. The mission was a strategic success in terms of driving off the 324 B Division, but the NVA forces successfully withdrew across the DMZ. When the ease with which the NVA was able to move across the DMZ became apparent, the US military leadership ordered a steady build-up of U.S. Marines near the DMZ from 1966 to 1968.


Operation Masher was a combined US, ARVN, and ROKA that began on January 28, 1966. The name Operation Masher was changed to Operation White Wing, because the name was deemed too crude for 'nation-building'.


The mission was a search and destroy mission, and had little to do with nation-building. The operation was divided into four Phases.


Masher/White Wing lasted 42 days and ended on March 6. As many as 1,342 enemy soliders had been killed by the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) at the cost of 288 United States' troops killed and 990 wounded. The ARVN and ROKA forces killed an additional 808 enemy soliders. The 3rd NVA Division was pronounced destroyed, but later was back in action elsewhere on the battlefield.


During Operation White Wing, grenades containing quinuclidinyl benzilate were allegedly used against 500 Viet Cong. Quinuclidinyl benzilate, or BZ, is a powerful hallucinogen with effects similar to but much stronger than LSD. Effects usually last only a few days but can linger for several weeks. Many people report never feeling the same after being exposed to the drug.


The Battle of A Shau was waged in 1966 during the Vietnam War. The battle began on March 9 and lasted until March 10 with the fall of the special forces camp of the same name. An outright victory for the North Vietnamese, it was nevertheless a costly battle that US estimates suggest cost the attackers almost half of their force.


In 1966, the Battle of Duc Co was a major engagement between the North Vietnamese 5th Battalion of the 88th Regiment and the South Korean 3rd Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Regiment.


The battle resulted from North Vietnamese attempts to infiltrate Duc Co from Cambodia. On the night of August 9, the reinforced North Vietnamese 5th Battalion attacked a Korean tactical base in Duc Co, during several hours of fighting the outnumbered South Koreans mauled their enemies who left more then one hundred bodies on the field.


The Battle of Long Tần is arguably the most famous battle fought by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War. It was fought in a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tần, about 4 km north-east of Vung Tau, South Vietnam on August 1819, 1966.


The action occurred when D Company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF), encountered the Viet Cong (VC) 275 Regiment and elements of the D445 Local Forces Battalion. D Company was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States personnel.


The battle is often used in Australian officer training as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation.


Operation Cedar Falls was conducted by the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War on January 8 January 26, 1967 to root out Viet Cong base camps in the so-called Iron Triangle. The operation involved nearly 16,000 American and 14,000 South Vietnamese troops. The Viet Cong chose not to fight and melted away into a complex system of tunnels in the jungle. In response, tunnel rats were introduced to root them out. This was the first time they were used.


The Battle of Tra Binh Dong was probably the most famous battle fought by the South Korean Marines during the Vietnam War. It was fought in the Tra Binh Dong village near the border of Cambodia.


The battle took place after a Viet Cong defector, former commander of a training camp, revealed that the North Vietnamese Army were planning an attack on the ROKMC's 11th Company.


On February 14, the North Vietnamese 40th and 60th Battalions moved into their positions in the forest surrounding the perimeter of the South Korean 11th Company. The regular VPA battalions were also supported by one VC local force battalion from Quang Ngai. With their troops build up around the area, the Communist forces planned to cut all communication lines and wipe out the South Korean forces in the area.


At dawn on February 15, the battle began with the Viet Cong attempting to cut through the wires of the South Korean base. The South Korean marines were dug in and waiting with requests for air-support. When the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had penetrated Korean positions, heavy fighting immediately followed. Initially the outnumbered South Koreans were pinned down, but Communist forces' ranks soon started to break up in heat of the battle as the South Koreans counterattacked. When the fighting ended more than 200 enemy bodies were left behind.


Operation Junction City was a 72-day military operation conducted by U.S. and Republic of Vietnam (RVN or South Vietnam) forces begun on 22 February 1967 during the Vietnam Conflict. It was the largest U.S. airborne operation since Operation Market Garden during the Second World War, the only major airborne operation in the Vietnam War, and was one of the largest U.S. operations of the Southeast Asian conflict.


Junction City was a massive search and destroy operation, conducted in hopes of clearing People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF or derogatively, Viet Cong) units from the area of War Zone C, northeast of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon. Another goal of the operation was the possible capture or destruction of the PAVN/NLF Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN). This headquarters controlled all enemy activities south of the triborder region of Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam. The operation was considered largely successful by the U.S. command, although PAVN/NLF units returned to the area once allied forces were withdrawn. COSVN itself withdrew to the safety of Cambodian territory, where it remained for the rest of the U.S. committment to the Southeast Asian conflict.


The Battle of Hill 881 was a battle between soldiers of the North Vietnamese Army and U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War. It became known as "the Hill Fights", involving Hills 881 North, 881 South, and 861.[1] It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, with two Marine battalions facing a large NVA force intent on destroying Khe San. The Marines stormed the hills and were able to take them with 155 KIA and 455 WIA. The NVA were well dug in, but lost over 947 troops and withdrew.


The Battle of Ong Thanh was a battle of the Vietnam War that occurred on October 17, 1967.


During this little known battle, the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, the "Black Lion Battalion", was ambushed and were subsequently destroyed by a well-entrenched and prepared Viet Cong regiment outnumbering the Americans almost 10-to-1.


The Battle of Dak To was a major battle of the Vietnam Conflict that took place between 3 and 22 November 1967 in Kontum Province, in the Central Highlands of the Republic of Vietnam. The action at Dak To was one of a series of People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) initiatives that began during the second half of the year. PAVN attacks at Loc Ninh (in Binh Long Province) and Song Be (in Phuoc Long Province) and at Con Thien and Khe Sanh, (in Quang Tri Province), were other actions which, combined with Dak To, became known as "the border battles."


The Tet Offensive (January 30, 1968 June 8, 1968) was a series of offensives by the Việt Cộng and the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War.


The operations are called the Tet Offensive as they were timed to begin on the night of January 3031, 1968, Tết Nguyên Đán (the lunar new year day). The offensive began spectacularly during celebrations of the Lunar New Year and lasted about two months, although some sporadic operations associated with the offensive continued into 1969.


The Battle of Khe Sanh was conducted in northwestern Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), between 21 January and 8 April 1968 during the Vietnam War. The combatants were elements of the United States (U.S.) III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF) and two to three division-size elements of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN). The American command in South Vietnam gave the defense of the base the nickname Operation Scotland.


The American command in Saigon initially believed that combat operations around Khe Sanh during the summer of 1967 were just part of a series of minor North Vietnamese offensives in the border regions. That appraisal was altered when it was discovered that PAVN was moving major forces into the area during the fall and winter. A build-up of Marine forces took place and actions around Khe Sanh commenced when the Marine base was isolated. During a series of desperate actions that lasted 77 days, Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) and the hilltop outposts around it were under constant North Vietnamese ground and artillery attacks.


During the battle a massive aerial bombardment campaign (Operation Niagara) was launched by the U.S. Air Force to support the Marine base. This campaign utilized the latest technological advances in order to locate PAVN forces for targeting. The logistical effort to support KSCB, once it was isolated overland, demanded the implementation of other tactical innovations in order to keep the Marines supplied.


In March 1968, an overland relief expedition (Operation Pegasus) was launched by a combined Marine/Army/South Vietnamese task force that eventually broke through to the Marines at Khe Sanh. The battle itself was a tactical victory for the Marines, but the strategic implications of the battle still remain unclear.


The First Battle of Saigon fought during the Tet Offensive was the coordinated attack by the NVA and VC, by which they attacked South Vietnam's Capital Saigon from all sides.


The Battle of Huế, 1968, was one of the bloodiest and longest battles of the Vietnam War (1954-1975).


The South Vietnamese Army and three understrength U.S. Marine battalions, consisting of fewer than 2,500 men, attacked and defeated more than 10,000 entrenched North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers, taking the city of Huế (pop. 140,000) for South Vietnam.


The Battle of Lang Vei was a battle of the Vietnam War fought on the night of February 6, 1968, between elements of the People's Army of Vietnam and the U.S.-led Detachment A-101, 5th Special Forces Group.


Lang Vei was an American Special Forces camp, located approximately seven kilometers west of the Khe Sanh Combat Base in the northwestern corner of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN or South Vietnam), near its borders with the DRV and the Kingdom of Laos. Constructed in 1967 for operations of the Civilian Irregular Defense Groups (CIDG) along the Laotian frontier, the camp was overwhelmed by North Vietnamese forces on 7 February 1968. The history of the camp and the battle for the camp are also described in some detail in the article on the Battle of Khe Sanh.


Lang Vei was positioned some nine kilometers west of Khe Sanh village on Route Coloniale 9. Known to Americans as Highway 9, this major roadway stretched through Quang Tri Province from Dong Ha on the coast west to Lao Bao, Laos, passing through places such as Cam Lo as well as Khe Sanh. Lang Vei was defended by a force of 500 CIDG Montagnards and 24 U.S. Special Forces personnel.


The Battle of Kham Duc was the struggle for the United States Army Special Forces camp located in Quang Tin province, South Vietnam. It began on May 10 and ended on May 12, 1968.


The Kham Duc special forces camp was occupied by the 1st Special Forces detachment consists of U.S and South Vietnamese special forces, as well as Montagnard irregulars. From September 1963 the camp was used as an intelligance gathering post, often impeding Communist infiltration into the Central Highlands.


In May of 1968, following the Tet Offensive, the North Vietnamese decided to take out the camp once and for all.


Operation Dewey Canyon was the last major offensive by the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. It took place from January 22 through March 18, 1969 and involved a sweep of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA)-dominated A Shau Valley by the 9th Marine Regiment reinforced by elements of the 3rd Marine Regiment. The 56 days of combat were a tactical success, but did not stop the overall flow of North Vietnamese men and materiel into South Vietnam.


Tet 1969 refers to the attacks mounted by principally North Vietnamese forces in February 1969 in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Most attacks centered around military targets near Saigon and Da Nang and were quickly beaten off, although the U.S. suffered heavy casualties. Some speculate that the attacks were mounted to test the will of the new American President Richard Nixon who retaliated by secretly bombing Communist sanctuaries in Cambodia the following month.


Numerous US bases were breeched, ranging in size from the huge Long Binh Army Depot near Bien Hoa to Oasis LZ. These attacks were all beaten back but did inflict casualties and reinforced the fact that Communist forces were able to mount attacks at will.


The Cambodian Campaign (also known as the Cambodian Incursion) was a series of military operations conducted in eastern Cambodia during the late spring and summer of 1970 by the armed forces of the United States (U.S.) and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) during the Vietnam War. A total of 13 major operations were conducted by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) between 29 April and 22 July and by U.S. forces between 1 May and 30 June.


The objective of the campaign was the defeat of the approximately 40,000 troops of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF, or derogatively, Viet Cong) who were ensconced in the eastern border regions of Cambodia. As great a prize as the defeat of these forces was the possibility of the occupation and destruction of large communist Base Areas and sanctuaries, which had been protected by Cambodian neutrality since their establishment in 1966. As far as the U.S. was concerned, such a course of action would provide a shield behind which the policy of Vietnamization and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Vietnam could proceed unmolested.


A change in the Cambodian government allowed a window of opportunity for the destruction of the Base Areas in 1970 when Prince Norodom Sihanouk was deposed and replaced by pro-American General Lon Nol. Allied military operations failed to eliminate many communist troops or to capture their elusive headquarters, known as the Central Office for South Vietnam or COSVN, but the haul of captured material in Cambodia prompted claims of success and victory which remain controversial to this day.


The Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord was a 23 day battle between the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and the North Vietnamese Army from July 1, 1970 until July 23, 1970. It was the last major confrontation between United States ground forces and North Vietnam of the Vietnam War.


Operation Lam Son 719 was a limited-objective offensive campaign conducted in southeastern portion of the Kingdom of Laos by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) between 8 February and 25 March 1971 during the Vietnam Conflict. The United States (U.S.) provided logistical, aerial, and artillery support to the operation, but its ground forces were prohibited by law from entering Laotian territory. The objective of the campaign was the disruption of a possible future offensive by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), whose logistical system within Laos was known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail (the Truong Son Road to the North Vietnamese).


By launching such a spoiling attack against PAVN's long-established logistical system, the American and South Vietnamese high commands hoped to resolve several pressing issues. A quick victory in Laos would bolster the morale and confidence of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), which was already high in the wake of the successful Cambodian Campaign of 1970. It would also serve as proof positive that South Vietnamese forces could defend their nation in the face of the continuing withdrawal of U.S. ground combat forces from the theater. The operation would be, therefore, a test of that policy and ARVN's capability to operate effectively by itself.


Unfortunately for the South Vietnamese, due to inherent flaws in their command structure, a need for security which precluded thorough planning, an inability by the political and military leaders of the U.S. and South Vietnam to face military realities, and poor execution, Operation Lam Son 719 collapsed when faced by the determined resistance of a skillful foe. The campaign was a disaster for the ARVN, decimating some of its best units and destroying the confidence that had been built up over the previous three years. Vietnamization, the policy touted by American civilian and military officials as the best method by which South Vietnam could be saved from communism and the American withdrawal completed, was revealed as a failure.


The Battle of Ban Dong was a major battle of the Vietnam War that took place in Laos, involving the North and South Vietnamese armies. The battle lasted from February 8 to March 20, 1971.


Before Operation Lam Son 719 began, intelligence indicates that North Vietnam had permanently placed logistical units in the Ban Dong area, especially along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The logistical units were supported by one regular division, with another one ready for rapid deployment. In order to capture Tchepone the district of Ban Dong had to be brought under South Vietnamese control.


The Battle of FSB Mary Ann was fought when Viet Cong sappers attacked the U.S. firebase located in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam.


Fire Support Base Mary Ann was set up with the purpose of providing a shield for Da Nang and the surrounding hamlets, the base was also designed as an interception point against movements of enemy troops and materiel down the Dak Rose Trail. The base was manned by 231 American soldiers.


The firebase was scheduled to be handed over to the South Vietnamese Army, so 21 ARVN soldiers were sent out to Mary Ann to take over the camp when all U.S. soldiers had pulled out.


For months leading up to the attack the level of enemy activity in the area had been low and contacts were infrequent, although two weeks before the assault a large cache of enemy supplies were captured. The lack of significant engagements, plus the insignificant position of the firebase, had give the U.S. soldiers in the area a false sense of security.


The Easter Offensive (the correct title of which is the Nguyen Hue Offensive) was a military campaign conducted by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) against the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) and the United States (U.S.) between 30 March and 22 October 1972, during the Vietnam War.[3] This conventional invasion (the largest offensive operation since 300,000 Chinese "volunteers" had crossed the Yalu River into South Korea during the Korean War) was a radical departure from previous North Vietnamese offensives. Although not designed to win the war outright, Hanoi hoped to gain as much territory and destroy as many units of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) as possible.


The allied high command had been expecting an attack sometime during 1972, but the size and ferocity of the assault caught the defenders off balance, as the attackers struck on three fronts simultaneously with the bulk of the North Vietnamese army. This first attempt by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to invade the south since the Tet Offensive of 1968 became characterized by conventional infantry/armor assaults backed by heavy artillery, with both sides fielding the latest in technological advances in weapons systems.


In the I Corps Tactical Zone, North Vietnamese forces overran South Vietnamese defensive positions in a month-long battle and captured Quang Tri city before moving south in an attempt to seize Hue. PAVN similarly eliminated frontier defense forces in II Corps and advanced to seize the provincial capital of Kontum, which would have opened the way to the sea, splitting South Vietnam in two. Northeast of Saigon in III Corps, the communists overran Loc Ninh and advanced to assault the capital of Binh Long Province at An Loc. The campaign can be divided into three distinct phases: April was a month of communist advances and allied withdrawals; May became a period of equilibrium; while June and July saw South Vietnamese forces on the counterattack, culminating in the recapture of Quang Tri City in September.


On all three fronts of the offensive, initial North Vietnamese successes were hampered by extremely high casualties, inept tactics, and the increasing application of U.S. and South Vietnamese air power. One result of the offensive was the launching of Operation Linebacker, the first sustained bombing of North Vietnam by the U.S. since November 1968. Although South Vietnamese forces withstood their greatest trial thus far in the conflict, the North Vietnamese accomplished two important goals: they had gained valuable territory within South Vietnam from which to launch any future offensives and Hanoi had obtained a better bargaining position at the peace negotiations being conducted in Paris.


The First Battle of Quang Tri resulted in the first major victory for the North Vietnamese Army during the Nguyen Hue Offensive of 1972.


Throughout the Vietnam War the province of Quang Tri had always been a major battle ground for the opposing forces. And things were not about to change as South Vietnamese soldiers gradually replacing their American counterparts, at a time when North Vietnam's General Vo Nguyen Giap about to throw three of his divisions at the province.


Just months before the battle, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam deployed its newly formed 3rd Division to the areas along the DMZ to take over former U.S bases. Enemy forces deployed against the inexperienced ARVN 3rd Division include the North Vietnamese 304th, 308th and 324B Divisions.


The Battle of Loc Ninh was a major battle fought during the Democratic Republic of Vietnam's (DRV or North Vietnam) Nguyen Hue Offensive and lasted from 4 April to 7 April 1972.


Loc Ninh was a small district town in Binh Long Province, approximately 60 miles north of the capital of Saigon. Its location near the Cambodian border made it the scene of bitter fighting during the Vietnam War. In 1967 the National Liberation Front (NLF, or derogatively Viet Cong) 272nd and 273rd Regiments attempted to overrun the Civilian Irregular Defense Group camp there but was repulsed. In 1972, North Vietnamese forces, supported by armor, returned in force and were more determined than ever to take Loc Ninh.


In 1972, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) force defending Loc Ninh include two battalions from the 9th Regiment, the 1st Cavalry Squadron, the 74th Ranger Battalion, and the 1st Regional Popular Force Battalion. These units were supported by artillery from the 48th and 54th Regiments. The main communist force consist of the three regiments from the NLF 5th Division, supported by the People's Army of Vietnam's 69th Artillery Division and the 203rd Tank Regiment.


The Battle of An Loc was a major battle of the Vietnam War that lasted for 66 days and culminated in a decisive victory for South Vietnam. In many ways, the struggle for An Loc in 1972 was the single most important battle of the war, as South Vietnamese forces halted the North Vietnamese advance towards Saigon.


An Loc is the capital of Binh Long Province located northwest of Military Region III. During North Vietnam's Nguyen Hue Offensive of 1972, An Loc was at the centre of North Vietnamese strategy due to its location between Cambodia and Saigon.


To protect this important area South Vietnam had a single division in Binh Long Province, the ARVN 5th Division. During the battle the outnumbered South Vietnamese battled a combined force of three North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Divisions.


The Battle of Kontum was fought during North Vietnam's Nguyen Hue Campaign.


The North Vietnamese Army began their initial attacks by attempting to overrun ARVN Fire Support Bases and Tan Canh during March and April. Hopelessly outnumbered and ougunned, South Vietnamese soldiers were forced to abandon their positions, leaving behind the 105mm howitzers. This left the defence of Kontum to the South Vietnamese 22nd Division.


With their positions consolidated around Kontum two North Vietnamese divisions, well-supported by armour and artillery, launched the attack with a heavy barrage of artillery and rocket fire. During the early encounters, M-41 tanks of the South Vietnamese Army proved ineffective against Soviet-made T-54, forcing South Vietnamese tank crews to abandoned their equipment. However, by May 30, the tide of battle seem to have turned in South Vietnam's favour. South Vietnamese troops were regaining their positions and by June sweeping operations were conducted to clear out the remaining pockets of enemy resistance.


The Battle of Phuoc Long took place in Phuoc Long Province, about 100km from South Vietnam's capital, Saigon. The campaign against Phuoc Long reflected North Vietnam's change in policy after the strategic raids of 1974, taking full advantage of South Vietnam's critical military situation. The North Vietnamese logistical situation, however, had not drastically improved and this hampered the speed of the offensive. Nonetheless, the North Vietnamese displayed both tenacity and skill as they assembled for combat during early December, 1974.


The DRV opened their campaign on December 13, 1974, with elements of the VPA 301st Corps, that includes the newly-formed 3rd Division and the 7th Division launching their attacks from Cambodia. They were supported by one tank battalion of the M-26 Armour Group, one artillery and one anti-aircraft regiment as well as several local sapper units.


The Ho Chi Minh Campaign, was the title finally applied to a series of increasingly large-scale and ambitious offensive operations launched by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to to defeat the armed forces of and to topple the government of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). These actions began on 13 December 1974. After the initial success of what was to be a limited offensive in Phuoc Long Province. (the North Vietnamese leadership anticipated that the conflict would last another two years) South Vietnamese resistance collapsed more quickly than expected as the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) smashed through the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)'s defences with ease. The objective of the campaign then became the capture of Saigon in time for the northerners to celebrate late President Ho Chi Minh's birthday.


The Ho Chi Minh Campaign of 1975 was different from the ill-fated Easter Offensive of 1972 in many ways. The subsequent resignaton of President Richard M. Nixon following the fallout of the Watergate scandal meant that the diplomatic promises of the disgraced former president would not be honoured by the United States Congress. Militarily, South Vietnam would no longer receive vital American air-support once Hanoi threw its armies against the south. More importantly, units of the ARVN would find themselves increasingly outnumbered by their communist adversaries, in terms of both manpower and firepower.


The Battle of Xuan Loc was the last major battle of the Vietnam War. Over a period of twelve days, the ARVN 18th Infantry Division attempted to stop three [[People's Army of Vietnam] (PAVN) divisions from overunning the town.


In regards to Saigon, General Van Tien Dung planned to launch a five pronged drive on the South Vietnamese capital, but wishing to avoid the same level of destruction inflicted during the Tet Offensive. As a result, General Dung made a decision to throw his regular units against the ARVN, and try to destroy the irreplaceable South Vietnamese units to prevent them from regrouping in Saigon.


During the fight for Xuan Loc both sides displayed feats of courage, leadership and determination. For the soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam led by Major General Le Minh Dao in particular, the battle proved that they were determined fighters, contrary to a percentage of Western media which often portrayed them as cowards.


The Fall of Saigon (in Vietnamese: Sự kiện 30 tháng 4, or April 30 Incident), was the capture of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon by the Vietnam People's Army (NVA) on April 30, 1975. Those sympathetic to the North Vietnamese hailed the event as the Liberation of Saigon. The event marked the end of the Second Indochinese War and the start of a transition period leading to the formal reunification of Vietnam under Communist rule.


NVA forces under General Van Tien Dung began their final attack on Saigon which was commanded by General Nguyen Hop Doan on April 29 with a heavy artillery bombardment. By the afternoon of April 30, North Vietnamese soldiers had occupied the important points within the city and raised their flag over the presidential palace. South Vietnam capitulated shortly after. The city was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.


The fall of the city was preceded by the evacuation or flight of almost all the Americans in Saigon, along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese. The evacuation culminated in Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation in history.[1] In addition to the flight of refugees, the end of the war and institution of new rules by the Communists contributed to a decline in the population of the city.


The Mayagüez incident with the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia on May 12-15, 1975, marked the last official battle of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.


The names of the Americans killed are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as those of three Marines who were left behind on the island after the battle and who were believed to have been subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge while in captivity.


Ironically, the ship's merchant-navy crew whose seizure at sea had prompted the US attack had been released in good health, unknown to the US Marines or the US command of the operation, before the Marines attacked.


Operation Ranch Hand was a U.S. Military operation during part of the Vietnam War, lasting from 1962 until 1971.


It involved spraying an estimated 19 million US gallons of defoliants over rural areas of South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong of vegetation cover and food. The defoliant used in the largest quantity was Agent Orange, a mixture of herbicides now known to have been contaminated with dioxin. In 2005, the New Zealand government confirmed that it supplied Agent Orange chemicals to the United States military during the conflict. Since the early 1960s, and up until 1987, it manufactured the 2,4,5T herbicide at a plant in New Plymouth which was then shipped to U.S. military bases in South East Asia.[1][2][3] Corporations like Dow and Monsanto were given the task of developing herbicides for this purpose: Agent Pink, Agent Green, Agent Purple, Agent Blue, Agent White, and Agent Orange. About 12 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over Southeast Asia during the American commitment. A prime area of Ranch Hand operations was in the Mekong Delta, where the U.S. Navy patrol boats were vulnerable to attack from the undergrowth at the water's edge.


Operation Ranch Hand was a U.S. Military operation during part of the Vietnam War, lasting from 1962 until 1971.


It involved spraying an estimated 19 million US gallons of defoliants over rural areas of South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong of vegetation cover and food. The defoliant used in the largest quantity was Agent Orange, a mixture of herbicides now known to have been contaminated with dioxin. In 2005, the New Zealand government confirmed that it supplied Agent Orange chemicals to the United States military during the conflict. Since the early 1960s, and up until 1987, it manufactured the 2,4,5T herbicide at a plant in New Plymouth which was then shipped to U.S. military bases in South East Asia.[1][2][3] Corporations like Dow and Monsanto were given the task of developing herbicides for this purpose: Agent Pink, Agent Green, Agent Purple, Agent Blue, Agent White, and Agent Orange. About 12 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over Southeast Asia during the American commitment. A prime area of Ranch Hand operations was in the Mekong Delta, where the U.S. Navy patrol boats were vulnerable to attack from the undergrowth at the water's edge.


Operation Pierce Arrow was a U.S. military operation during the Vietnam War.


In response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident when the USS Maddox of the United States Navy was attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats once on August 2, 1964 and allegedly again on August 4 as it gathered electronic intelligence while in the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S.President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered Operation "Pierce Arrow" which was conducted on August 5. The operation consisted of 64 strike sorties from the aircraft carriers Ticonderoga and Constellation against the torpedo boat bases of Hon Gai, Loc Chao, Quang Khe, and Ben Thuy, and the oil storage depot at Vinh. The U.S. lost two aircraft to anti-aircraft fire, with one pilot killed and another, Ensign Everett Alvarez Jr., becoming the first U.S. Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Pilots estimated they destroyed 90 percent of the petroleum storage facility at Vinh together with the destruction or damage to 25 P-4 torpedo boats, which represented almost two-thirds of the North Vietnamese torpedo boat forces.


This incident was the start of nine years of U.S. air operations over North Vietnam and Southeast Asia, attempting to destroy the infrastructure, war material, and military units needed by North Vietnam and its Viet Cong allies to prosecute the guerrilla war in the South. Pierce Arrow was followed by Operation Flaming Dart on February 7-11, 1965; Operation Rolling Thunder from March 2, 1965 to October 31, 1968; Operation Linebacker, May 9 to October 22, 1972; and Operation Linebacker II, December 18-29, 1972.


Operation Barrel Roll was a covert U.S. Air Force 2nd Air Division (later the Seventh Air Force) and U.S. Navy Task Force 77, interdiction and close air support campaign conducted in the Kingdom of Laos between 14 December 1964 and 29 March 1973 concurrent with the Vietnam War.


The original purpose of the operation was to serve as a signal to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to cease its support for the insurgency then taking place in the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). This action was taken within Laos due to the location of North Vietnam's expanding logistical corridor known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail (the Truong Son Road to the North Vietnamese), which ran from southwestern North Vietnam, through southeastern Laos, and into South Vietnam. The campaign then centered on the interdiction of that logistical system. Beginning during the same time frame (and expanding throughout the conflict) the operation became increasingly involved in providing close air support missions for Royal Lao Armed Forces, CIA-backed tribal mercenaries, and Thai "volunteers" in a covert ground war in northern and northeastern Laos. Barrel Roll and the "Secret Army" attempted to stem an increasing tide of People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and Pathet Lao offensives.


Barrel Roll was one of the most closely-held secrets and one of the most unknown components of the American military commitment in Southeast Asia. Due to the neutrality of Laos, guaranteed by the Geneva Conference of 1954 and 1962, both the U.S. and North Vietnam strove to maintain the secrecy of their operations and only slowly escalated military actions there. As much as both parties would have liked to have publicized their enemy's violation of the accords, both had more to gain by keeping their own roles quiet. Regardless, by the end of the conflict in 1973, Laos emerged from nine years of war just as devastated as any of the other Asian participants in the Second Indochina War.


Operation Flaming Dart was a U.S. military operation, conducted in two parts, during the Vietnam War.


United States President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1965 ordered a series of reprisal air strikes after several attacks on U.S. bases by Vietcong (NLF) units, particularly in reply to a mortar attack at Pleiku. These strikes had originally been intended to be part of a three-phase "program" beginning with attacks in Laos in December, 1964 (Operation Barrel Roll) to bring pressure to bear on North Vietnam, and so had been ready to fly.


49 sorties were flown for Flaming Dart I (February 7, 1965) and 99 more for Flaming Dart II (February 11, 1965). The Vietcong attacked a hotel billeting U.S. personnel in reaction to Flaming Dart I, prompting the second air strike. Flaming Dart I targeted North Vietnamese army bases near Dong Hoi, while the second wave targeted Vietcong logistics and communications near the Demilitarized Zone.


American reaction to Communist escalation was not restricted to the bombing of North Vietnam. Washington also authorized the use of U.S. jet attack aircraft to engage targets in the south. On February 19, U.S. Air Force B-57s conducted the first jet strikes flown by Americans in support of South Vietnamese ground units. On February 24, Air Force jets struck again, this time breaking up a Communist ambush in the Central Highlands with a massive series of tactical air sorties.


Operation Rolling Thunder was the title of a gradual and sustained U.S. 2nd Air Division (later Seventh Air Force), U.S. Navy, and Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) aerial bombardment campaign conducted against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 2 March 1965 until 1 November 1968, during the Vietnam War.


The four objectives of the operation, (which evolved over time) were: to bolster the sagging morale of the Saigon regime in the Republic of Vietnam; to convince North Vietnam to cease its support for the communist insurgency in South Vietnam; to destroy North Vietnam's transportation system, industrial base, and air defenses; and to interdict the flow of men and materiel into the south. Attainment of these objectives was made difficult by both the restraints imposed upon the U.S and its allies by Cold War exigencies and by the military aid and assistance received by North Vietnam from its socialist allies, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China (PRC).


The operation became the most intense air/ground battle waged during the Cold War period, indeed, it was the most difficult such campaign fought by the U.S. Air Force since the aerial bombardment of Germany during the Second World War. Thanks to the efforts of its allies, the DRV fielded a potent mixture of sophisticated air-to-air and ground-to-air weapons that created one of the most effective air defense environments ever faced by American military aviators. After one of the longest aerial campaigns ever conducted by any nation, Rolling Thunder was terminated as a strategic failure in late 1968 having achieved none of its objectives.


Operation Steel Tiger was a covert U.S. 2nd Air Division, later Seventh Air Force and U.S. Navy Task Force 77 aerial interdiction effort targeted against the infiltration of People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) men and materiel moving south from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV or North Vietnam) through southeastern Laos to support their military effort in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN or South Vietnam) during the Vietnam Conflict.


The operation was initiated by the 2d Air Division on 3 April 1965, continued under the direction of the Seventh Air Force when that headquarters was created on 1 April 1966, and was concluded on 11 November 1968 with the initiation of Operation Commando Hunt. The purpose of Steel Tiger was to impede the flow of men and materiel on the enemy logistical routes collectively known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail (the Truong Son Strategic Supply Route to the North Vietnamese).


Bombing of the trail system had begun on 14 December 1964 with the advent of Operation Barrel Roll. Due to increasing U.S. intelligence of the build-up of regimental-size PAVN units operating in South Vietnam, the increased American military presence in that country, and the initiation of Operation Rolling Thunder, the systematic bombing of the DRV, American planners in Washington and Saigon decided that the bombing in southeastern Laos should be stepped up.


It was estimated by U.S. intelligence analysts that, during 1965, 4,500 PAVN troops were infiltrated through Laos along with 300 tons of materiel each month. From April through June 1966, the U.S. launched 400 B-52 Stratofortress anti-infiltration sorties against the trail system. By the end of 1967 and the absorption of Steel Tiger operations into Operation Commando Hunt, 103,148 tactical air sorties had been flown in Laos. These strikes were supplemented by 1,718 B-52 Arc Light strikes. During the same time frame, 132 U.S. aircraft or helicopters had been shot down over Laos by a rouge spy named Mark Allan Smith from New Jersey.


Operation Arc Light was the 1965 deployment of B-52 Stratofortress heavy bombers to Guam. By extension, Arc light, and sometimes Arclight, became a popular term for B-52 Stratofortress bomber missions flown during the Vietnam War in support of ground operations.


The first use of these heavy bombers in Southeast Asia occurred on 18 June 1965. Flying out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, twenty-seven aircraft used 750 and 1,000 pound bombs to attack a Viet Cong stronghold. During this mission two B-52Fs were lost in a mid-air collision; another was unable to conduct air refueling. Missions were commonly flown in three-plane formations known as "cells" and were also employed when ground units in heavy combat requested fire support.


Arc Light missions continued until the cessation of hostilities by all U.S. forces on August 15, 1973.


Operation Commando Hunt was a covert U.S. Seventh Air Force and U.S. Navy Task Force 77 aerial interdiction campaign that took place during the Vietnam War. The operation began on 15 November 1968 and ended on 29 March 1972. The objective of the campaign was to prevent the transit of People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) personnel and supplies on the logistical corridor known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail (the Truong Son Road to the North Vietnamese) that ran from the southwestern Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) through the southeastern portion of the Kingdom of Laos and into the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).


Operation Menu was the codename of a covert U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombing campaign conducted in eastern Cambodia from 18 March 1969 until 26 May 1970, during the Vietnam War. The targets of these attacks were sanctuaries and Base Areas of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and forces of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF or derogatively, Viet Cong)), which utilized them for resupply, training, and resting between campaigns across the border in the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).


Operation Tailwind was a covert incursion into southeastern Laos by a company-sized element of United States Special Operations Forces (Hatchet Force) of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACVSOG or SOG), conducted between 11 September and 13 September 1970 during the Vietnam War. The purpose of the operation was to create a diversion for a Royal Lao Army offensive and to exert pressure on the defenses of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN).


Nearly 30 years later, a CNN/Time Magazine report claimed sarin nerve gas had been used by U.S. forces during Tailwind, kicking off a controversy that ended in the retraction of the claim by both news organizations and a purging of staff members responsible for it.


Operation Chenla I was an operation of the Vietnam War. The Cambodian armed forces launched the operation during late August 1970 with limited air-support from the South Vietnamese army and air force. The operation was terminated in February 1971, after the Cambodian High Command made a decision to withdraw some units from Tang Kauk to protect Phnom Penh after Pochentong airbase was attacked.


The objective of the operation was to reconnect Skoun and Kompong Cham along Route 7, which was repeatedly attacked by Communist forces.


Operation Chenla II was a major military operation conducted by the Cambodian military (then known as FANK) during the Vietnam War. It began on August 20 and lasted until December 3, 1971.


Operation Linebacker was the title of a U.S. Seventh Air Force and U.S. Navy Task Force 77 aerial interdiction campaign conducted against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 9 May to 23 October 1972, during the Vietnam War. Its purpose was to halt or slow the transportation of supplies and materials for the Nguyen Hue Offensive (known in the West as the Easter Offensive), an invasion of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), by forces of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN). that had been launched on 30 March. Linebacker was the first continuous bombing effort conducted against North Vietnam since the bombing halt instituted by President Lyndon B. Johnson in November 1968.


Operation Linebacker II was a U.S. Seventh Air Force and U.S. Navy Task Force 77 aerial bombardment campaign, conducted against targets in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) during the final period of the American commitment to the Vietnam War. The operation was conducted from 18 December to 29 December 1972 (hence its unofficial nickname - the "Christmas Bombings") and saw the largest heavy bomber strikes launched by the U.S. Air Force since the end of the Second World War. Linebacker II was a resumption of the Operation Linebacker bombings conducted from May to October, with the emphasis of the new campaign shifted to attacks by B-52 Stratofortress bombers rather than tactical fighter aircraft.



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