Battle of Svay Rieng

The Battle of Svay Rieng was the last major offensive operation of the Vietnam War to be mounted by the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) against the North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) forces.


On 27 March PAVN sapper units attacked Đức Huệ which was held by the ARVN 83rd Ranger Battalion. The initial attack was repulsed as was a subsequent infantry attack by the PAVN 5th Division. Following the failure of these attacks the PAVN laid siege to Đức Huệ.[1][2]

In late April the ARVN launched a large-scale assault to break the PAVN siege. ARVN Regional Forces established blocking positions on the southwestern edge of the 5th Division perimeter as the Republic of Vietnam Air Force conducted airstrikes against base areas of the 5th Division. The ARVN 40th Infantry Regiment and the 7th Ranger Group, under the command of General Thuần, pushed around Đức Huệ towards the Cambodian border. On 28 April the PAVN 275th Regiment and the 25th Sapper Battalion launched a fierce attack on the Long Khot District Town (10°55′12″N 105°50′09″E / 10.92°N 105.8357°E) as eleven ARVN Battalions were preparing for a major assault, however the PAVN attack did not deter the movement of ARVN forces. On the morning of 29 April, ARVN armoured forces smashed across the Cambodian border west of Gò Dầu Hạ directly towards the PAVN 5th Division Headquarters.

The movement of the ARVN forces was such a threat that the PAVN were forced to defend their logistical installations with units from Long Khot. The 275th Regiment was threatened with isolation when the ARVN advanced into the Elephant's Foot. As part of the operation, the ARVN penetrated 16 km into Cambodian territory with surprise attacks on PAVN positions, with some ARVN units conducting sweep operations between Đức Huệ and Gò Dầu Hạ. By the time all South Vietnamese operations were ceased, PAVN communication lines and logistical installations were severely damaged. Due to the operational secrecy, speed and accuracy of the operation, South Vietnamese casualties were kept to a minimum, while the North Vietnamese suffered heavy losses in terms of manpower and equipment.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

  1. ^ Veith, George (2012). Black April The Fall of South Vietnam 1973–75. Encounter Books. p. 73. ISBN 9781594035722.
  2. ^ Le Gro, William (1985). Vietnam from ceasefire to capitulation (PDF). US Army Center of Military History. p. 93. ISBN 9781410225429.


  • Dougan. C, Doyle. E, Lipsman. S, Martland. T, Weiss. S (1983) The Vietnam Experience: The False Peace, page 123-124. Boston Publishing Company, USA.
5th Infantry Division (Vietnam)

The VC 5th Infantry Division was a division of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War and later became part of the People's Army of Vietnam. The division consisted of the 274 Regiment and 275 Regiment plus supporting units. Formed in August 1965 the VC 5th Division's headquarters was located in Northeast Phuoc Tuy in the May Tao Mountains, the 274th Regiment's headquarters was located in the Hat Dich area and the 275th Regiment's headquarters was also located in the May Tao Mountains. The division operated in the Bien Hoa, Dong Nai, Phuoc Tuy and Long Khanh provinces. North Vietnamese regulars also reinforced the division during operations.As part of the campaign against Saigon it was tasked with isolating the eastern provinces by interdicting the main roads and highways, including national routes 1 and 15 and provincial routes 2 and 23. It this role it proved a major challenge to the ARVN, with the 275th Regiment successfully ambushing a South Vietnamese battalion near Binh Gia on 11 November 1965. The division or elements participated in the Battle of Long Tan against Australian Army forces, as well as a number of other actions. Other notable battles included the battles of Bien Hoa, Long Binh, Snuol, and Loc Ninh. Later in the war the division also operated in Cambodia.

Presently, the 5th Division is under the 7th Military Region.

Nguyễn Văn Hiếu

Major General Nguyễn Văn Hiếu (23 June 1929, Tientsin, China – 8 April 1975, Biên Hòa, Vietnam) was a general in the South Vietnamese army. As a child he lived in Shanghai. He later emigrated with his ethnic Vietnamese parents to Saigon when the Chinese Communist Party took over China in 1949. He attended Aurore University in Shanghai, China. In 1950, he attended the Vietnamese Military Academy, graduating second in his class in 1951. In 1963, he graduated from Command and General Staff College, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

His assignments included G3/Joint General Staff, G3/1st Corps, Chief of Staff of 1st Division, Chief of Staff of I Corps, Chief of Staff of II Corps, Commander of 22nd Division, Chief of Staff of II Corps, Commander of 5th Division, Deputy Commander of I Corps, Minister of Anti-Corruption under Vice-President Trần Văn Hương, Deputy Commander of III Corps, Commander of Forward HQ III Corps, and MG Deputy Commander of III Corps. He was found dead on 8 April 1975 at III Corps Headquarters, Biên Hòa, and theories that he had been assassinated emerged. Two days later, he was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general.

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