Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, April 17, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here are several instances of where the M113 APC in Vietnam was put to good use. Was instrumental in ROUTING the enemy when the situation for friendly troops was grim. Examples of how the ACAV in Vietnam was successful.

First from a battle involving the Australian Army:

"Let me set the scene; it is a stinking, non-descript rubber plantation in a place that no one was much interested in, the rain is pouring down as only Asian monsoonal rain can, 108 Australians are fighting for their lives against an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 NVA troops who are on their way to wipe out the whole Australian base at Nui Dat. It is Delta Company of 6 RAR and they are in "deep shit". They have already lost a section and more. Their ammo has run out once and only an emergency resupply from a RAAF chopper has allowed them to keep firing.

Supporting artillery is firing "continuous fire" (24 guns firing 3 rounds per gun per minute) and will drop a total of 2,639 rounds of 105mm and 155 rounds of 155mm (from the Yanks). There are already about 15% of the Australian unit KIA. More are wounded. Some are missing. All are desperate. The NVA/VC are massing for the last attack. The Australian Company Commander has already told his base "If you don't come for us in half an hour, don't bother coming at all". Then through the murk, the rain and the bullets . . .a dull roar, like a couple of bulldozers, no one knew what it was. Then it struck them. The tracks had arrived.

Out of the gloom, lights blazing, .50 cal machine guns going full bore, having already swum a flooded river, with another Company of 6RAR aboard the M113s of the RAAC came roaring in almost Western movie timing to break up the NVA/VC attack and relieve the situation. The NVA/VC withdrew leaving 245 bodies that they could not retrieve.

They call the place LONG TAN.

Sgt Buick and the remnant of 11 Platoon "jumped up, yelled and waved to identify our position, just like in the movies. I felt like one of those Yankees saved from the Indians" (from the book by Lex McAulay)."

Exactly. Just like in the movies when the cavalry comes on the scene at the last moment to save the day.

Some may say that this is NOT an instance of ACAV in action, NO combined arms. Infantry with armored APC's and a lot of firepower, but NOT ACAV. True. But is indicative of what armor in Vietnam could and DID do.

The second example is the Battle of Fire Base Gold . This particular battle involved an entire Viet Cong [VC] regiment massing and attacking a U.S. Army firebase.

Firebases were fixed artillery positions geographically and tactically placed to provide fire support on call for army units operating within range of the fire base. Use of artillery in this manner was something unique to the Vietnam war.

In the case of GOLD, the situation WAS grim. U.S. artillerymen had to fight against overwhelming numbers of a determined enemy. The ACAV, arriving as they did just in time, slaughtered just enormous numbers of the VC enemy without hardly any loss to themselves. Victory from the jaws of defeat, as they say.

So great was the number of enemy bodies littering the battlefield, that an engineeering ACAV vehicle actually began to dig a large trench [hole] in the ground to bury the enemy dead, even while the battle still raged!!

This stuff makes for dramatic reading!




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coolbert, your blogs are well written!!

4:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al, nice looking blog.


5:04 PM


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