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Subject: soc.history.war.vietnam FAQ: Use of Armoured Vehicles

This article was archived around: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 10:25:28 -0700

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Archive-Name: vietnam/armor Last-modified: 1996/05/10 Posting-Frequency: monthly (1st)
Frequently Asked Questions: soc.history.war.vietnam The FAQ on "The Use of Armoured Vehicles in the Vietnam War" was written by Brian Ross The Use of Armoured Vehicles in the Vietnam War Attitudes to the use of armour in Vietnam Essentially, all the combatants in the Vietnam War, who used armour, except perhaps the ARVN , did so reluctantly. It simply did not fit the viewpoint present in any of the high commands as to what sort of war Vietnam was perceived as. Indeed Dunstan makes the point that the first deployment of US armour to Vietnam was by mistake when Marines were dispatched to help secure the Da Nang airbase following a Viet Cong mortar attack which had damaged and destroyed several USAF B57 Canberra bombers. It seems that MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam) had not studied the composition of a Marine Battalion Landing Team and the arrival of the integral armour of that unit had been greeted with some consternation. Indeed the US Ambassador (who was defacto commander of the US war effort in Vietnam) deemed them to be "not appropriate for counter-insurgency operations"(1) The Marines on the other hand did not see any reason why they shouldn't have been brought and so the first US deployment of armour was by default rather than by design. The next deployment of Armour (tanks as against APC's that is), did not occur until the arrival of the 1st Infantry Division ("the Big Red One") incountry in late 1965. Up until that point, each US Armoured and Cavalry unit which had arrived as part of the deployment of its parent division had swapped its tanks for APC's, usually in the form of ACAV's (Armoured Cavalry Assault Vehicles) or if Mechanised Infantry its APC's to become leg infantry. It was at the insistence of General Johnston, the US Army Chief of Staff that the Divisional Cavalry Squadron should keep its medium tanks so as to test the feasibility of the use of tanks in Vietnam. If it performed well, then it would be possible to reinforce it to full battalion strength, if it failed, then the reverse would also be easily achieved with it becoming simply another APC mounted unit.(2) General Westmoreland, commander of MACV's reply to this decision was that, "except for a few coastal areas, most notably in the I Corps area, Vietnam is no place for either tank or mechanised infantry units."(3) Indeed, even though it was against the wishes of the Chief of Staff, the 1st Infantry Division's Cavalry Squadron's tanks were kept at Phu Loi, and it took six months of hard arguing to convince Westmoreland that his "no tanks in the jungle" attitude was wrong before they were released for general use. While the 1st Infantry Division had led the way, it was not really until the arrival of the 25th Infantry Division and its forceful commander, Major-General Weyand who insisted, despite resistance from both the Department of the Army and MACV, that his division would deploy complete with all its armour elements intact, that the US Army really started to make use of both tanks and APC's in a combined arms role.(4) This attitude though, was one which was to persist for many years, until the armour enthusiasts had finally proven their detractors wrong. Indeed, by 1969, after the Tet Offensive of 1968, General Westmoreland had been so turned around by the successes enjoyed by the armoured units during the defeat of that offensive that he requested that all future reinforcements be armoured, rather than infantry. Even amongst the Australians this attitude was prevalent. The infantry was considered "Queen of the Battlefield" with all other arms supporting her in her efforts. So much so that the Sydney Morning Herald's editorial questioned the announcement of the deployment of the first squadron of Centurion tanks to Vietnam in 1967 by asking if they were to be used as "mobile pill-boxes" as no other use could be foreseen for them in a counter-insurgency war.(5) However, within the Army already deployed in Vietnam, the attitudes were somewhat different with the commanders of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF), and Australian Forces Vietnam (AFV), Brigadier Jackson and Major-General Vincent respectively both pressing for the early deployment of tanks to bolster the Australian forces in Vietnam. Army Headquarters though, had different ideas, despite the evidence of the use of tanks by the US forces already present in Vietnam. Vincent however demanded that tanks be given a higher priority. They were needed because, he said, the infantry were relatively ineffective in `search' operations without the quick, responsive close fire support which can be provided only by tanks.(6) Amongst the "Free World" nations only it could be claimed that the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) could be said to have been most willing to accept the role of armour in their war from the very beginning. However, they were severely handicapped because of their dependence upon the US Army for both advisers and equipment. With the already mentioned prevailing attitudes in the US Army during the first half of the war, it was not surprising therefore that it wasn't until after the 1968 Tet offensive that the ARVN received their first medium tanks (M48a3's). Before then, they had been intentionally limited by the US Army to only possessing light tanks (M24's initially and M41's for most of the war) and APC's (M3 half-tracks initially and then primarily M113's) which of course reduced their effectiveness. In addition, the ARVN was hampered by the uses (or rather misuses) that the various political and military leaders put their armoured units to. The main contribution that ARVN armoured units made to the war before approximately 1967 was that of a securer of political power. They were used in the long running series of coups and counter-coups which rocked Saigon from the fall of Diem in 1963 and the arrival of the US military on the scene in real strength in 1966. This misuse earned for them the ironic nickname "voting machines" amongst the Vietnamese.(7) So paranoid were the ARVN commander's vying for control of the country in the various juntas which formed and reformed in the period that the ARVN tank units were always kept within a day's march or less of the capital, Saigon and were forbidden to carry out any manoeuvres in the direction of the Capital. This paranoia was so severe that apparently one evening when US advisers were delivering new M41 tanks after midnight to avoid Saigon's normally chaotic traffic, the then dictator General Khanh was so alarmed that he fled to Vung Tau, over 50 kilometres away.(8) Air-Marshal Ky, not to be outdone by his army counterparts managed to secure a squadron of M24 Chaffee light tanks for use by the RVNAF at Tan Sohn Hut airbase (these were in fact the last M24's in RVN service). Now we must turn to the Vietnam People's Army (VPA) or North Vietnamese regular Army (NVA) if you prefer the American nomenclature. Even the VPA was reluctant to make use of Armour because of the obvious difficulties of trying to move the vehicles down the Ho Chi Minh Trail from North Vietnam, as well as keeping them supplied. Indeed, reading the accounts of how they apparently moved some of these vehicles over the difficult terrain so that they could be use in South Vietnam seems fantastic (the PT76's used in the attack on the Lang Vei Special Forces camp near Khe Sanh were apparently carried intact over some sections of difficult terrain and floated down rivers on log rafts poled along, according to some US intelligence sources).(9) While the initial response to the introduction of armour to the battlefield by the "Free World" forces from the NLF (National Liberation Front or Viet Cong) and VPA was to increase the quantity and types of infantry AT weapons available to their forces in the field this was only a temporary. Despite their rhetoric to the contrary, the communist commanders were only too well aware that it takes a very brave man indeed to hunt down a tank with an RPG in the middle of a battle. That, coupled with the relative ineffectiveness of the weapons at their disposal meant problems. Dunstan quotes from a US Army report that M113's sustained approximately, one penetration for every seven RPG hits. Hits in themselves averaged about one in eight to ten rounds fired due to the inherent inaccuracy of the weapon. M41a3 penetrations were proportionally less because of its superior ballistic configuration as compared to the slab-sided M113. Statistical analysis reveals that only one vehicle was destroyed for every seven penetrations and casualties were 0.8 per penetration.(10) Apparently, even the heavier recoilless rifles which the NLF and VPA often fielded in their larger formations were nearly as ineffective.(11) Nevertheless, these simple and effective weapons were a constant and serious threat, as were the more effective mines, on the battlefield. However, with the increasing use of armour by ARVN and allied forces, it was obvious to the VPA and perhaps more importantly their Soviet and Chinese advisers, that the best counter was their own armoured vehicles. An additional consideration surely would have been that already the opposition had demonstrated the power of armoured units to destroy VPA/NLF units whenever they encountered them. With the changing nature of the conflict from stage 2 (guerrilla warfare) of Giap's and Mao's classic "People's War" to that of stage 3 (open conflict) then the VPA would also need the striking power that only armour could bring to a battlefield. The VPA though, had a considerable distance to catch up, compared with the ARVN and the allied forces opposing them, in gaining the experience necessary to make effective use of armour. They turned to the USSR for aid and were provided apparently with training facilities to gain that experience inside the Soviet Union. One commentator has suggested that the successes of the VPA in 1975 with the use of armoured units were initially learnt on the "steppes of Odessa," information which was apparently gleaned from the interrogation of VPA tank crew after the 1972 Easter Offensive (which revealed that approximately 3000 of them had been trained at Soviet Armour schools).(12) However, the VPA evolved its own doctrines on the use of armour which ran contrary to that of both its opposition and its main advisers the Soviets in that the North Vietnamese did not, according to Starry: advocate the use of tanks in mass. Its doctrine stated that armour would be employed during an attack, when feasible, to reduce infantry casualties; however, only the minimum number of tanks required to accomplish the mission would be used. Battle drill dictated that lead tanks were to advance, firing and to be supported by fire from other tanks and from artillery. Close coordination between tanks and supporting infantry was stressed as a key to success in the attack.(13) Even so, it is obvious that the VPA use of armour was at first stumbling but as confidence grew, by 1975 it had a unique experience base to draw upon. So much so, that by the time of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1979, the VPA was able to conduct a classic "blitzkrieg" style of invasion and carry it to fruition with relatively few casualties. The role of Armour in Vietnam Armour has many roles in normal warfare. These range from seizing ground, shocking the enemy command and control structure, supporting infantry, destroying enemy AFV's and through to finally counter-attacking enemy attacks. In counter-insurgency warfare and in Vietnam in particular it was found that those roles expanded considerably to include such tasks as convoy protection, asset protection and other internal security tasks. It was though, the ability of armoured units to bring to bear relatively large, massive amounts of fairly discriminatory firepower that was extremely mobile, was the major reason why all participants in the war turned to its use. Reading through any battle history of the war one comes across accounts time and time again of where armoured units were able to basically decimate their opponents because of the amount of firepower they were able to bring to bear quickly against them whilst being protected by their own armour plating. The US Army, in particular had a long history in WWII and Korea of the aggressive use of armour and this carried over to Vietnam where by its ability to force the pace and outmanoeuvre the enemy units were of considerable value. However, as Starry points out, whereas in previous wars armoured units had been used as the forces which probed and outflanked the enemy, in Vietnam, "armour was used as a fixing force," essentially engaging the enemy and bringing him to battle, "while airmobile infantry became the encircling manoeuvre element."(14) Whereas the French, in the previous Indochina war, against the communist Viet Minh had suffered severe casualties within their armoured units whenever they had been ambushed, the US and allied forces found that usually, "the armoured force, led by tanks, had sufficient combat power to withstand the massed ambush until supporting artillery, air, and infantry could brought in to destroy the enemy."(15) So throughout the war, engagements for armoured forces usually took place with the armour forcing or creating the fight, often through invasion of the enemy's "safe areas" and infantry being used to reinforce or encircle were typical. Perhaps the only real success for armour from the outset amongst the Americans and ARVN was the way in which mounted combat came to the fore for infantry in the form of the ACAV (Armoured Cavalry Assault Vehicle). Until Vietnam, the US Army's doctrine had been that infantry units should dismount before assaulting an enemy position. However, as the ARVN discovered, this meant that when facing the massive amounts of firepower that the NLF or VPA could bring to bear during a firefight, the infantry was exposed to needless casualties, as well as losing the momentum of the attack.(16) Indeed it was the ARVN which pioneered the use of mounted tactics from APC's when they first deployed the M113 in 1962. They were also the first to discover the need for increased firepower on the vehicle by mounting an extra .30 Cal. MMG beside the commander, fired by an exposed prone soldier lying on the roof of the vehicle. Perhaps more importantly, they also discovered the vulnerability of the exposed track commander when manning the pintle mounted .50 Cal. HMG during the battle of Ap Bac where 14 out of 17 commanders became casualties.(17) The US Cavalry units, perhaps smarting under the loss of their beloved tanks, took to the idea and improved upon it by creating the ACAV. They added armour around the commander and a gun shield for the .50 Cal., provided two extra M60 GPMG's each athwart the roof hatch (protected by shields) and installed an M79 Grenadier inside the troop compartment, firing through the roof hatch to provide close support. The result was a vehicle which was able to go where tanks weren't, by virtue of its lighter weight and ground pressure, packed considerable firepower and was agile and reasonably well armoured. The result, when coupled with the aggressive leadership and tactics of the US Cavalry's commanders was highly effective by all accounts. US Army tanks only encountered VPA tanks once during the entire war and that was at the Ben Het special forces camp in 1969 when VPA PT76 light tanks, supported by BTR50 APC's attacked the 1st Battalion, 69th Armor which was helping defend the camp in the Central Highlands of II Corps, with ARVN infantry. The battle occurred at night and the training and night-fighting equipment of the US tanks quickly showed their superiority. Although, because of the basic uncertainty of ever encountering VPA armour had resulted in the M48's of the US unit carrying too few HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) or AP (Armour- Piercing) rounds to complete the destruction of the enemy vehicles (they had, in the closing stages of the battle to resort to the use of HE rounds), it demonstrated that the M48 in competent hands was very much still a potent anti-armour weapon.(18) The Australian experience was similar, although due to the political constraints of Australia's involvement, the size of the units involved were usually much smaller. Indeed, the entire deployment of Australian forces to Vietnam never amounted to much more than a heavily reinforced infantry Brigade at its height, while its armour elements never amounted to more than a squadron of APC's and a squadron of Centurion tanks. As a consequence, whereas American armoured units often operated independently of infantry formations, the squadron of tanks and APC's which were part of the Australian Task Force operated primarily in close cooperation and support of the infantry force within the Task Force. In particular, their operations during 1968, in and around the Firebases Coral and Balmoral were notable, as was the attack on Bin Ba in June 1969. The Australians also experimented with the concept of mounted cavalry combat towards the end of the war but it never really gained favour in what was essentially an infantry dominated army.(19) The ARVN, on the otherhand, hampered by its lack, until late in the war, of any MBT's, found its armoured units more often than not being employed on security duties. An exception to this was the disastrous Operation Lam Son 719 during which ARVN units, supported by American forces (primarily Engineers and helicopters) attacked the VPA enclaves inside Laos near the border with South Vietnam in an effort to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail and decrease infiltration. During this operation, the ARVN's units equipped with M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks undertook the tasks normally allocated to MBT's and performed reasonably well but suffered losses from enemy infantry AT weapons. When they did encounter enemy T54's during this operation the M41 proved itself quite able to deal with the heavier enemy tank. Something which was later confirmed in the final offensive of 1975 when M41's took on T54's in the streets of Cholon and Saigon. Another exception was the Easter Offensive by the VPA in 1972. Here, the ARVN and VPA armoured forces encountered one another for the first time at the battle of Dong Ha on 27 March. The ARVN 20th Tank Regiment had only received their M48's a few months earlier from US Army stocks (they were, by all accounts rather worn examples too). The 20th Tank Regiment itself was an unusual organisation which, because of the experience of Lam Son 719, where AFV's had proven vulnerable to individual AT weapons, the ARVN Joint General Staff had decreed that the 20th Tank Regt. was to have additional infantry assigned to it in the form of a Rifle Company of tank riders, who's job it was to ride on the outside of the vehicles and provide protection during battle to the tanks.(20) The 20th Tank Regt. proved itself up to the task and successfully defended Dong Ha and destroyed a large number of VPA armoured vehicles, including T54's, PT76's and BTR50's. However, the Easter offensive was also notable for the introduction of a fearsome new weapon by the VPA: the anti-tank missile (in fact the AT-3 Sagger), some 18 months before their usually credited mass use during the Yom Kippur war in the Middle East. The 20th Tank Regt. lost several vehicles to the Saggers, the ARVN tankers seemingly, "fascinated by the missile's slow and erratic flight"(21) before they worked out tactics to counter it. Indeed, the VPA's experience during the war, as already mentioned was one of learning many of the lessons that the other major combatants had learnt in previous wars. This meant numerous mistakes but as armour was not a major combat arm, these mistakes resulted in only what were in the main temporary setbacks. In particular there was the Easter Offensive of 1972, where airpower played a significant role in blunting the VPA's armoured thrusts. From this was learnt that organic air defences were needed and in 1975, a considerable number of ZSU-57-2 and ZSU-23-4 AA tanks and SA-7 Strela SAM's were provided. Indeed, when discussing the 1972 offensive, most VPA commentators (22) mentioned the signification role of US support in limiting the successes enjoyed by the VPA. With nearly 900 aircraft, including 100 B52's the RVNAF and the USAF, any weaknesses in the VPA's anti- aircraft defences were reflected in troop and vehicle losses. By 1975, while the RVNAF's strength had increased to over 1600 aircraft of all types, the VPA was able to establish a protective umbrella over most troop concentrations, greatly reducing the incidence of AFV casualties from either tactical bombing or close air support tasks. While in 1968 and 1969, at the Lang Vei and Ben Het special forces camps, armour had attacked with little cooperation with the infantry, by 1972, the VPA was obviously still failing to digest the lessons needed from those battles and while fielding mixed armour and infantry columns their experiences in attempting to capture the provincial capital of An Loc, in the words of Kym Stacey, "clearly illustrated weaknesses in tactical co-ordination and co-operation."(23) Indeed the lack of effective artillery support, combined with an absence of accompanying infantry, meant armoured vehicles became easy prey to the anti-armour weapons of the ARVN forces.(24) In 1972 though, the mid-intensity style of conflict which the VPA had been called upon to conduct was a new and novel experience for it. In particular the commanders lacked the background to organise large-scale, combined arms operations and this deficiency was definitely reflected in high casualty rates amongst men and vehicles. That the three fronts on which the VPA forces were fighting were uncoordinated and failed to support one another aided their opponents in the ARVN and US forces to contain the VPA drives. In particular, on the northern front, the VPA drive lost its initial momentum due to the inability of the logistics system to maintain supplies to the fighting units.(25) One commentator described the situation in these terms: hesitant uncoordinated fumbling with some well-maintained Soviet vehicles showed once again that successful armour employment is totally dependent on aggressive spirit and technical skill on the part of the tank crews.(26) By 1975 though, most of these problems had been corrected with all-arms cooperation reaching a new high, with armour, infantry and artillery working closely together. Indeed Stacey once more makes the point that the VPA most valuable lesson learnt from the 1972 offensive was that concentration of armour is the major key to its employment.(27) For the VPA this meant abandoning its previous "penny-packetism" and deciding on what were to be the most decisive battles and those which would have the greatest influence on the prevailing strategic situation and employing armour there, rather than spreading it broadly across the whole theatre of operations. The VPA, according to Stacey, identified two main methods of successfully employing armoured forces - "sudden assault" and "deep advance".(28) "Sudden assault" implied an overwhelming of enemy resistance by a quick attack. In this the shock effect created by the AFV's was utilised to throw the enemy off balance and prevent him from regaining his composure. This technique was used against population centres such as Xuan Loc, Bien Hoa, Hoc Mon and ultimately Saigon. A successful "sudden assault" opened the way for an effective "deep advance" or pursuit. The vulnerability of a withdrawing enemy meant pursuing VPA forces were able to inflict heavy casualties on ARVN units, as occurred during the retreat from the Highlands. In addition, the "deep advance" made use of a tactic referred to as "blooming lotus" by the VPA, in which units undertaking the breakthrough of the enemy's lines would then spread out to exploit that breakthrough and hence cause the maximum damage possible behind the enemy's defences. In order to maintain the momentum of their advance VPA commanders used the technique of "leap-frogging" units. When enemy resistance was encountered the leading units deployed for a quick assault while following units bypassed the enemy location to continue the advance. This was the case with the attack on the Thu Duc Officers' School outside of Saigon. While it was in progress, other VPA unis pressed on to attack and seize the Saigon Bridge, and hence opening the way into Saigon itself.(29) The speed at which the VPA was able to maintain their advance, combined with a lack of planning and preparation on the part of the ARVN forces opposing them, denied the latter opportunities to regroup and consolidation. The ability of the VPA to sustain its progress came from a well disciplined and well organised logistics system based upon more than 10,000 vehicles. To fully capitalise on the opportunities created by successful infantry and armour attacks, VPA troops needed the ability to move at the same speed as the leading armoured vehicles. Where previously VPA divisions had moved entirely on foot, in this offensive the available resources made it possible to mount them in trucks for rapid redeployment. The VPA also made greater use of APC's (Armoured Personal Carriers) for both troop transport and the close accompaniment of tanks during assaults. By these various methods, the VPA units were able to cover an average of 50 to 60 kilometres in a 24 hour period.(30) The general level of competence of VPA armour commanders also underwent a vast improvement between the 1972 Easter Offensive and the 1975 Final Offensive. The VPA established within combined arms groups a command situation where the senior infantry officer was in charge, except where AFV's were performing the major attack task, where instead, the senior armour officer was in charge. Training also stressed that to carry out an effective tactical appreciation commanders needed to be in a position to observe changes on the battlefield, while the implementation of any plan required commanders to have firm control over all the forces under their command. This is, as pointed out by Stacey, at odds with the normal beliefs expressed about Communist leadership training which has often been criticised for stifling individual initiative, which has often led to commanders being unable to cope with unexpected situations. Indeed, according to VPA sources quoted by Stacey, such as Colonel Xuan's article on the 1975 Spring Offensive,(31) the VPA's method of carrying out command tasks was to encourage flexibility and creativity in all combat situations. This was to apply particularly to commanders of "deep advance" columns. The successful bypassing of ARVN defensive locations to strike at centres of command and control depended upon the personal initiative of individual commanders. What the VPA had learnt, primarily because of their experiences in 1972, according to Stacey, was that if they ignored the basic considerations of AFV employment, high casualties could result.(32) When examining the full experience of VPA armoured operations it is obvious that no new techniques or innovations occur in comparison with their opponents in the US or allied armies. What is shown though, is that there are many valuable lessons demonstrating how armoured vehicles can be best employed in wartime. Lessons which were ignored initially by the US Army and its allies, much to their detriment and which the VPA was forced to learn the hard way through its failures in 1968, 1969 and 1972. What is interesting is that it took only 8 years approximately from the first appearance of VPA armour on the battlefield to it becoming their major war-winning weapon. Few armies have been able to produce the necessary evolution in command and control to absorb and make use of the battlefield lessons which they have learnt the hard way, in that sort of time frame, when making use of a weapon of which they have little or no experience. Conclusion This article has attempted to provide only a quick overview of the way in which armour was employed during the Vietnam War. In particular I felt it was important to try and convey the conflicting opinions of how armour was used by the various combatants during the war. I would recommend that the reader, if interested in following up the subject further, refer to the bibliography below for more information. ______________________________ Bibliography Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks, Arms & Armour Press, London, 1982. Hopkins, R.N., Australian Armour; a history of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps 1927-1972, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1978. Royal Australian Armoured Corps, An Illustrated Record of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Tank Museum Puckapunyal, Victoria, 1977. Stacey, K., `Armour in Vietnam: the lessons of 1972 and 1975,' Defence Force Journal, May/June 1980, No.22. Stanton, S., The Rise and Fall of an American Army: US Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973, Spa Books, Stevenage, 1985. Ulmer, W.F., `Notes on Enemy Armor at An Loc,' Armor, Jan- Feb.1973. ______________________________ Endnotes 1) quoted, p.62, Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks, Arms and Armour Press, London, 1982. 2) p.56, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam, Blandford Press, Poole, 1981. 3) quoted, ibid. 4) p.57, ibid. 5) quoted, p.140, ibid. 6) p.251, Hopkins, R.N., Australia Armour: A History of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, 1927-1972, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1978. 7) p.49,, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam. 8) ibid. 9) p.251, Stanton, S., Rise and Fall of an American Army, Spa Books, Stevenage, 1985. 10) p.59, Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks 11) p.46, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam. 12) p.5, Ward, I., `North Vietnam's Blitzkrieg, Why Giap did it: report from Saigon,' Conflict Studies, Oct.1972, No.27. 13) p.150, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam. 14) p.71, ibid. 15) ibid. 16) p.39., Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks. 17) p.27, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam. 18 pp.150-153, ibid; p.286, Stanton, S., Rise and Fall of an American Army. 19) pp.250-275, Hopkins, R.N., Australia Armour: A History of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, 1927-1972. 20) p.203, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam. 21) p.210, Ibid. 22) Stacey makes use of five works by VPA officers which have been translated and published in English. They are: Senior Colonel Doan Ba Khanh, `The Advances Made in the Combat Operations of the People's Navy in the General Offensive and Uprising of the Spring of 1975,' Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, No.11, Nov. 1976, in U.S. JPRS, Translations on Vietnam, No.1906, 28 March 1977; Colonel Pham Quong, `In the General Offensive and Uprising in the Spring of 1975: Some Experiences in Assuring the Mobility of the Military Engineering Forces', Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, No.12, Dec. 1976, in U.S. JPRS, Translations on Vietnam, No. 1920, 28 Apr 1977; Major General Than Tho, `In the General Offensive and Uprising of the Spring of 1975: Some Successful Lessons of the Rear-Service Task', Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, No.10, Oct.1976, in U.S. JPRS, Translations on Vietnam, No. 1885, 2 Feb. 1977; General Van Tien Dung, Our Great Summer Victory: An Account of the Liberation of South Vietnam, Monthly Review Press, New York, 1977; Colonel Dao Van Xuan, `In the Spring General Offensive and Uprising-Tank-Armoured Troops in Strategic Group Offensives,' Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, June 1976, in in U.S. JPRS, Translations on Vietnam, No. 1839. 23) p.43, Stacey, K., `Armour in Vietnam: the lessons of 1972 and 1975,' Australian Defence Force Journal, May/June 1980, No.22. 24) Ulmer, W.F., `Notes on Enemy Armor at An Loc,' Armor, Jan- Feb.1973. 25) p.4, Ward, I., `North Vietnam's Blitzkrieg, Why Giap did it: report from Saigon,' Conflict Studies, Oct.1972, No.27. 26) p.15, Ulmer, W.F., `Notes on Enemy Armor at An Loc,' Armor, Jan-Feb.1973. 27) p.45, Stacey, K., `Armour in Vietnam: the lessons of 1972 and 1975,' Australian Defence Force Journal, May/June 1980, No.22. 28) ibid. 29) ibid. 30) ibid. 31) Colonel Dao Van Xuan, `In the Spring General Offensive and Uprising-Tank-Armoured Troops in Strategic Group Offensives,' Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, June 1976, in in U.S. JPRS, Translations on Vietnam, No. 1839, quoted p.47, in Stacey, K., `Armour in Vietnam: the lessons of 1972 and 1975,' Australian Defence Force Journal, May/June 1980, No.22. 32) p.48, loc.sit. --Brian Ross----------------------------------------------------- "There can be no more melancholy, nor in the last result, no more degrading spectacle on earth than the spectacle of oppression, or of wrong in whatever form, inflicted by the deliberate act of a nation upon another nation..Gladstone ================================================================= Copyright (c) 1996 Brian Ross. 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