how long did the battle of ap bac last

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Up until this point in the Vietnam “Conflict” the NLF, soon to become known as the Viet Cong in the US, had waged a war of insurgency in South Vietnam. Vann had never been able to persuade Cao to send his troops out on night patrols, thus turning over the provinces to the VC as soon as darkness fell. Cao had no interest in putting his battalions through the regular training cycles that Vann kept urging on him. Historica Wiki is a FANDOM Games Community. The plan was a good one. These arguments consumed even more precious daylight because the senior commanders were at their headquarters, rather than in the field with their troops. High civilian casualties produced resentment against the government, giving the Viet Cong the propaganda they needed to replace their combat losses. Eventually, and only through the best efforts of the American adviser with the armored unit, he managed to get the M-113 company to attack the Viet Cong troops that he determined were well dug-in along the tree line in Bac. In the south, the two Civil Guard battalions ran into security forces the VC commander had set out against just such an attack. It became something of a cause celebre that changed American views on the war. Further problems existed in the battle-readiness of the soldiers. Henry Kendall, particle physicist; shared Nobel Prize in 1990. one day. Although the government maintained an infantry division in the southern half of the delta, it had really given up trying to control the region. The Civil Guard battalions, like the infantry company mounted in M-113s to the west, were under command of Major Lam Quang Tho, the province chief. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. Meanwhile, two Civil Guard battalions approached Ap Bac from the south on foot. During a routine battalion sweep, Alpha company from the 2nd Brigade crossed an open rice paddy and encountered Viet … Huynh Van Cao was not the hard-fighting general he appeared to be, nor was he a particularly able military commander. The upshot was that, by the end of 1962, the 7th ARVN Division was well on its way to establishing a reputation as the most aggressive and successful in the South Vietnamese Army. Small-scale military actions, which would eventually escalate into the Vietnam War, started in the late 1950s, when South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem instituted an anti-Communist campaign aimed at rooting out "left behind" Viet Minh forces. One infantry battalion of the 7th Division would land just to the north of the villages of Tan Thoi and Bac, while two Civil Guard battalions would move up from the south to block any attempt of the VC to withdraw in that direction. The South Vietnamese troops suffered approximately 80 killed and more than 100 wounded in a battle that might have been, but was not, a decisive one against the Viet Cong. The Vietnamese troops piled out of the aircraft and went to ground against the paddy dikes, where strenuous efforts by their American advisers failed to move them for the remainder of the day. The battlefield at Ap Bac with markers for a … More than a dozen operations were launched, not one of which succeeded in finding the enemy. The southern part of the delta had been a Viet Cong stronghold for years, as it had been a base area for the Viet Minh during the French Indochinese War. The guerrillas, including Le Quan Cong, prepared trenches and bunkers in front of an open field, where they would be able to easily pick off the enemies. By that time, General Cao had assembled a briefing that showed how the 7th Division and supporting province troops had trapped a Viet Cong unit at Bac and were about to annihilate it. Artillery fire, sounding at that moment, gave verisimilitude to the story. It took place in an area of the Mekong Delta that had been dominated by VC guerrillas. In the opening years of the Vietnam War, a small group of American military advisors and their South Vietnamese allies were facing down the Viet Cong. At 0730 hours on January 2, 1963, the first of three lifts of 7th Division infantry arrived by H-21 helicopters in the rice paddies to the north of Bac, and almost immediately the plan began to go wrong. Concerned to halt the costly fighting for political reasons, Cao had deliberately left an escape route open for the Viet Cong commander. Even muzzle flashes of weapons firing were difficult to see. Publisher: High Flying Dice Games. The Viet Cong had stood up to massive firepower from helicopter-delivered machine guns and rockets, artillery, tactical air power and heavy machine guns of the armored personnel carriers; had coolly fought the battle on their own terms; and had broken contact on their initiative. Masako, Crown Princes of Japan, wife of Crown Prince Naruhito, heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne. At 6:35 AM on 2 January 1963, ten American helicopters ferried an ARVN company just north of Tan Thoi, and they met no resistance. Some ARVN unit commanders had initially refused to move. Billy Edd Wheeler, singer, songwriter ("Jackson," "Coward of the County"). Harkins, about to climb into his aircraft to fly back to Saigon after receiving a briefing on the action from Brigadier General Huynh Van Cao, the Vietnamese IV Corps commander, remarked to New York Times correspondent David Halberstam that ‘we’ve got them in a trap and we’re going to spring it in half an hour.’, Halberstam and Peter Arnett, an Associated Press correspondent, had just landed at the same airfield after flying over Bac in a helicopter, but they had seen no fighting there, much less evidence of a trap about to be sprung. Diem apparently never grasped that subtle distinction, and simply measured his commanders on the basis of how few casualties their units suffered. Three H-21s and one of the five escorting UH-1 gun ships were shot down within five minutes, and every single one of the H-21s and all of the UH-1s except one sustained battle damage. 18 He took care to separate the chains of command so that the province chiefs in the 7th Division’s zone were answerable to Saigon, but not to the division commander. They were sung to the tune of “On Top Of Ol’ Smokey”. Sooner or later, the VC would develop an effective means of evading, avoiding, or even countering helicopters and light armor. Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, speaker of the House of Representatives. Three Vietcong companies built defensive positions along a mile-long canal connecting Ap Bac with the village of Ap Tan Thoi. On December 28, 1962, U.S. intelligence detected the presence of a radio transmitter along with a sizable force of National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (FNL/Viet Cong) soldiers, reported to number around 120 in the hamlet of Ap … Although the Communists were learning not to flee into the open where fighter-bombers could attack them, they were still being surprised by the extraordinary mobility that helicopters gave the government troops and by the discrete firepower of armed helicopters. At that time, North Vietnam was hoping for an election, promised under the Geneva Accords of 1954, that would unite North and South Vietnam. If the dismounted troops were pinned down, then perhaps the armored unit could break the stalemate. Judi Dench (Dame Judith Dench), actress; known to James Bond fans for her role as M in Bond films beginning with Golden Eye (1997), her many awards include an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Chocolat, 2000). What would the Viet Cong coat on these deadly objects? In 1962, Diem remained fearful of military coups like the earlier abortive paratrooper coup. The invigorated Viet Cong concentrated their fire on the ARVN struggling to get out of the downed helicopters in a "duck shoot", and Vann radioed the ARVN command and urged them to send an APC unit to rescue the men. The VC concentrated their rifle fire against whichever vehicle happened to be in the lead, an easy task since the company was attacking in piecemeal fashion, and tried to kill the drivers and the exposed gunners on the .50-caliber machine guns. The confident Americans were there to do what seemed elementary: help the South Vietnamese army defeat a ragtag guerrilla enemy. Many thought that the war would be won or lost in these provinces, lying just to the south of the capital. In May, shortly after Vann arrived as adviser to division commander Colonel Huynh Van Cao, 7th Division patrols surprised a large number of guerrillas who unwisely tried to flee across open terrain. So far, the killing had been done at arm’s length, by air power, by artillery and by heavy weapons fire. Successful military commanders, men whose units got headlines by defeating the Viet Cong regularly, became threats, the sort of popular figures around whom other officers might rally to depose the government. As a consequence, American advisers found fewer really capable officers in the higher ranks of the Vietnamese Army than they expected. Infantry charged out of the APCs to spray the woods with fire, a tactic which had caused the Viet Cong to flee in the past. In despair at the disaster that was developing, Vann tried every argument to persuade his counterparts to deliver an effective attack against the Viet Cong. five. On December 28, 1962, US intelligence detected the presence of a radio transmitter along with a sizable force of National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF/Viet Cong) soldiers, reported to number around 120, in the hamlet of Ap … How did the Battle of Ap Bac widen the credibility gap? This was where the 7th Division’s ranger platoon had been ambushed, and G-2 evidence was firm that about 100 men of the 514th were resting in the general vicinity of the village of Bac. Perhaps the casualties themselves would not have been enough, but Cao had also been so indiscreet as to be unusually successful during his tenure at My Tho. 10. This was one of the turning points in a long war. The Battle of Ap Bac was a major battle of the Vietnam War which was fought on 2 January 1963. When first confronted with the APC, surprised Viet Cong troops broke and ran, and thus were easily killed. The home district of the 514th VC Regional Battalion, it was an area where villages were fortified with well-prepared foxholes and bomb shelters. John Malkovich, actor (Places in the Heart), producer (Juno), director, fashion designer. The Battle of Ap Bac II. Thus, the advisers had to find diplomatic ways to get timid and often incapable officers to pursue the enemy effectively. Military units assigned to the provinces might cooperate with Cao’s division in operations against the Viet Cong, but Cao had no authority to issue orders to those troops, a fact that later had an important bearing on the fighting at Ap Bac. Of the 15 US helicopters used in the fight 14 were hit & 5 were shot down during the early phase of the battle. If not altogether rosy, the situation at least looked hopeful in the months before the battle at Ap Bac. However, the Viet Cong stood firm and attacked eight of the APCs, killing six of their gunners. Boardgame Review. 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