Vietnam VeteransEducation Team Informing the Students of Victoria, Australia
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Long Tan

In May 1966 the first soldiers of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) arrived in South Vietnam; the rest followed in June. Within two months elements of the battalion found themselves engaged in one of the largest battles fought by Australians in the Vietnam War. By August 1966 the Australian task force base at Nui Dat was only three months old. Concerned at the establishment of such a strong presence in their midst, the Viet Cong determined to inflict an early defeat on the Australians. In the days before the battle, radio signals indicated the presence of strong Viet Cong forces within 5 kilometres of the base but patrols found nothing. On the night of 16–17 August Nui Dat came under fire from mortars and recoilless rifles. The defenders stood to, expecting the barrage to be followed by an assault. None came. Searches of the area the next day located some of the sites from which mortars had been fired, but nothing else……..more

Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels are located approximately 30 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City in Cu Chi district. This district is known nationwide as the base where the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. Cu Chi Tunnels consist of more than 200 km of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels……more

TET Offensive

The Tet Offensive, launched in early 1968 by the Viet Cong, marked a significant escalation in the scale and the intensity of the Vietnam War. Although it was defeated in a strict military sense, the Tet Offensive shook the resolve of the Americans and their allies in Vietnam, and fuelled anti-war sentiment in America and the rest of the world. In 1967 factions within the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese leadership began to call for a change of direction in the war’s conduct. General Vo Nguyen Giap, who had formerly advocated waging a largely guerrilla war, came to believe a “quick victory” might now be possible. Planning therefore began for a major offensive in South Vietnam that would provoke a “general uprising.” Against the corrupt and unpopular South Vietnamese Government. Abandoning conventional military wisdom, Viet Cong forces were not heavily concentrated for the offensive. The aim, instead, was to mount as many different attacks in as many locations as possible. And in a departure from traditional guerrilla tactics, the main targets were in population centres rather than the countryside……….more

Fire Support Base

FSB's were a major US innovation in Vietnam. They were established as a self-contained and self-defended artillery base from which infantry operations could be mounted and supported. A typical FSB could be expected to deploy 6 x M102 105mm field howitzers and anything from a company to a battalion of infantry with it's supporting 81mm mortars, communications, medical and administrative personnel….more
On the afternoon of 17 February 1967, an Australian force found itself facing defeat in a thick patch of jungle near the coast of Phuoc Tuy province. Operation Bribie, as the battle was known, was one of Australia’s worst days in Vietnam. Planned and organised in haste, Bribie was an attempt to destroy a communist force that had attacked the village of Lang Phuoc Hai earlier that day. The 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) and armoured personnel carriers (APCs) of A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, were ordered to cut off the enemy’s withdrawal routes. They were expecting to encounter small, scattered groups of soldiers heading back to their jungle bases. First on the scene was A Company, 6RAR. After being landed by helicopter they quickly made their way into the forest but had covered less than two hundred metres before coming under fire. Machine gun and small arms fire, and snipers shooting from the trees, forced the shocked Australians to ground. Six members of 2 platoon were killed or wounded in less than a minute when they assaulted the Viet Cong position. This was not an just enemy camp, as the Australians assumed. It was a strong defensive position, its extent unknown, its occupants all but invisible. The contact was just minutes old but the Australians were already in trouble…..more

Operation Bribie

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