Battle of Long Dinh

The Battle of Long Định was a battle of the Vietnam War between the Viet Cong (VC) and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

Battle of Long Dinh
Part of the Vietnam War
DateFebruary 26, 1964
Location
Long Định, South Vietnam
Result Indecisive
Belligerents
 South Vietnam FNL Flag.svg Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
Nguyễn Khánh ?
Strength
3,000 600
Casualties and losses
16 killed 40 killed

Background

U.S. helicopter survelliance had spotted a large group of VC fighters assembling in a forest glade near Long Dinh. General Nguyễn Khánh immediately rushed his infantry forces there, using M113 armored personnel carriers.

Operation

On 26 February 1964, three-thousand ARVN soldiers encircled the VC 514th Battalion at Long Định. During the 8-hour battle, the ARVN avoided contact with the VC, instead the ARVN commander relied on air and artillery strikes to inflict damage. As a result, the VC 514th Battalion was able to slip through the gaps and successfully withdraw from the area, using sniper teams to secure river crossings.

Aftermath

Due to the incompetence of the ARVN at this battle, General Khánh sacked five of his division commanders.

References

  • Bowman, John S. (1985). The Vietnam War: An Almanac. Pharos Books. ISBN 0-911818-85-5
1964 in the Vietnam War

South Vietnam was in political chaos during much of the year, as generals competed for power and Buddhists protested against the government. The Viet Cong communist guerrillas expanded their operations and defeated the South Vietnamese army (ARVN) in many battles. North Vietnam made a definitive judgement in January to assist the Viet Cong insurgency with men and material. In November, North Vietnam ordered the North Vietnamese Army to infiltrate units into South Vietnam and undertake joint military operations with the Viet Cong.

The new President of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, and his civilian and military advisers wrestled with the problem of a failing government in South Vietnam and military gains by the communists. In August, an attack on American navy vessels caused Johnson to seek and gain U.S. congressional approval of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which authorized him to use military force if necessary to defend South Vietnam. Throughout the year, there were calls from many quarters — American, foreign, and South Vietnamese — for the United States to negotiate an agreement for the neutralization of South Vietnam, which they refused to considered.

Many of President Johnson's advisers advocated an air war against North Vietnam and the introduction of U.S. combat troops into South Vietnam. By year's end, the 23,000 U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam were still technically "advisers" (although they participated in many air and ground operations with the ARVN), but Johnson was contemplating U.S. ground troops.

At the time, most of the reports and conversations mentioned below were secret; they were not made public for many years.

Field artillery

Field artillery is a category of mobile artillery used to support armies in the field. These weapons are specialized for mobility, tactical proficiency, short range, long range, and extremely long range target engagement.

Until the early 20th century, field artillery were also known as foot artillery, for while the guns were pulled by beasts of burden (often horses), the gun crews would usually march on foot, thus providing fire support mainly to the infantry. This was in contrast to horse artillery, whose emphasis on speed while supporting cavalry units necessitated lighter guns and crews riding on horseback.

Whereas horse artillery has been superseded by self-propelled artillery, field artillery has survived to this day both in name and mission, albeit with motor vehicles towing the guns, carrying the crews and transporting the ammunition. Modern artillery has also advanced to rapidly deployable wheeled and tracked vehicles and precision delivered munitions capable of striking targets at ranges between 15 and 300 kilometers.

Nguyễn Khánh

Nguyễn Khánh ([ŋwiəŋ˨˩˦ kʰan˦˥]; November 8, 1927 – January 11, 2013) was a South Vietnamese military officer and Army of the Republic of Vietnam general who served in various capacities as head of state and prime minister of South Vietnam while at the head of a military junta from January 1964 until February 1965. He was involved in or against many coup attempts, failed and successful, from 1960 until his defeat and exile from South Vietnam in 1965. Khánh lived out his later years with his family, in exile in the United States, and died of pneumonia and end-stage renal failure at a hospital in San Jose, California, on January 11, 2013.

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