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Military History/The Battle of Long Tan

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Damien Griffiths wrote at 2013-05-25 00:17:55
The Battle of Long Tan is the most celebrated action fought by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War. It was fought in a rubber tree plantation near the village of Long Tan, about 40km Northeast of Vung Tau province, South Vietnam on August 18-19, 1966.

The battle started when D Company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF), encountered the 275th Viet Cong Regiment and elements of the D445 Local Forces Battalion that were part of the 5th NVA (North Vietnamese Army) Division. D Company under Major Harry Smith was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States artillery units.

Almost as soon as the battle started, both sides found themselves fighting under a heavy monsoon rain, with author Garrie Hutchinson writing, "Almost immediately, the ground turned to red mud, visibility was down to 50 metres or less" (Pilgrimage:A Traveller's Guide To Australia's Battlefields, p 406, Black Inc, 2006) . Although veterans of the battle from both sides met many years later, relatively little is known publicly of the Vietnamese side of the battle in Australia, despite the fact the Vietnamese have published their version of events in LICH SU SU DOAN 5 (HISTORY OF THE 5TH DIVISION) in 1995 and have erected a monument honouring their 47 soldiers killed in the battle in B Rịa-Vũng Tu Province


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