A Seven Network TV news story about the Battle of Long Tan for the 40th Anniversary of the battle. Within two months elements of the battalion found themselves engaged in one of the largest battles fought by Australians in the Vietnam War. **N.B. The Australian forces were deployed in a defensive position as the enemy closed in, launching human wave assaults of infantry across the rubber plantation. In the days before the battle, radio signals indicated the presence of strong Viet Cong forces within 5 kilometres of the base but patrols found nothing. 11 National Servicemen, Australian Army 1.1.2. The enemy artillery mainly and accurately targeted the Australian artillery, engineer lines and the FSCC command post. Concerned at the establishment of such a strong presence in their midst, the Viet Cong determined to inflict an early defeat on the Australians. Lieutenant Geoff Kendall leading 10 Platoon (in the front left position) was ordered to move to 11 Platoon’s assistance; however, his platoon was also stopped by equally intense fire before it could provide that help. The Allied soldiers manning these guns worked tirelessly during the battle, firing almost 3,500 rounds. However, when three F4 Phantom jets responded, they could not identify targets on the ground through the thick cloud, and dropped their ordnance beyond the range of the enemy. The Battle of Long Tan was over. Within two months … Some of the more remarkable claims made by the VC in the aftermath of the battle were exaggerations that more than 500 Australian troops had been wiped out, and that a US Jet and three Australian APCs had been destroyed. For their part, the VC also claimed Long Tan as a victory, and disputed Australian accounts of the battle. 24 Australians are wounded – one seriously who loses a leg. The Battle of Lang Vei (Vietnamese: Trận Làng Vây) began on the evening of 6 February 1968 and concluded during the early hours of 7 February, in Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam.Towards the … While the attack caused only limited damage, it perturbed the Australian Task Force Commander, Brigadier Oliver Jackson, as he recognised the base’s potential vulnerability to a significant VC attack. Australian soldiers fought in scores of fierce actions during the war in Vietnam. Further complicating the desperate situation was the loss of comms, with the radios for both 10 and 11 platoons damaged by gunfire. Over the next two days, clean-up operations were carried out on the battlefield, rescuing the wounded and recovering the bodies of those killed. Battle of Long Tan - Vietnam War. South Vietnam, late afternoon on August 18, 1966 - for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry … The Battle of Long Tan in a rubber plantation in South Vietnam in 1966 could have been an Australian military disaster, but is instead remembered as a decisive victory. In a decade-long war that, for the most part, consisted of small contacts, Long Tan was one of the exceptions. On … They had taken over from B Company in pursuit of enemy forces which a day earlier had attacked the Australian operations base at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province. Two 9 Squadron RAAF helicopters were called in to resupply the platoon, and were forced to fly through torrential rain, with visibility close to zero, to drop crates of ammunition. However, over the following days, the outcome of the battle crystallised. VC leaders who participated in the battle were reluctant to acknowledge the severe losses that befell their force. The battle of Long Tan was Australia’s most costly battle in Vietnam. South Vietnam, late afternoon on August 18, 1966 - for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith and his … En route, the APCs had a minor encounter with a group of VC that were attempting to flank the Australians. As torrential rain began to pour, artillery support was called in from Nui Dat as it became clear the Australians were facing forces better equipped and more numerous than expected. The Australians had only recently established the base at Nui Dat, from which they sought to operate and assert control of Phuoc Tuy, the province for which Australia had operational authority. As part of the work behind this project, I undertook more than 2 years of extensive research in order to ensure accuracy of our “The Battle of Long Tan” documentary and the upcoming “Long Tan… The Battle of Long Tan is the most recognised Australian battle of the Vietnam War. Roll of Honour – Battle of Long Tan No discussion of the Battle of Long Tan would be complete without remembering the ultimate sacrifice of... © 2020 Red Dune Films. Adding to general chaos in the plantation was the rise of ‘mud mist’, which reduced visibility and made it difficult for both sides to visually identify targets. Soldiers … As D Company moved through the rubber plantation (with two platoons up and one platoon moving behind), 11 Platoon commanded by Lieutenant Gordon Sharp on the Australian right ran into a small group of VC. By Ashley Ekins. Nov. 2, 2020. In response to the attack, B Company, 6th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) was directed to patrol from the base to locate the VC’s firing positions. One from 3 Troop, 1 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) Squadron 1.2.1. En route, Sabben’s group also encountered stiff resistance and could not reach their target. Officially, 245 bodies were counted … Although that number exceeded any other single day loss in the Vietnam War, the number could have been much higher given the disparity in troop numbers between the two sides. About 245 Vietnamese were estimated to have died in the battle. Two hundred and forty-five Vietnamese dead were found on the battlefield, with captured documents later suggesting hundreds more had been killed or wounded. Just after 4.00 pm during the chase, 11 Platoon was forced to the ground after coming under heavy fire. D Company followed parallel cart tracks leading away from the firing positions into a rubber plantation towards the abandoned village of Long Tan. The Battle of Long Tan occurred in the late afternoon of 18 August 1966 in a rubber plantation some 4500 metres to the east of the Task Force base at Nui Dat. 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On the third anniversary of the battle, 6RAR – renamed 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC), with the addition of two New Zealand rifle companies – was on its second tour of Vietnam. Artillery was walked closer to the pinned down troops, with shells falling less than 100 metres from the Australians. A resupplied 11 Platoon moved to withdraw, meeting up with parts of 12 Platoon who were engaged nearby and eventually reforming with the rest of D Company. The Australians were despondent, believing they had suffered a terrible defeat. 245+ killed 1.1. Combined with artillery support and aerial resupply, this superiority in mobility and firepower offset some of the numerical disadvantage that D Company faced. Later in the afternoon, a relief force was arranged to move to D Company’s aid. Here is a 2006 story by Australia’s 60 Minutes providing a good summary of the Battle of Long Tan. Later intelligence showed they were facing a combined force of the Viet Cong 275th Regiment and the local D445 Provincial Mobile Battalion - between 1,500 and 2,500 soldiers. Subsequently ten APC’s left Nui Dat carrying A Company, 6RAR. Battle of Long Tan . The Battle of Long Tan. According to the D445 … This was a battle between the Australian Army and The Viet Cong forces. In May 1966 the first soldiers of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) arrived in South Vietnam; the rest followed in June. Prime Minister Harold Holt congratulated the ‘skill, effectiveness and high courage’ of the combatants, which he noted was in the best Australian tradition. The arrival of B Company 6RAR and 3 APC Troop brought an armoured advantage not available to the VC. Thus D Company was now splintered into separate groups, each harassed by determined VC attacks. The attack occurred during the early hours of 17 August 1966, with the VC using mortars and recoilless rifles. In May 1966 the first soldiers of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) arrived in South Vietnam; the rest followed in June. A radio operator braved enemy fire to restore communications and 10 Platoon was ordered to withdraw under cover of artillery fire. In short, an Australian infantry company of 108 men had survived an unexpected encounter with two VC formations – later identified as 275 VC Main Force Regiment and D445 Battalion – from which as many as 1,000 probably came into contact with the Australians. After several hours of intense fighting, reinforcements from B Company arrived on foot, along with A Company on board armoured personnel carriers dispatched from Nui Dat. On the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, Australian veterans are not the only ones remembering. Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan Movie Reviews. Here are five characteristics that make the battle so significant in Australian military history. The Australian soldiers had been outnumbered 20 to 1 and despite their success against overwhelming odds, the Battle of Long Tan was still the costliest battle for Australia during the entire Vietnam War. Late afternoon August 18, 1966 South Vietnam — for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith and his dispersed company of 108 young … 24 members of D Coy were wounded North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC) 1. 17 from Delta Company (D Coy), 6RAR 1.1.1. The Story – Battle of Long Tan. 18 killed 1.1. Australia’s actual casualties were 18 killed and 24 wounded. 2.50am:Australian counter-bombardment artillery and morta… American General William Westmoreland congratulated the Australians, declaring they had won one of the most spectacular victories in Vietnam to date. The Battle of Long Tan in a rubber plantation in South Vietnam in 1966 could have been an Australian military disaster, but is instead remembered as a decisive victory. As darkness fell over the rubber plantation at 7pm, D Company’s relief appeared with the simultaneous arrival of B Company and the APCs, their .50 calibre heavy machine guns blasting through the rubber, breaking up the attacking ranks of VC and sending them scattered into the darkness. Isolated from the remainder of the company for an hour and a half since first contact, more than half the platoon’s strength of 28 men had been wounded within 20 minutes of the first exchange of fire. During the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966 the battalion fought against Australian Army forces from D Company, 6 RAR supported by New Zealand and US artillery. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. All rights reserved. 2.43 am:North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops bombard the Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat for 22 minutes resulting in 67 mortar craters. 18 August 2006. It was in this rubber plantation, approximately 4 kilometres to the east of Nui Dat, that the battle took place. Please update your profile. Few were as intense or dramatic as the actionin the Long Tan … You can also view a Timeline of the Battle of Long Tan here. First, B Company (which was returning to Nui Dat after their earlier mission) was ordered to turn around and find D Company. 7 vehicles are damaged and 21 tents damaged. 6 Regular soldiers, Australian Army 1.2. Just over 100 soldiers were isolated, low on ammunition and outnumbered … The catalyst for the battle was the Main Force VC (Viet Cong, an abbreviation for Vietnamese Communist) attack on the Australian operational base of Nui Dat, located in the centre of Phuoc Tuy. Lessons from Content Marketing World 2020; Oct. 28, 2020. Eighteen Australians were killed - 17 from D Company and one from the 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron. Late afternoon August 18, 1966 South Vietnam — for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith and his dispersed … Long Tan is now remembered as an exemplar of Australian soldiers channelling the same attributes of bravery, teamwork and endurance that their forbears displayed in earlier conflicts. The entire battalion returned to the battlesite to commemorate their losses in the Long Tan … It is essential to note that despite the ten-to-one numerical superiority enjoyed by the VC, the Australians had a considerable advantage of their own – the fire support of three batteries of 1 Field Regiment sited at Nui Dat, complemented by a battery of American medium artillery from 2/35th Artillery Battalion. THE STORY. Just after 4.00pm, the 28 men of 11 Platoon came under heavy fire from multiple directions, killing several soldiers and pinning them down. Three-and-a-half hours after the battle had started, the Vietnamese disengaged and the fighting stopped as quickly as it had begun. With 10 Platoon unable to reach 11 Platoon, Lieutenant Kendall was ordered to withdraw his platoon and re-join Company Headquarters. Townsend estimated that at least 50 percent of the VC dead were killed by artillery fire; however, ascertaining an accurate figure was almost impossible because the volume of shellfire devastated the battleground, making it impossible to determine the cause of death for many of the bodies. Long tan, Vietnam. 19 August 1966. Battle of Long Tan – Animated Education Video (Army Museum of Western Australia). The following half an hour saw relentless wave attacks on D Company. It was the first time former Australian veterans of the battle had met their former enemy and the first time veterans had been back to the site of the battle in Vietnam: And of course you can watch our critically acclaimed and award winning THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN Documentary narrated by Sam Worthington. Australia 1. On August 18, 1966, D Company 6 RAR Battalion, consisting of 105 Australian, along with a three-man New Zealand artillery team, entered the Long Tan rubber plantations. Two daring RAAF pilots from 9 Squadron had more luck when they flew through atrocious weather to drop boxes of ammunition from treetop height down to D Company whose supply was alarmingly low. Twenty-one were wounded. Praise for D Company came from many quarters. Blog. The battle of Long Tan though was never forgotten. The Australian soldiers continued their advance, the three platoons of D Company - designated 10,11 and 12 - taking up positions around the rubber plantation. Second, permission was granted for the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) of 3 APC Troop to move to support D Company. The events of previous days set the scene. Troops in a clearing in the rubber plantation examine some of the Viet Cong weapons captured by D Company, 6th battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), after the Long Tan battle. 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Remote health initiatives to help minimize work-from-home stress; Oct. 23, 2020 Just before 6.00 pm, the surviving 13 members of 11 Platoon were finally able to pull back from their position and make their way to 12 Platoon guided by a smoke grenade. By August 1966 the Australian task force base at Nui Dat was only three months old. The Battle of Long Tan remains a sensitive subject in Vietnam, and visitors to the memorial are not allowed to wear uniforms, display medals, or play music. After attacks on their base at Nui Dat, 108 men from D Company of 6RAR were patrolling in the area of the Long Tan … With the battle’s conclusion, and despite the desire of some D Company members to immediately return to 11 Platoon’s location, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Townsend, the (Commanding Officer of 6RAR whom arrived with the APCs), made the decision to pull the Australians back to the western edge of the rubber plantation, where priority of effort was devoted to the evacuation of wounded. Animated educational video for the Army Museum of Western Australia in Fremantle. 1 of 1 Danger Close (2019) Synopsis Major Harry Smith (Travis Fimmel) and his company of 108 young and inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives in the … After a small skirmish, the troops remounted and the APCs sped on towards Long Tan. The VC attacks were determined, with their courage proven by their willingness to continue the attack even as large numbers of their own troops fell. Behind D Company’s two forward platoons, the company commander, Major Harry Smith, with 12 Platoon and Company Headquarters, sent reports to Nui Dat requesting support for his beleaguered company. I’ve created a new BATTLE OF LONG TAN website with a lot more information and resources, please check it out!. A crucial reason for this was the importance of propaganda in sustaining an insurgency. A TRUE STORY OF 108 YOUNG AND ORDINARY ANZAC BOYS WHO FOUGHT AND DEFEATED 2,500 VIET CONG AND NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY SOLDIERS AND IN TURN BECAME EXTRAORDINARY MEN. Meanwhile, Vietnamese forces had advanced on 11 Platoon in a bid to negate the artillery support. This page is brought to you by Stringline Retaining Walls Melbourne. On August 18, 1966, D Company 6 RAR … This phenomenon was common during the Vietnam War, when monsoonal rains fell with such force that the churned red earth below splashed up to 50 centimetres off the ground, staining all that it came into contact with. At this point, Lieutenant David Sabben was ordered to swing two sections from his 12 Platoon in a southerly attempt to reach 11 Platoon from a different direction. 11 Platoon’s predicament was the most dire. After a short exchange, the enemy fled eastwards with 11 Platoon in pursuit. Late afternoon August 18, 1966 South Vietnam – for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith (Travis Fimmel) … Allied artillery was already firing on the VC, with targets identified by Forward Observers embedded with D Company. From the battle’s outset, the skies opened and an intense afternoon storm added to the cacophony of noise and terror in the rubber plantation. Half an hour later, taking advantage of a temporary lull in the fighting, the combined 11 and 12 Platoon were able to regroup with the rest of the company, consolidating the strength of D Company for the first time in the battle. The battle of Long Tan is portrayed in Danger Close in almost real time and takes the audience on to the ground, into the mud, the noise, the confusion, the adrenaline of battle. The Battle at Long Tan in a rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy province, South Vietnam, could have been an Australian military disaster. The Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) was fought between the Australian... Battle of Long Tan - Vietnam War. Here is where you should start, We're instantly back to the border battles, as divisions between states remain far from resolved, Felicity Urquhart to hang up headphones as Saturday Night Country host. The Battle of Long Tan took place on August 18 th, 1966 in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Fortunately for the Australians, the ground they occupied fell away slightly at their rear, which afforded some protection from the rifle and machine gun fire which mostly passed safely over their heads. 10 Platoon attempted to rendezvous with their trapped colleagues - intercepting and killing a group of attackers before they too were attacked on three sides and their radio destroyed. Died nine days later from wounds sustained in the battle 2. No description. About 3.30pm, a group of Viet Cong walked into the middle of the patrolling Australian soldiers who opened fire, wounding one and forcing the others to flee. Back at Nui Dat, the Australian base buzzed as reports from Long Tan kept increasing the estimated number of VC opposing the Australians. Little did the Australians know that they were about to collide with a major concentration of enemy forces. US air support was requested with the Americans enthusiastically agreeing to help. The Battle of Long Tan was fought at a rubber plantation which was in the Phuoc Tuy Province. Artillery mainly and accurately targeted the Australian base buzzed as reports from Long Tan kept increasing the estimated of. … the battle so significant in Australian military history Troop, 1 APC ( Armoured Carriers. 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