During the long years of war in Vietnam with South American aggressors South Vietnamese guerrillas — the Viet Cong and the constant part of the North Vietnamese Army managed to acquire a secured experience sabotage.
They performed daring and effective attacks on bases and airfields, organizing more effective ambushes on supply convoys, carried out the supply of existing units and the U.S. Army.
During the war, overcomes the one on whose side the initiative. The South American commanders smacked for themselves in this report and sought to seize the initiative. Because, having received intelligence information about the situation on the border with Laos, it has embarked on the planning and implementation of response actions at the beginning of 1969. The operation was codenamed "Dewey Canyon." Assignment operations — break and finish the enemy logistics in A Shau valley and, namely, in the base area of the North Vietnamese Army 611.
During the Vietnam War, no matter what, even the smallest victory, which had a local tactical importance, has a strong impact on the mood of the population in South Vietnam, and the United States. That's why the system of supply logistics and transportation software, designed for offensive operations of success the North Vietnamese Army, were to be destroyed prior to their use. In this situation, there was no point as before only to conduct operations against the guerrillas in South Vietnam. The command of the U.S. Army has decided to fight the North Vietnamese Army.
"Operation Dewey Canyon"
In response to the danger of an invasion of the North Vietnamese forces from the territory of Laos Americans were planning a preemptive strike on the headquarters and elements of logistical and transport infrastructure of the enemy deployed in the border areas, and in order to deprive him of access to human Fri, of key importance.
For the operation, "Dewey Canyon" was elected to the 9th Regiment of the U.S. Marine Corps. Soldiers of the regiment were well prepared both physically and mentally to act in terrible terrain criteria Dewey Canyon. They had the experience of controversial operations in the tropical undergrowth, such as airmobile operations using helicopters, combat actions in the mountainous area, the creation of fire support bases and the construction of landing fields. Acting in the jungle, they have acquired the experience of survival in these criteria. For the planning of the operation was given 5 days.
At this time, the concentration of air reconnaissance confirmed the presence of the enemy at a height of 640 meters with a mark of 4 and a half miles from the Laotian border. Then at that altitude was equipped with fire support base, "Cunningham" and organized a command post operations.
Creating a database "Cunningham"
Once the areas have been treated with aviation ordnance division of the 9th Marine Regiment were airlifted by helicopter to selected landing area of 1700 meters from the ridge Ko Ko Ba. This ridge was shaped like a boomerang, and stretches from east to west about half a mile. Its southern side was completed almost vertical cliff. Unopposed, landed Marines ensured free movement of 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment and Engineering Battalion, who started the fire support base equipment.
At the direction of a possible attack by the enemy were equipped with barbed wire, set alarm and anti-personnel mines. For all the firepower given sector of fire. So Makarov, was created by radial defense base. Outposts were held at a comfortable and profitable for the defense of places. Were equipped with listening posts, which allow to anticipate an opponent's attack or a penetration test nestled on the subject. Since these observation posts and listening to remain inconspicuous, their location is constantly changing. Apart from the designated safety measures around the base was patrolling near cooperated.
Retaliatory acts Vietnamese
Marines from the time of planting and during the next time close scrutiny of Vietnamese scouts. Soon they were able to determine that this site is not equipped with anything else, as a command control center for all operations of the Marine Corps in the area. In this connection, the command of the North Vietnamese Army sappers put their puzzle carefully study engineering structures newest American base, identify frail in the defense and give their suggestions for the development of the plan to attack it. Examining these proposals, the command of the North Vietnamese Army sappers put the puzzle 812th Regiment to attack the fire support base, "Cunningham".
Their main task was to overcome the defense of Marines and causing the greatest losses of personnel, winding up equipment, artillery systems and their positions, then should move away. In developing the plan of the operation was not planned to seize and detain these positions in order to capture this dominant in height.
Week left to conduct detailed reconnaissance.
By February 16, 1969 North Vietnamese sappers were ready to attack the base. In the run-up to the desired operations have been conducted briefings and training. Were prepared sand terrain models, which closely reflects the position of all Marines. Each engineer was clear annotations relating to its individual tasks. The concentration of fire support was planned and carefully tested and re-checked. To signal engineers have used different colored flares: reddish designated areas that are difficult to penetrate, white-fire signal was given to the withdrawal; greenish meant victory, green, follow the white-meant request to send reinforcements.
Sappers were summarized in five organizational groups. First group consisted of 16 people, which, in turn, were divided into four teams of four. First team was aimed at the command post and mortar positions. The second was to attack on the right wing and reach the helipad.
Third team was storming down the left and cut through the landing pad. 4th team was at the center of storm helipad.
The extension to the object
The attacking units moved out of the camps in different basic 7.30. Using the previously explored and selected routes, they secretly made their way to the final assembly area. By 18:00 all of North Vietnamese sappers secretly focused only 100 meters from the Stitching wire that surrounded the base "Cunningham." In feeble moonlight thick fog covered not only the object of attack, and all the approaches to it. Sappers meant that most of the defenders of the base will take refuge in their own silos, where to begin bombardment of the object, the previous raid. Because the attackers overcome barriers and suppress the defensive fire of the enemy bunkers of the shelters turned into death traps for the Marines.
At exactly two o'clock the North Vietnamese Army mortars rained down fire on selected targets in advance. Deadly accurate mortar fire forced the Marines to take refuge in the bunkers where they felt themselves safe under the cover of massive slabs. Even in the midst rattling explosions, destruction and confusion appeared immediately became clear that the main database objects were saturated fire. Marines fighting the destruction and patching holes in the fortifications, had to constantly bend down. Defensive positions on the northern slope of the company held the "Lima" 3rd Battalion, 9th Regiment. The positions on the flanks and on the southern slope of the ridge kept the Marines, the artillery and a group of staff, Colonel Barrow. In addition, the squad frisky response, consisting of fifty Marines communication units, engine
ers and staff sections, headquarters team, was held in reserve.
The intensity of the mortar fire headed for "crescendo" at 2.15, when the North Vietnamese launched an assault on the group, trying to break through the defenses. The first wave of attackers has popped up in the north-east. To carry out Stitching wire engineers used the so-called "Bangalore torpedoes", a 200-gram TNT charge is tied to a beech stick.
A clever way of attack has been traced through one of the many garbage dumps, where lay worn trousers and the rest of the trash, because let out to all the main objects of the battery. To overcome the obstacles have been thrown over the wire mats, bundles of branches and grass, and other materials at hand. When the mortar fire was over, grenade throwers opened fire rocket-propelled grenades, and engineers began to undermine his backpack charges and "Bangalore torpedoes" by giving the defending recollection continued mortar fire and forcing them to remain as before in shelters. The roar was loud. Vietnamese sappers, who broke through the barbed wire, throwing grenades and backpack charges in all holes, which could find. Fire and grenade machine guns main ground of attack was focused on the slots and embrasures bunkers.
The Defense Base
Despite the confusing and complicated situation marines pretty quickly realized that they were fired except for land attack, and angrily responded with fire, taking the organized efforts to clean the base from attacking, and being with all this under saturated mortar and grenade fire.
This attack was the Vietnamese sappers unforgettable experience for the captain of the 2nd rank of David Brock, who later became a divisional chaplain. He recalled: "At the very beginning of the attack Vietnamese soldier shoved his head into the tent, where the I and the other two, but for some reason did not throw a grenade inside. He threw her into a small bunker, a few steps away, where her explosion destroyed two. The exchange of fire lasted until 7.45. in the morning, and during that time I was together with the physician in the medical unit, where the rituals performed over the dead and helped the wounded. During the 2-hours it seemed that our medical point is the last surviving position. "
One of the officers was almost buried under the ruins of the bunker during a mortar attack. When he crawled out from under the rubble, then came face to face with one of the Vietnamese sappers. The Marine was holding a grenade, but was very close to the enemy, so to use it as intended. Then he jumped on the astonished enemy fighter and scored his heaviest grenade.
Marines artillery battery, armed with a machine gun, in the south-eastern part of the base was stormed and killed six of the Vietnamese soldier who tried to organize a foothold inside the perimeter. Indian chefs battery killed 13 Vietnamese of 12.7-mm machine guns, "Browning".
Divisional fire control center was torn down, and there was only one serviceable howitzer. Between 4.10. before dawn in the Marines only one mortar continued to fire. The calculation of the mortar remained in firing position during the entire attack, returned the communication with the commander, who was on Fri fire control, and released on the opponent in the general difficulties of about 380 minutes.
Despite the fact that the enemy broke through the perimeter, the Marines held the line of defense, and at times only one and a half meters divided the warring parties. Those men who did not take a specific role in combat with the enemy, have coordinated antitank artillery excessive power or assisted in other matters.
To illuminate the perimeter outside the wire fencing was called a special plane that circled over the positions throughout the night until dawn, while there was a fight. Also had to call in artillery fire adjacent panels located on other databases that have had the Marines' Cunningham's "harsh support. It is not allowed to approach the enemy reinforcements, violated his bond and make it harder to retreat to the main forces attacking connection. Around 5.30 marines finished reorganizing their own positions and started slowly, but methodically suppress attack Vietnamese sappers. At dawn the fight began to subside, but still it lasted before 7.00.
Loss and results
When it became clear that the attackers withdrew completely, it is time to count and another's loss. Total calculated killed 25 Vietnamese engineers within the wire fencing. In the search for the Marines found 26 rounds for the RPG, 25 grenades Chicom, 253 beech explosive devices, 7 rifle grenades, 12 bags, two radio stations, 11 AK-47 rifles and a huge number of flares.
In the final calculation of their own losses and the losses of the enemy became clear that the Vietnamese had lost 37 men killed. Do marines were killed and four wounded 46 in combat. The battery pack "E" Division II 12 people were languishing injured.
But the loss was not disturbed by any Viet Cong guerrillas or permanent part of North Vietnam. At the time, the military and political control of North Vietnam is heavily influenced not so much by Russian advisers as Chinese. And Mao Zedong was one of the theorists and practitioners of insurgency and guerrilla warfare. One of his tricks is copyright strategy of "human waves" that ignores the incurred loss and evaluates only made up. That's why, despite the expansion of the tactical area of responsibility of the Marines, the enemy was able to organize a concerted, well-coordinated instant attack, similar to a raid in Danang, which was held on July 1 of the same year.
The raid on the Chu Lai Air Base
In the evening on October 27 Viet Cong guerrillas hit on not so long ago built helipad "Marble Mountain" on the peninsula Tiensha and SATS airstrip near Chu Lai.
At Chu Lai was leaked to the enemy base Marines in the north-west, and is divided into two groups. MAG-12 commander, Colonel Brown remembers:
"A pair of aircraft were on fire, and Vietnamese sappers were leaked to intact. The attackers were barefoot and had on the body only a loincloth. They poured out their own aircraft bursts "Tommy-makers" … threw bags of charges in the tail nozzle … Later, some went, and some not, but the end effect was that the fire of machine guns caused a leak in the fuel tanks. Resulting fuel permeated the entire area, it kindled — so that the earth and the aircraft was on fire. "
Marines killed 15 to 20, the Viet Cong, but before that managed to kill two attack aircraft A-4, and 6 more seriously ruin.
The raid on the airstrip, "Marble Mountains"
Communist attack on the airstrip, "Marble Mountain" was stronger and better coordinated. Raiding party of Viet Cong strength of approximately 90 people gathered secretly in a village located in the north-western part of the field aerodrome "Marble Mountains." Under the cover of the 60-mm mortar rounds four teams bombers disabled the runway and the infirmary. 6 Viet Cong fighters, armed with "Bangalore torpedoes" and grenades, have gained the parking of the 16th Marine Air Group. The commander of the 16th Air Group, Colonel O'Connor recalled: "I was awakened shortly after midnight by the sounds of explosions … arrived at the command post of the group, I got a phone call from General McCutcheon. He warned me that the airfield at Chu Lai was attacked, and said that one must be on guard. "
After leaving the command post, Colonel O'Connor went to the parking of aircraft, where all the helicopters were already burning. Before the attack was repulsed, the Vietnamese managed to kill 19 helicopters and destroy 35. Half an hour later the Viet Cong
fighters withdrew, leaving 17 dead and the wounded 4. South American losses were estimated with 3 dead and 91 wounded.
The attacking Viet Cong units in Chu Lai and Danang ("Marble Mountain") were not ordinary guerrillas. There were obvious signs that these units are the main forces of the rebels, as they are of the highest level of training and discipline. They were well armed, equipped and equipped. In the area of "Marble Mountains" Marines have found significant supplies shrapnel, high explosive and thermite grenades, and three "Bangalore torpedoes", several grenades B-40 made in China, and different ammo. The South American division also seized several pieces of small tools: 7.62 mm AK, two machine guns 43rd caliber as 7.62mm Tokarev pistol.
The success of preventive action
You should not think that all Vietnamese raids were successful, and the Yankees could only passively defend. Where is made entirely of measures for the protection and defense facilities, including acts were active, aimed at forestalling the enemy attack, managed to break the Vietnamese raids.
Here are examples of successful preventive action.
October 28th the enemy had also planned to attack the main airfield in Da Nang. But this attack foiled two unrelated among themselves options.
Headquarters of General Walt received a message that the Viet Cong battalion came out of his own district, located 10 miles southwest of Da Nang, and moves in the direction of the air base. This information was transmitted to the firing position, and at 19.30 artillery battalion has issued 680 rounds on the route of the Viet Cong battalion. Later intelligence confirmed volley hit the target. Vietnamese battalion, came under artillery fire, were scattered.
Soon after that separation of the composition of the Marines of the 9th Regiment conducted an ambush by a large Viet Cong unit, near the village of An Tu 5 miles from Da Nang. Patrol of eleven Marines arrived to the area of tasks after the coming darkness. By 19.45 it equipped its position, and after only 13 minutes after which the Marines heard how someone moves along the trail.
The squad leader Sergeant Anderson ordered his subordinates not to open fire until the approach of the enemy, in order to shoot him in the face. Seven of the Viet Cong came to the attention of the Yankees and soon found themselves in the sector of fire. When the commander gave the order to open fire, the position of the M-60 machine gun until the enemy was less than 2-meters. Heavy emphasis planted in a longish queue, and then it was supported by other fighters department, leading a barrage of fire from the guns of all types of office. As a result, non-long fire attack all seven Viet Cong were killed. But these seven were all just head patrol the larger units of guerrillas who immediately tried to storm the small group of Marines. Sergeant Anderson released a few grenades from a grenade launcher M-79 flash shots at the approaching enemy. The exchange of fire lasted for about a minute, and then the enemy began to retreat. Sergeant Anderson realized that a collision with a superior number of the enemy he should leave the war zone.
The squad leader ordered before going to count the dead Viet Cong, they turned fifteen. The Marines left their positions and began to advance in the placement of the battalion, but during the return unit was attacked. After that, Anderson called the artillery fire. Only this will allow the patrol to fight off the Vietnamese.
Gen. Walt and his staff analyzed the results of the raid, have come to the conclusion that the patrol sergeant Anderson tore the attack on the air base.
It is not always pre-emptive actions had success
After a day or two after the attack on the airfield Vietcong made another attempt to probe the defense of Marines. But this time the attack was not on the base, and in the defensive perimeter, which delayed the personnel of the company "A" Marine Regiment, at the height of the river south of Tuy Loan.
Approximately one in the morning on October 30 VC group numbering 10-15 people ran into an ambush in the city to the south elevation. The Marines opened fire and killed three, but the department has failed to establish a connection with a company and therefore did not tell the company commander of a combat encounter. During the 2-hours was relatively quiet, but at one point a group of opponents — about 25 people — surrounded and stormed the office of Marines. During the battle, killing three and wounding six Yankees.
Approximately 3.15 other Viet Cong forces stormed the main positions of Marines. With the support of fire 2-recoilless guns they broke through the perimeter of the third part of the north-west, seized three M-60 machine guns, two 3.5-inch rocket-propelled grenade and one 60-mm mortar. They also managed to gain access to the bunker with ammunition company. Lt. Col. Hach immediately sent reinforcements and ammunition company of "A". The battalion commander also caused air and artillery support.
45 minutes after the main enemy delivered a blow to the height at 22, three UH-34 helicopter landed at the top of this branch company of "C" of 13 men under the command of Sergeant Kish.
With the support of artillery, aircraft and mortar company "A" under the command of Captain. Maxwell was able to counter-attack and knock out the opponent. The Marines lost 16 men killed and 41 wounded, while the guerrillas have lost 47 men killed and wounded 1st.
Vietcong very carefully planned their operations. Once beyond the perimeter, his men knew exactly where the bunker with ammunition. South American intelligence has determined that participated in the attack battalion R-20, recently completed a course of training. The attack on the height of 22 to become its own kind of fighters a final exam.
The South American command was forced to admit that the destruction of helicopters to "Marble Mountain" led to a loss of 43 percent of the mobility division and disrupted her plans for the next few months.
Viet Cong guerrillas not only successfully conducted raids on stationary objects, and organizing effective ambush tarnsportnye column Yankees, who made the supply of existing units and the enemy. But the attack on the huge column of the enemy, and asks the huge verbovaniya forces. The following is a description of the first large-scale ambush, which hit the 48th Transport Group of the U.S. Army.
Settlement of Long Binh was in the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. Supply units and housing units made of the 48th Transportation Group. In its 6th Battalion consisted of light, and in the 7th Battalion — medium duty trucks. Long Binh perceived loads from Saigon, and then distributed and delivered them throughout the region.
August 25 was a day everyday of the monsoon season. The clouds hung smallish and did helicopter unsafe, while intermittent but heavy rains flooded the countryside.
A large convoy, consisting of 81 trucks carry supplies and troops was sent to Long Binh with 3 groups. Column headed 6 refrigerators, followed by moving trucks and cars bringing up the rear with ammunition and fuel. The convoy was moving in a westerly direction along the route number 1 from Saigon through the last camp of the 25th Infantry Division Chu Chi. Then the column was divided into two groups. Produced a supply convoy of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, which was stationed just 7 kilometers from the border with Cambodia.
Typically, the units of the 1st and 3rd Brigades of the 25th Division to provide security on the route of the column, but this time the new division commander, Major General Ellis Williamson gave the order to the 3rd Brigade to advance into Saigon.
This reduction lured forces led to the sad con
sequences and played into the hands of the Viet Cong.
Through the village of Ap Nhi and rubber plantation Ben Chu, which had a local title "Small rubber", held on 22 detour route, stretching about a mile. An Nhi village was surrounded by agricultural land and plantation "Small rubber" far from the road rubber trees grow about 4-5 meters in height. Drainage ditch and berm land went behind the trees along the road. Division of the 88th Regiment of the North Vietnamese army moved in "Little rubber" in the evening on August 24 to prepare an ambush. At 11.45 the column came to the quiet village of Ap Nhi. It was the rain, and fog, cloud cover was low, about 60 meters above the ground.
A column of guerrillas was discovered that the part was looked as if moving convoy soldier Army of the Republic of Vietnam, whose regime was supported by the Yankees. As the South American cars with ammunition and fuel came abreast of this column, the Vietnamese have opened fire on cars. Only here the Americans realized that moving on a parallel course Vietcong fighters were partisans. At the same moment the soldiers of the North Vietnamese army, which previously occupied the position under the cover of trees of "The Little Rubber", also opened a saturated fire from grenade launchers, machine guns and automatic rifles on transport. The first objective of the Vietnamese were eight jeeps, accompanied the column, and then shot an RPG was set on fire the first car with fuel that has locked the machines going back the way forward. Two cars with fuel tried to overtake her, but to no avail. 30 trucks on their way to first column have gone ahead without stopping, following the requirements of the annotations. Under fire during an ambush in about 51 mph hit the car. As a result of enemy fire in the tail of the column caught fire two trailers transporting a 105-mm shells, leaving such Makar, the column without the ability to maneuver. The drivers got out of their cars and take up defensive positions, taking cover behind their cars either in the ditch that runs along the road. The enemy is very appropriate and carefully organized an ambush, so the fight went out of the reach of artillery fire of the 1st Brigade. The weather also played into the hands of the attackers, as low clouds are not allowed to use the column to cover the immobilized helicopters. Locking up trapped in cars and leaving the cover, the Vietnamese rushed at her.
Two helicopter gunships "Huey" with machine guns mounted in the doorway, carrying on board the installation of 14 rockets came to the rescue was ambushed. From the top of the South American could see drivers who were shot while lying in a ditch, and the Viet Cong who attempted to unload the trucks. Working with a small height, the pilots tried to avoid hitting the ground and hard fought fire on the enemy. Usually helicopter "Huey" dives at the target from a height of about 450 meters. But at the moment the pilots had to fly over the tops of the trees and maintain fire rockets at grazing line of movement, actually in focus, with all this constantly performing a maneuver to evade enemy ground fire. Helicopters flew over most treetops, trying to keep fire from machine guns mounted in the doors, and the launch of missiles at an enemy, which was virtually everywhere. When dried up in store ammunition and fuel remained only negotiable route, the pilots themselves have called for the replacement the next couple of helicopters.
Ground battle for column
Divisions 1st Brigade arrived to the battlefield only to 14.30. The delay occurred because of problems with communication, also because of the huge distance from the ambush site. By the time indicated on the location of the battle tanks and infantry arrived, and after a half-hour helicopter landed two more companies. But because of the burning fuel trucks blocked the road, the tanks were not able to travel to assist the drivers leading the fight, and dense fire forced the enemy infantry to lie down. Department of the 65th Engineer Battalion, with the support 2-way armored vehicles checked for a possible mining and allowed to come to the blocked column in the rear. But as engineers have been unable to drive past the burning cars with ammunition, while also under heavy enemy fire, they also had to fight.
The battle lasted for several hours. 5 trucks and jeeps with machine guns, who have already arrived in Tay Ninh, trucks left there and returned back to the ambush, so warped assist pull apart the machine and return the traffic on the road. By this time, the South American infantry took in the end zone under the control of the main fire destruction of the column. By about 21.00 Armored Cavalry unit arrived in the rear of the column and forced the enemy to retreat.
Seven drivers were killed, 10 were wounded and two were captured. Units arrived to help, lost another 23 people were killed and 35 — wounded.
Vietnamese acted, causing constant tangible impacts on the enemy, using a strategy of 'wasps, stinging buffalo. " If you try to hold the enemy against their large-scale operations, they have shied away from a fight, "as a reed, so straighten up again" and again start to sting the enemy. The fact that this strategy has proved effective in the end, showed forced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.