Battle of Đức Cơ

The Battle of Đức Cơ or the Battle of Landing Zone 27V was an engagement between the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) 5th Battalion of the 88th Regiment alongside the 69th Armor Regiment and 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division with a company of the Republic of Korea Army 3rd Battalion, 1st Cavalry Regiment of the Capital Division, supported by a tank platoon of the 1st Battalion, 69th Armor during the night of August 9–10, 1966. The battle resulted from North Vietnamese attempts to infiltrate Đức Cơ from Cambodia. The battle was regarded as a "victory for American firepower", given the massive deployment of artillery, armoured and aerial firepower against a potential NVA attack against a defensive perimeter.[2]

Background

The South Korean 3rd Battalion, 1st Cavalry Regiment, part of the Capital Division, began participating in Operation Paul Revere I on 9 July,[3] establishing its positions to the north of the Chu Pong Massif, immediately east of the hamlet of Plei Girao Kia, eight kilometers south of Đức Cơ. It was under the operational control of the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, and conducted near-daily patrols without significant contact with the PAVN. From 27 July, The battalion's 9th Company was stationed at Landing Zone 27V (27 Victor when spoken), six kilometers from the border with Cambodia. A tank platoon from the United States 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, was attached to the company on a weekly rotational basis; the 1st Platoon of the 1st Battalion's Company A was assigned for the week beginning 5 August.[4]

The position at Landing Zone 27V was roughly oblong, extending 200 meters east to west and 170 meters north to south, protected by a two foot-deep trench, concertina wire about 20 meters outside of the latter, and trip flares and claymore mines farther out. The five M48A3 Patton main battle tanks of the platoon were dispersed among the covered machine gun emplacements and trenches for the infantrymen.[4]

Engagement

On 9 August, the 9th Company had just returned from a two-day mission on the Cambodian border. Its commander sent out three listening posts 200 meters beyond the perimeter before sunset and followed standard Korean procedures by placing half of the men inside the main position on alert. The southwest listening post reported sounds of digging about an hour before midnight, followed by the tripping of a flare on the western side of the perimeter. Predicting a forthcoming attack, the company commander called the listening posts into the main position. When the digging continued, a Patton directed its searchlight towards the noise and fired one of its machine guns, being met with fire from PAVN soldiers in a tree line to the south, supported by mortar fire from the northwest. This slightly wounded three Americans, including the platoon commander, who were caught outside their tanks, but all reached the latter without further injury. The men in the position were fully alerted by this time.[4]

In response to increased PAVN fire, three of the Pattons fired antipersonnel rounds into the tree line, while the remainder fired to the southwest. Two of the tanks were searchlight-equipped, but both were disabled by PAVN fire during the night, after which illumination was provided by artillery flares and United States Air Force flare ships (transport aircraft dropping flares). Artillery support from the 3rd Battalion and from the three American artillery batteries at Duc Co as a result of continued increase in PAVN fire.[4]

The PAVN fire slowed by 01:30 on 10 August but they began an attack after a half hour lull, charging the western side of the perimeter and coming as close as fifty meters before being repulsed by the intense Allied tank and machine gun fire. Two more assaults were launched against the north and south sides of the perimeter during the next two hours, with several PAVN personnel coming within five meters of the position and one penetrating it before being bayoneted. Most of the PAVN personnel were dispatched or retreated, and by 06:00 their fire slackened and then stopped entirely. Soon afterwards, a combined tank-infantry patrol swept beyond the perimeter, encountering multiple PAVN personnel who fought to the death.[5]

Aftermath

During the battle, nearly 1,900 high-explosive rounds were expended by American and South Korean artillery from the 3rd Battalion base and Duc Co. The 9th Company's mortars fire 1,500 rounds, while the Pattons fired 24 high-explosive, 33 90 mm canister, and nearly 17,000 machine gun rounds. Estimated losses for the North Vietnamese was 197, from the 5th Battalion of the 88th Regiment. South Korean losses numbered seven killed, while no American were killed. Subsequent speculation by American intelligence analysts stated that the PAVN attack might have been a diversionary move to draw attention away from their units escaping from Paul Revere II through the Ia Drang Valley and Chu Pong area.[5]

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b Carland 2000, p. 299.
  2. ^ Carland 2000, p. 299-301.
  3. ^ Carland 2000, p. 292.
  4. ^ a b c d Carland 2000, pp. 297–298.
  5. ^ a b Carland 2000, pp. 298–299.

Bibliography

  • Carland, John M. (2000). Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966 (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History. ISBN 9780160873102.

External links

List of Korean battles

This is a partial list of battles on the land or water of Korea.

Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.

Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (; August 22, 1934 – December 27, 2012) was a United States Army General. While serving as the commander of United States Central Command, he led all coalition forces in the Gulf War.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Schwarzkopf grew up in the United States and later in Iran. He was accepted by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army in 1956. After a number of initial training programs, Schwarzkopf interrupted a stint as an academy teacher, and served in the Vietnam War first as an adviser to the South Vietnamese Army and later as a battalion commander. Schwarzkopf was highly decorated in Vietnam, being awarded three Silver Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, and the Legion of Merit. Rising through the ranks after the conflict, he later commanded the U.S. 24th Infantry Division and was one of the commanders of the Invasion of Grenada in 1983.

Assuming command of United States Central Command in 1988, Schwarzkopf was called on to respond to the Invasion of Kuwait in 1990 by the forces of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Initially tasked with defending Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression, Schwarzkopf's command eventually grew to an international force of over 750,000 troops. After diplomatic relations broke down, he planned and led Operation Desert Storm—an extended air campaign followed by a highly successful 100-hour ground offensive—which defeated the Iraqi Army and liberated Kuwait in early 1991. Schwarzkopf was presented with military honors.

Schwarzkopf retired shortly after the end of the war and undertook a number of philanthropic ventures, only occasionally stepping into the political spotlight before his death from complications of pneumonia in late 2012. A hard-driving military commander with a strong temper, Schwarzkopf was considered an exceptional leader by many biographers and was noted for his abilities as a military diplomat and in dealing with the press.

Outline of the Vietnam War

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Vietnam War:

Vietnam War – Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States, Philippines and other anti-communist allies. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People's Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units to battle.

South Korea in the Vietnam War

The South Korean government, under the administration of Park Chung-hee, took an active role in the Vietnam War. From September 1964 to March 1973, South Korea sent more than 300,000 troops to South Vietnam. The South Korean Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force all participated as an ally of the United States. The number of troops from South Korea was much greater than those from Australia and New Zealand, and second only to the U.S. military force for foreign troops located in South Vietnam. The military commander was Lieutenant General Chae Myung-shin of the South Korean army.

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