What you still may not know about the Ia Drang Valley battle
(A transcript from Armchair General Forum )

Section II : from #301 to #600
(http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116167&page=21)


#301 06 Dec 11, 16:36

The Main Players in Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang Battlefront – General Westmoreland .

General Westmoreland monitored closely the Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang battlefront since its outset. On October 26, he was present at 1st Air Cavalry Brigade headquarters and after listening to a briefing he approved II Corps’s plan to pursue the withdrawing enemy troops (Coleman, page 99):

On the afternoon of the 26th, Generals Westmoreland, Larsen, Kinnard, and Knowles met for a conference at the 1st Brigade’s command post, at LZ Homecoming. […] In the conference between Westmoreland and the division officers, Kinnard hammered on the theme that U.S. forces must now do more than merely contain the enemy or simply reinforce the ARVN. The NVA, he felt, must be sought out aggressively and destroyed. Of course, as far as Westy was concerned, Kinnard was singing to the choir; Westmoreland long had yearned for the opportunity to go on the offensive. Kinnard and Knowles also spent considerable time at the conference explaining to Westmoreland and Larsen exactly what the division could do and how well it could do it. Westmoreland eventually turned to Larsen and said: “Give Kinnard his head.”

On October 22, G3 Journal/IFFV recorded :

- 21:10H: For your info, Gen Westmoreland called at 2045 for info on Plei My and Quang Duc atk.

On October 6, 1966, General Westmoreland summarized the Pleime campaign as following (Why Pleime):

From the standpoint of employment of joint forces, the Plei Me battle was a classic. The signal successes of the latter phases could, perhaps, never have been realized had it not been for the judgment and foresight of Vietnamese leadership. The initial preparatory effort on the ground, paving the way for the introduction of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, was accomplished by Vietnamese forces. Similarly the very successful final phase exploitation was accomplished largely by the Vietnamese Airborne Brigade. The effectiveness of this highly organized, closely integrated, cooperative effort has not often been emulated in modern warfare.

He assessed rightfully the key role of II Corps Command in the first and third phases of the campaign. However, he did not know that even in the second phase when 1st Air Cavalry Division was searching the enemy troops, the results were obtained due to the operational concept of using B52 carpet bombings that II Corps Command - meaning Colonel Hieu, chief of staff, suggested to General Knowles, 1st Air Cavalry Division Forward Command Post Commander.

Phieu


#302 06 Dec 11, 16:39

The Main Players in Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang Battlefront – General Cao Van Vien

Because the Viet Cong’s attack on Pleime camp was a big one, II Corps needed the support from General Cao Van Vien , Chairman of the Joint General Staff in Saigon.

Initially, the Joint General Staff promised to provide 18 H-34 helicopters for troop transportation of the two Special Forces companies for the rescue of the camp, but then changed its mind (G3 Journal/IFFV, 10/20):

- 16:10H: II Corps (Capt Neary) - JGS made available to II Corps 18 VNAF H-34's due to arrive II Corps between 1600 - 1630.

- 18:25H: II Corps Capt Ushijima - Possibility of placing an Abn Ranger Co vic Plei My tonight. Col Bennett was told by SA II Corps, that the a/c would not be available until after 1900 and airlift impossible tonight. Col Bennett then requested 10 Americans be introduced into Camp to assist control of CIDG. Col Mataxis (SA II Corps) replied that due to tactical situation this could not be done. 18 VNAF H-34's were cancelled. It was apparently a false report. ZA 160050 is correct coord for Plei My. Abn Ranger Co discussed is one of the two Delta elems under SF control. They are in Pleiku.

When the campaign reached phase 2, the Joint General Staff agreed to provide II Corps the entire Airborne Brigade as reserve force while 1st Air Cavalry assumed the main effort role with operation Long Reach.

Then the campaign reached phase 3, the Joint General Staff allowed II Corps Command to gather the five airborne battalions scattered in various locations (Phu Yen, Vung Tau, Bien Hoa, Saigon) and transported them to Pleiku to form the main effort in searching and destroying the surviving Viet Cong battalions with operation Than Phong 7

Phieu


#303 06 Dec 11, 17:05

Let me try and get this straight.

II Corps Command (U.S. right?) is in Vietnam to assist the ARVNs in their struggle.

II Corps Command "needed the support" of ARVN General to assist...

In phase 2 the ARVN General "agreed"....

In phase 3 the ARVN General "allowed"...

OK, I'm right on top of this; not buying it, but "on top of it"!

KEN JENSEN


#304 06 Dec 11, 17:18

II Corps in this thread refers to the South Vietnamese Corps.

If I'm not mistaken in trying to follow this thread, the II Corps Chief of Staff was COL Hieu, Phieu's brother.

samtn99


#305 06 Dec 11, 17:47

ARVN II Corps Command = II Corps Command/General Vinh Loc (Pleiku)

US First Field Force Vietnam Command = First Field Force Vietnam Command/ General Larsen (Nhatrang)

ARVN Joint General Staff = Joint General Staff/General Cao Van Vien (Saigon)

US MACV= MACV/General Westmoreland (Saigon)

Phieu


#306 06 Dec 11, 17:53

KEN JENSEN:

Let me try and get this straight.

II Corps Command (U.S. right?) is in Vietnam to assist the ARVNs in their struggle.

II Corps Command "needed the support" of ARVN General to assist...

In phase 2 the ARVN General "agreed"....

In phase 3 the ARVN General "allowed"...

OK, I'm right on top of this; not buying it, but "on top of it"!

No, you are not on top of this.

Sound like you only stuck your nose in the jungle patrolling (great job, don't get me wrong and I am grateful for your dedication) during your time in Vietnam, and did not pay attention to what's going on over your head.

May be your friend Altus might want to help you out in clearing your mind. At least he understands this part. The rest, he doesn't buy it either.

Funny, I try to tell you what you still may not know... and looks like I am confusing you more by telling it! Am I going to fast? ...Throwing in to many stuffs at the same time? ...

Phieu


#307 06 Dec 11, 21:43

This was HIGHLY unnecessary! Shame on you for such a "personal" attack.

My understanding in regard to the 4 Corps of Vietnam was..

I Corps, II Corps, III Corps, and IV Corps. Each name was assigned and/or created by U.S. MACV (or whatever they were called at the time the Corps breakdown was named).

You, at numerous times throughout your postings, use II Corps and ARVN II Corps. Because of your "habit", I believed there was a distinction between the two. I didn't know you were using them "interchangeably". My mistake. Possibly, just maybe, is why I started and wrote my opening statement this way... "II Corps Command (U.S. right?)"

Before you started with your "nastiness", did you catch or ignore the Question mark above?

Moving on...

I notice you use a lot of Ray Smith stuff. I find his data an excellent source of information myself; that is why I recognized it. I don't know if you have "Copyright" permission to use it or not; that's your business. In my effort to follow much of what your presenting, I use some of Ray Smith links (do these maps look familiar to you; along with the data (some of which you use). To view the "text data" click on different noted spots on the maps?) Notice Ray Smith has the maps listed on his "Home Page" as Corps II TAOR maps (select his "Home Page" options to see much more)....

http://www.rjsmith.com/ia-drang-1-nf.html

Anyway carry on with your stuff....

KEN JENSEN


#308 06 Dec 11, 22:26

!!!

Phieu


#309 07 Dec 11, 05:14

The Two Main Players of the Pleime Chess Game

In previous posts, we have seen the main players such as General Kinnard, General Knowles, on the American side and the ARVN's side, General Vinh Loc. On the Viet Cong's side, main players were General Chu Huy Man, B3 Field Front and Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Huu An, B3 Field Front Foward. In reality, the two main players of the Pleime Chess Game were Colonel Ha Vi Tung, Viet Cong B3 Field Front Chief of Staff and Colonel Nguyen Van Hieu, ARVN II Corps Chief of Staff. In their respective role of chief of staff, both studied the planning, assembled the units and equipments, made projection of troop deployments, maneuvered troops according to planning, made tactical adjustments as military situation on the battlefield required; in sum, accomplished all necessary actions in order to implement the strategic and tactical objectives determined by the high command. Furthermore, from the Viet Cong's side, the objective was to slice the Highlands in two along Highway 19 from Pleiku down to Qui Nhon; and from the ARVN's side, the objective was to prevent the enemy from realizing its intention of conquering half of the Highlands.

The Main Player Colonel Hieu

From Da Nang, I Corps, Colonel Hieu followed General Do Cao Tri to Pleiku, II Corps in January 1964, in the role of II Corps Chief of Staff. Within a couple months later, Colonel Hieu launched units of II Corps into Do Xa, a Viet Cong sanctuary in search of the enemy.

Colonel Hieu showing off Do Xa Campaign booties to General Lu Lan, II Corps Deputy Cmdr

Compared to other main and secondary chess players, Colonel Hieu was much younger - at that time he was 36 years old - and had not yet acquired much combat experience, while General Kinnard (48 years old), and General Westmoreland (51 years old) were experienced combatants since World War II in European battlefields; on the Viet Cong's side, General Chu Huy Man (52 years old), Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Huu An (39 years old) and Colonel Ha Vi Tung (45 years old, perhaps) had all participated in numerous battles in the Indochina War, in particular the battle of Dien Bien Phu.

Nevertheless, Colonel Hieu had shown to be an exceptional chess player in the Pleime Chess Game, due to his inherent military skills. Like General Patton he "possessed an unsurpassed encyclopedic knowledge of the history of battles, an exceedingly thorough understanding of the ways and thoughts of the enemy, and a peerless, masterful, intuitive comprehension of the roadways and terrain (ancient and modern) on which the offensive army campaign was to sweep" and was "an accomplished staff officer who was a master of maps and briefings yet thoroughly tactical in the field, multi-lingual, communicative with allies, comprehensive on the larger plan yet good with details, possessing a technological edge" (James Miguez); he, furthermore, had the knack of putting to use all means on hand, be it small or big.

General Do Cao Tri (12/12/63), General Nguyen Huu Co (10/24/64) and General Vinh Loc (06/20/65), all three II Corps Commanders respected and valued Colonel Hieu's strategic and tactical skills. They often times let him act as a Deputy Commander rather than Chief of Staff.

General Co was frequently and for long periods absent at II Corps Headquarters, busing himself with infighting among the "Young Turks" General in Saigon (Khanh, Thieu, Ky, Vien, etc):

He replaced General Do Cao Tri as the Commanding General of the 2nd Corps before the 9/13/64 military coup. But prior to his eviction, General Tri appointed Colonel Hieu 22nd Division Commander on 9/7/1964. Nonetheless, General Co acting under General Khanh's order pulled Colonel Hieu back to the position of 2nd Corps Chief of Staff on 10/24/1964. During his tenure at the 2nd Corps, Colonel Hieu had to assume the daily operations of the 2nd Corps, because General Co was deeply involved in several consecutive military coups occurring in Saigon, first backing General Nguyen Khanh, then the "Young Turks", Generals Thieu, Ky and Thi.

General Lu Lan, II Corps Deputy Commander narrated this episode:

Every Monday, the 2nd Corps headquarters started the day with the ceremony of saluting the flag, attended by soldiers of all levels serving at the headquarters. General Tri rarely presided this solemn ceremony and used to delegate his Chief of Staff instead. Colonel Hieu walked solemnly to the presiding podium, the military band conductor was about to strike his baton. Suddenly, Colonel Hieu raised his hand to stop the ceremony, when he noticed General Lu Lan standing among the ranks of General Staff's officers. He swiftly walked toward General Lu Lan and whispered to him: "This is not right. Will you please take over the ceremony, mon General."

Colonel Hieu's tactical operation areas in II Corps was very expanded, the size of I, III and IV Corps tactical operation areas combined. But due to his passion in clocking a great amount of aerial observation flying times over the entire II Corps areas either by helicopter or L-19 observation airplane, he had the geography of the entire area in the palm of his hand, which allowed him to cope with any situation with relative ease.

The Main Player Ha Vi Tung

In a chess game, in order to win it is essential to grasp the personality of the opponent. Colonel Hieu studied very closely Colonel Tung's military profile. He remarked in Why Pleime:

"During the Indo-China war, Ha Vi Tung was commander of the 803rd Regiment which together with the 108th Regiment constituted the main forces of the Viet Minh in the Central Highlands. To their credit were the occupation of Kontum and the defeat of French Task Force #100 on Highway 19".

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_chIII-2.htm)

Through various battles prior to Pleime Battle, Colonel Hieu concurred with Colonel Mataxis, II Corps Senior Advisor, that Colonel Tung always calculated meticulously the respective strength of both sides in preparation of any attack, as is the case of Duc Co Battle:

The VC are well known for their meticulous gathering of intelligence prior to an operation. They carefully gather data not only on enemy strength to include number of troops, weapons and fortifications, but also the reinforcing capability of the headquarters controlling the zone in which they are in operation. When laying the groundwork for the attack at Duc Co the VC undoubtedly carefully calculated the number of troops garrisoning Duc Co and also estimated the troops available to the Special Zone and II Corps for a relief force.

(www.generalhieu.com/rescuingducco-2.htm)

Furthermore, Colonel Hieu admired Colonel Tung's skill in knowing to rapidly make adjustment in terms of utilizing new tactics to counter opponent's newly introduced tactics, such as in utilising techniques of antiaircraft fire against helicopter gunships.

At this time the Corps chief of staff (Colonel Hieu) and the Corps senior advisor (Colonel Mataxis) reconnoitered the area to clarify the situation for the Corps commander. They found that the VC troops were in battalion strength, well equipped, and had used conventional infantry tactics of fire-and-movement. In addition, the VC had been well trained in the techniques of antiaircraft fire against helicopter gunships. Those being fired at directly would seek cover, but those in the flanks would continue firing at the chopper.

(www.generalhieu.com/highway19-2.htm)

Colonel Hieu was not a bit surprised, when he got the chance to read Colonel Tung's Combat Order for an Ambush by the 32d Regiment, by Colonel Tung's general staff skill in the planning of this ambush attack.

In the same vein, a captured Viet Cong document analyzing the Characteristics of the 1st US Air Cavalry Division, after reading it, Colonel Hieu knew he was facing a formidable adversary in Colonel Tung.

Chess Pawns Utilized

- Colonel Tung

= In Phase 1 - Pleime

- 32nd Regiment: 334th Battalion, 635th Battalion, 966th Battalion.

- 33rd Regiment: 1st Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Battalion.

- 415th Local Force Battalion.

- 2 Companies of 75 mm Recoiless Guns.

- One Battalion of 14.5 mm Anti-Aircraft Machine Guns.

= In Phase 2 - Chu Prong

- 66th Regiment: 7th Battalion, 8th Battalion, 9th Battalion.

= In Phase 3 - Ia Drang

- 32nd Regiment: 334th Battalion, 635th Battalion.

- Colonel Hieu

= In Phase 1 - Pleime

- Defensive Forces at Pleime camp: 4 Companies of CIDG troops, 1 ARVN Special Forces Rangers and 1 US Special Forces A Team, reinforced by 2 Companies of 91st Airborne Rangers and US Special Forces Delta Team.

- Relief Column Force: 3rd Armored Squadron, 21st Rangers Battalion, 22nd Rangers Battalion, 1/42nd Infantry Battalion, 2/6 Artillery Battery, 105 Engineer Platoon.

- Supportive Forces: Task Force Ingram (with 2/12th Cavalry Battalion, 1/19th Cavalry Battalion, Battery B of 2/17th Artillery Battalion and element of 8th Engineer), Marine Alpha Task Force.

= In Phase 2 - Chu Prong

- 1st US Air Cavalry Brigade

- 3rd US Air Cavalry Brigade

- 1/7 Calvary Battalion/1st Brigade, 2/7 Cavalry Battalion/1st Brigade, 2/5 Cavalry Battalion/3rd Brigade

- B-52 bombers

= In Phase 3 - Ia Drang

- Airborne 1st Task Force: Airborne 3rd Battalion, Airborne 5th Battalion, Airborne 6th Battalion.

- Airborne 2nd Task Force: Airborne 7th Battalion, Airborne 8th Battalion.

- Supportive Forces: US Battery C of 2/17th Artillery, 2nd US Air Cavalry Brigade.

Chess Game Moves

Chess Game Move 1A-Tung

Colonel Tung's main objective in his first move is to put a siege on Pleime camp with 33rd Regiment to compel Colonel Hieu to send a relief column to rescue the camp, which then allows him to destroy this relief column with 32nd Regiment; after succeeding in destroying the relief column, 32nd Regiment will join force with 33rd Regiment to overrun Pleime camp.

The reason Colonel Tung has chosen Pleime and the ambush site as battlefield is because its location is beyond the reach of the artillery firepower located at Pleiku. Without the support of artillery firepower, tanks become sitting ducks.

Furthermore, Colonel Tung also calculates meticulously that Colonel Hieu will not be able to assemble more than 1,000 troops for his relief column force and will only receive one or two American battalions to reinforce the rescue operation of Pleime camp. Colonel Tung has also tied down Airborne 1st Task Force, which constitutes Colonel Hieu's reserve force, with II Corps Operation Than Phong 6 in Hoai An District, Binh Dinh Province. Colonel Tung is applying the "one main attack and two secondary attacks".

Colonel Tung also makes used of a new tactic. Instead of using the static ambush tactic as in the Duc Co Battle in August 1965, this time around he uses the mobile ambush tactic to avoid casualties on ambush troops caused by air and artillery pre-strikes.

Chess Game Move 1B-Hieu

When he notices that the VC attack force on Pleime camp is not a battalion size but rather a regiment size, and not like previous "hit and run" attacks, the enemy troops this time do not attempt to overrun the camp, Colonel Hieu knows immediately Colonel Tung is using the "attack the camp in order to destroy the rescue force" tactic. And then, when the ARVN Special Forces Rangers recon teams report they do not detect any ambush site along the Provincial Route 5 leading to Pleime camp, Colonel Hieu knows Colonel Tung is applying the mobile ambush tactic instead of the static ambush tactic as in the Duc Co Battle.

When intelligence reports indicate that the unit that encircles the camp is 33rd Regiment and the unit that is to carry out the ambush attack is 32nd Regiment, Colonel Hieu concludes that the attack at Pleime camps is only a ruse and the main objective is the annihilation of the rescue force first, since Colonel Tung uses a weaker regiment - 33rd Regiment - to attack the camp and a stronger regiment - 32nd Regiment - to ambush the rescue column.

Colonel Hieu accepts to play Colonel Tung's game. Firstly, he assembles a rescue task force, then dispatches a team of Special Forces Rangers to reinforce Pleime camp, hinting to Colonel Tung he does not intend to let the enemy overrun the camp and is about to dispatch the rescue column.

However, Colonel Hieu needs a rescue force that is strong enough to defeat the enemy ambush troops, and since the number of troops of the rescue task force newly assembled is only about 1,000, he needs time to bring in 1/42 Infantry Battalion from Kontum and one battalion belonging to US 1st Air Cavalry Division to replace 22nd Rangers Battalion to assume the security of Pleiku City, in order for this battalion to participate in the eradication operation of the ambush site of 32nd Regiment. That is the reason Colonel Hieu orders the rescue Task Force to remain in the vicinity of Phu My, pending the arrival of these two battalions before resuming the advance toward Pleime camp.

Furthermore, Colonel Hieu reserves an unexpected big surprise to Colonel Tung: the introduction of the artillery firepower into the battle equation. He requests US 1st Air Cavalry to transport artillery battery by helicopters to Phu My at a location close by the ambush site to give efficient support to tanks to neutralize enemy's anti-tank machine guns.

Chess Game Move 2A-Tung

The outcome is Colonel Tung has to order 32nd Regiment et 33rd Regiment to abandon the attempt to destroy the rescue column and the camp and to retreat to Chu Pong massif.

Chess Game Move 2B-Hieu

Colonel Hieu makes use of the means provided by US 1st Air Cavalry Division to organize the exploitation phase of pursuing the retreating enemy troops to the very heart of their hideouts in the Chu Pong massif.

Chess Game Move 3A-Tung

Colonel Tung intends to attack Pleime camp a second time. This time the camp will be overrun immediately by the combined actions of 32nd, 33rd and 66th Regiments with the support of one battalion of 120 mm mortars and one battalion of 14.5 mm anti-aircraft. The D-day is set for November 16.

Chess Game Move 3B-Hieu

Upon obtaining the intelligence news of this precise date, Colonel Hieu feigns to having lost track of the enemy troop units, he asks US 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade to switch the direction of pursuit operations from west to east, meaning away of Chu Pong massif and toward Pleime camp.

A few days later, he then has US 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade to resume pushing west and suddenly land at the footstep of Chu Pong massif to attack the enemy on November 14.

Chess Game Move 4A-Tung

Colonel Tung orders 66th Regiment to counter attack US 1/7 Air Cavalry Battalion.

Chess Game Move 4B-Hieu

Besides the ground force of US 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, B-52 bombers take part in the battle.

Chess Game Move 5A-Tung

Colonel Tung orders to his remaining units to retreat into the Cambodian territories.

Chess Game Move 5B-Hieu

Colonel Hieu estimates that Colonel Tung has lost approximately 2/3 of his forces and has only two battalions - 334th and 635th - still remaining in the jungle areas of Chu Pong massif close to Cambodian border, decides to throw in ARVN Airborne Brigade to attack these two battalions.

End of Pleime Chess Game

The Pleime Chess Game terminates when Colonel Tung's two last pawns are struck out of the chess board.

Phieu


#310 07 Dec 11, 06:5

Seem pretty outdated intelligence. Hà Vi Tùng was Chief of Staff of the B3 Front in 1964, in 1965 the post was assumed by Bùi Nam Hà, and as I understand Hà Vi Tùng was not delegated to the B3 Field HQ that commanded the 66th, 33th and 320th regiments. The "players" on the PAVN side were Nguyễn Hữu An and Đặng Vũ Hiệp.

altus


#311 07 Dec 11, 08:04

Commands can be Geographically designated.

Commands can also be Unit designated.

U.S. ARMY units are normally in hierarchical order by size with Army as the largest. As far as I know, we didn't have any of our complete U.S. Army or Corps (Army or Marine) in Vietnam. Here is the breakdown list of our designators...

Army
*Corps
Division
Brigade
Battalion
Company
Platoon
Squad

* In Vietnam we had some of our Marine Corps (not all). Our Marine Corps Commander was back in the States. He had many other units scattered throughout the world that he had to Command.

I'll say again, as most of us know, the U.S. had designated geographical Combat Zones designated as I Corps, II Corps, III Corps, and IV Corps.

There were many different sized U.S. Units from each of our Military branches (e.g. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, whatever); each with their own Commanders, scattered throughout all the different Combat ZONES. I do not believe the U.S. had a unique Commander for any of these ZONES (i.e. Commander of II Corps or II Corps Commander). If anything, Westmoreland, for most of the War for us, was the Commander of all these Zones.

Now the ARVN (Army) may well of had an Army Commander and unique Corps Unit Level Commanders (i.e. I Corps Commander, II Corps Commander, etc); I do not know.

So, when you write II Corps, are you meaning geographical area, or Command Unit Level?

When you write Commander II Corps are you meaning geographical area or Command Unit Level?

What is the significance of writing II Corps and/or ARVN II Corps? What is the difference between the two, if any?

And in your last post, a designation of 2nd Corps is made. Is this different or the same as II Corps? Is this in reference to geographical or Unit?

KEN JENSEN


#312 07 Dec 11, 09:06

Ken, ARVN Corps and Corps Tactical Zones (CTZ) were the same, for example Vinh Loc was both the commander of II Corps (command unit) and II CTZ (geographical area).

Note: the US corps-level unit commanding US troops in the II CTZ in 1965 was Field Force, Vietnam (FFORCEV), it would be renamed I Field Force, Vietnam (I FFORCEV) in April 1966 with the activation of II Field Force, Vietnam at Long Binh (in III CTZ)

Boonierat


#313 07 Dec 11, 09:38

Thanks, Boonie; as always you are "The Man". Would the mention of 2nd Corps be the same as II Corps? I also believe there was mention of three II Corps Commanders; I would suspect that would mean three Commanders within the II Corps ZONE.

By the way, someone notified me that we did have CTZ Corps Commanders by supplying a name for me. I looked it up and found the name in a book titled "The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam By James William Gibson

On Page 180 has this little blurb…

http://books.google.com/books?id=LKu...MANDER&f=false

heeheehee, Ok, Corps Commander after 1969 in Saigon area II Corps. Of course the II Corps would be in error. Then I would want to know when U.S. Corps Commanders were so designated. I never heard of one in 1967 and early 1968. LOL of course the Platoon was last to hear or know anything.

If I recall, our 1st Inf Division Commander answered to Westmoreland; don't believe there was any designated III Corps Commander in his "Chain of Command". Hey, way above my pay grade.

KEN JENSEN


#314 07 Dec 11, 09:57

The book is confused. II Corps and II CTZ were Vietnamese entities, LTG Ewell commanded II FFORCEV (II Field Force, Vietnam, a US-command). Your complete chain of command when you were in Vietnam was:

LIMA Platoon

Company D

|

1-28 INF

|

1st Brigade

|

1st Infantry Division

|

II FFORCEV

|

USMACV

Boonierat


#315 07 Dec 11, 10:18

Thanks Boonie; LOVE IT. As old as I am, I learn something new very often; heeheehee, can't say everyday anymore.

hmmmm, Well, I know I fought in III Corps CTZ; didn't I?.

Or would that have been CTZ III, II FFORCEV?

P.S. Just read your PM; I'm squared away now in regard to the above Q's.

KEN JENSEN


#31607 Dec 11, 10:28

Yes, you served in III CTZ (III Corps Tactical Zone) but this is a Vietnamese geographical and political area to which US units were not subordinated to. To make matters even more confusing, I believe the US II FFORCEV commander served also as the senior advisor to the ARVN III Corps/CTZ commander

Boonierat


#317 07 Dec 11, 10:34

ROFLOL; Think we have discussed our confusion with PAVN/PALF Units and names; looks like same-o-same-o chit here also; except maybe a little easier; heeheehee, who in the hell knows - don't tell me....oh yea, the zoo keeper (who's who in the zoo)...

KEN JENSEN


#318 07 Dec 11, 10:42

I'd add that in addition to all that, it was entirely possible that you were indirectly executing operational orders by counterpart ARVN staff officers, as a chess pawn on their board.

altus


#319 07 Dec 11, 10:48

Side bar: B3 Field Front's Order of Battle

Field Front B3:
General Chu Huy Mân, Commander
Colonel Quan, Deputy Commander
Colonel Hà Vi Tùng, Chief of Staff

B3 Forward Command Post:
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An, Commander
Đặng Vũ Hiệp, Political Commissar
Nguyễn Đồng Thoại, Tactical Assistant Comrade Mác
Comrade Đức

32nd Regiment:
Lieutenant Colonel Tô Định Khẩn, Commander
Nguyễn Chức, Political Officer
344th Battalion: Prisoner Nguyễn Xuân Liên
635th Battalion:
4th Company: Prisoner Đoàn Ngọc Định
Prisoner Nguyễn Nghệ Thủng
966th Battalion
8th Company: Prisoner Hoàng Văn Chung

33rd Regiment:
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An, Commander
1er Battalion: Prisoner Trần Văn Thanh
2nd Battalion: Prisoner Sergeant Cao Xuân Hải
3rd Battalion: Prisoner Trần Ngọc Lương
Prisoner Nguyễn Xuân Tiên Signal Company: Prisoner Sergeant Phạm Sâm
Prisoner First Lieutenant Bùi Văn Cường

66th Regiment:
Lê Tiến Hoà, Acting Commander P
hạm Công Cửu, Deputy Commander
Vũ Bào, Chief of Staff
LTC La Ngọc Châu, Political Commissar
Nguyễn Nam Khánh, (or Nguyễn Văn Lanh ?) Deputy Political Commissar
Nguyễn Bá Hùng, Chief of Political Sector
7th Battalion: Vũ Đình Thước, 3rd Company leader
Prisoner Sergeant Lê Văn Hiền
Đặng Xuân Ba
Nguyễn Đinh Mai
Prisoner Hoàng Thếu
Battalion 9:
Nguyển Văn Định (?), Commander
Prisoner Phạm Ngọc Hoàng

Note:

= Task Force Wiki E, under the command of LTC Altus, is still unsure of these two individuals: Nguyễn Văn Lanh (?), Nguyển Văn Định (?):

= Furthermore:

Early August 1965, the Defense Ministry gave the order to 304th Division Commander "to bring the entire 304th Division to battlefront B… all preparations must be achieved within two months."

(...)

On September 20, 1965, Western Highlands Command sent out comrade Ha Vi Tung to welcome 304th division's cadres and to brief them on their tasks.

(Nguyen Huy Toan and Pham Quang Dinh division's cadres and to brief them on their tasks. 304th Division, volume II )

2. The First Battles Against the American Troops, pp 19-42.

(People's Army Publishing House, 1990)

Copied from Trái Tim Việt Nam Online November 13, 2006 W

ww.generalhieu.com/f304iadrang-2.htm

= Ha Vi Tung stayed with Chu Huy Man at B3 HQ, he did not go to B3 Forward CP with Nguyen Huu An. He, not Bui Nam Ha who replaced him sometimes during or after the campaign, planned the entire Plâyme campaign. And Colonel Hieu faced Ha Vi Tung, not Bui Nam Ha, as his oppnent in the chess game.

= Nguyen Huu An wore two hats: 33rd Regiment Commander and B3 Forward CP Commander.

= Other related links:

- Crushing the American Troops in Central Highlands (Major General Nguyen Nam Khanh, 2005)

- The Political Commissar at the First Battle Against the Americans in Central Highlands (General Dang Vu Hiep, 2006)

- First Engagement With American Troops at Pleime-Iadrang (General Nguyen Huu An, 2002)

@Altus: you can only fool some naive AGC members...

Phieu


#320 07 Dec 11, 10:53

Good PAVN orbat Phieu. Note that the 32nd Regiment was called Regiment 320 by the North Vietnamese, never really understood why the 0 was dropped in Allied order of battles.

Boonierat


#321 07 Dec 11, 10:55

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An, Commander

Question for anyone, was Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An, Commander, shown as being part of B3 Front HQ the same person listed as Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An, Commander of 33 Rgt?

samtn99


#322 07 Dec 11, 10:55

Question about Division 304: did the headquarters come down the HCMT with the regiments or did it stayed behind in NVN? And if did come down, did it command the regiments in the field during the battle, or were they subordinated directly to B3 Front?

Boonierat


#323 07 Dec 11, 11:07

Phieu,

Don't cite your own website. Bring in the exact excerpts in those PAVN books that you mentioned!

altus


#324 07 Dec 11, 11:44

KEN JENSEN : Thanks, Boonie; as always you are "The Man". Would the mention of 2nd Corps be the same as II Corps? I also believe there was mention of three II Corps Commanders; I would suspect that would mean three Commanders within the II Corps ZONE.

Yes but subsequently,

General Do Cao Tri (12/12/63), General Nguyen Huu Co (10/24/64) and General Vinh Loc (06/20/65), all three II Corps Commanders...

Phieu


#325 07 Dec 11, 11:46

samtn99: Question for anyone, was Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An, Commander, shown as being part of B3 Front HQ the same person listed as Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An, Commander of 33 Rgt?

It has been noted

= Nguyen Huu An wore two hats: 33rd Regiment Commander and B3 Forward CP Commander.

in the first phase and in the second phase respectively. The 33rd Regiment had suffered the most losses in the first phase:

Of the three, the 33rd Regiment was the most ill-fated (Chart II) and suffered the bitterest failure: its infiltration from North Viet Nam (departure between 22 and 25 July 65) had just been completed by 2 October!

Phieu


#326 07 Dec 11, 11:48

altus : Phieu, Don't cite your own website. Bring in the exact excerpts in those PAVN books that your mentioned!

Do I detect the tone of command of a military commander here? That said ...

Do you mean exact excerpts in Vietnamese? It is something not at all difficul to do, but is it any use to the American who do not read Vietnamese? I did not "doctor" them with the translation, if that's what you are hinting at. It's verbatim, meaning word by word.

Do you have the English translation of these documents somewhere? I don't. I translated them an put them up in my website... do I have any choice?

Hey, Altus, this is not TTVNOL ... you know...

BTW, either I am more knowledgeable in PAVN affairs than you or you are acting in the counterintelligence mode ... of deception ...

Colonel Altus: You better let go ... the more you skirm, the more the quick sand gobbles your body ...

Phieu


#327 07 Dec 11, 12:11

Boonierat: Good PAVN orbat Phieu. Note that the 32nd Regiment was called Regiment 320 by the North Vietnamese, never really understood why the 0 was dropped in Allied order of battles.

Boonie,

I don't think the North Vietnamese called the regiment the 320th. Pribbenow and Vin Loc (author of Why Pleime and source of most of what Phieu is saying) show the 32 Regiment as the 320 Regiment, but there are lots of discrepancies with it (MACV reports, POW interrogation reports, etc) and I believe it to be a translation error.

The translated combat order for the PAVN ambush of the relief column shows the 32 Regiment (caution, this was also in Why Pleime, I'm trying to find a copy of the document in another source).

samtn99


#328 07 Dec 11, 12:32

What other better source than Altus?!

Phieu


#329 07 Dec 11, 12:36

Chiangshan that's mine anyway.

Boonierat


#330 07 Dec 11, 12:41

Are you kidding me? They are both from the same TFWikiE cooker, and furthermore ChiangShan is under Altus's command... don't you know that?

Phieu


#331 07 Dec 11, 12:55

Boonierat : Question about Division 304: did the headquarters come down the HCMT with the regiments or did it stayed behind in NVN? And if did come down, did it command the regiments in the field during the battle, or were they subordinated directly to B3 Front?

You can find the answer to your question in the three links that I have given.

Only the 66th Regiment/304th Division reached Chupong-Iadrang complex battlefield. The rest still remained up North. Btw, do you know that the 66th Regiment Commander had defected on his way down to the South and never showed up at Pleime? Altus knows this very well: name, original hoi chanh document etc.

Phieu


#332 07 Dec 11, 15:56

What does Le Loi mean?

(next to the division symbol in the chart)

samtn99


#333 07 Dec 11, 16:36

Le Loi - a Vietnamese hero during the fight against the Chinese invasion - was the new name for B3 Field Front:

With revengeful resignation, the VC Field Front devoted all its efforts to the preparation:

- The time: throughout the Spring season, from December 65 to April 66.

- The place: in the Cambodian sanctuary.

- The tasks: reorganization of the torn-off NVA 32nd, 33rd and 66th Regiments and reestablishment of destroyed logistical installations.

With more than ten "infiltrated contingents", varying from platoon to battalion size and also with elements from the NVA 9th Regiment, the casualties of the three regiments were replaced. The Field Front also took its final appellation as the NVA Lê Lợi Division Headquarters. (See The VC Order of Battle).

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_chX-2.htm)

Phieu


#334 07 Dec 11, 16:39

Lê Lợi was a famous Vietnamese emperor, it also appears it was the nickname of the 1st Division that controlled the NVA Regiments in the Central Highlands in August 1966.

Boonierat


#335 07 Dec 11, 16:40

I beat you to it, Bonnie! and with document to back up!

Btw, Lirelou should be very familiar with Emperor Le Loi, considering his signature:

Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì!

Phieu


#336 07 Dec 11, 16:49

Phieu : Do you mean exact excerpts in Vietnamese? It is something not at all difficult to do, but is it any use to the American who do not read Vietnamese? I did not "doctor" them with the translation, if that's what you are hinting at. It's verbatim, meaning word by word.

Yes I had Vietnamese original excerpts in mind. You have showed an incredible ability in misinterpreting them that I think that would be best. I will gladly provide translation into English, to which you may make comments should you find them not accurate enough.

In particular, please provide source for the information that Hà Vi Tùng was B3 Chief of Staff in November 1965, not that he went to a meeting with someone. Provide source he was the author of PAVN Pleime Campaign plan.

Provide source that Nguyễn Hữu An was 33rd's CO.

You have entirely confused the issue with the 66th's commander but that is all you. I have discussed this before on ACG.

If you don't know something, you can ask. We do not like the way you were trolling to solicit these information from us on TTVNOL.

altus


#337 07 Dec 11, 16:54

!!!

Phieu


#338 07 Dec 11, 17:00

altus: Provide source that Nguyễn Hữu An was 33rd's CO.

ltus, who do you have as 33 Rgt commander during the campaign? I've seen several POW reports that indicate it was a LTC Suc Bai or Bai Suc?

samtn99


#339 08 Dec 11, 03:32

Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong Iadrang Complex

Background

Viet Cong Field Front B3 Command used the tactic “faking an attack against an outpost to lure in and destroy the rescue force” in attacking the Pleime camp from October 19 to 26, 1965. However, II Corps Command defeated the enemy both at the camp and at the ambush site with the help of US Ingram Task Force comprising an artillery battalion and an infantry battalion.

Enemy Situation

After failing to annihilate the rescue column and to overrun Pleime camp, the two 32nd and 33rd Regiment NVA were ordered to retreat to their initial staging area before the attack in the Chupong-Iadrang complex.

Field Front B3 Command needed to retrieve its severely damaged units in order to preserve force while waiting for the reinforcement of 66th Regiment still wandering on the Ho Chi Minh trail. It would take this unit at least a week to close in at the Chupong-Iadrang complex.

The enemy’s losses were as following based on an account realized after 10/27/1965: 211 KIA, 115 KBA, 6 CIA, 1 57 RR, 2 pistols, 2 81mm mortar, 12 cal .50 MG, 3 cal .30 MG, 9 BAR, 37 SMG, 22 rifles, 8 carbines, 2 M79, a B40 Anti tank wpn.

Once the six battalions of the 32nd and 33 Regiment were reorganized and reequipped and with the arrival of 66th Regiment, it was certain that Field Front B3 Command would set up for a revenge, besides its resolve to achieve its goal of overtaking Pleiku as planned by the 1965-1966 Winter Spring campaign.

Friendly Situation

After October 27, 1965, friendly units’ losses are: Abn Ranger, 15 KIA, 20 WIA. LLBD, 1KIA. CIDG, 21 KIA, 21 WIA, 6MIA. US, 12 KIA, 8WIA. 3rmd Cav, 7 KIA, 27 WIA, 4 MIA. 1/42, 32 KIA, 72 WIA, 2 MIA. 21st Rangers, 35 KIA, 5 WIA. 22d Rangers, 12 WIA. Arty, 4 KIA, 2 WIA, 6 MIA. Engr 1 WIA. Total: 111 KIA, 190 WIA, 18 MIA.

Normally in the past, after the relief of a besieged outpost, II Corps Command could not afford to pursue the enemy for lack of sufficient troops and means. However, this time around, seizing the opportunity of a helping hand offered by the US 1st Air Cavalry Division, II Corps Command was able to launch a coordinated operation of exploitation in the pursuit of the enemy that were retreating back to the Chupong-Iadrang complex.

Planning

The planning of this operation was assigned to Colonel Hieu, II Corps Chief of Staff, working in coordination with Brigadier General Richard Knowles, 1st Air Cavalry Division Deputy Commander.

The 1st Air Cavalry Division Forward Command Post was established in the compounds of II Corps Headquarters in Pleiku, sharing the facilities with II Corps American Advisor Group. General Knowles was shadowed by Colonel Mataxis, the Senior Advisor.

In order to obtain a well organized working relationship between the two allied commands, Colonel Hieu laid out a clear cut “modus operandi”: joint intelligence and support activities and commonly-shared concept of operations and results; but separate TAOR, command, deployment of forces, conduct of activities and reserve.

Operational Concept

The search and pursuit of the two 32nd ( 334th, 635th and 966th Battalion) and 33rd Regiment (1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalion) should not be too difficult a task for 1st Air Cavalry Division with its fleet of helicopters in hands (435 in lieu of 101 for a regular infantry division). Nevertheless, to destroy an enemy force that had broken up into small units and in hiding amidst a vast area of elephant grass, bushes and trees, was a daunting task which would require months if not years to uncover and to destroy all these scattered piece meal units one at a time.

It is better to be able to attack and kill when the enemy units assemble at one location. This could have a chance to happen since Field Force B3 Command has ordered its attacking forces to return to their initial staging areas in the Chupong-Iadrang complex, while waiting for the arrival of the 66th Regiment.

However, in order to annihilate a division size force comprising three regiments, it would necessitate a force three times larger, which means three divisions, that II Corps Command could not afford.

A better alternative available was to use B-52’s carpet bombings to annihilate the concentrate enemy troops.

Therefore the operational concept for this operation comprised two phases:

Phase I: Herding the scattered enemy units toward a common grouping area. This task was assigned to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade with operation All the Way.

Phase II: Destroying the enemy with B-52’s carpet bombings. General Knowles would coordinate this planning phase with MACV Command in Saigon for the use of this strategic weapon.

The bombings would be prepared by a diversionary tactic performed by 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade with operation Silver Bayonet I

II Corps Command would maximize the use of its intelligence apparatus and would precisely schedule accordingly the starting point of each consecutive phases based on analysis of updated intelligence data along the way. The success of this operation relies squarely on this knowlege of enemy movements.

Execution

Phase I: Herding the scattered enemy units

On 10/27, Eagle Flights from the Air Cavalry Division went into action. From dawn to darkness, they flew unwarily over the area to search for the enemy. Every suspect enemy presence is carefully checked and dealt with, either by airstrikes or by the Eagle Flights themselves, or by reaction forces. These tactics compelled the enemy to move continuously, to disintegrate and to fragment into small parties and thus they could not avoid being sighted.

By the end of the day, according to intelligence daily report, the lead elements of the 33d had closed on it forward assembly area, the village Kro (ZA080030), while its rear-guard battalion, was just beginning to break contact at the Pleime CIDG camp.

On 10/28, according to intelligence daily report, the 32d Regiment had nearly closed its base on the north bank of the Ia Drang, although the exact route it took in its withdrawal from the ambush site still remains a mystery.

On 10/29, according to intelligence daily report, the withdrawal of the 33d Regiment was rapidly becoming a nightmare. More and more armed helicopters began striking units of the regiment. So close were these attacks pressing to the advance base that by noon of the 29th the regimental cadre decided to keep the unit on the move to the west, seeking sanctuary. This time it was headed for its "home" prior to the attack on Pleime. This was Anta Village (NVA designation) at YA940010, located at the foot of the Chu Pong Massif. It was here during early October, that the 33d had conducted drills and rehearsals of its attack on the Pleime CIDG camp.

On 10/30, according to intelligence daily report, maintaining unit integrity was becoming increasingly difficult for many element of the 33d Regiment as Cavalry helicopters seemed to be everywhere, firing into carefully camouflaged positions and causing individual to either break and run or reveal positions by returning the aircraft fires. And a new element of danger had been introduced. Infantry units began air assaults in widely separated points throughout the general area through which the 33d must pass.

At time these landings were far enough from regimental units so that battle could be avoided, but in other cases, the cavalrymen found retreating elements and sharp fire fights, always costly to the NVA would result. And with each such engagement, further fragmentation of NVA units would occur.

As the small unit actions increased, the Cavalry obtained its first North Vietnamese captives and more and better intelligence concerning the enemy forces was becoming available to commanders.

On 10/31, according to intelligence daily report, the constant harassment from the air and the sudden and unexpected landing of infantry troops at points throughout the area was causing consternation in the enemy ranks. Elements continued to disintegrate and fragment into small parties or, in some cases, individual stragglers. Many of these, left to fend for themselves, soon fell into the hands of Cavalry units. Contributing to the problems of the 33d was the acute shortage of food and medicines since many units could not reach their pre-stocked supply because of the sudden thrusts of the helicopter-borne troopers.

On 11/01, at 0730 hours, about a VC platoon was sighted at 10 km South West of the Pleime Camp. A reaction force was immediately sent by the 1st Brigade of the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Only minutes after, 20 VC were killed and 19 captured. Friendly troops kept on searching and suddenly discovered a VC field hospital well equipped with medicines and surgical instruments made by Communist countries. All the communist origin supplies were still brand-new and amounted approximately to a value of 40000 US dollars.

While the evacuation of the trophy was carried out by helicopters, a battalion size enemy force stealthily moved toward friendly troops and strove to surround their positions. The first engagement between elements of the 1st US Air Cavalry Division and the VC took place. It lasted for five hours until darkness. When the enemy finally broke contact and withdrew, it had been for them a deadly blow by the "First Team": 99 VC were killed (Body count), 44 other VC regulars captured along with 40 weapons. But at least more than 200 other VC were probably killed and wounded.

The capture of the aid station was a major find for the Air Cavalry Division and besides the opportunity it provided for destruction of VC forces, it also yielded documents, including one particularly valuable map that revealed enemy supply and march routes.

According to intelligence daily report, by now the regimental headquarters had reached the base at Anta village, but the bulk of the regiment was still strung out between Pleime and Chu Pong. And these elements continued to draw aerial rocket and machine gun fire throughout the withdrawal. Also the heavy bombing and strafing attacks by USAF aircraft were directed against regimental positions with increasing accuracy as the secondary target detection system of the 1st Air Cavalry division began to click. T

he precision of the strikes was so upsetting that regimental cadre held a conference in an attempt to discover what was allowing the US forces to make such repeated, accurate air strikes. It was concluded that only spies within the ranks could be furnishing the location and movement of the regiment's elements.

On 11/02, according to intelligence daily report, the 33d Regiment now received orders to head deeper into the Chu Pong sanctuary. By 0400 on the 2d, the regimental CP had arrived at Hill 762 (YA885106). But while the head of the column had comparative safety, the body and tail, still stretching back to near Pleime, was anything but safe.

Meanwhile, the NVA division headquarters (Field Front) had a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy picture. The last of its three regiments was due to arrive soon in South Vietnam and begin moving into assembly areas in the Chu Pong-Ia Drang area.

On 11/03, at 2100 hours, an audacious ambush in the very heart of the Chu Pong - Ia Drang complex inflicted to the 8th Battalion of the newly-infiltrated 66th Regiment: 112 KIA (Body count), more than 200 others estimated KIA and WIA, 30 weapons captured.

According to intelligence daily report, the 33d Regiment, meantime, was still trying to pull its bruised and battered tail into the Chu Pong sanctuary. But it became just another day of constant harassment from the air and ground marked by the loss of still more medical supplies and ammunition.

On 11/04, a large arms cache was uncovered at 5 km West of the Pleime Camp, in the vicinity of the Ia Meur river.

According to intelligence daily report, after failing to overrun US positions on the south bank of the Ia Drang, the 8th Battalion, 66th Regiment, broke off the attack and pulled its dead and wounded back from the site of the engagement. The apparent discovery by Cavalry forces of a new NVA infiltration unit would cause the Field Front to re-evaluate its tactical position and begin looking for ways to counteract the continued pressure.

An immediate action was to order the 33d Regiment out of its base at Hill 732, which it had hardly reached, and onto the eastern slopes of Chu Pong in the vicinity of YA922010 with its battalions (when they closed) to take up positions from Hill 732, down through Anta Village (940010) to the north bank of the Ia Meur (980000).

The fragmented bits and pieces of the regiment were still making their way in a generally westward direction, clinging to stream beds, utilizing all available concealment to avoid detection by the ever-present Cavalry helicopters. There still was one unit reasonably intact - the battalion that had acted as rear guard. Starting later and moving more slowly than the rest, it was still east of main Cavalry positions.

On 11/05, according to intelligence daily report, the day brought little change to the intelligence picture. The 66th Regiment continued to close into assembly areas in the Chu Pong sanctuary and the 33d Regiment waited for its shattered forces to rejoin the parent unit. The 32d Regiment and Field Front, meanwhile, remained untouched and untroubled north of the Ia Drang and adjacent to the Cambodian frontier.

On 11/06, the 6th battalion of the 33rd Regiment was almost annihilated after an engagement taking place North of the Ia Meur river: 77 KIA (BC), nearly 400 others estimated KIA and WIA. U

p to this point, the 1st Brigade of the First Air Cavalry Division in its "All the Way" (2) deployment over an area of about 2500 square kilometers had given severe blows to the withdrawing VC units but through the contacts made and related above, no traces were yet found concerning the 32nd Regiment. Although the number of VC casualties amounted to 1500, including those suffered in the first phase, one more regiment - the 66th Regiment - had been added to the enemy order of battle.

There was strong suspicion that elements of the 32nd Regiment may have slipped off to the east.

On 11/07, according to intelligence daily report, in the Chu Pong sanctuary the depleted 33d Regiment licked its wounds and waited for its stragglers to come in. The remainder of Field Front forces were quiet.

In the battle area there was diminishing activity. One NVA soldier surrendered with a safe-conduct pass.

On 11/08, according to intelligence daily report, only fragmented units and stragglers remained east of the Chu Pong-Ia Drang complex as the 33d Regiment began to assess its losses.

Friendly intelligence at this point still was not really sure that the entire 33d Regiment withdrew to the west. One prisoner taken at Pleime stated positively that after the battle his unit was to walk for two nights south and east. In addition, there was strong suspicion that elements of the 32d Regiment may have slipped off to the east after the ambush. By this time Field Force Vietnam had asked the division to consider moving its operations east of Pleime if it appeared that was no further contact imminent in the west.

On 11/09, according to intelligence daily report, the 33d Regiment gathered in the last of its organic units and began to count noses. There were many missing.

At Field Front headquarters north of the Ia Drang, it was a day of situation analysis

Phase II: Destroying the enemy

On 11/09, the movement and shift in emphasis from west to east commenced in a diversionary tactic in preparation of the attack into the enemy’s formation in the Chupong-Iadrang complex.

On 11/10, 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade replaced 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.

According to intelligence daily report, Field Front headquarters, after evaluating the situation, had reached a decision. With American units seemingly withdrawing to the east of Pleime, the decision was to attempt to regain its early advantage with an attack. The target once again was the Pleime CIDG Camp. The division headquarters set the date for attack at 16 November, and issued orders to its three regiments.

The 32d Regiment, of course, remained a cohesive fighting force, despite the casualties sustained during the ambush of the ARVN Armored Task Force on the road to Pleime.

The 33d, as has been seen, suffered tremendous losses in its attack of and subsequent withdrawal from Pleime, but it still was to be committed again. With a view toward its future commitment, the 33d's cadre began reorganization of the depleted battalions into a composite fighting unit.

The real cutting edge for the attack, however, was the newly infiltrated 66th Regiment, fresh from North Vietnam and spoiling for a fight. It would be in the van of the three regimental effort against Pleime.

On 11/11, the three battalions of the 66th Regiment were strung along the north bank of the Ia Drang river;

the 32nd Regiment was also up north in the same area;

the 33rd Regiment maintained its positions in the vicinity of the Anta Village (VC appellation), east of the Chu Pong mountains.

Convinced that friendly forces had lost tracks of its units, VC Field Front quickly made a decision to regain its advantage with an attack. The target again was Pleime and the date of attack set at 16 November. The plan was known within the VC ranks as the second phase of the attack of Pleime. All the three regiments would be committed this time as well as a battalion of 120mm mortars and a battalion of 14.5mm twin-barrel anti-aircraft guns which were both en route down the infiltration trail and scheduled to arrive in time for the attack. According to the declaration of a surrendered political officer, the scheme of the new attack would have as primary objective the destruction of the camp.

On 11/12, according to intelligence daily report, Field Front units continued preparations and rehearsals for the scheduled attack on Pleime.

On 11/13, according to intelligence daily report, Field Front forces began staging in the Chu Pong-Ia Drang area in preparation for movement to Pleime and the projected 16 November attack. Some recon parties and transportation units already had moved out.

II Corps Command determined that it was the right moment to insert air cavalry unit to set up a blocking position in Chu Pong before the arrival of the two battalions of anti-aircraft and heavy mortar to prevent the helicopters transporting troops from being shot down by guns placed on hill sides and infantrymen from been decimated by mortar shells fired prior to assaults. The D-day would be the next day 11/14.

On 11/14, at noon, helicopters disgorged troops and artillery from the 1st Air Cavalry on the very doorsteps of the Chu Pong mountains. Instead of launching an attack on Pleime, field Front fount itself engaged in a struggle to defend its own base. The landing zone called L.Z. X-ray was about 25 km from the Camp of Pleime, at the eastern foot of the Chu Pong massif. The terrain was flat and consisted of scrub trees up to 100 feet high, thick elephant grass varying in height from one foot to five feet and ant hills throughout the area up to eight feet high with thick brush and elephant grass on and around them. Along the western edge of the LZ, the trees and grass were especially thick and extended off into the jungle on the foothills of the mountain.

After a 20-minute tube artillery preparation, and 30 seconds of aerial artillery fire, the landing of the 1/7 Cavalry battalion began. The battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Harold G. Moore, himself with the assault company - Company B - landed precisely at 1048 hours on 14 November 1965.

While the helicopters were shuttling back to Pleime to lift company A, the B company commander secured the landing zone by having one platoon dispatch its squads into different areas, 50 to 100 meters off the landing zone to reconnoiter. At approximately 1120 hours a prisoner was taken. He stated that he had eaten only bananas for five days and that there were three VC battalions on the mountain.

At 1210 hours, as sufficient elements of company A had landed, the LZ security mission was given to that company and company B ordered to search the lower portion of the mountain area with emphasis on the finger leading down towards X-ray.

Around 1245 hours, lead elements of company B began to engage in a fire fight of moderate intensity. Shortly afterwards, at approximately 1330 hours, the company commander reported that he was being attacked heavily by at least two companies of enemy and that his right platoon 2B1/7 was in danger of being surrounded and cut off from the rest of the company by a numerically superior force. The fire fight became intense. Also a few rounds of 60 and 81 mm mortar fire began falling in the LZ and on company B.

Shortly after the fire fight began, the last platoon of company A and lead elements of company C landed. Company A was then ordered to move up on the left of company B, to establish physical contact with it, to protect its left flank and to send one platoon up to assist company B in getting to the platoon which was in danger. Company C was ordered to take up a blocking position off the landing zone to the south and southwest to prevent the LZ from being overrun in that direction and to give protection to A company's left flank. Airstrikes and artillery fires were called in on the lower fringe of the mountains foothills and work over the mountain and enemy approaches to the LZ from the west and south. But there were no well-defined terrain features to help and the scrubs and trees all looked alike. The air was heavy with smoke and dust. The fact that the separated 2B1/7 platoon was forward of companies A and B delayed delivery of effective fires in support of these two companies. However, using the technique of "walking" fires down the mountain from the south and west, fires were placed where they gave some help to these two companies. Despite all its efforts, company B reinforced was only able to get to within 75 meters of the cut-off platoon and could get no further.

Concurrently, company A minus also made heavy contact with a large force of at least one enemy company which was driving in and along a dry creek bed parallel to the western edge of the LZ. A very heavy firefight immediately broke out. Company A was taking light casualties and extracting a heavy toll from the enemy. One platoon was in such a position that it was able to bring close-in flanking fire on 50-70 VC as they continued moving across their front.

Just as company A firefight broke out, the last elements of company C and the lead elements D landed. The C company commander directed his elements into position alongside his other elements which had landed previously within five minutes, a force of 175-200 enemy headed for the LZ and ran headlong into company C. They were held off and numerous of them killed in the process of trying to get to the landing zone. The action continued for approximately one hour and a half until the enemy, disorganized and decimated, pulled off under heavy friendly artillery and air fires, dragging many of his dead and wounded.

At 1500 hours, as the remainder of the tactical elements of the battalion finally landed, and the enemy fire had slacked off, due to companies C and D actions, the battalion commander could quickly give necessary orders for the repositioning of his troops. Afterwards, two attacks were launched to reach the surrounded 2B1/7 platoon. But they were met by a greatly superior enemy force which from concealed positions was trying to cut off the attacking forces into parts. By 1740 hours, Colonel Moore decided to pull back companies A and B under cover of heavy supporting fires to the fringe of the landing zone and set up a tight defensive perimeter for the night. The battalion was still in good communications with the surrounded platoon and it was ringed with close in artillery defensive fire. By 1800 hours, company B of the 2/7 battalion landed to reinforce the 1/7.

On 11/15, due to the heavy losses they had received in the afternoon, the enemy made only some light probes around the perimeter at night. As for the cut-off platoon, it received three separate attacks from the enemy but thanks to the protection by continued close-in artillery fires, when daylight broke, numerous enemy dead were seen around the platoon.

But as first light came, the enemy reappeared and simultaneously attacked from three directions: from the south, south west and south east. By 0730 hours, the enemy had moved almost to the perimeter foxholes despite taking severe losses from artillery, mortar and close air support. There was considerable hand fighting. At 0755 hours, all platoon positions were ordered to throw a colored smoke grenade to define visually for the air observers the periphery of the perimeter and all fire support brought in extremely close, because the enemy fire was so heavy that movements toward or within the sector of defense resulted in more friendly casualties. Some friendly artillery fire fell inside the perimeter itself and two cans of napalm were delivered in the battalion CP area.

At approximately 0910 hours, company A, 2/7 battalion landed to reinforce. By 1000 hours, the enemy attack was finally repelled, enemy corpses, body fragments, weapons and equipment were littered in profusion around the edge and forward of the perimeter. There was massive evidence of many other enemy dead and wounded being dragged away from the area.

The relief of the cut-off platoon took place in the afternoon and was conducted by the 2/5 battalion which had been sent by the 3rd Brigade and on foot from LZ Victor, had closed into LZ X-ray at 1205 hours. Little enemy resistance was encountered and the platoon was reached at 1510 hours. It still had ammunitions left, was in good morale and suffered only 8 KIA, 12 WIA.

In the afternoon on 15 November, the B52 stratofortresses had also taken part in the battle with 18 sorties of the Chu Pong massif.

On 11/16, the night was relatively quiet until 0400 hours when a force of 250-300 enemy attacked from the south east. Flareship illumination was called for and continuous until 0545 hours. The attack was beaten off by small arms and artillery fires. At 0432 hours, another attack by 200 enemies came in from the same direction but the artillery took a heavy toll. By 0500 hours, the weight of the enemy attack had shifted more to the southwest but repulsed half an hour later. At 0627 hours, another attack came directly toward the CP. At 0641 hours, the enemy had been beaten off and was dragging off bodies under fire.

A search and clear sweep was conducted at 0810 hours by all units on the perimeter. Enemy dead were lying throughout the area and numerous weapons were collected.

The entire battle had lasted continuous for 48 hours and the enemy had suffered at X-ray almost one third of their total losses throughout all three phases:

- KIA (body count): 834

- KIA (estimated): 1215

- CIA: 6

-Weapons captured: 141

- Weapons destroyed: 100

As for the 1/7 battalion, 79 troops were killed and 125 wounded.

The 1/7 battalion left LZ X-ray at 1040 hours on 16 November and was replaced by the 2/7th and 2/5th battalions.

During the day, the two 32nd and 33rd Regiment continued to be struck by B-52’s bombs at north west of LZ Xray in 20 sorties. One after the other, the areas of the Chu Pong massif - each of 20 square miles - underwent a systematic earthquake spreading from West to East. VC bunkers and trenches which so far had resisted the strikes by tactical aircraft and artillery began to score direct hits by the 750-pound bombs. The heavy canopy of the jungle ceased to be effective in both concealment and cover.

On 11/17, the two 2/5th and 2/7th Battalions were ordered to exit LZ Xray; 2/5th marching northwestward to LZ Columbus and 2/7th northward to LZ Albany. The displacement was also based on the estimate that the enemy had withdrawn in that direction. In the afternoon of the previous day, a friendly helicopter had been shot down over that area, the enemy movement could also aim at attacking the artillery position east of X-ray which had provided effective support to the 1/7 battalion during the last two days.

As soon as these two battalions reached the safety zone at a 3 kilometer radius, B-52s carpet bombed right at LZ Xray annihilating troops of 66th Regiment still lingering at the landing zone.

Meanwhile, 2/7th Battalion fell into a VC ambush conducted by a battalion-size enemy unit, when it almost came near its objective. But once again, the VC had offered themselves as targets for air-strikes and artillery fire: KIA (body count): 403; KIA (estimated): 100; Weapons captured: 112.

Intelligence report estimated the casualties caused by B-52’s bombs during the last three days were around 2,000 killed.

Phase III: ‘Finish’ Em’

The intelligence estimate on enemy capabilities, made on 17 November indicated that nearly 2/3 of their strength had been wiped off through the engagements in Phases I and II.

II Corps Command thought it was time to throw in the reserve in order to put an end to the battle which had lasted for about one month and decided to add a third phase to the operation. Besides suffering heavy losses, the enemy was compelled to fall into the trap set by friendly forces and canalized into the routes of withdrawal which we had foreseen.

This time the main effort was conducted by the ARVN Airborne Brigade whose mission consisted of destroying the fleeing VC units and all their installations around the Ia Drang valley. The 1st Air Cavalry Division which had thus far borne the burden of the attack would continue to exert a pressure from East to West and to provide artillery support for the Airborne Brigade.

The operation - dubbed "Thần Phong 7" - began in the afternoon, 18 November when the brigade was helilifted to the area of operations, immediately upon arrival in Pleiku.

On 11/18, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Airborne 1st Task Force Headquarters and its three Airborne 3rd, 5th and 6th Battalions were helilifted to landing zone (YA842090) on the northern part of Ia Drang River. Airborne 3rd Battalion and Airborne 6th Battalion immediately set out to sweep for the enemy westward in two different axes. While on the move, Airborne 3rd Battalion was tipped off by Special Forces Rangers teams that a battalion sized enemy forces belonging to NVA 32nd Regiment were shadowing it.

During the day, B-52’s continued to carpet bombing Chu Pong area.

On 11/19, around 11:00 a.m., Airborne 3rd Battalion received order to veer south toward an ambush site set up at (YA801081) by Airborne 6th Battalion.

During the day, B-52’s continued to carpet bombing Chu Pong area.

On 11/20, at 2:40 p.m., the enemy troops entered the very center of the ambush and was caught within the field of fire of Airborne 6th Battalion. The enemy suffered about 200 casualties in this engagement.

The same day, at 5:45 p.m., Airborne 8th Battalion was helilifted to location (YA822077), to prepare for the insertion of Airborne 2nd Task Force Headquarters along with Airborne 7th Battalion at 11:00 a.m.

During the day, B-52’s continued to carpet bombing Chu Pong area. In total during 5 days, from 11/16, B-52’s performed 96 sorties.

On 11/22, the units already present on the battlefields - Airborne 1st Task Force Headquarters, Airborne 3th Battalion, Airborne 5th Battalion, and Airborne 6th Battalion converged toward location (YA822077); by 1:50 p.m. on November 22, all units were reunited at this staging area. From here, the entire Airborne Brigade crossed to the south side of Ia Drang River and climbed up a mountain.

On 11/23, the entire Airborne Brigade reached its peak at (YA810060) around 11:15 a.m. They settled down for the night in preparation to ambush the enemy troops at the corridor that II Corps Command had predicted the enemy would utilize to withdraw back to Cambodia the next day.

On 11/24, early morning, Airborne 3rd Battalion was dispatched to the left to intercept the enemy troops. This battalion made contact with the enemy at 8:45 a.m.; Airborne 5th Battalion was sent to the right. This battalion made contact with enemy troops at 10:50 a.m. Airborne 7th Battalion and Airborne 8th Battalion were sent down the mountain and boxed them in against the Ia Drang River.

On 11/24, as no more contacts were made with the enemy, the Airborne Brigade withdrew from the area of operations, terminating the third phase of the Battle of Pleime with 265 VC killed (BC), 10 others and 58 weapons captured. Furthermore, in their sweep, Airborne 3rd Battalion and Airborne 6th Battalion had destroyed 3 training centers, one equipment cache and 75 houses.

Phieu


#340 08 Dec 11, 07:23

samtn99 : Altus, who do you have as 33 Rgt commander during the campaign? I've seen several POW reports that indicate it was a LTC Suc Bai or Bai Suc?

If you can show me one of the POW reports with the exact spelling of the name Ba Suc or Bai Suc, I might be able of help to you. I have inkling it could be a nickname. PAVN leaders often times was called by their nickname, such as Anh Ba (3rd Brother), Bác Tư (4th Uncle), Chị Năm (5th Sister), Ba Sẹo (Scar Face 3rd Brother), Ba Xạo (Liar 3rd Brother), etc...

Note: The nickname Ba Xạo could well fit somebody we all know well...

Meanwhile, I can bet you that Altus would be able to provide only sources taken from Nhà Xuất Bản Quân Đội Nhân Dân (People’s Army Printing House), which Pribblenow considers as hagiography and progaganda stuffs. He would not be able to produce official military documents still under wrapped by PAVN establishment, to which he has no access.

Knowing him, I can further bet you that he would prefer to feed you with the first type (hagiography) rather than the second type (classified), since he works for the ministry of propaganda.

Phieu


#341 08 Dec 11, 07:51

What can possibly be hagiographic in a commander's name?

To hide the truth that he's Chinese

chiangshan


#343 08 Dec 11, 08:34

中国。这怎么可能呢?

Max Alcibiades


#344 08 Dec 11, 10:40

Boonierat : Tin, is this book available somewhere in pdf?

No, not yet. But look what I had found on December 5, 2011: the Vietnamese version! Pleime, Trận Chiến Lịch Sử. I have created a pdf version of it and posted it on www.generalhieu.com.

In the near future, I will create a pdf version for Why Pleime and post it on my website too. I will let you know by then.

Phieu


#345 08 Dec 11, 10:42

altus: What can possibly be hagiographic in a commander's name?

Phieu


#346 08 Dec 11, 10:42

chiangshan : To hide the truth that he's Chinese

Reinforcement in support of Altus?

Phieu


#347 08 Dec 11, 10:45

Max Alcibiades : 中国。这怎么可能呢?

Max, I am waiting for your reaction to my last post in Dien Bien Phu, since 05 Dec 11, 21:33.

Btw, seems like Chinesefox is throwing smoke grenades to blind your vision over there.

Phieu


#348 08 Dec 11, 11:11

Side bar: Colonel Ha Vi Tung, B3 Chief of Staff

Senior Colonel Ha Vi Tung was Chief of Staff of the North Vietnamese Military Region IV in the Central Highlands. His area of operations began in Cambodia, cut across the midsection of South Vietnam, and ended at the South China Sea. A small man with deeply weathered features, Ha was a proven veteran of many battles with the French. His new task in 1965 was to drive his fresh division in a sustained advance through the Central Highlands with the ultimate objective of cutting South Vietnam in two.

From his sanctuary in the heavily forested Chu Pong Massif, just west of the Ia Drang Valley which straddled the Cambodian border, Colonel Ha meticulously planned the upcoming campaign. He cautioned his staff that an operation of this magnitude might oblige them to fight large American units for the first time. In fact, his plan centered on the destruction of a Special Forces camp at Plei Me, manned by a constabulary of 300 Jarai Montagnard tribesmen and 10 American advisors. Ha had two first-rate regiments available for the operation—one would seize the camp and the other ambush the column that the South Vietnamese would certainly dispatch to relieve the besieged garrison. Just in case his initial assault was not successful, Ha would also deploy a battalion of heavy antiaircraft machine guns along expected flight routes to protect his soldiers from marauding aircraft.

By 19 October 1965, Ha and his staff had moved within a few miles of the camp and established a radio link to the attacking regiments. That same evening his troops opened the battle by surrounding Plei Me and closing in for the kill.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Scales, Jr.
Firepower and Maneuver in the Second Indochina War
Firepower in Small Wars
The National Defense University Press, October 1986.

More reading: NVA Colonel Ha Vi Tung at Pleime-LZ Xray-LZ Albany

Phieu


#349 08 Dec 11, 11:26

Side bar: General Nguyen Huu An, 33rd Regiment Commander

strike out posting: technical error. See next post

Phieu


#350 08 Dec 11, 12:07

Side bar: General Nguyen Huu An, 33rd Regiment Commander

When the Americans settled down in An Khe 33rd Regiment (Following the battle Dak Sut, 101st Regiment went to B2 Front; 33rd Regiment recently infiltrated the South and took the name of 101B) was encircling Pleime camp in order to lure in the relief force of the ennemy.

Pleime was an isolated outpost manned by a company at a strategic location; at the nord was Route 19B with Duc Co at one end and the east side of Pleiku City; at the east was Route 14 from Pleiku down to the District of Phu Nhon leading to Ban Me Thuot.

Based on the terrain configuaration and the ennemy status at that moment, we anticipated with almost certainty the enemy would dispatch troops to relieve Pleime. In fact, it was only after a 10 day siege of Pleime that one ennemy relief task force entered our ambush site, and was heavily beaten by our 320th Regiment, and yet failed in relieving Pleime.

After the attack, 33rd Regiment retreated back to its base located at 20 kilometers to the west of Pleime.

The actions of 33rd and 320th at Pleime became a threat to Route 14. The enemy II Corps Command was unable to gather a force to relieve Pleime, forcing the American troops to intervene.

During those days, the sky over Central Highlands was filled with the sounds of bombs and guns relentlessly days and nights. The US 1st Air Cavalry was aggressively implementing its "search and destroy" strategy. They dropped one battalion in the south side of Iadrang, another one at the steps of high point 732, five kilometers from Ia Meur river, while one cavalry brigade operated to Duc Co along Route 19.

Brother Chu Huy Man, Commander, brother Dang Vu Hiep, Policial Commissar and I at the headquarters were making arragements to prepare for a second phase of action against a target near Pleime. Upon receiving news from all directions reporting that the Americans had inserted troops, we issued an order to delay the attack of Chu Ho.

Our B3 Command held an emergency meeting to assess the situation and set a new course of action. The consensus of the meeting was that US 3rd Air Cavalry applied the "frog leap" tactic into our rear bases in order to destroy our main force. We lure to destroy the ennemy, the Americans took the initiative to jump in, which fitted our intention, giving us to switch our action in destroying the Americans. We tried to lure the enemy to the southwest of Central Highlands in order to coordinate with the battlefront of Military Region 5 and with others battlefronts. The objective for this phase of operation was to destroy completely from one to two ARVN battalions and one to two US companies.

Our tactical concept (since we have not yet mastered the enemy activities): we must start fighting and destroy completely one small units, and shoot down many enemy airplanes. The troop distribution was configured in depth, if the enemy penetrate deep we would encircle and destroy them. We attack airborne as well as ground troops.

The atmosphere in the meeting as well as all units of B3 Front headquarters was filled with pride and confidence: we are going to engage directly with American troops on different battlegrounds; following a few battles, we will gain experiences, and defeat the US units like we had done with the ARVN units.

The learning of the news that the Americans were pooring their troops into the battlefield raised many concerns, in particular the question of "how to fight the Americans?" All the cadres in the Central Highlands focused on finding out "how to figth the Americans" and did not experienced any fear at all. That was why the simple directive of Commander Chu Huy Man: "Since we do not yet have any experience combatting the Americans, then our resolve is to learn while fighting. Just fight and we will find out" was accepted without objections by the entire ranks and files in the Central Highlands.

I remember vividly that historical meeting (11-13-1965). It was rapted up in two hours. The audience was effervescent with a bombardement of ideas. Toward the very last minutes, an idea was formulated: "just fight, when the enemy regroups, when he moves, when he piles up; we will gain more experiences with each new fight; everlasting discussion is a waste of time".

I and Dang Vu Hiep were assigned to the forward command post to command directly the 320th, 66th and 33rd (101B) into combat...

General Nguyen Huu An
Chien Truong Moi - Memoir
Quan Doi Nhan Dan Publishing House
Hanoi - 2002

More reading: First Engagement With American Troops at Pleime-Iadrang

Phieu


#351 08 Dec 11, 16:34

[censured]

chinesefox


#352 08 Dec 11, 16:39

Post edited fox...one more personal attack like this one and you're out of this forum.

Boonierat


#353 08 Dec 11, 16:54

Dear sir

claim other ID as a government spy(not even mention those words such as "a wolf in disguished as a sheep") is not conidered as " personal attack"?

or response to a veteran with you only stuck your nose in the jungle patrolling.....during your time in Vietnam, and did not pay attention to what's going on over your head., is it not conidered as " personal attack"?

chinesefox


#354 08 Dec 11, 17:17

H-15 Main Force Battalion

Can anyone shed some light on the VC H-15 Main Force Battalion?

It's mentioned in the MACV OB in '66, plus in "We Were Soldiers" and "Pleiku", but there isn't much else.

In particular, i'm trying to pin down the movement of the battalion throughout the Ia Drang during Oct-Nov 65.

I've seen what is in "Why Pleime" and the references above, but does anyone have anything else?

samtn99


#355 08 Dec 11, 18:02

Phieu : Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Scales, Jr.
irepower and Maneuver in the Second Indochina War
Firepower in Small Wars
The National Defense University Press, October 1986.

I see your ultimate source for this one is a book written by an American in 1986, in which the Battle of Ia Drang was a mere illustrating example for his "fire and maneuver" theme. And with which you built your fantasy "duel" narrative.

Next, you have provided

I and Dang Vu Hiep were assigned to the forward command post to command directly the 320th, 66th and 33rd (101B)

as an evidence that Nguyễn Hữu An was the 33rd's commander! Was any prescription involved?

altus


#356 08 Dec 11, 18:08

!!!

Phieu


#357 08 Dec 11, 19:10

As Altus stated: "quansuvn.net is wide opened to everybody and a lot of historians around the world have been flocked in to look for PAVN military history and documents. I have nothing to hide."

Today, I went back in that website to do some additional research on the 33rd Regiment Commander that Samtn99 is looking for the name and noticed that strangely the topics on Task Force Wiki E and General Nguyen Huu An's memoir had been removed from the forum. Am I mistaken? I would like somebody else to double check for me. Or should I go and ask Altus?

I had an inkling that this would happen very shortly, and had downloaded some interesting stuffs that Altus certainly would not want me and other ACG's members to know.

Phieu


#358 08 Dec 11, 19:49

Phieu: noticed that strangely the topics on Task Force Wiki E and General Nguyen Huu An's memoir had been removed from the forum. Am I mistaken?

The Wiki topic is there. AFAIK General An's memoir and a substantial number of other books have unfortunately been taken offline for about two years due to circumstances that I have no desire to discuss with you. But it is available online somewhere else, google it out, or order them from Vietnam.

So you on one hand denounce PAVN publications as "hagiography" and deride me using them as source, and on other hand you browse them yourself for information and you whine each time you have problem accessing them?

You hereby are asked to stop making insinuations toward our board. If you have anything toward me lay it out here.

altus


#359 08 Dec 11, 20:11

Where? I cannot find it. I am specifically talking about Đoàn công tác chiến trường E - Mặt trận Wiki. Would you help me out by providing a direct link from here? Thank you.

Btw, perhaps you care to launch a thread on "How Task Force of Battlefield E - Battlefront Wiki is operating" at this forum to educate us?

Phieu


#360 08 Dec 11, 20:14

Here.

That was a project aiming at enriching English Wikipedia with factual (not point of view) information from PAVN documents, like OOB, who commanded which unit, accounts on battles, casualties data, claims and so forth.

altus


#361 08 Dec 11, 20:20

How convenient! It has been reinstitued miraculously. Was I temporary in delusion? Maybe not.

Let me unmask your subterfuge:

First you spelt out clearly the link as

http://www.vnmilitaryhistory.net/ind...oard,29.0.html

Then you realized that I might notice that you had sent me to another website other than www.quansuvn.net (the reason of my where I cannot find it), instead of telling me the url address had been changed to wnmilitaryhistory.net, you changed the link format and jotted down

here with the url hidden (not realizing quansuvn is still alive)!

Phieu


#362 08 Dec 11, 20:28

Phieu : Was I temporary in delusion?

Must have been the effect of whatever you have been taking.

altus


#363 08 Dec 11, 20:36

The address www.quansuvn.net has been out of order for a long time now, so I could not possibly have provided you with a link to it. And embedded link displays the underlying url in full when you click on it, so I think you have clearly overdosed your paranoia pills.

Otherwise, frankly, Phieu, I don't know what's wrong with you.

altus


#364 08 Dec 11, 20:37

You have been reacting too hastily, Altus. I went back to and edited my post. (Have you forgotten you advised your TFWikiE members to wait for 24 hours before responding?)

My Initial post 19:20 where I said I might be in temporaty delusion

Your reaction post 19;28 where you have been sarcastic - "must have been the effect o whatever you have been taking".

My edited post 19:30 where I discovered and unveiled your scheme. - "you have clearly overdosed your paranoia pills".

Your reaction to my edited post 19:36 where you claimed quansuvn is out of order - not realizing and check it that it still can be accessed - "what's wrong with you?"

Like the Chinese say: "nỉ mần ngổ? ngổ mần pín cô a?" (you ask me? who should I ask then?)

Enough side track distractions, let's get back to our main topic. I hope other ACG members can see you through by now without any further intervention from me or the day you launch the thread that I have suggested to enlighten us all.

Until then, we better stick to our - temporarily breached - agreement: I said whatever ... you said whatever ...

Phieu


#365 09 Dec 11, 02:11

Side bar: General Swcharzkopf’s Reaction...
...to Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang Complex’s operational concept.

Just like he marveled before LTC Ngo Quang Truong’s uncanny operational concept in setting up the ambush in Than Phong 7 operation:

I'd never heard anything like this at West Point. I was thinking, "What's all this about eight o'clock and eleven o'clock? How can he schedule a battle that way? "

(General Schwarzkopf's Naïveté In the Ia Drang Battle)

He likely would marvel the same way before Colonel Hieu’s abnormal – out of the ordinary - operational concept in setting up the ambush in Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang Complex:

I'd never heard anything like this at West Point. I was thinking, “What’s all this about herding the scattered VC units of two regiments and stalking them until they regroup? How can he schedule a campaign that way?”

As a matter of fact, it's not an extraordinary operational concept as far as my brother is concerned at all:

Furthermore, he considered this Eagle-Darting-Down-From-The-Sky tactic to catch the prey was only effective if the prey was a slow-moving lamb, but became ineffective if the prey were quick-to-run-into-the-bushes Vietcong foxes. He learned through experiences that the tandem Infantry-Armor formula was more suitable to the Vietnam battlegrounds, and proved to be more effective in rounding up the ever evasive Vietcong foxes. That was why as soon as he took command of the 5th Division, according to the ARVN 5th Division's Senior Advisor, John Hayes, General Hieu immediately converted the Armor Cavalry Regiment from the role of "Palace Guards" into a fierce instrument of attack. Prior to bringing in General Hieu to the 5th Division, General Tri, a former paratrooper, used exclusively the "Plunging Eagles" tactic in rapidly discharging and picking up small teams of paratroopers, and was able to establish an impressive record of numerous but then small victories. Initially this tactic seemed successful, but was soon neutralized by those seasoned Vietcong foxes that would disperse and vanish into the bushes as soon as the helicopters appeared on the horizon. And so, General Tri tilted toward General Hieu's idea and switched tactics into using more often the "round up" tactic, using the tandem Infantry-Armor formula, especially in crossover border operations.

(A Competent General)

Aren't we witnessing a stroke of a military genius... no, rather two strokes of a military genius, since both were the doings of Colonel Hieu:

- the first one in herding two battalions in a narrow corridor of Ia Drang Valley through the proxy of the ARVN Airborne Brigade and

- the second one in herding three regiments in a vast Chupong-Iadrang complex area stretching from Pleime camp to Chupong massif through the proxy of US 1st Air Cavalry Division.

Phieu


#366 09 Dec 11, 11:19

samtn99 : Altus, who do you have as 33 Rgt commander during the campaign? I've seen several POW reports that indicate it was a LTC Suc Bai or Bai Suc?

Sam,

Do you trust somebody to provide you with a reliable source when he himself does not have a clue?

He asked his underling operatives: Does anybody have concrete information (book name, publishing house, author, with pages then it would be perfect) of this document? Any similar info for 8th Bn and 9th Bn and of other units in Plây Me campaign? Anybody has complete list of names of our commanders from battalion level up?

Then when confusing responses tickling in slowly, he exclaimed: Why the hell is info on personnel regarding this 66rd Regiment so confusing?

Phieu


#367 09 Dec 11, 11:28

Boonierat : Chiangshan that's mine anyway.

Bonnie,

Do you really trust Chiangshan as source when, asked by his boss to provide unit names participating in Ap Bac battle, responded: Regarding this Ap Bac battle we don’t have documents from our side. The majority of other battles are in the similar situation.

Phieu


#368 09 Dec 11, 11:47

1. Its Boonie not Bonnie

2. Stop with that nonsense, altus ain't no one's boss and TF Wiki should not be taken at face value. I've actually seen some of the entries they modified, they provide some good orbat details.

3. Chianghsan is the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to PAVN orbats, a subject very hard to study because of lack of info and/or unavailability of archives.

4. This is ACG, what happens over at Quansuvn is not our business.

Boonierat


#369 09 Dec 11, 12:04

Phieu,

Please present YOUR data/information.

Others may ask you questions or not about the information. Provide a response to the question and/or information.

We, the readers will absorb both sides of presentations. It is up to "us", not "you" to decide on a person's "character".

We want data and information, not what you think of them (the posters).

KEN JENSEN


#370 09 Dec 11, 12:05

Boonierat :

1. Its Boonie not Bonnie

2. Stop with that nonsense, altus ain't no one's boss and TF Wiki should not be taken at face value. I've actually seen some of the entries they modified, they provide some good orbat details.

3. Chianghsan is the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to PAVN orbats, a subject very hard to study because of lack of info and/or unavailability of archives.

4. This is ACG, what happens over at Quansuvn is not our business.

1. Pardon, mon chef Boonie!

2. Well, Chiangshan addresses to Altus Thủ Trưởng (Thủ means Head). I agree on concrete things like orbat, but I don't think so about other stuffs, when they subsituted the photo of General Hieu with the one of their famous physics professor and with the one of the NFL foreign minister, both had the name of Nguyen Van Hieu (without accents). Would you know the subsitution if you never saw General Hieu? Is that behavior acceptable to you? It's subtle propaganda and misinformation, Boonie ...

3. I agree, I have said so here at ACG forum at the outset. He and Altus were the most knowledgeable and reasonable I encountered at TTVNOL. I change my mine since then. A good example is the discussion over DBP forum on the existence of radar guided 37 mm AA guns at Dien Bien Phu

4. I wish you plunge deeply into quansuvn, in particular TF Wiki E, then you would not make such a statement, because what's happening over there has been overflowing into ACG. But then, I wonder if your Vietnamese is good enough for that crossborder expedition.

Phieu


#371 09 Dec 11, 12:19

Phieu: 2. Chiangshan addresses to someone Thủ Trưởng. I agree on concrete things like orbat, but I don't think so about other stuffs, when they subsituted the photo of General Hieu with the one of their famous physics professor and with the one of the NFL minister. It's subtle propaganda and misinformation, Boonie ...

I never said they were entirely partial either but at least they are making an effort, and don't believe in such nonsense as the battle of Nui Thanh.

Chiangshan's greatest contribution to ACG

Boonierat


#372 09 Dec 11, 12:19

KEN JENSEN: Phieu,

Please present YOUR data/information.

Others may ask you questions or not about the information. Provide a response to the question and/or information.

We, the readers will absorb both sides of presentations. It is up to "us", not "you" to decide on a person's "character".

We want data and information, not what you think of them (the posters).

Agree, but go tell it to your friend Altus.

Ken, you complain about the anti-war movement the like of Jane Fonda who embraced the VC while spitting on you. Well you have been going down that very same path ...

Phieu


#373 09 Dec 11, 12:31

Boonierat : I never said they were entirely partial either but at least they are making an effort, and don't believe in such nonsense as the battle of Nui Thanh.

Chiangshan's greatest contribution to ACG

When they subsituted the photo of General Hieu with the one of their famous physics professor and with the one of the NFL foreign minister, both had the name of Nguyen Van Hieu (without accents). Would you know the subsitution if you never saw General Hieu? You consider that behavior acceptable to you? and forget and forgive for showing efforts in other area?

Hurrah, Chiangshan. But then, don't discredit yourself by attacking me.

Boonie, in DBP Ordbat, did Chiangshan revealed to you the existence of radar controlled 37 mm AA guns at DBP or did he deny it?

Phieu


#374 09 Dec 11, 12:40

Phieu: Sam,

Do you trust somebody to provide you with a reliable source when he himself does not have a clue?

He asked his underling operatives: Does anybody have concrete information (book name, publishing house, author, with pages then it would be perfect) of this document? Any similar info for 8th Bn and 9th Bn and of other units in Plây Me campaign? Anybody has complete list of names of our commanders from battalion level up?

Then when confusing responses tickling in slowly, he exclaimed: Why the hell is info on personnel regarding this 66rd Regiment so confusing?

Phieu, a lot of information in this thread and on any war in general is full of discrepancies, so I will accept help from anyone who has information they can provide. Obviously the better sourced the information is, the better for all of us. In my case, I am trying to find multiple sources of the same information in order to put together a better picture. WE ALL HAVE BIASES, but I think we owe it to the honor of the men and women from all sides of this conflict to fight through the bias. This SHOULD be a much easier fight than those that lived through the experience of this campaign.

That all said, you posted B3 Front’s OB, which listed Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An as the commander of the 33rd Regiment AND the commander of the B3 Front Forward Command Post. Was dual-hatting like this common for the PAVN?

(Sidebar) I find the designation as “Commander” of a Forward Command Post strange. Would it have been normal for PAVN units to designate an individual as a “Commander” of a Command Post? This is not typically a “role” in the US context, but maybe in PAVN?

The logic of Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An being “dual-hatted” as Commander of the 33rd AND the commander of a Front Forward Command Post escapes me. The 33rd suffered heavy losses during the feint against Plei Me, and therefore the commander would likely be too involved in rebuilding his unit and taking care of all the myriad of details necessary to put the unit back together. By your own postings from an interrogation report the casualty rate was on the order of 40%. Combine this with the fact most other interrogation reports point to extensive sickness rates and the 33rd was in very rough shape. Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An would not have been the man to put this responsibility on at this time.

To support the idea that Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu was dual hatted, it is possible that the commander of the 33rd Regiment had been wounded, killed or otherwise incapacitated, and the B3 Front assigned him as temporary commander to provide stability to the unit as it rebuilds.

However, there is no such reporting about the 33rd Regiment commander.

(EDITED: I personally have not seen any such reporting to indicated this)

Additionally, interrogation reports indicate the commander was Bui Suc (or Vu Sac, or some other transliteration, forgive my lack of understanding of dialectics). Obviously interrogation reports must be carefully looked at and vetted so some caution is required. Likewise, I’ve seen little to no reporting on LTC Huu An, which likely indicates he was a subordinate officer of the B3 Front and little known to the Soldiers at the lower levels. (Most Soldiers can tell you who their Regiment Commander is; few can tell you the name of the deputy officers on a staff 4-5 echelons above their own).

Logic alone should cause one to at least challenge the dual listing for Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu, and to at least question it. It is possible he was indeed dual-hatted, however looping back to the original post to prove a point doesn’t help.

samtn99


#375 09 Dec 11, 13:01

Phieu: Agree, but go tell it to your friend Altus.

Ken, you complain about the anti-war movement the like of Jane Fonda who embraced the VC while spitting on you. Well you have been going down that very same path ...

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is not member of this forum.

I've never said anything about anyone ever spitting on me. If they would have, they would have been beaten to a pulp; maybe even dead.

KEN JENSEN


#376 09 Dec 11, 14:45

samtn99: Phieu, a lot of information in this thread and on any war in general is full of discrepancies, so I will accept help from anyone who has information they can provide. Obviously the better sourced the information is, the better for all of us. In my case, I am trying to find multiple sources of the same information in order to put together a better picture. WE ALL HAVE BIASES, but I think we owe it to the honor of the men and women from all sides of this conflict to fight through the bias. This SHOULD be a much easier fight than those that lived through the experience of this campaign.

Agree. I am trying to do the same. My B3 ORBAT is a combination of all the sources, not from Why Pleime as you had thought. That’s why I took the pain to translate all PAVN documents that I could have my hands on even the hagiographic ones (do I have a choice at this moment in time? No. Even Altus does not have cleareance for classified documents). Furthermore, he admitted that he did not have a clue either. Why bother to ask him then? I short-cut my quote. Let me backpedal with a fuller narration:

macpubda: according to general Dang Vu Hiep: 7th Bn Cmdr was Pham Cong Cuu, 8th Bn Cmdr Le Xuan Phoi, 9th Bn Cmdr: Nguyen Van Dinh, 66th Regiment Political Commissar La Ngoc Chau. According to “Lich Su Su Doan 304” vol 2: 9th Bn Cmdr Lien, 7th Bn Cmdr Nguyen Van Dinh, not Pham Cong Cuu. Furthermore 8th Bn political officer Nguyen Van Tuong. When 8th Bn Cmdr was wounded and dead, 8th Bn/66 Rgt and 1st Bn/33 Rgt fought under 1st Bn/33th Rgt Dpt Cmdr Luan. Therefore still unclear: who was 7th Bn Cmdr and 9th Bn Cmdr of 66th Rgt, due to discrepancies btw two documents. But then Dang Vu Hiep said on 11/27/65 for 66th Rgt: Political Commissar La Ngoc Chau, Acting Cmdr Le Tien Hoa, Deputy Political Commissar Nguyen Van Lanh, Deputy Cmdr Pham Cong Cuu, Chief Political Sector Nguyen Ba Hung and Chief of Staff Vu Bao

That was when Altus sighted : What the hell about this confusion...

That all said, you posted B3 Front’s OB, which listed Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An as the commander of the 33rd Regiment AND the commander of the B3 Front Forward Command Post. Was dual-hatting like this common for the PAVN?

I don’t know. You should ask Altus and you can trust his response in this neutral area.

(Sidebar) I find the designation as “Commander” of a Forward Command Post strange. Would it have been normal for PAVN units to designate an individual as a “Commander” of a Command Post? This is not typically a “role” in the US context, but maybe in PAVN?

What do you call the function of General Knowles as Head of the 1st Air Cav Forward CP? I call it Forward CP Commander. Am I out of the general practice?

I noticed that when I call LTC Truong Airborne Brigade Commander, I caused confusion because Boonie (I am making sure here it is not Bonnie!) thought that Truong was really Airborne Brigade Commander who was General Du Quoc Dong. I should have said Field Commander for the Than Phong 7 operation. He was “dual-hatted” as Chief of Staff and Field Commander of Airborne Brigade.

The logic of Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An being “dual-hatted” as Commander of the 33rd AND the commander of a Front Forward Command Post escapes me. The 33rd suffered heavy losses during the feint against Plei Me, and therefore the commander would likely be too involved in rebuilding his unit and taking care of all the myriad of details necessary to put the unit back together. By your own postings from an interrogation report the casualty rate was on the order of 40%. Combine this with the fact most other interrogation reports point to extensive sickness rates and the 33rd was in very rough shape. Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An would not have been the man to put this responsibility on at this time.

I don’t know, but can only speculate that such was General Chu Huy Man’s leadership style, considering the following:

On the day that concluded the political indoctrination session, Chu Huy Man held the two sets of papers and said: "These are your lists of self-examination. Keep the positive ones in order to enhance long lasting combat activities, and here are the reports of shortcomings, I had read and saw that you had self-criticized dutifully your political responsibility before the Party. I declare that these reports on shortcomings should be burned." Waiting for the last papers to be burned into ashes, comrade Front's Political Commissar invited the political chiefs of 33rd, 66th and 320th regiments to advance and he presented to each comrade a piece of string to tie American prisoners under the clamoring applause that resonated the entire jungle. With all that tranquility, the entire Front stepped into a new episode of combat.

(The Political Commissar at the First Battle Against the Americans in Central Highlands)

Furthermore, the losses suffered by the 33rd Regiment was not An’s fault. It was because he faced a shrewder opponent in Colonel Hieu.

To support the idea that Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu was dual hatted, it is possible that the commander of the 33rd Regiment had been wounded, killed or otherwise incapacitated, and the B3 Front assigned him as temporary commander to provide stability to the unit as it rebuilds.

However, there is no such reporting about the 33rd Regiment commander.

Additionally, interrogation reports indicate the commander was Bui Suc (or Vu Sac, or some other transliteration, forgive my lack of understanding of dialectics). Obviously interrogation reports must be carefully looked at and vetted so some caution is required. Likewise, I’ve seen little to no reporting on LTC Huu An, which likely indicates he was a subordinate officer of the B3 Front and little known to the Soldiers at the lower levels. (Most Soldiers can tell you who their Regiment Commander is; few can tell you the name of the deputy officers on a staff 4-5 echelons above their own).

Note that at the beginning of my extract, An talked about the 33rd Regiment activities in the first phase of the campaign. I tried to have the pages prior to that beginning page that might shed a light on who was its commander, but unfortunately An’s memoir had been removed from the website. You can ask Altus about this. I assumed An was narrating as its commander.

Now about the second phase:

I and Dang Vu Hiep were assigned to the forward command post to command directly the 320th, 66th and 33rd (101B) into combat. The personnel in the light forward command post comprised a recon company, an engineer company, a signal squad and a few general staff officers... totaling over thirty men. In the morning of November 14, we advanced toward Chu Pong massif. On the trails lied many muddy spots, a result of a pouring rain that occured a couple of days ago.

(General Nguyen Huu An's Memoir)

If you don’t like the word Forward Command Post Commander then you can substitute with another word more suitable such as, FCP Head… I don’t know how PAVN call it. But the fact is that he acted as he commanded the forward division headquarters.

Phieu


#377 09 Dec 11, 18:19

Phieu: when they substituted the photo of General Hieu with the one of their famous physics professor and with the one of the NFL foreign minister both had the name of Nguyen Van Hieu (without accents). Would you know the substitution if you never saw General Hieu? Is that behavior acceptable to you? It's subtle propaganda and misinformation, Boonie ...

I don't know what you're talking about. Why do you think I or chiangshan messed with the photos of your brother on wikipedia?

altus


#378 09 Dec 11, 21:00

I should have not to answer to you as we agreed to, I say whatever and you say whatever. But I take an exception to this particular case.

First of all the fact of substitution of photos is real. I had to fight back and forth; put it back and it was subsituted again; put it back on and it was subsituted again; at least five times.

I believe you when you said you did not do it and if you knew in advance you would stop your underlings to attempt that dirty and too blatant subterfuge, as you have done several times; not because it is undecent, but because it is not subtle and would backfire. You are too sleek for that raw tactic.

You understand well how wikipedia functions, for you have tried to delete "chó" in Hồ Chí Minh several times, due to the action of your "enemies", right?

The substitution in my case happened in Wiki Viet, not in Wiki English and Wiki French. Therefore, who ever is the thủ trưởng for that battlefront in qsvn is responsible for it. That what "they" means, I didn't say it was you or chiangshan. Not only they messed up with the photo, but the text, to the point Vietnamese readers believed it originated from the PAVN military history department! I am sure you can identify the culprits by going in the discussion and view history section.

It 's hard to believe you are not aware of the actions of TF Wiki V battlefront ... Are you that compartimentilized? I noticed that the two TFs are in tight collaboration...

That said, let me go back to Ia Drang.

Phieu


#379 09 Dec 11, 22:23

I and Altus never waste my time to mess with an almost nameless person. So stop this nonsense, except you are stupid enough to believe Altus is command a real "task force".

chiangshan


#380 09 Dec 11, 22:53

By the way, I don't quite understand what you try to say in English. Phieu


#381 10 Dec 11, 03:53

KEN JENSEN : Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is not member of this forum.

I've never said anything about anyone ever spitting on me. If they would have, they would have been beaten to a pulp; maybe even dead.

By "you" I did not mean "you Ken" but "you Viet vets" being shamed by the general American society when you came back from Vietnam War, instead of welcoming you guys in the meanwhile embracing the VC. Have any of them been beaten to a pulp; maybe even dead by you, Ken?

The same way, you kiss Altus and spit on me; you embrace Altus and chase me away; you adore Altus and hate me; words from Altus's mouth is golden truth and mine is s**** lie to you...

Like the American public succumbed to Americong's propaganda, you succumbed to Altus's charm and silver tongue ... (Should I coin the word Acgcong?)

Phieu


#382 10 Dec 11, 04:36

The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive operational concept

The Intelligence Factor.

In order to execute the operational concept as planned the pre-requisite of its success was the capability of knowing exactly the precise moment and the location when the three regiments close in, not before and not after, in order to become suitable targets for B52 strikes.

Colonel Hieu had that capability. He could pinpoint the movements of the three regimental headquarters on their convergence paths to Chupong-Iadrang complex, when they were on the move and when they paused, oftentimes he even knew what their cadres were doing: meeting to resolve the spies case, counting the noses, assessing the losses, planning sessions for a second attack, reorganizing combat units, training and rehearsals, setting attack D-day, attack readiness status, assembling location, staging location, dispersing time.

He had at his disposition different intelligence sources: Eagle Flights and Airbone Rangers recon teams, prisoners/ralliers/deserters’confessions and testimonies, radio intercepts. Plus radar and infra-red reports from aerial surveillance and target acquisition platoon and Radio Research Unit from 1st Air Cavalry. Among those intelligence sources radio intercepts of communication between Chinese Advisors at regimental and divisional levels was the main key to on real time intelligence knowledge. He only knew what the Chinese Advisor discussed in their communications, and they discussed a lot, almost everything... When they stopped talking, he had to rely on other less on real time intelligence reports from other sources.

When asked by 1st Air Cav Intelligence folks how G2/ II Corps was able to get intelligence so precise to the point the enemy suspect internal spies, the response was “we have special agents”.

Those unintentional “special agents” were none other than the Chinese Advisors who discussed freely and openly among themselves on everything: logistics, locations, troop morale, cadres’ intentions and plans, order of battle, etc.

Montgomery was constantly defeated by the foxy Rommel until the day his intelligence succeeded in cracking the German code and defeated the mighty Rommel in the Sahara desert because he was able to intercept and decipher radio communication from German’s units.

It's a strike of sheer luck that Colonel Hieu was able to acquire such solid intelligence in the execution of his operational concept. Without that is was certainly doomed to failure. Ergo, it is quasi impossible to duplicate this feat: herding three regiments into one location and destroying them with B52 strikes.

Phieu


#383 10 Dec 11, 05:01

Boonierat : 3. Chianghsan is the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to PAVN orbats, a subject very hard to study because of lack of info and/or unavailability of archives.

For somebody who knows Vietnamese, he/she can also gain the same status as Chiangshan in term of knowleged based on access to info divulged by Nhà Xuất Bản Quân Đội Nhân Dân. Furthermore, most of the time, he relied more on foreign country source documents, as he had stated.

Like every PAVN military history researcher, Chiangshang does not have access to classified documents.

Again, did he provide you with a DBP orbat wherein the existence of 40 radar controlled 37mm AA guns was indicated? How could he since even to this day Vo Nguyen Giap still put a lid onto it... So when the most knowledge in PAVN historian professes "what a nonsense ...", people who believe blindly in him goggle it as THE undisputable truth...

Phieu


#384 10 Dec 11, 06:09

Phieu : By "you" I did not mean "you Ken" but "you Viet vets" being shamed by the general American society when you came back from Vietnam War, instead of welcoming you guys in the meanwhile embracing the VC.

In our Country, only a comparatively few (out of millions) displayed disdain to us Military folks. These same few had, within their group, folks that did "embrace" the VC.

Like Boonie says "It don't mean nothing, take two salt tables and move on".

Have any of them been beaten to a pulp; maybe even dead by you, Ken?

Naaaah; had a few run away from me though, when they seen my anger. My disabled leg kept me from catching them.

The same way, you kiss Altus and spit on me; you embrace Altus and chase me away; you adore Altus and hate me; words from Altus's mouth is golden truth and mine is s**** lie to you...

Now that "stuff" is uncalled for!

At times I have pointed out the error of your statements; this is not saying you are lying; nor do I hate you. But the above has nothing to do with your subject matter. It's about your fellow members.

That is the problem you are having.

As for Atlus; he can be a "pain in the butt", at times, and I also point out his erroneous posts on subject matter I'm interested in. But I don't think he is lying, he is just "brain washed" and doesn't know any better. However there are times he is "right on the money" with his facts.

If you think I'm chasing you away, you haven't seen me in action yet. Actually I have been rather nice to you. Have had to "scold" you a little for making statements similar to the above. When will you learn?

How's the saying go, "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with .....". heeheehee, Altus is my Buddy;

KEN JENSEN


#385 10 Dec 11, 08:21

Phieu


#386 10 Dec 11, 08:55

Intelligence and Operational Planning in the Pleiku Campaign

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I’ve drawn several conclusions. The first of these I would like to expand upon is the operational scope and plan. Admittedly, I don’t have Why Plei Me? on hand, and perhaps Vinh Loc paints a rosier picture of his own foresight, but the American sources that I’ve been reading (including Pleiku) make it clear that ARVN II Corps did not intend to utilize the Air Cavalry Division for anything other than security for Pleiku. He did not want to release the 22nd Ranger Battalion from Pleiku despite the urging of Mataxis. It finally took a visit from General Larsen and his promise of American security of Pleiku to allow the release of a sufficient number of troops to be added the relief force moving towards Plei Me. The only force available, of course, being the Air Cavalry Division. [1]

Eventually, Kinnard actually exceeded his orders from Larsen to a degree, as did Knowles his orders from Kinnard. The original request was only for a single battalion, to which Kinnard promptly began readying all of 1st Brigade for movement west. Knowles’ orders read that he could only assist if called upon explicitly. He chafed under the restrictions and had Kinnard lobby until he got Larsen to amend the orders to read “seek permission if time and communications permit“. [2]

After the 32nd’s inability to destroy the relief column or the 33rd's to overrun the besieged camp after allied reinforcement and added support to both, their subsequent disengagement and withdrawal west whet Kinnard’s appetite. When he met with Larsen and Westmoreland at 1st Brigade Forward CP, he stressed the need for taking the offensive. Westmoreland told Larsen to “Give Kinnard his head”, after which the Air Cav was given it’s nearly 2,500 square kilometer AO. The Air Cav was also no longer subordinate or acting in support of the ARVN, their AO being independent. At this point, the AAR and all other sources I can find make it clear that the mission was to “seek out and destroy”. Blocking forces are only mentioned in a localized sense, i.e. the unit has developed significant contact. Moreover, significant contact did not develop until LZ X-RAY, so if the intelligence was so faultless, why did it take the span of time from 27 October until 14 November to encounter a large enemy contingent? [3]

The next point I want to discuss is that of intelligence. Pages back, I took note of a comment that mentioned Wick Tourison. I grabbed a paperback copy of Talking With Victor Charlie: An Interrogator’s Story. I haven’t read it cover to cover as of yet, but I searched it looking for related information, and his contributions to the Pleiku campaign are invaluable. He interrogated the prisoner that identified his unit as the 33rd [4], and translated a map that the Air Cav couldn’t make sense of, leading directly to the intelligence that resulted in the capture of the hospital. [5]

He also related a particular experience with a Cav officer, indicating how much they valued interrogations:

“As it turned out, the MI detachment had already questioned him for tactical information. His documents indicated he was the real thing, so they were not questioning his credentials. As a signal officer he knew one thing, the telephone line layout of the regiment before and during its attack on Plei Me, and he was able to describe how the PAVN forces were deployed. From my perspective that was a bonanza.

After returning to the pod at Pleiku and talking with a higher ranking officer at the First Cav about the information from the platoon commander, I was shocked at the officer’s attitude toward tactical intelligence, which was then typical of the Cav’s attitude toward information from prisoner and rallier interrogations. Perhaps it was because the Cav had arrived in Vietnam barely two months earlier and was so impressed with its lightning-fast, heliborne assaults, that it had yet to really understand the importance of tactical intelligence. His answer was curt.

‘It really doesn’t matter if he’s lying or not. You can give us all the targets you want. Don’t tell us you know where the VC are, we can see them all the time from our choppers and there are more down there that we can see and can’t handle, without more targets we might not be able to see. Besides, if he’s telling the truth we’re just that much ahead.’ “ [6]

Notes

1. Coleman, J. D. Pleiku: The Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam. 1st ed. St Martins Pr, 1988. P. 76; Operations Report - Lessons Learned, 3-66 - The PLEIKU Campaign, 4 May 1966, p. 10.

2. Pleiku, pp. 80-82.

3. Ibid., pp. 91-93.; ORLL, p. 20.

4. Sedgwick Tourison Jr, Talking with Victor Charlie: An Interrogator’s Story, 1st ed. (Ballantine Books, 1990). P. 94.

5. Ibid., pp. 99-101.

6. Ibid. p. 102.

Lucky 6


#387 10 Dec 11, 10:29

samtn99 : The logic of Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An being “dual-hatted” as Commander of the 33rd AND the commander of a Front Forward Command Post escapes me. The 33rd suffered heavy losses during the feint against Plei Me, and therefore the commander would likely be too involved in rebuilding his unit and taking care of all the myriad of details necessary to put the unit back together. By your own postings from an interrogation report the casualty rate was on the order of 40%. Combine this with the fact most other interrogation reports point to extensive sickness rates and the 33rd was in very rough shape. Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hữu An would not have been the man to put this responsibility on at this time.

Here is my take on why PAVN public relation department wants to hide the fact Nguyen Huu An was the 33rd Commander during the first phase of the Plâyme campaign in which his regiment was severely beaten at the Pleime camp site. To save his face before he was produced to meet with General Hal Moore's delegation on a fact finding mission back to LZ X-Ray.

Now, that's only a wild shot guess. Don't take me too seriously on this.

Phieu


#388 10 Dec 11, 10:34

Lucky 6 : I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I’ve drawn several conclusions. The first of these I would like to expand upon is the operational scope and plan. Admittedly, I don’t have Why Plei Me? on hand, and perhaps Vinh Loc paints a rosier picture of his own foresight (...)

1. Coleman, J. D. Pleiku: The Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam. 1st ed. St Martins Pr, 1988. P. 76; Operations Report - Lessons Learned, 3-66 - The PLEIKU Campaign, 4 May 1966, p. 10.

2. Pleiku, pp. 80-82.

3. Ibid., pp. 91-93.; ORLL, p. 20.

4. Sedgwick Tourison Jr, Talking with Victor Charlie: An Interrogator’s Story, 1st ed. (Ballantine Books, 1990). P. 94.

5. Ibid., pp. 99-101.

6. Ibid. p. 102.1.

I have fully established that Coleman 1966 (Kinnard, Knowles) and Coleman 1988 (Knowles) did not have a clue on what's going on; ergo, all the holes patched by Why Pleime's inputs. General Knowles could have well known what's was going on since he worked closely with Colonel Hieu, but for some unexplained reasons, had decided to keep his mouth shut, as I have pointed it out.

2. Have I not mentioned already about all the points you raise now?

3. I urge you to read it. It's available on www.generalhieu.com. (Soon, a pdf version will be available on the website too)

4. General Vinh Loc wrote in the Forewords of Why Pleime:

I thought that I would not write anything else, but a full report, to submit to the Joint Operations Center and to publish some experiences gained through these big fightings to the 22nd, 23rd, 24th Tactical Zones under my command, in order to minimize the sacrifices of our soldiers.

I have decided not to say anything else because in accordance with military traditions, "We should not be discouraged when we fail and haughty when we succeed".

But early this year, a delegation of ROK Generals headed by General Lee Hyun Chin and afterwards, the ROK Deputy Secretary of Defense - General Chang Chang Kuk - together with some Commanding Generals in the ROK Armed Forces, came to Viet Nam in April 1966 in order to study the battles at Pleime and eagerly asked for documents. Then a delegation of 11 Generals of the Republic of China headed by General Lo Yu Lun, Operations, also came for the same purpose.

Besides, there were the US Congressmen as well as Military Commanders calling on II Corps Headquarters in order to know more about the details of the battle at Pleime and to visit Pleime. Such concern proved that the collection of these war documents was not only desirable for any military commanders and personnel but also a chance to satisfy and glorify the memory of the heroes who valiantly died at Pleime and Chu-Pong.

All the Army units committed in this historic battle have done their best to serve their Fatherland.

We are proud of them and sincerely think that nothing could be worth as rewards and decorations to those who accepted the Pleime battle in the deplorable situation of the Highlands during the 1965 rainy season.

These pages are written with the purpose of honoring the exploits of the heroes from the Armor, Ranger, Infantry, Airborne, Air Force, Special Forces and SF Ranger units and especially of those who survive but still suffer of their wounds.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_foreword-2.htm)

Phieu


#389 10 Dec 11, 11:44

Phieu: Here is my take on why PAVN public relation department wants to hide the fact Nguyen Huu An was the 33rd Commander during the first phase of the Plâyme campaign in which his regiment was severely beaten at the Pleime camp site. To save his face before he was produced to meet with General Hal Moore's delegation on a fact finding mission back to LZ X-Ray.

Now, that's only a wild shot guess. Don't take me too seriously on this.<

Sounds plausible, saving face is very important to Vietnamese culture, yes, especially so for military hero's?

I think the 33rd performed well in it's role as the "lure" in the period 19-26 October. 33rd had a tough mission and took a pounding, but still fought to the best of its ability against a tough enemy.

samtn99


#390 10 Dec 11, 11:58

Any SIGINTers from this general time frame following this thread?

Samtn99


#391 10 Dec 11, 14:42

Yes, I am monitoring the freq. Why do you ask?

RadioResearcher


#392 10 Dec 11, 17:47

Phieu,

School is open again, you may find it interesting.

I want to point you to a post I just made. Part of the reason I posted the way I did was for you, and yes, even others I have dealt with before you, who put so much validity and justification of what appears to be "Official Data". It involves Map Coords and Unit Journal Logs.

Please note the the difference between the Logs in regard to "Item" numbers; and my comments associated with them.

Here is the LINK to the posting...

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...5&postcount=67

P.S. a couple of "the others" were, believe it or not, OUR friend Atlus and a fine member you have not yet had the privilege to meet (ChippyMick, an Aussie); heeheehee, at times he was more of a difficult case than Altus. LOL

Keep up whatever you are doing. Many are enjoying it and gaining information. Just stay off attacks on our members.

KEN JENSEN


#393 10 Dec 11, 21:14

RadioResearcher : Yes, I am monitoring the freq. Why do you ask?

Hi RR,

Per the 1st Cav Div AAR for the campaign, each brigade of the division would have had a team from the 10th Radio Research unit in direct support, with the 10th at the Division level. What would have been the reporting chain for these elements? Would the brigade teams report directly to the brigade commander, or would it route through the 10th at division? Would the information they obtained be released to II Corps?

Was Hong Cong Mountain operational in Oct/Nov 65? If operational, what would be the process of passing information to II SV Corps?

samtn99


#394 11 Dec 11, 00:13

samtn99 : Sounds plausible, saving face is very important to Vietnamese culture, yes, especially so for military hero's?

I think the 33rd performed well in its role as the "lure" in the period 19-26 October. 33rd had a tough mission and took a pounding, but still fought to the best of its ability against a tough enemy.

The "tough enemy" here were the US Air Force airplanes who did most of the damages to the 33rd around the camp. All credit should be rendered to those valiant pilots.

BTW, General Vinh Loc did not fail to appreciate the contributions of the American soldiers who had participated in the Pleime campaign. If he could, he would have named each and every person :

In the second phase of the battle, there was the participation of the most modern and unique type unit of the US Army: the 1st Air Cavalry Division.

It's delightful for me to have the chance to fight side by side throughout the battle with one of the smartest generals in the US Army: Major General Harry Kinnard, Commanding the 1st US Air Cavalry Division.

I sincerely call on:

- The Commander of the Armor-Infantry Task Force,

- The 21st, 22nd Ranger Battalions and 1/42 Infantry Battalion Commanders,

- The Airborne Battalion Commanders in the General Reserve,

- The Battalion Commanders in the Vietnamese Marine Alpha Task Force,

- The Brigade Commanders of the 1st US Air Cavalry Division,

- The Artillery Battalion Commanders,

- The Air Force and Army pilots.

- The Air Force Observation Officers,

- The Special Forces and SF Ranger Officers.

If they have details or documents related to the commitment of their units, they should send them to II Corps TOC so that they could be added to this book to make it become a complete historic document, because it is the result of the hardships and sacrifices endured by the valiant and zealous soldiers serving in the remote Highlands.

and

I should like to take advantage of this opportunity to cite the outstanding achievement of the C130's Squadron of the 7th US Air Force which, within only a few hours had airlifted:

- The Airborne Brigade Headquarters,

- The Airborne 1st and 2nd Task Forces Headquarters,

- Five Airborne battalions: the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th

from different distant places, such as Saigon, Bien Hoa, Vung Tau and Phu Yen to Pleiku. It was thanks to their contribution that the operation had been able to commence exactly as scheduled.

And certainly not Colonel Hieu, as he did after the battle of Snoul in May 1971. The last thing he did before he was unjustifiably and unfairly removed from 5th ID command was to make sure General Cao Van Vien, Chairman of Joint General Staff sign the CITATION of US 3rd Squadron/17th Air Cavalry :

DIVISIONAL LEVEL CITATIONS 1. MIHALIK, DOUGLAS CPT 3rd SQUADRON, 17TH AIR CAVALRY
2. REAMY, KEITH T. WO1 "
3. FORD, JIMMIE S. MAJ "
4. MARTIN, JAMES F. CPT "
5. SHIELDS, ROGER D. CPT "
6. LONG, MICHAEL E. WO1 "
7. SIMMONS, WILLIAM T. CPT "
8. SACCO, JAMES A. WO1 "
9. RENSCHEN, PAUL S. CPT "
10. PETERSON, PAUL CPT "
11. JONES, ROBERT C. WO1 "
12. LEE, EDWARD F. WO1 "
13. PEARSON, BILLY H. CPT "
14. HUMPHREY, BENJAMIN CPT "
15. MILES, PAUL F. WO1 "
16. JOHNSON, GEORGE R. 1LT "
17. DODD, BRUCE P. WO1 "
18. MC CANN, WESELY F. WO1 "
19. TOBIN, GARY M. CPT "
20. BARTLETT, STEVEN R. CW2 "

Brave American pilots of 3rd Squadron 17th Air Cavalry, with excellent combat experiences, distinguished themselves in supporting ARVN units in SNOUL THEATER (CAMBODIA). They have supported effectively the 8th Regiment, which were attacking the enemy units. Despite the heavy hostile anti-aircraft fire, the above servicemen attacked the enemy targets, causing heavy casualties to the enemy. Therefore, they have contributed great efforts to the victorious results of the 5th Infantry Division.

more ... www.generalhieu.com/medals_to_americans-genHieu.htm

Thing that he could not even accomplish for his own troops. He told Captain Thuong, 1/8th Bn Cmdr:

"General Minh is leading the troops to defend our country, and his prestige needs to be upheld. If you care for the sake of our country, you then would understand the reason why we must let bygones be bygones, and forgive a few mistakes the General committed in the battle of Snoul. To err is human. I Only regret not having the authority to honor all my fellow combatants of the Snoul battle".

(www.generalhieu.com/snoulthuong-2.htm)

By the way,

ME - Phieu/Tin - NEITHER while I am laboring in this forum...

Phieu


#395 11 Dec 11, 01:47

samtn99 : Per the 1st Cav Div AAR for the campaign, each brigade of the division would have had a team from the 10th Radio Research unit in direct support, with the 10th at the Division level. What would have been the reporting chain for these elements? Would the brigade teams report directly to the brigade commander, or would it route through the 10th at division? Would the information they obtained be released to II Corps?

First, to caveat my response: I am neither an historian nor an OOB specialist - just a former SIGINT Traffic Analyst who served in VN somewhat later (67-68). Our experience was tightly conditioned by the need-to-know principle, which means we knew damn little about country-wide RR operations - so personal experience with other unit operations was unlikely. Lastly, much of this information, as you undoubtedly know, was classified for many years and some still is. Documentation is sparse even today.

So much for the caveat. From unclassified information I have subsequently seen, it is unlikely that each brigade received it's own heavy, steady support during the period of interest. The 10th RRU (later 371st RR Co) was operating at half the normal complement with 114 men. Half of those supported the 1st Cav out of An Khe. The other half were split into three small teams (primarily voice intercept with a single manual morse position floater) which were assigned ad hoc to battalion and larger field operations. Deployment would have been tightly controlled through the 10th RRU at base camp. It is unclear how much information would have passed directly to field commanders from the teams, considering the high degree of sanitizing that normally occurred throughout the war and the extremely limited number of staff positions that were cleared for "special intelligence" (SIGINT) - normally just the S-2.

Was Hong Cong Mountain operational in Oct/Nov 65? If operational, what would be the process of passing information to II SV Corps?

I do not know whether Hong Cong Mountain (see picture below, taken from base camp with Hong Cong in background) was operational at that time. I suspect it was, possibly even preceeding the more extensive base camp development. I have no idea what information was passed to II SV Corps. I would think it would have been extremely limited and without attribution to RR, given the discipline of sanitizing SIGINT to "information obtained from usually reliable sources" - even for US commanders.

RadioResearcher


#396 11 Dec 11, 04:06

The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept

Herding the Enemy Troops to Chupong-Iadrang Complex.

"Herding the enemy troops?! Never heard of such thing at West Point!"

The initial mission assigned to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade in phase of Pleime campaign was the pursuit of the two 32nd and 33rd Regiments on the retreat march back to Chupong-Iadrang complex, “search and destroy” the enemy in operation All the Way. But it soon became a “herding” operation, aiming at canalizing, at rounding-up the scattered troop units to a common location for the purpose of destroying them more efficiently with B-52 strikes.

To these days, everybody, even the high ranking American officers who was directly or indirectly involved in carrying out this operation and the Vietnam War scholars and historians, thought that the operational concept consisted in “searching the enemy, fixing them, then destroying them with air assaults”. If that was correct then the 1st Air Cavalry did not harvest much result. The Air Cavalry forces only engaged the enemy troops four times (Why Pleime, chapter V): one 11/1, at the 33rd Regiment field hospital, enemy casualties: 299 KIA and WIA, 44 CIA; on 11/3, ambushing the 8th Battalion/66th Regiment in Chu Pong, enemy casualties: 312 KIA; on 11/6, engaging the 6th Battalion/33rd Regiment at Ia Meur river, enemy casualties: 477 KIA and WIA; on 11/14, engaging the two 7th and 9th Battalions of 66th Regiment at LZ X-Ray, enemy casualties: about 1800 KIA, 6 CIA; on 11/17, engaging the 8th Battalion/66th Regiment and the 1st Battalion/33rd Regiment at LZ Albany, enemy casualties: 503 KIA.

According to Coleman, the operation All the Way conducted by 1st Air Cavalry Brigade was a breeze, like “walk in the park” (Coleman, page 189):

After the 1st Brigade battalions generally lost contact with the remnants of the 33rd Regiment on November 7, Kinnard said, in Army Magazine, that, “I had been planning to replace the gallant, but spent, First Brigade with the Third Brigade, commanded by Colonel Thomas W. Brown, and this seemed a logical time to do so.” The general might have been indulging in a bit of hyperbole. The units of the 1st Brigade unquestionably were gallant, but spent? The 2/12 Cav had spent the longest period in the field, eighteen days total – but its days in contact numbered about five. The 2/8 had fourteen days in the valley and only two days of hard contact. The 1/8 Cav’s one company had one day of contact, while the others had none. And the 1/12 Cav had only its reconnaissance platoon truly get shot at in anger. Compared to times in the field by units later in the war, this was a walk in the park.

Also according to Coleman, after the 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade replaced the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade and conducted the operation Silver Bayonet I in searching the enemy in the east, the units of this brigade only encounter “dry holes” until they reverted back to the west and went in LZ X-Ray (Coleman, page 196):

That day - November 12 - General Larsen was visiting the division’s forward command post at the II Corps compound. He asked Knowles how things were going. Knowles briefed him on the attack on Catecka the night before and then told him the brigade was drilling a dry hole out east of Plei Me. Larsen said, “Why are you conducting operations there if it’s dry?” Knowles’s response was, “With all due respect, sir, that’s what your order in writing directed us to do.” Larsen responded that the cavalry’s primary mission was to “find the enemy and go after him.” Shortly after, Knowles visited Brown at the 3rd Brigade command post and told him to come up with a plan for an air assault operation near the foot of the Chu Pongs.

Consequently, Colonel Hieu was not overly concerned when the American air cavalry units did not discover many enemy units on their withdrawing routes from Pleime to Chu Pong, and rather his main concern was to focus in monitoring moves and positions of thevarious enemy units, in big or small groups, patiently waiting for the moment they all assembled at Chu Pong and annihilating them with B52 carpet bombings

Phieu


#397 11 Dec 11, 10:52

Herding the Enemy Troops to Chupong-Iadrang Complex.

"Herding the enemy troops?! Never heard of such thing at West Point!"

To these days, everybody, even the high ranking American officers who was directly or indirectly involved in carrying out this operation and the Vietnam War scholars and historians, thought that the operational concept consisted in “searching the enemy, fixing them, then destroying them with air assaults”.

I don’t think

Major General Robert H. York
Commanding General
The United States Army Infantry Center
Fort Benning

Major General A.D. Surles, Jr.
Commanding General
The US Army Armor Center

Major General Eugene A. Salet
Commandant of the US Army War College
Carlisle Barracks

Major General Michael S. Davison
Commandant of the US Army Command and General Staff College
Fort Leavenworth

Brigadier General James Simmons Timothy
Assistant Commandant
The United States Army Infantry Center, Fort Benning
Former Commander of the 1st Brigade, 101st Abn Div
Deputy Senior Advisor ARVN Second Army Corps

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_acknowl-2.htm)

Who had Why Pleime taught at their respective Military Schools, along with the military instructors of these schools had a clue about the Pleime Counteroffensive operational concept.

And I don't know either if Colonel Hieu's revealed his operational concept when he briefed the various general officers who came to II Corps Headquarters to learn the details of the Pleime Campaign:

But early this year a delegation of ROK Generals headed by General Lee Hyun Chin and afterwards, the ROK Deputy Secretary of Defense - General Chang Chang Kuk - together with some Commanding Generals in the ROK Armed Forces, came to Viet Nam in April 1966 in order to study the battles at Pleime and eagerly asked for documents. Then a delegation of 11 Generals of the Republic of China headed by General Lo Yu Lun, Operations, also came for the same purpose.

Besides, there were the US Congressmen as well as Military Commanders calling on II Corps Headquarters in order to know more about the details of the battle at Pleime and to visit Pleime.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_foreword-2.htm)

Phieu


#398 11 Dec 11, 13:14

Among these Vietnam War scholars and historians are Carl H. Builder and al, of the Rand Corporation:

No Time for Reflection at Iadrang

According to Carl H. Builder and al., Colonel Moore did not have an adequate command concept when he lead his 1/7th Air Cavalry Battalion into LZ X-Ray:

Lieutenant Colonel Harold Moore at Ia Drang did not have clearly expressed command concepts. (page xvii)

The command concept was fundamentally flawed and incomplete at Ia Drang (page 20)

And they attributed Colonel Moore’s shortcoming to higher commands:

But this concept was embedded in flawed higher-level concepts (page 100)

General Kinnard's operational objective was to inflict losses on a fleeing enemy about whom hard information was scarce. Colonel Brown's own command concept reflected this objective, as well as the implicit assumption that Moore, properly supported, could handle whatever he encountered. Brown's intent, not very well expressed in his FRAGO (FRAGmentary Order), was roughly: Find the enemy wherever he is and engage and destroy him. You have the force, training, and support to do the job. (page 98)

These quotations are taken from the book entitled Command Concepts: A Theory Derived From the Practice of Command and Control by Carl H. Builder, Steven C. Bankes, Richard Nordin , RAND 1999. The authors used the Ia Drang battle as their fourth – out of six – case studies in Chapter Seven: No Time For Reflections: Moore at Ia Drang to illustrate their command concepts theory.

In view of the performance of this operational concept, let us point out eight (8) erroneous notions formulated by the authors of Command Concepts.

Phieu


#399 11 Dec 11, 19:15

chiangshan: I and Altus never waste my time to mess with an almost nameless person.

Oh, yeah? If you google "tướng tài ba" (competent general), you will find this on the very top first page:

ĐẠI TƯỚNG Tài ba VÕ NGUYÊN GIÁP. - YouTube

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipbxq1I9O2wApr 21, 2011 - 4 min - Uploaded by vutuanhuy

hét nào :dby cobetinhyeu9x10 views; Thumbnail 2:40. Add to 10 Vị Tướng Thời Trung Cổ Tài Ba Nhất Thế Giới ...

10 Vị Tướng Thời Trung Cổ Tài Ba Nhất Thế Giới Của Mội Thời Đại ...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSyP9wgzV88Jun 2, 2011 - 3 min - Uploaded by TheSkybender

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/324320/ the_ten_greatest_medieval_generals.html?cat=37&com =2 ...

More videos for tướng tài ba »

Tướng Tài Ba (u)

www.generalhieu.com/taiba-u.htm - Translate this page

Tướng Hiếu, Một Tướng Tài Ba. Thái Độ Dè Dặt. Khi nhắc đến tên Tướng Hiếu là người ta liên tưởng ngay tới một Tướng thanh liêm, chứ không mấy ai nghĩ tới ...

Not bad for an almost nameless person, right?!

Phieu


#400 11 Dec 11, 21:35

chiangshan: So stop this nonsense, except you are stupid enough to believe Altus is command a real "task force".

Oh yeah? How about this official document in quansuvn.net

19 May 2008, 04:06:16 PM

Được sự đồng ý của BQT, chúng tôi nhận trách nhiệm thành lập Đoàn công tác chiến trường E(nglish) với nhiệm vụ trước mắt - cùng nhau tham gia biên tập các chuyên mục, bài viết của Wikipedia tiếng Anh liên quan đến Lịch sử quân sự Việt Nam.

(With the approval of the ADMINISTRATION, I assume the responsibility of creating the task force for battlefield E(nglish) with the readied task - together we participate in editing various specialized topics, essays of Wikipedia English pertaining to the Military History of Vietnam.

Altus

Is the translation close enough?

Care to choose another better English word, Altus -TF WikiE Field Commander ? A sugar coated euphemism for better camouflage purpose?

Phieu


#401 12 Dec 11, 02:52

The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept

The Enticement Diversionary Move.

On 11/8/65, General Larsen ordered General Knowles to switch the operational direction from west to east.

By this time Field Force Vietnam had asked the division to consider moving its operations east of Pleime if it appeared that was no further contact imminent in the west.

On 11/10/65, General Knwoles was told the reason for the switch in operational direction:

The movement and shift in emphasis from west to east was to further stimulate a forthcoming decision from the NVA division headquarters.

On 11/11/65, General Knowles got a more specific reason:

With American units seemingly withdrawing to the east of Pleime, the decision was to attempt to regain its early advantage with an attack.

I bet you he did not have a clue of what was going on. Taking into account his aggressiveness (Coleman, page 87)

After setting up his field headquarters just outside the II Corps command in Pleiku City, Knowles […], he called Kinnard and said, “Hey boss, communications being what they are, we have potential for problems with the setup the way it is. If you and Swede don’t have enough faith in me, then get someone up here who does.” Knowles didn’t have to work hard to convince Kinnard, who was a strong believer in delegating to subordinates. But Kinnard had to convince Larsen that Knowles needed to have the flexibility to operate. This was still very early in the active American involvement in the war, and senior commanders were generally tiptoeing their way into positions of dominance. So Knowles’s orders were amended to read: “Assist the ARVN if called upon to do so, and seek permission if time and communications permit.” Essentially, it was a carte blanche for Knowles.

and (Coleman, page 196):

Knowles had long wanted to stage some kind of operation inside the Chu Pong Massif...

he would prefer to lunge in full force into Chupong at the enemy units in defensive posture, rather than allow them to switch to an offensive posture. He did not know - or feinted to so in Pleiku Campaign AAR - Colonel Hieu’s intention in conceiving the diversionary move executed on 11/8: to entice the enemy units to get a little bit closer to each other. They were found gathering around Chupong-Iadrang complex area, but still in hiding and in outstretched formation to avoid detection and air-strikes. On 11/11:

The 66th (center of mass Vic 9104).

The 33d (YA940010).

The 32d (YA820070).

Each individual regimental unit's coords were precise enough for effective B52 air strikes, alright. Nevertheless, by enticing them into an attack mode, they would have to get closer to each other in assembling areas for common training and rehearsal purposes and in staging areas for preparation of an imminent attack. That was the ideal moment - when B3 Field Front (center of mass vic XX'YY') - for B52 air strikes.

Isn’t this enticement diversionary concept genial? It could not have been conceived by Kinnard, Knowles and Larsen. They - certainly Kinnard, maybe to a certain degree Knowles and Larsen -did not have a clue. It definitively and indisputably had had to be Colonel Hieu’s genial idea.

(note: this particular point regarding location coordinates provided in Pleiku Campaign AAR show that Colonel Hieu had more precise intelligence in his planning of the Pleime counteroffensive operation than what transpired in Coleman 1966)

Phieu


#402 13 Dec 11, 02:20

The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept

The Distractive Diversionary Move.

The B3 Field Front Command bite the 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade’s enticement diversionary move and made plan for a second attack set for November 16. This time it would committed all three regiments, 32n, 33rd , 66th, plus

“a battalion of 120mm mortars and a battalion of 14.5 mm twin-barrel anti-aircraft guns which were both en route down the infiltration trail and scheduled to arrive in time for the attack”.

For the next five days, until 11/13,

“Field Front units convergent to assembling areas for preparations and rehearsal for the scheduled attack on Pleime”.

And on 11/13,

“Field Front forces began staging in the Chu Pong-Ia Drang area in preparation for movement to Pleime and the projected 13 November attack. Some recon parties and transportation units already had moved out”.

It was time to call in B-52 air strikes. However, in order to induce the B3 Field Front Command to prolong the holding of troops at their respective staging areas, Colonel Hieu devised a distractive diversionary move with the insertion of one 1st Air Cavalry “at 3 kilometers northeast Chu Pong, 200 meters from the location of the 9th Battalion 66th Regiment” (General Huu An) on 11/14. Upon seeing the insertion of 1/7 Air Cavalry Battalion at LZ X-Ray, B3 Field Front “issued an order to delay the attack of Chu Ho,” and refocused its attention toward attacking the new found enemy unit. In so doing, it kept its troop units concentrated at their respective staging areas.

Another reason for the choice of 11/14 for the insertion of 1/7th Air Cavalry Battalion was to avoid the deadly firepower of 14.5 mm anti-aircraft guns that would have shot down all the troop transport helicopters and of the 120 mm mortars that would have decimated ground troops prior to enemy assaults.

The 1/7th Air Cavalry Battalion’s main mission was to distract the enemy and stay put as a blocking position. If the enemy decided to remain in place, then fine and the better for B-52 strikes. If he decided to attack, then hold the line to allow B-52 strikes where supposed to.

When only the 9th Battalion/66th Regiment made the engagement, only one 1st Air Cavalry Battalion, the 2/7th, was sent in as reinforcement, instead of applying the pile-up tactic in committing more troop units, so that not to make B3 Field Front rush in the 32d and 33rd Regiments, which would jeopardize the use of B-52 air strikes, with friendly and enemy troops too closed to each other.

And so,

“shortly after noon a large area in the vicinity of YA8702 suddenly erupted with hundreds of thunderous explosions that moved across the ground like a giant carpet being unrolled. The B-52 bombers had struck.”

That day, 18 sorties had been dispatched, and

“for the next five days the big bombers systematically worked over large areas of the Chu Pong Massif. The NVA solders lived in fear of these attacks because they believed each raid covered a 20 kilometer area and they were told that ordinary trenches and foxholes were of no protection.”

On 11/17, the two air cav battalions were ordered to abandon the LZ X-Ray, to allow B-52 targeting the landing zone itself.

And so

- by not having the 1/7th Air Cavalry Battalion sweeping westward in searching of the enemy, instead having it securing the landing zone perimeter;

- by bringing in only one reinforcement battalion, the 2/7th, instead of piling in en mass more troop units when the enemy accepted to engage;

- by having a troop unit rotation on 11/16, instead of increasing the presence of troops at the landing zone;

- by having the two replacement battalions, 2/7th and 2/5th, continued to hold at the landing zone, instead of moving westward in pursuit of the retreating enemy units;

- by not pulling out completely and rapidly the two replacement battalions by helicopters on 11/17, instead having them march slowly on foot northwestward to make way for B-52 air strikes at the landing zone;

by all these maneuvers, General Knowles - or somebody else behind him -demonstrated that his intention for the ground attack into the footsteps of Chu Pong was to execute a distractive diversionary move, and not

It was a routine operation, in so far as any operation deep in enemy territory can be routine.

Phieu


#403 13 Dec 11, 07:46

Phieu: Oh yeah? How about this official document in quansuvn.net

Is the translation close enough?

Care to choose another better English word, Altus -TF WikiE Field Commander ? A sugar coated euphemism for better camouflage purpose?

chiangshan


#404 13 Dec 11, 09:20

Comrade S1 Chief chiangshan, you are hereby officially noticed that you have breached the section (c), point 12, Chapter V, Volume XXII of the VMH Officer Code of Conduct, which specifically prohibits multiple laughing at neuronically challenged or differently wise ideas or viewpoints. You are advised to perform a thorough self-critic session and, as a redemption, provide some info on that H-15 battalion.

Signed,

[sanitized]

altus


#405 13 Dec 11, 10:06

Both of you, Chiangshan and Altus, you really have a lot of nerves!

Chưa bẽ mặt ra à? Độn thổ đi cho rồi ...

Are you two trying to apply the distractive diversionary tactic here ?

ACG members have brain, you know, they won't fall into your subterfuge ...

Phieu


#406 13 Dec 11, 10:19

Now I know why "3 que" never achieved anything

chiangshan


#407 13 Dec 11, 10:22

Phieu


#408 13 Dec 11, 10:49

This sounds very familiar (quote from vnmilitaryhistory.net)

Altus in response to Dongadoan 21 May 2008 at 08:02 PM

I raise the issue because in the eventuality some “ill faithed houligans” question us in wiki, we should have a ready response. For instance, "In accordance to article 666, item 9 section (c) of the Publishing law of my country, with an attachment of the official document # TSCM/456/ĐĐ of DOD, I have the liberty to quote as I see please, and make use of the content of the document”, then 99% no White Nose (French and American) would bother to check. But if we do not advance anything to back up, then we risk the possibility to be defeated by them. But then just advancing anything is not safe, because if any “arvin guy” raises the voice to object, then the effort of anti-propaganda would be doomed.

(Tôi đặt vấn đề này vì trên wiki nhỡ thỉnh thỏang có bọn "thiếu thiện chí" vặn vẹo, thì ta phải chuẩn bị sẵn câu trả lời. Nếu ta có thể đưa, chẳng hạn, "theo điều 666 mục 9 phần (c) luật Xuất Bản nước tao, kèm theo công văn số TSCM/456/ĐĐ của BQP, tao tha hồ trích dẫn, sử dụng nội dung tài liệu", thì 99% là sẽ chẳng có thằng Tây hấp nào bỏ công đi kiểm tra. Nhưng nêu không đưa được cái gì ra thì nhiều khả năng là thua chúng nó. Mà đưa lăng nhăng cũng không được, nhỡ có bác "quân lực kiêu hùng" nào bác ý bới ra, thấy không phải, lu loa lên, thì phản tuyên truyền chết)

@ACG members: don't you see how Altus called you guys: White Noses - thằng Tây hấp (doesn't sound like rare Westerner at all!) ?!

Altus, I already warned you many times: just let go, the more you skirm, the faster the quick sand gobbles your body ...

Phieu


#409 13 Dec 11, 11:01

To be completely honest, when I penned this I was vividly imagining you doing exactly what you are doing here now.

altus


#410 13 Dec 11, 11:04

This is yours and only yours. The term I was using was a "rare Westerner". altus


#411 13 Dec 11, 11:13

Altus! Altus! put the following pejorative expressions you penned in its context:

- nước tao, instead of tôi

- tao tha hồ trích dẫn instead of tôi

- thằng Tây hấp nào instead of chàng Phương Tây

- chúng nó instead of họ

Just let go: the more you skirm, the faster the quick sand gobbles your body...

Phieu


#412 13 Dec 11, 11:16

Jesus H. Christ....won't you guys stop already, you're making my head hurt...

Boonierat


#413 13 Dec 11, 11:18

Yes, Sir!

I stop immediately.

I am going back to Iadrang.

Phieu


#414 13 Dec 11, 18:24

I see that the 'dark lord' was quoting 'article 666'

Good one! Champagne comedy!

Team VC has a long way to catch up with Team Uc Dai loi on Wiki.

If you go to wiki's Australian battles of the Vietnam War you will find some episodes that Ken Jensen wouldn't have bothered to write a contact report up for.

Tremendously effective 'Wiki-ganda', but a bit embarrassing really.

Max Alcibiades


#415 14 Dec 11, 01:45

The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept

Destroy the Enemy with B-52 Air Strikes

So the uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang Complex operational concept was to destroy the three NVA Regiments, 32nd, 33rd, and 66th, not by ground forces but by air strikes. In order to reach to that stage, Colonel Hieu had the following maneuvers executed by 1st Air Cavalry by the bias of General Larsen’s orders:

- Starting 10/27, herding the scattered 32nd and 33rd troop units toward Chupong-Iadrang complex with operation All the Way conducted by 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. General Knowles thought it was a search and destroy operation.

- Starting 11/8, enticement diversionary move by switching the operational direction from west to east with operation Bayonet I conducted by 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade. General Knowles still thought it was a search and destroy operation. He was disappointed because the operation drilled into dry holes.

- Starting 11/14, distractive diversionary move by inserting the 1/7th Air Cavalry Battalion at the Chu Pong footsteps. Major Hal Moore thought he was conducting a routine search and destroy operation.

And after all these elaborate preparation phases,

- Starting noon 11/15, B-52 air strikes began at B3 Field Front center of mass vicinity YA8702 and continued for 5 days, until 11/19 (Why Pleime, chapter VI):

For five consecutive days, from 15 to 19 November, the giant B52 bombers had flown a total of 96 sorties. One after the other, the areas of the Chu Pong massif - each of 20 square miles - underwent a systematic earthquake spreading from West to East. VC bunkers and trenches which so far had resisted the strikes by tactical aircraft and artillery began to score direct hits by the 750-pound bombs. The heavy canopy of the jungle ceased to be effective in both concealment and cover. The "back door" into Cambodia was closed and to escape, the VC remnants were reduced to utilize the narrow valley of the Ia Drang.

Enemy casualties as results of B-52 air strikes amounted to about 2,000 dead

= Who did the stalking? Colonel Hieu.

= Who gave the green light signals for each of the four – herding, enticement, distractive, B-52 air strikes – maneuvers to start? Colonel Hieu.

So the operational concept had B-52 air strikes as the main effort and 1st Air Cavalry ground forces as supportive effort. General Kinnard got it all wrong when he wrote (Pleiku Campaign, page 93):

For the first time in the Vietnamese conflict, Strategic Air strikes were to be used in direct support of the ground scheme of maneuver. The strikes of the past two days had been in a supporting role, but today the ground forces would be moving in direct relation to the impending strike.

General Kinnard’s misconception is an indication that the operational concept of Pleime counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang complex originated from II Corps Command rather than from 1st Air Cavalry Division Command.

Side bar: The success achieved by the execution of this operational concept in the case of Pleime Counteroffensive demonstrated that a clear knowledge of that concept does not have to be imparted to the commanders of various levels from top to bottom. It only necessitates that the person who conceives the concept knows the proper use of each of the combat units that take part in the operation. Only the top person has to think, the rest just execute according to their respective abilities without a need for thinking. So it did not matter that much when LTC Hal Moore was put in a situation where he did not have time to think, just to react as he was trained.

Phieu


#416 14 Dec 11, 05:01

Side bar: Command and Control at Pleime Counteroffensive Operation

In the second phase of Pleime campaign that the American side called Long Reach operation initially and Pleiku campaign afterward, Colonel Hieu – through General Larsen – was in control, General Kinnard and General Knowles were in command.

On 11/7 (Coleman):

Despite this plethora of intelligence to the contrary at the field command level, Kinnard, acting on the orders from Task Force Alpha (the American command’s euphemism for a corps headquarters), told Brown to begin his search south and east of Plei Me. For some reason, Swede Larsen and his staff, and probably the operations and intelligence people up the line at MACV as well, were convinced that some of the North Vietnamese had slipped away to the south and east to the hill country about fifteen kilometers from the Plei Me camp, and they were adamant that the Cav should start turning over rocks in that area.

On 11/13 (Coleman):

The last of the 1st Brigade’s units departed the area of operations, bound for An Khe, and the third of the 3rd Brigade’s three maneuver battalions arrived. All three battalions now were working the color-coded search areas generally between Plei Me camp and Highway 4. It had been a dry hole for everyone, and General Knowles and Tim Brown were getting impatient and starting to look longingly toward the west. Knowles had long wanted to stage some kind of operation inside the Chu Pong Massif.

[…]

That day, General Larsen was visiting the division’s forward command post at the II Corps compound. He asked Knowles how things were going. Knowles briefed him on the attack on Catecka the night before and then told him the brigade was drilling a dry hole out east of Plei Me. Larsen said, “Why are you conducting operations there if it’s dry?” Knowles’s response was, “With all due respect, sir, that’s what your order in writing directed us to do.” Larsen responded that the cavalry’s primary mission was to “find the enemy and go after him.” Shortly after, Knowles visited Brown at the 3rd Brigade command post and told him to come up with a plan for an air assault operation near the foot of the Chu Pongs.

On 11/14 (Coleman):

General Knowles had been at the division’s TOC when the first news of the contact came in. He piled into his command chopper and headed for Catecka, where Brown briefed him. Both commanders realized that they had stirred up a hornet’s nest that would take more troops to quell than Brown had available. Knowles got on the horn and called Harry Kinnard back at An Khe, asking for another infantry battalion, more artillery, and both troop- and medium-lift helicopters. Kinnard replied, “They’re on the way, but what’s going on?” Knowles responded, “We’ve got a good fight going. Suggest you come up as soon as possible.” After setting the reinforcement wheels in motion, Kinnard choppered over from An Khe and met Knowles at Catecka. When he arrived, Knowles showed him the situation map he had propped up against a palm tree. Kinnard took one look and said, “What the hell are you doing in that area?” Obviously, someone hadn’t kept the boss informed about Larsen’s guidance to get after the enemy even if it meant walking away from the dry holes in the east. Knowles told Kinnard, “The object of the exercise is to find the enemy, and we sure as hell have!” Knowles remembers an awkward pause before Kinnard said quietly, “Okay, it looks great. Let me know what you need.”

On 11/16 (Cochran)

At the time of the Xray fight, Swede Larsen was under pressure from the news media on why we left the battlefield. They didn't understand how our unit fought. With an air assault unit, we don't give much of a damn about terrain. You can go anywhere. The focus is on the enemy. You go where he is. At Xray, the enemy broke off, we didn't quit. We were no longer interested in Xray. That piece of ground meant nothing to me. I wanted to go on to where the enemy was. But Swede ordered me to stay in that spot, and I stayed there an extra 24 hours.

- (Cochran, Alexander S., "First Strike at River Drang", Military History, Oct 1984, pp 44-52, Per. Interview with H.W.O Kinnard, 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General.)

- (Coleman, J.D., "Pleiku, the Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam", St. Martin’s Press, New York)

Phieu


#417 14 Dec 11, 05:24

Side bar: Colonel Hieu and General Larsen

When the Pleime camp was attacked on October 19, 1965, Colonel Hieu, II Corps Chief of Staff requested General Larsen, First Field Force Vietnam Commander for reinforcement. General Larsen questioned Colonel Hieu’ authority and command skills (G3 Journal/IFFV):

- 08:20H: II Corps Capt Ushijima - Who if anyone at Pleiku can make a Cmd decision if necessary in Vinh Loc's absence? Request you stay on top of Than Phong 6, Plei My and route 21 Opns and ensure timely and accurate info forwarded this HQ. Asn: Chief of Staff is here and has contact w/CG on coast. Question: Can CofS make a decision. Ans: He will have to check w/CG before making a decision.

General Larsen progressively came to appreciate Colonel Hieu’s insights and command skills during the Pleime camp rescue operation and consequently agreed wholeheartedly with Colonel Hieu’s operational concept in the Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang Complex. Of course, Colonel Hieu was shrewd enough to hide behind General Vinh Loc in his dealing with all the American military big shots. He was one of a kind chief of staff, wasn't he?!

Later on, Colonel Hieu was assigned to lead the 22nd Infantry Division and continued to have the chance to work closely with General Larsen at first then with General Peers, Larsen's replacement at IFFV.

Phieu


#418 14 Dec 11, 10:10

KEN JENSEN : Phieu,

School is open again, you may find it interesting.

I want to point you to a post I just made. Part of the reason I posted the way I did was for you, and yes, even others I have dealt with before you, who put so much validity and justification of what appears to be "Official Data". It involves Map Coords and Unit Journal Logs.

P.S. a couple of "the others" were, believe it or not, OUR friend Atlus and a fine member you have not yet had the privilege to meet (ChippyMick, an Aussie); heeheehee, at times he was more of a difficult case than Altus. LOL

Keep up whatever you are doing. Many are enjoying it and gaining information. Just stay off attacks on our members.

Thank you for the invite to your class. Unfortunately, at this moment I am busy attending a class given by my brother called 101 Iadrang battle. Maybe later one.

This class seems to be well attended with 8778 viewers to date, despite some VC hacklers who tried to disturb the class from time to time. Even they appeared to quite down and are listening attentively to the class now, although still waiting for any opportunity to hackle again. Care to join the class? I know some of ACG members are skeptical and blind folded by prejudice, like you and Max and Hankwill, are still weary stepping completely into the classroom. I urge you to have an open-minded instead...

Phieu


#419 14 Dec 11, 11:32

Geeez, I thought this was 101 Ia Drang. I don't believe I would be interested in your brother's presentation. Would this lack of interest of mine be what you term as not having an open-mind or that I'm prejudice? If not please explain...

P.S. I'm not interested in taking a class on 101 Weather; does this mean I have a closed-mind and am prejudice? Your conclusions amaze me.

KEN JENSEN


#420 14 Dec 11, 12:08

Phieu


#421 14 dec,,, 12:57

Phieu : Oh yeah? How about this official document in quansuvn.net

Is the translation close enough?

Care to choose another better English word, Altus -TF WikiE Field Commander ? A sugar coated euphemism for better camouflage purpose?

Lol, What the fuc' are you talking about ? Seem you're just a child, no more no less, in a adult's body

chiangshan : Now I know why "3 que" never achieved anything

Yeah, they just copied some bad methods from VC (oh, they think VC did that things to defeat them) to against VC lol. I don't know how could they manage to contend for 2 years after American left

"3 we" are just idiots

memori


#422 14 Dec 11, 13:41

That was your last post on this forum memori, goodbye.

Boonierat


#423 14 Dec 11, 19:42

WOW, memori is gone after 6 posts!!

steelpot


#424 14 Dec 11, 20:39

This thread reminds me of the time I walked into the Ben Cat Bar in the Lai Khe "Shopping Center". I walked in smack in the middle of a giant fist fight between a bunch of drunk grunts fresh out of the woods.

I turned around and quickly walked out.......

Sidewinder CC


#425 14 Dec 11, 21:20

Yes - too bad the internet didn't exist back then . . . we could have avoided all that messiness in country.

RadioResearcher


#426 14 Dec 11, 21:35

The difference in messiness back then was caused back by GI drunk grunts and now by VC houligan hacklers.

Phieu


#427 15 Dec 11, 01:52

The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept

“The Coup de Grace” Operation

On November 17, General Kinnard wanted to have his 2nd Air Cavalry Brigade pursue the enemy remnant troops to the Cambodian border (Cochran):

I recommended to Swede and up through the chain that I be allowed to pursue them into Cambodia. This is not well known, but my request was approved up through channels to include Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge but disapproved in Washington ... I wanted to destroy the enemy. This would have been my next step; this is what I wanted the 2nd Brigade to do...

But that was not what II Corps Command wanted. II Corps Command wanted to assume the responsibility of finish off the enemy and only needed the 1st Air Cavalry Division to provide artillery support in establishing a new firepower base near the Cambodian border at LZ Crooks in support of the Airborne Brigade in its Than Phong 7, a surgical operation, aiming at annihilating the two surviving enemy battalions, the 635th and the 334th; the 2nd Air Cavalry Brigade played the role of a reserve force (Silver Bayonet II operation) with the main mission of securing the firebase at LZ Crooks (Pleime, chapter VI):

II Corps Command thought it was time to throw in the reserve in order to put an end to the battle which had lasted for about one month. Besides suffering heavy losses, the enemy was compelled to fall into the trap set by friendly forces and canalized into the routes of withdrawal which we had foreseen.

This time the main effort was conducted by the ARVN Airborne Brigade whose mission consisted of destroying the fleeing VC units and all their installations around the Ia Drang valley.

The 1st Air Cavalry Division which had thus far borne the burden of the attack would continue to exert a pressure from East to West and to provide artillery support for the Airborne Brigade.

The operation - dubbed "Thần Phong 7" - began in the afternoon, 18 November when the brigade was helilifted to the area of operations, immediately upon arrival in Pleiku.

Colonel Hieu did not rely on 1st Air Cavalry Division to provide helicopters for the transportation of the five airborne battalions in the area of operations. (I wonder: he did request and had been turned down?) This task had been assumed by the 52d Aviation Battalion:

18 November: The 52d Aviation Battalion staged II Corps (ARVN) Operation Than Phong 7 from Duc Co. The 52d elements, ten UH1Ds, twelve UH1Bs and eleven UH1Bs (A) were reinforced by twenty UH1Ds and six UH1Bs (A) from the 229th Avn Bn, 1st Air Cav Div. Fifteen hundred (1500) troops were lifted in five lifts from Duc Co to Landing Zone YA 841092. Two (2) UH1Ds from the 155th Avn Co sustained light damage from ground fire, no injuries. A major factor in the operation was a first for the Battalion in refueling twelve aircraft at a time from prepositioned pods, without shutting the aircraft down.

By calling in the ARVN Airborne Brigade, Colonel Hieu had the operation cut out for LTC Ngo Quang Truong, who did not have to raise a finger to do anything in terms of preparation, thinking, planning, mapping, arrangement, whatsoever; he just came in and executed Colonel Hieu’s orders and was able to ambush the enemy troops twice. Even battlefield tactical maneuvers were dictated to him by Colonel Hieu (G3 Journal/IFFV, on 11/19/1965 at 16:55H)

Fwd CP states the elem's in Abn TF area was coordinated at higher levels than Fwd G3. The Abn TF knows about it.

LTC Ngo Quang Truong conducted Than Phong 7 operation in such an usual manner under Colonel Hieu’s discreet and yet firm guidance that Major Schwarzkopf was left speechless all through the entire operation! (General Schwarzkopf's Naïveté in the Ia Drang Battle)

Phieu


#428 15 Dec 11, 09:27

Have you considered this scenario?

General (actually Colonel) Hieu picks up the phone. It is his brother, inviting himself to dinner. Against his better judgement he agrees.

He hangs up the phone and thinks "What a prat, why did I agree to that. This mong is is going to bore me to death"

Slowly he reaches for the revolver in the top drawer of the desk...........

Perhaps he was just trying to save time.

I know I have no sources, documentation or any other historical evidence to back up this conjecture, but plausible?

Food for thought

Max Alcibiades


#429 15 Dec 11, 11:03

Mr. the erudit professor,

Are you trying to take revenge because I have K.O you re: radar controlled 37 mm AA at Dien Bien Phu in Dien Bien Phu forum?

Shame on you...

I expected VC hacklers from outside and inside ACG community. I don't expect at all hacklers emerging from American/Aussie ACG members; or I am mistaken, we do have Americongs in here.

Phieu


#430 15 Dec 11, 13:43

Boonie and Lucky6,

As promised, you can find Why Pleime in pdf @ www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_pdf.htm

You can download it free of charge.

Boonie, do you mind post it in the Vietnam War Bibliography thread for the benefit of ACG community? I am afrait if I do it then Ken and Max might yell out: Phieu is "self-promoting" his book!

Phieu


#431 15 Dec 11, 17:44

Sir,you are correct. Something else I posted "off the top of my head". I thank you for your sound advice and concern. As for"altus"I agree with you, I had a"gut feeling"about him,but still like him.Let him rewrite whatever, he’s not the only one.

Attached Images imagesCA8F78Z8.jpg (10.3 KB, 6 views)

hankwill


#432 15 Dec 11, 17:56

Max Alcibiades: ave you considered this scenario?

General (actually Colonel) Hieu picks up the phone. It is his brother, inviting himself to dinner. Against his better judgment he agrees.

He hangs up the phone and thinks "What a prat, why did I agree to that. This mong is is going to bore me to death"

Slowly he reaches for the revolver in the top drawer of the desk...........

Perhaps he was just trying to save time.

I know I have no sources, documentation or any other historical evidence to back up this conjecture, but plausible?

Food for thought

Mick . . . er . . . MAX: You haven't lost the signature wit!

RadioResearcher


#433 15 Dec 11, 19:03

hankwill : Sir,you are correct.Something else I posted"off the top of my head".I thank you for your sound advice and concern.As for"altus"I agree with you,I had a"gut feeling"about him,but still like him.Let him rewrite what ever,he's not the only one.

Yes, like him as much as you want. But just don't believe everything that he rewrites!

Phieu


#434 15 Dec 11, 19:36

Yet, you expect others to believe everything you write.

KEN JENSEN


#435 15 Dec 11, 20:01

Not at all.

It's up to you (and your capacity of remaining open-minded)...

Hey, by the way, are you still hanging around here. I thought you said you have no more interest in what I have to say ...

Phieu


#436 15 Dec 11, 20:17

I am "open minded".

Yes, I'm still here.

Again you state what you "think I said". Again I ask, where did I say "no more interest"?

I did say I'm not interested in your brother(s) and or Ia Drang; but never said I wasn't going to read this thread. Just won't take any more of your LINKs to your "book" that appears to contain "plagiarized" stuff.

Basically I'm "skimming" what your write; that's all.

KEN JENSEN


#437 15 Dec 11, 22:27

Enough distraction from you ... I won't bother to respond to you anymore...

It's a dialogue between two deaf people ...

I care more about the other 9,000+ viewers ... that don't necessarily believe what I am saying ... but at least understand what I am saying ... I just try to present the facts as it is ... I don't want them to believe ... just see for themselves ...

I know what I am telling here about my brother is quite unbelievable, because it was something out of the ordinary ... he was a military genius ... he did not do thing the way ordinary people do things ... he accomplished the most complex thing in such a simple way that it became unbelievable ... So I don't expect people to believe ... just see for themselves what they have not known before ... That's all.

To be honest with you, I notice that what I am talking about here lurks somewhere within your blindspot. Until you adjust your side mirrors, you won't undertand. I am resign to that fact and don't need you to believe anything I say. Period.

But then again, the topic here is what you might still not know about the Iadrang battle. It's not about me, not about you. So why are we talking about you and about me. Let me go back to the topic and forget about you and about me.

Phieu


#438 16 Dec 11, 03:31

The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept

The Art of How to Bridle a Mustang

= When Colonel Hieu, II Corps Chief of Staff, requested troop reinforcement to organize a rescue force to relieve Pleime camp, General Larsen gave him Task Force Ingram, which was actually formed by the 2/12th Air Cavalry Battalion along with one artillery battalion. But General Kinnard wanted a bigger piece of the action and brought up the entire 1st Air Cavalry Brigade lead by General Knowles. And Knowles demanded to be given a carte blanche (Coleman, page 87):

After setting up his field headquarters just outside the II Corps command in Pleiku City, Knowles […], he called Kinnard and said, “Hey boss, communications being what they are, we have potential for problems with the setup the way it is. If you and Swede don’t have enough faith in me, then get someone up here who does.” Knowles didn’t have to work hard to convince Kinnard, who was a strong believer in delegating to subordinates. But Kinnard had to convince Larsen that Knowles needed to have the flexibility to operate. This was still very early in the active American involvement in the war, and senior commanders were generally tiptoeing their way into positions of dominance. So Knowles’s orders were amended to read: “Assist the ARVN if called upon to do so, and seek permission if time and communications permit.” Essentially, it was a carte blanche for Knowles.

- Colonel Hieu had to put a bridle onto General Knowles’s earnestness in forcing to be content with the supportive role of securing Pleiku City.

= After the relief of Pleime camp, General Kinnard/Knowles wanted to pursue the withdrawing enemy troops (Coleman, page 99):

On the afternoon of the 26th, Generals Westmoreland, Larsen, Kinnard, and Knowles met for a conference at the 1st Brigade’s command post, at LZ Homecoming. […] In the conference between Westmoreland and the division officers, Kinnard hammered on the theme that U.S. forces must now do more than merely contain the enemy or simply reinforce the ARVN. The NVA, he felt, must be sought out aggressively and destroyed. Of course, as far as Westy was concerned, Kinnard was singing to the choir; Westmoreland long had yearned for the opportunity to go on the offensive. Kinnard and Knowles also spent considerable time at the conference explaining to Westmoreland and Larsen exactly what the division could do and how well it could do it. Westmoreland eventually turned to Larsen and said: “Give Kinnard his head.”

- Colonel Hieu had to put a bridle onto General Kinnard/Knowles with a modus operandi (Why Pleime, chapter VIII):

Joint intelligence and support activities, commonly-shared concept of operations and results, separate TAOR, command, deployment of forces, conduct of activities, reserve.

General Kinnard had his own idea how to conduct a tactical operation to counter the guerrillas warfare (Cochran):

to seal off the area in which the guerrillas were fighting, to separate them from their source of reinforcement, supplies, weapons.

And how to apply the air assault tactic he had developed:

Right after the Plei Me siege was broken, I felt that it was up to me to find these guys who had been around the camp. So we came up with a search “modus operandi” in which the Cav Squadron was going to range widely over a very large area and I was going to use one infantry brigade to plop down an infantry battalion and look at an area here and there. I felt that we had to break down into relatively small groups so we could cover more area and also the enemy would think he could fake us. You couldn’t put down a whole battalion out there and go clomping around. You had to break down into company and platoon-sized units. You had to rely upon the fact that with the helicopter you could respond faster than anyone in history. I then learned, totally new to me, that every unit that was not in contact was, in fact, a reserve that could be picked up and used. This is my strategy. Start from somewhere, break down into small groups, depending upon the terrain, and work that area while the Cav Squadron roamed all over. The name of the game was contact. You were looking for any form of contact – a helicopter being shot at, finding a campfire, finding a pack, beaten-down grass.

For a while, Colonel Hieu let General Knowles roamed freely the vast area stretching from Pleime to Chu Pong in the search of the enemy, knowing that he would not be able to seal off that wide expanded 40 km by 50 km area covered by jungles, even with more than 500 helicopters and 3 air cavalry brigades, and that he would not be able to find and catch those quick-to-run-into-the-bushes Vietcong foxes. He did not care that much, he had a better idea to deal with the evasive enemy: stalk them, herd them toward a location, then squash them with B52 air strikes.

* Therefore, on 11/8, he made Geneal Knowles turn his head away from the west toward the east, without much explanation.

* Then again on 11/12, he turned General Knowles’s head back westward, with an enigmatic explanation: to entice the enemy to attack again.

* Then again, without specific explanation – just a routine search and destroy operation, General Knowles was ordered to insert a battalion at the footstep of Chu Pong massif.

* On 11/16, General Kinnard wanted to pull immediately his troops out of LZ X-Ray, Colonel Hieu made him stay one stay longer in preparation for B52s to strike at the landing zone itself.

* On 11/17, again General Kinnard became restless and wanted aggressively go after the enemy all the way into Cambodia (Cochran):

I recommended to Swede and up through the chain that I be allowed to pursue them into Cambodia. This is not well known, but my request was approved up through channels to include Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge but disapproved in Washington ... I wanted to destroy the enemy. This would have been my next step, this is what I wanted the 2nd Brigade to do...

Colonel Hieu had again to put a bridle onto General Kinnard’s zeal in calling in the ARVN Airborne Brigade that would do a better in a surgical operation than the 1st Air Cavalry.

In all, it appeared that although (Cochran)

You’ve got to remember that I [General Kinnard] was the only one who had ever commanded an air assault division. (…) Only General Gavin had commanded longer than I.

It was not that sure that

I knew in a way that no one else did the real capabilities and limitations of an air assault division.

Colonel Hieu did.

Phieu


#439 16 Dec 11, 06:28

When I thought Sorley's hagiography of Abrams would remain unsurpassed I was obviously plain wrong...

Boonierat


#440 16 Dec 11, 06:47

That's what you thought, alright. Please prove it wrong in both cases. If not in Sorley's case with another thread, then in Phieu's case here. It's just too easy to dismiss something with a hand brush and walk away.

I thought I would get a "greatest contribution" award like the one you bestowed to Chiangshan for his PAVN ORBAT.

Naah... it's just a cheap piece of paper.

I thought you would give me a pat on the shoulder for a "fastest growing thread" - 9429 and counting...

Naah... wishful thinking.

Phieu


#441 16 Dec 11, 07:05

Right kids.

Just to check whether you have been paying attention, there's going to be a test.

Here is your question:

When Norman Schwarzkopf was exposed to the great Chinese General Hieu's, crouching tiger, hidden dragon, draw them in, draw them out and shake it all about, military brilliance, was he:

a) Marvelled by the complex simplicity

b) Amazed and humbled by the simple complexity

c) Totally agog, awestruck and lost for words

d) ALL OF THE ABOVE

Max Alcibiades


#442 16 Dec 11, 07:08

Here we go again, MISTER THE ERUDITE PROFESSOR in any specialized military fields.

At least he only subjects his listerners to a short quizz this time around, and not a lenghty nebolous diatribe ...

Phieu


#443 16 Dec 11, 07:11

Phieu: I thought you would give me a pat on the shoulder for a "fastest growing thread" - 9429 and counting...

Naah... wishful thinking.

View count doesn't really mean anything, I alone must have visited this thread more than a hundred times already.

Boonierat


#444 16 Dec 11, 07:14

Phieu: Here we go again, MISTER THE ERUDIT PROFESSOR in any specialized military fields.

Erudite. E.R.U.D.I.T.E

I do spelling too, no charge

Max Alcibiades


#445 16 Dec 11, 07:19

Boonierat : View count doesn't really mean anything, I alone must have visited this thread more than a hundred times already.

I did not know it also captivated you that much ! Was it business trips or just pleasure?

In comparison with other threads ... it still the fastest, no?!

Are you that stingty in encouragement toward "friendly" combattant, and generous toward "foe"?

Phieu


#446 16 Dec 11, 07:21

Max Alcibiades: Erudite. E.R.U.D.I.T.E

I do spelling too, no charge

Thanks, for the correction. Correction done.

You can get Why Pleime, no charge too.

You don't do grammar too? I initially typed At least he only subject his listerners . You did not catch it when you reviewed my submission paper!

Oh, I forget eruditE professor does not pay attention to details.

Phieu


#447 16 Dec 11, 07:23

Aspergers A.S.P.E.R........ Oh never mind.

Max Alcibiades


#448 16 Dec 11, 07:35

AHDH .... A.H.D. ... Oh never mind.

Phieu


#449 16 Dec 11, 07:37

Phieu: I did not know it also captivate you that much ! Was it business trips or just pleasure?

It doesn't, and I bet no one's reading your posts anymore, but I have to keep an eye on it lest the place goes on fire.

Are you that stingty in encouragement toward "friendly" combattant, and generous toward "foe"?

I was glad to see someone pick up the flag of the RVNAF when you showed up, I was feeling a bit lonely until then, but you seem only interested in promoting your book and your brother, and shoving your truth down everyone's throat. I believe you're doing a great disservice to General Hieu by going at it the way you do.

Boonierat


#450 16 Dec 11, 07:51

Boonierat : It doesn't, and I bet no one's reading your posts anymore

Let's see. Let the viewers' footprints tell the story.

but I have to keep an eye on it lest the place goes on fire.

I will not respond to any negative posts addressed to me and just acknowledge with .

That way the place won't go on fire and give you a pretext to hose it down.

I was glad to see someone pick up the flag of the RVNAF when you showed up, I was feeling a bit lonely until then

I thought you have at least Miss Saigon ...

Did the loneliness wear you down, and turned you into a VC sympathizer?

but you seem only interested in promoting your book and your brother, and shoving your truth down everyone's throat.

Am I that eloquent? You flatter me.

I believe you're doing a great disservice to General Hieu by going at it the way you do.

Au contraire, en lui rendant honneur, c'est la RVNAF qui est aussi exaltée

Phieu


#451 16 Dec 11, 10:55

I'm pretty sure thread count is an indication of the train wreck theory.

samtn99


#452 16 Dec 11, 17:13

Max Alcibiades : Aspergers A.S.P.E.R........ Oh never mind.

Okay, , okay (catches breath) - there's only one person who could come up with that, you HACKLER, you!

RadioResearcher


#453 16 Dec 11, 17:46

samtn99 : I'm pretty sure thread count is an indication of the train wreck theory.

???

Phieu


#454 16 Dec 11, 17:47

RadioResearcher : Okay, , okay (catches breath) - there's only one person who could come up with that, you HACKLER, you!

Oh, yeah? You did not consider this?

AHDH .... A.H.D. ... Oh never mind.

Phieu


#455 16 Dec 11, 17:51

Phieu:

Let's see. Let the viewers' footprints tell the story.

I will not respond to any negative posts addressed to me and just acknowledge with .

That way the place won't go on fire and give you a pretext to hose it down.

I thought you have at least Miss Saigon ...

Did the loneliness wear you down, and turned you into a VC sympathizer?

Am I that eloquent? You flatter me.

Au contraire, en lui rendant honneur ainsi, c'est la RVNAF qui est aussi exaltée

Boonie,

What a relief!

(You know what I mean, between us)

Phieu


#456 16 Dec 11, 22:20

Phieu : Oh, yeah? You did not consider this?

AHDH .... A.H.D. ... Oh never mind.

ASSOCIATION HAITIENNE DE DEVELOPPEMENT HUMAIN !!!!!

RadioResearcher


#457 17 Dec 11, 01:14

Well done, Monsieur le SINGE, for an ex SINGIT who knows how to decipher code!

Is Max Haitian? I thought he is Aussie!

Phieu


#458 17 Dec 11, 01:24

Side Bar: General Kinnard versus General Schwarzkopf re: ARVN

During his interview with Cochran, General Kinnard maintained his tone of superiority as if he voluntarily relinquished the task of pursuing the enemy to the ARVN:

People forget that in this phase we operated in conjunction with the ARVN. One name of the game was to get the ARVN to fight their own war. We turned the operation back to the ARVN and help them with fire support, just as the operation had started at Plei Me.

He also expressed his opinion about the ARVN when Cochran asked "What about the ARVN?" as following:

From the beginning, I felt it was critical that the ARVN learn to fight their own war. But they had to learn to crawl before they walked, to walk before they ran.

Yet, when American troops went into Chu Pong, Viet Cong troops were unimpressed and faced them squarely and even ambushed them.

And, when ARVN Airborne troops entered Ia Drang, Viet Cong troops were afraid to fight and tried to avoid all contacts, but yet were twice ambushed by the Vietnamese Red Hats ( Pribblenow).

The campaign's final battle was anticlimactic. On 20 November, South Vietnamese airborne forces, supported by US artillery, encountered the 320th Regiment's 635th and 334th Battalions along the Cambodian border. The 635th.s commander, whose unit had suffered heavy losses during the South Vietnamese relief column ambush in October, refused to engage the enemy and retreated without authorization, leaving the sister battalion alone on the battlefield.

The two units lost hundreds of men and weapons, and it was several days before the 320th Regiment managed to reestablish contact with the 635th Battalion. A PAVN analysis admits the regiment did not accomplish its assigned mission.

Once off the helicopters and on the ground, who was still "learning to crawl"? and who knew already "to run" ? Coleman was more honest than General Kinnard about 1st Air Cavalry Division troops’ readiness (Coleman, page 53):

The green troops expended a lot of ammunition early on, firing mostly at shadows. During the early days at An Khe, the saga of Maggie the mule ended tragically. She wandered too far outside the perimeter one cloudy night and was shot by a spooked picket guard. The flailing about on the perimeter revealed a fundamental truth about the division for someone who was perceptive enough to see it: the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) that had just arrived in Vietnam was not an elite unit. True, the concept of airmobility was elite, but the troopers who were to provide the sinew for making the concept a reality were typical of the American infantry, artillery, and engineer soldiers the U.S. Army was providing to all of its line outfits in 1965.

So a lot of ammunition was fire off in those first days on the perimeter, until inexperienced troops began recognizing shadows for what they were and leaders began exercising the kind of control and fire discipline that was expected of a first-rate outfit. Step by step, the division began reaching a true wartime readiness; not the paper brand of readiness but that special kind of discipline marked by proficiency and dependability and automatic habits of combat not taught in any school. The division was striving to reach an elite status. The question was, would the enemy allow it the time?

It seems that General Kinnard contradicted himself: he professed that he wanted to teach the ARVN to fight its own war; and yet, he maneuvered behind the scenes to overstep II Corps Command in wanting to rescue Pleime camp with his troops in phase I and to pursue the enemy into Cambodia in phase III of Pleime campaign - that, by the way, he preferred to call, for whatever reason or motive, Pleiku campaign.

General Schwarzkopf was fairer in his assessment of the ARVN, in particular the Airborne Brigade (Schwarzkopft, page 122)

The Airborne Brigade was South Vietnam’s best and most cohesive fighting force. Many of its officers and NCOs were tough old pros who had been fighting communists since before Dien Bien Phu. While they welcomed our presence and U.S. military aid, they never missed an opportunity to remind us that this was their war. On my very first night in the jungle, Captain Hop, the chief of operations for the task force I was assigned to, told me without rancor, “You advisors come here and fight, but after a year you can go back to your peaceful homes. But this is our home and we’re fighting for our survival”

Some of the airborne officers viewed America’s entry into the war with a kind of ironic detachment. “Well, when I am reincarnated, I want to come back as an American advisor. You have the perfect setup! When we win a battle, the advisor gets a medl. When we lose, the commander gets the blame.”

Working as closely as I did with the South Vietnamese airborne, I saw the influx of U.S combat units partly through their eyes, and I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I welcomed the added firepower – the 1st Cavalry Division, for example, was wonderful at flying artillery into the jungle and starting to fire right away, which was what enabled our task force to operate as we did at the Ia Drang.

On the other hand, the Americanization of the war disturbed me. We were suddenly going in the wrong direction with the South Vietnamese. (…) American officers began saying things like, “These guys can’t handle the war. None of them are fighters. None of them are worth a damn.”

-----------

- Cochran, Alexander S., "First Strike at River Drang", Military History, Oct 1984, pp 44-52, Per. Interview with H.W.O Kinnard, 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General.

- Coleman, J.D., "Pleiku, the Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam", St. Martin’s Press, New York

- Schwarzkopf, Norman H., "It Doesn't Take a Hero", a Bantam Book, 1992

Phieu


#459 17 Dec 11, 01:44

Boonierat: I was glad to see someone pick up the flag of the RVNAF when you showed up, I was feeling a bit lonely until then.

When I was fencing all by my self at TTVNOL, I did not feel lonely at all, but “adrenalined” like, as I had said, a Samurai encircled by hostile warriors waiting for the kill.

But, strangely enough, in here now, in a so called "friendly territory", I feel terribly lonely for having to fight for my life against on top of the same old-timer enemies, but also against some vocal “americongs” - not many though, but still deadly!

Hey, what am I complaining about? Was the ARVN not abandoned by the its Allied once?

Nevertheless, I feel invigorated by the presence of multiple supporters, although they prefer to remain silent while casting their approval votes with their footprings.

Should I change my avatar to Luckly Luck, the Texan lonesome cowboy! ing while riding toward the moon?

Naah... Phieu is still much better...

Thank you, ACG, for this freedom of speech forum and in particular for a fair balance-and-check system.

Phieu


#460 17 Dec 11, 09:50

Phieu : Luckly Luck, the Texan lonesome cowboy!ing while riding toward the moon:

I was immediately reminded of this gem:

Look like a young boy that was forced to leave a sunny place by the lake for grilling beef BBQ, and at night he tells the victory over the place-robber to his mom at home.

Is there some ancient Vietnamese book of metaphors that I haven't read? Because one makes about as much sense as the other. It's been a while since I checked in, and we seem to have taken a turn for the surreal. I would kindly suggest, Phieu, that you stop lashing out at everyone who opposes your

Lucky 6


#461 17 Dec 11, 13:04

Who is bashing whom? Who needs to open the eyes!

Hey, Lucky6, looks like you don't live too far away from me. Why don't we get together for a glass of beer?!

Phieu


#462 17 Dec 11, 13:08

Boonierat: you seem only interested in promoting your book and your brother. I believe you're doing a great disservice to General Hieu by going at it the way you do.

If that's only my interest, then what's wrong with it, as long as I present the truth.

In trying to silence me, you are doing a great disservice to the ACG community.

Phieu


#463 17 Dec 11, 13:32

“The Coup de Grace” Operation

Colonel Hieu did not rely on 1st Air Cavalry Division to provide helicopters for the transportation of the five airborne battalions in the area of operations. (I wonder: he did request and had been turned down?) This task had been assumed by the 52d Aviation Battalion:

18 November: The 52d Aviation Battalion staged II Corps (ARVN) Operation Than Phong 7 from Duc Co. The 52d elements, ten UH1Ds, twelve UH1Bs and eleven UH1Bs (A) were reinforced by twenty UH1Ds and six UH1Bs (A) from the 229th Avn Bn, 1st Air Cav Div. Fifteen hundred (1500) troops were lifted in five lifts from Duc Co to Landing Zone YA 841092. Two (2) UH1Ds from the 155th Avn Co sustained light damage from ground fire, no injuries. A major factor in the operation was a first for the Battalion in refueling twelve aircraft at a time from prepositioned pods, without shutting the aircraft down.

I am pretty sure Colonel Hieu did request 1st Air Cavalry to provide him with helicopters to transport the 5 Airborne Battalions into the operational area. But because the 1st Air Cavalry, out of frustration for not having that piece of action, flatly refused this aid request.

Later on, the same thing happened to General Hieu, then 5th Infantry Division Commander in the retreat of Snoul. After he refused to allow the III Corps Advisor to B52’s carpet bombing the sieged and encircle ARVN outpost for fear of hurting friendly forces in the air strikes, when he did request the air stikes on the withdrawal paths in preparation of troop withdrawal, he was flatly denied of the lending hand.

In a smaller scaled scenario, the same predicament is happening to me here. After I put Boonie down from his Vietnamese expert pedestal a few times, he started denying all requests of help from me and even was the one who launched the first salvo attacking me… with his hagiography accusation.

Phieu


#464 17 Dec 11, 13:48

Phieu: In a smaller scenario, the same predicament is happening to me here. After I put Boonie down from his Vietnamese expert pedestal a few times, he started denying all requests of help from me and even was the one who launched the first salvo attacking me… with his hagiography accusation.

This kinda of stuff confirms you are indeed paranoid. How does the above further your objective of presenting your material?

KEN JENSEN


#465 17 Dec 11, 13:50

??? Phieu


#466 17 Dec 11, 19:58

Boonierat: When I thought Sorley's hagiography of Abrams would remain unsurpassed I was obviously plain wrong...

Can you point out any inaccuracies and/or exaggerations in my description of the execution of the operational concept of Colonel Hieu in the Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang Complex? Somethings that allow you to characterize as hagiography?!

It's just merely a narration of a campaign, not yet a biography! ...

Phieu


#467 18 Dec 11, 00:09

Funny phenomenon: the number of views reaches 10003 and the rating went from 5 boxes down to 2 boxes!

What do you make out of it?

I am loved by the guests and hated by ACG members. That's what it is.

Obviously, I had revealed a lot of things unknown or unaware before, and strangely that unnerved some or a lot of ACG members, especially those who thought they knew everything about the Vietnam War already.

I have stated at the outset of this thread: I am only expert in what involved my brother and since he was the main unknown player in the Pleime campaign, I wanted to reveal what people might still not know about that battle. Why did that revelation unnerve some people, I really cannot tell for sure: envy? humiliation? feeling of inferiority? conviction, pride shattered? ashame?

Again why hate because I am telling the naked and painful truth? If I do not say it right, then prove me wrong. Nobody has done that lately when I immerge deeply into the Pleime counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang complex, in particular its extraordinary operational concept. It's heavy stuff, I know, which is not that easy to digest. It so heavy that Bonnie claimed that I try to shovel it down people's throat. But again, did I say anything that is not the truth? Do I make up things? I don't think so... Again prove me wrong. Let's be open-minded and fair play.

Phieu


#468 18 Dec 11, 02:52

Hagiography.

What else would you call it?

This taken from your own review of your book on Amazon

“General Hieu as an unsung hero, whose tactical and strategic skills put him among the best soldiers of modern times, at par with General Rommel of Germany, Patton of the United States, Montgomery of England and Leclerc of France.”

Yeah right.

The fact that you think it is OK to review your own book on Amazon and give it four stars, pretty much tells me all I need to know about you. You are a tool.

It was me, who was the first to give this thread a ‘worthless’ rating, because it is pretty clear that the one vote of ‘excellence’ was your own, as is your habit. I see that someone else has now also chipped in with a dud vote as well and the votes are currently running two to one against you.

I rated it as worthless because of your poor scholarship and your intellectual dishonesty. Your contribution to this forum is characterised by obfuscation, fabrication, bare assertions and exceptionally shonky back editing, as such, they are utterly, utterly meritless.

So far you have given us, plagiarised maps, unattributed quotes and citations that prove the precise opposite of the position you advocate. You are not somebody to be taken seriously. I

am staggered by the fact that you managed to scam Texas TTU into letting you present your nonsense at their symposium on two occasions. I can only imagine that they, like ‘Boonie’ has here, allowed it as some sort of ‘equal opportunity’ gesture. Boonie might feel somewhat embarrassed for giving you a tub with which to thump your adversarial dementia, but he should take heart in the fact that you managed to swindle Texas Tech twice.

I’m not sure whether these particular acts of charity have gone to your head or not, but I suspect that they have.

The internet seems to be a petrie dish for loons, cranks, halfwits and frauds with an attachment to the war in Vietnam. You belong in the same category as the MIA truthers and wannabes.

Out of curiousity, what colour is the sky in your alternative universe?

Max Alcibiades


#469 18 Dec 11, 04:36

Ah! Monsieur le Professeur Erudit,

Hagiography.

Let's put aside my book for the moment. We are talking about what I said about what you don't know yet about the Iadrang battle.

Furthermore, Boonie alluded to my post on "The Art of How to Bridle a Mustang", when he yelled out hagiography.

First of all, let me remind you that you are the one who hates me the most because I K.O you at Dien Bien Phu. So bear in mind, that you are very, very subjective in this matter.

It was me, who was the first to give this thread a ‘worthless’ rating, because it is pretty clear that the one vote of ‘excellence’ was your own, as is your habit . I see that someone else has now also chipped in with a dud vote as well and the votes are currently running two to one against you.

-False accusation. I don't even know how to use the mechanism of rating in this forum yet! And how it is tabulating either! I do not know it reflects individual rating, I thought it is an average of many, many voters. Let see who else besides you vote it down: Ken? Boonie?... Altus? Naah... I don't think he is that mesquine...

But then who cares? ... I risk to throw out false accusations like you did.

I rated it as worthless because of your poor scholarship and your intellectual dishonesty. Your contribution to this forum is characterised by obfuscation, fabrication, bare assertions and exceptionally shonky back editing, as such, they are utterly, utterly meritless.

-What's wrong with back editing. Isn't it allow by ACG forum regulations? You sound as frustrated as Altus regarding this tool use. Ask him, he will teach you how to counter that...

So far you have given us, plagiarised maps, unattributed quotes and citations that prove the precise opposite of the position you advocate. You are not somebody to be taken seriously.

- plagiarized maps you mean Smith's? Well blame them, as I had told Ken who made the same accusation, to Boonie. Remember I was not a cartography expert guy?! The others are from Why Pleime and Pleiku Campaign.

- unattributed quotes and citations All the main quotes and citations are from this list of reference documents:

1. Pleiku, the Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam, J.D. Coleman, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1988.
2. We Were Soldiers Once… and Young, General Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, Random House, New York, 1992.
3. First Engagement With American Troops at Pleime-Iadrang , General Pham Huu An, Chien Truong Moi, Memoir, Quan Doi Nhan Dan Publishing House, Hanoi, 2002.
4. Pleiku Campaign, 1st Air Cavalry Division Headquarters, General Harry Kinnard, March 4, 1966.
5. Pleime Battle Viewed From G3/I Field Force Vietnam, G3 Journal, I Field Force Vietnam, October 1965.
6. Than Phong 7 Viewed From G3/I Field Force Vietnam, G3 Journal, I Field Force Vietnam, November 1965.
7. Tribute to a Brilliant Commander, General Norman Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take A Hero, Bantam, 1992.
8. Why Pleime, General Vinh Loc, Information Printing Office, Saigon, September 1966.
9. "First Strike at River Drang", Military History, Oct 1984, pp 44-52, Per. Interview with H.W.O Kinnard, 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General, Cochran, Alexander S.

If sometimes there were unattributed quotes, perhaps due to a foresights or assumption they had been attributed before from the same sources.

- prove the precise opposite of the position you advocate, some concrete instances, please.

I am staggered by the fact that you managed to scam Texas TTU into letting you present your nonsense at their symposium on two occasions.

- letting you present, do you know how presenters are recruited at Vietnam Center?

- two occasions, not two, six ! and in the last time - I have mentioned to you this episode already - a participant said, "I have heard a lot of panelists in this symposium. They all talk s***. They have no clue of what they are talking about. You are different. How come you know so much about our battles. Who are your?"

I can only imagine that they, like ‘Boonie’ has here, allowed it as some sort of ‘equal opportunity’ gesture. Boonie might feel somewhat embarrassed for giving you a tub with which to thump your adversarial dementia, but he should take heart in the fact that you managed to swindle Texas Tech twice

- The premise is wrong, so I don't bother to respond.

I’m not sure whether these particular acts of charity have gone to your head or not, but I suspect that they have.

- The premise is wrong, so I don't bother to respond.

The internet seems to be a petrie dish for loons, cranks, halfwits and frauds with an attachment to the war in Vietnam. You belong in the same category as the MIA truthers and wannabes.

Do you know how many hits www.generalhieu.com got a day? Average 400 hits!

Out of curiousity, what colour is the sky in your alternative universe?

I don't know, but it is surely different from yours...

Seriously, point out with concrete instances all my inaccuracies in what I am telling you in this forum, and we shall debate seriously.

Phieu


#470 18 Dec 11, 04:46

The casualties issue at Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang

This is a sticky issue for the NVA side who, even forced on the run all the time was able to come up allegedly accurate damages inflicted on the enemy and claimed victory. How was it possibly to sustain such claim when

-the 32nd Regiment NVA had to abandon the ambush formation after it failed to stop and destroy the rescue Armored Task Force and had to retreat to Chu Pong massif;

-the 33rd Regiment NVA after attacking Pleime camp in order to lure in relief force had to withdraw together with 32nd Regiment NVA to the rear base in Chu Pong massif;

- the 66th Regiment NVA which had belatedly reached the battlefield was attacked in surprise by US 1st Air Cavalry Brigade which landed at the footsteps of Chu Pong massif.

All three 32nd, 33rd, and 66th Regiments NVA were deadly mauled by B-52 bombs which carpeted five times daily all over Chu Pong massif from November 15 to 19. And finally, the two 334th and 635th Battalions belonging to 32nd Regiment NVA were cornered and slaughtered by ARVN Airborne Brigade on their retreat paths in the Ia Drang valley toward Cambodia.

The enemy suffered heavy losses, in particular the 33rd Regiment which besieged the camp was down to one company of effectives. It is worthwhile noting that the 33rd losses were revealed by captured enemy own reports through radio relay intercepts:

- On 11/09, the 33d Regiment began to count noses. There were many missing. The regimental muster brought these casualty figures:

Units* Approx Strength Prior to Pleime Percent or Number of Casualties
1st Battalion 500 33% KIA
2d Battalion 500 50% KIA
3d Battalion 500 33% KIA
Regt Mortar Company 120 50% KIA
Regt Anti Acft Company 150 60% KIA
Regt Signal Company 120 4 KIA-16 MIA
Regt Transport Company 150 50% KIA
Regt Medical Company 40 80% KIA or MIA
Regt Engineer Company 60 15 KIA or MIA
Regt Reconnaissance Co 50 9 KIA

In total, the headcount showed 890 men of the original 2,200 killed, with more than 100 missing and still more suffering from incapacitating wounds. Materiel losses were also heavy with the Regimental Anti-air-craft company losing 13 of its 18 guns and the Regimental mortar company losing 5 of its 9 tubes. Six more mortars were lost by the battalions, along with most of the recoilless rifles. The ammunition, food and medical supply losses also had been crippling.

The NVA 32nd Regiment which set up the ambushes lost 40 percent of its officers and men, including 2 of 3 Battalion Commanders killed and the third one wounded, and 18 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine guns and 11 mortars.

The Pleime camp Commander reported Viet Cong's casualties during the siege were 400 KIA.

The US 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Commander reported Viet Cong's casualties during its All The Way Operation in the pursuit of the enemy from Pleime camp to Chu Pong massif were about 800. Viet Cong's casualties at LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany were estimated at 2,500.

B-52 bombardments accounted for about 2,000.

ARVN Airborne Brigade killed about 300 at two ambush sites. The total casualties on the Viet Cong's side in the Pleime battle amounted to 6,000 combatants. The ratio of casualties between the allied forces' side and Viet Cong's side was 1/10.

The body count might be a fallacy in determining the winning and the losing sides in a battle, but the accurate assessment on the losses suffered by the enemy is crucial for the planning of the next attack or counteroffensive. A miscalculation would be deadly to the committed troops in case it turns out they are outnumbered. Suppose II Corps Command misjudged that the enemy only had two battalions left, and dispatched in five airborne battalions, while the enemy had its contingency relatively intact equivalent to two or three regiments, then the five airborne battalions would be mauled miserably once they were thrown in the lion’s den.

Phieu


#471 18 Dec 11, 05:30

Crackpot. I forgot crackpot.

Got an excuse for providing your own gilded Amazon review?

Got any idea what the phrase 'damned by faint praise' means? If you do, can you explain in the context of the quite weird introduction to your book and Amazon review by Tri V Nguyen?

Can you provide a single citation for any of the things you have claimed here that Swartzkopf said, or more to the point, thought?

Precisely what do you mean by 'Psychic Pen Phenomenon'?

Max Alcibiades


#472 18 Dec 11, 06:03

Max Alcibiades : Got an excuse for providing your own gilded Amazon review?

Got any idea what the phrase 'damned by faint praise' means? If you do, can you explain in the context of the quite weird introduction to your book and Amazon review by Tri V Nguyen?

Again, let's do not discuss about my book here, it is not the place.

But just briefly, do you know who is Tri V Nguyen? It's not me, in case you think it's me.

Can you provide a single citation for any of the things you have claimed here that Swartzkopf said, or more to the point, thought?

Did I quote It Doesn't Take a Hero (#7 on the list provided) for what Schwarzkopf (I thought you do spelling too!) said?

Precisely what do you mean by 'Psychic Pen Phenomenon'?

Buy my book and read it closely. I explain precisely what I mean by that in it. Or if you are that cheap, you can read it gratis in www.generalhieu.com as well, in Vietnamese, in English and in French (sorry it is not in Aussie slangs)

Btw, you should read and reread thoroughly something that you wanted to criticize. You have been reading too much shallowingly. Make an effort to dwell in it deeply. If you cannot do that - like in this case - then, do me a favor please, be humble and shut up and listen and learn. It's better for you and for me and for all of us.

No more distractions, please.

I shall no more respond to you, lest Boonie think the house is catching fire and has a pretext to hose it down.

Phieu


#473 18 Dec 11, 06:17

No doubt about it. Tri V Nguyen couldn't possibly be you.

Here's the definition of damned with faint praise

and here's an actual example (The emphasis is mine)

This biography, a reader would notice at the outset, is not written by a historian, an investigative reporter, or a professional biographer. It originates instead from the pen of a younger sibling seeking to resolve the mystery surrounding his brother's untimely death. This legitimate curiosity has evolved into a collection of articles depicting General Nguyen van Hieu as a family man, a patriot, a military strategist, and a man of integrity. This collection of articles authored by siblings, friends, and fellow military men unexpectedly converges to project a dynamic image of an intelligent soldier and brilliant strategist engaged in the twofold quixotic task of overcoming a corrupted military hierarchy and fighting the invading North Vietnamese communist army. The book presents the reader with glimpses of a man living the yin aspect of the Vietnamese society (egalitarian, flexible, spiritual, congenial) and, at the same time, confronting the yang aspect of the neo-Confucianist military and government hierarchy (male dominant, rigid, self-serving, elitist, concerned with face and status). Without any claim to being systematic or thorough in his research, the author has nevertheless gathered a number of revealing personal anecdotes, testimonies from living witnesses, declassified documents from the National Archives, letters from former military academy classmates, phone interviews, excerpts from books, and so forth. From this cacophony of voices emerges the image of a virtuous man, caring father, loving spouse, and competent general respected by Vietnamese and American military personnel of all ranks. The reader would no doubt be surprised to discover this unsung hero in the stark background of negative memories of the Vietnam War and betrayal of the Vietnamese people by the neo-Confucianist military and government hierarchy. Though modest in its presentation, the book manages to do justice to a dedicated soldier and competent general, who is mostly unknown to both the Vietnamese and the American public. After reading this fascinating biography, the reader comes away wondering what might have been had this uncommon general, who epitomized the true Vietnamese people, been allowed to fully exercise his military competence

If you can't even cajole some poor sap into writing a decent introduction to your blithering, why should you expect the rest of the great unwashed public to give a rats?

You've been given a couple of free kicks entirely due to political correctness, equal opportunity and now your just taking liberties with them.

I'm seriously revising my commitment to multiculturalism.

Max Alcibiades


#474 18 Dec 11, 06:26

Tri is my other brother! He lives in Philadelphia and is a professor at La Salle University...

Thanks for your pro bono advirtisement of my book!

I'm seriously revising my commitment to multiculturalism.

Please don't do that, you would become a cockier and bitter person and thus more caustic individual.

This is my last response to you.

No more distractions, please.

I shall no more respond to you, lest Boonie think the house is catching fire and has a pretext to hose it down

Phieu


#475 18 Dec 11, 06:45

He's your brother? That figures.

You need to have a word with him, because that was a pretty piss poor adviritsement.

I'd cross him off my Christmas card list at the very least. If you've gone to the trouble of buying him a present, it's not too late to whip it back and get a refund.

In ten years you've only managed four reviews, one was yours and two were from your brother. Good work champ!

As the young people say today - You totally rock!

Max Alcibiades


#476 18 Dec 11, 07:42

In ten years you've only managed four reviews, one was yours and two were from your brother. Good work champ!

How about the 488 readers' comments?

www.generalhieu.com/ykienm.htm

And the following:

*General Hieu was obviously a great soldier who put his country and his people foremost. (General Fred C. Weyand)

*Biography of a South Vietnam general officer who has been likened to Patton, Rommel, Montgomery, and LeClerc. He was much admired by Vietnamese civilians and respected by his American advisors. (Douglas Pike)

* This book sheds light on the ARVN Forces never before told. (Darryl Nelson)

* I do not see how anyone studying the Vietnam Wr on the ARVN side can nglect your book at all. (James Miguez)

Haven't had time to digest all my responses yet? instead of adding more fallacies...

I mean it this time: This is my last, last response to you.

No more distractions, please.

I shall no more respond to you, lest Boonie think the house is catching fire and has a pretext to hose it down

Phieu


#477 18 Dec 11, 13:04

Why Pleime and plagiarism

Do you know that when Colonel Hieu wrote the following he plagiarized LTC Hal Moore?

At noon on 14 November, helicopters disgorged troops and artillery from the 1st Air Cavalry on the very doorsteps of the Chu Pong mountains. Instead of launching an attack on Pleime, field Front fount itself engaged in a struggle to defend its own base. The landing zone called L.Z. X-ray was about 25 km from the Camp of Pleime, at the eastern foot of the Chu Pong massif. The terrain was flat and consisted of scrub trees up to 100 feet high, thick elephant grass varying in height from one foot to five feet and ant hills throughout the area up to eight feet high with thick brush and elephant grass on and around them. Along the western edge of the LZ, the trees and grass were especially thick and extended off into the jungle on the foothills of the mountain.

After a 20-minute tube artillery preparation, and 30 seconds of aerial artillery fire, the landing of the 1/7 Cavalry battalion began. The battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Harold G. Moore, himself with the assault company - Company B - landed precisely at 1048 hours on 14 November 1965.

While the helicopters were shuttling back to Pleime to lift company A, the B company commander secured the landing zone by having one platoon dispatch its squads into different areas, 50 to 100 meters off the landing zone to reconnoiter. At approximately 1120 hours a prisoner was taken. He stated that he had eaten only bananas for five days and that there were three VC battalions on the mountain.

At 1210 hours, as sufficient elements of company A had landed, the LZ security mission was given to that company and company B ordered to search the lower portion of the mountain area with emphasis on the finger leading down towards X-ray.

Around 1245 hours, lead elements of company B began to engage in a fire fight of moderate intensity. Shortly afterwards, at approximately 1330 hours, the company commander reported that he was being attacked heavily by at least two companies of enemy and that his right platoon 2B1/7 was in danger of being surrounded and cut off from the rest of the company by a numerically superior force. The fire fight became intense. Also a few rounds of 60 and 81 mm mortar fire began falling in the LZ and on company B.

Shortly after the fire fight began, the last platoon of company A and lead elements of company C landed. Company A was then ordered to move up on the left of company B, to establish physical contact with it, to protect its left flank and to send one platoon up to assist company B in getting to the platoon which was in danger. Company C was ordered to take up a blocking position off the landing zone to the south and southwest to prevent the LZ from being overrun in that direction and to give protection to A company's left flank. Airstrikes and artillery fires were called in on the lower fringe of the mountains foothills and work over the mountain and enemy approaches to the LZ from the west and south. But there were no well-defined terrain features to help and the scrubs and trees all looked alike. The air was heavy with smoke and dust. The fact that the separated 2B1/7 platoon was forward of companies A and B delayed delivery of effective fires in support of these two companies. However, using the technique of "walking" fires down the mountain from the south and west, fires were placed where they gave some help to these two companies. Despite all its efforts, company B reinforced was only able to get to within 75 meters of the cut-off platoon and could get no further.

Concurrently, company A minus also made heavy contact with a large force of at least one enemy company which was driving in and along a dry creek bed parallel to the western edge of the LZ. A very heavy firefight immediately broke out. Company A was taking light casualties and extracting a heavy toll from the enemy. One platoon was in such a position that it was able to bring close-in flanking fire on 50-70 VC as they continued moving across their front.

Just as company A firefight broke out, the last elements of company C and the lead elements D landed. The C company commander directed his elements into position alongside his other elements which had landed previously within five minutes, a force of 175-200 enemy headed for the LZ and ran headlong into company C. They were held off and numerous of them killed in the process of trying to get to the landing zone. The action continued for approximately one hour and a half until the enemy, disorganized and decimated, pulled off under heavy friendly artillery and air fires, dragging many of his dead and wounded.

At 1500 hours, as the remainder of the tactical elements of the battalion finally landed, and the enemy fire had slacked off, due to companies C and D actions, the battalion commander could quickly give necessary orders for the repositioning of his troops. Afterwards, two attacks were launched to reach the surrounded 2B1/7 platoon. But they were met by a greatly superior enemy force which from concealed positions was trying to cut off the attacking forces into parts. By 1740 hours, Colonel Moore decided to pull back companies A and B under cover of heavy supporting fires to the fringe of the landing zone and set up a tight defensive perimeter for the night. The battalion was still in good communications with the surrounded platoon and it was ringed with close in artillery defensive fire. By 1800 hours, company B of the 2/7 battalion landed to reinforce the 1/7.

15 November 1965

Due to the heavy losses they had received in the afternoon, the enemy made only some light probes around the perimeter at night. As for the cut-off platoon, it received three separate attacks from the enemy but thanks to the protection by continued close-in artillery fires, when daylight broke, numerous enemy dead were seen around the platoon.

But as first light came, the enemy reappeared and simultaneously attacked from three directions: from the south, south west and south east. By 0730 hours, the enemy had moved almost to the perimeter foxholes despite taking severe losses from artillery, mortar and close air support. There was considerable hand fighting. At 0755 hours, all platoon positions were ordered to throw a colored smoke grenade to define visually for the air observers the periphery of the perimeter and all fire support brought in extremely close, because the enemy fire was so heavy that movements toward or within the sector of defense resulted in more friendly casualties. Some friendly artillery fire fell inside the perimeter itself and two cans of napalm were delivered in the battalion CP area.

At approximately 0910 hours, company A, 2/7 battalion landed to reinforce. By 1000 hours, the enemy attack was finally repelled, enemy corpses, body fragments, weapons and equipment were littered in profusion around the edge and forward of the perimeter. There was massive evidence of many other enemy dead and wounded being dragged away from the area.

The relief of the cut-off platoon took place in the afternoon and was conducted by the 2/5 battalion which had been sent by the 3rd Brigade and on foot from LZ Victor, had closed into LZ X-ray at 1205 hours. Little enemy resistance was encountered and the platoon was reached at 1510 hours. It still had ammunitions left, was in good morale and suffered only 8 KIA, 12 WIA.

16 November 1965

The night was relatively quiet until 0400 hours when a force of 250-300 enemy attacked from the south east. Flareship illumination was called for and continuous until 0545 hours. The attack was beaten off by small arms and artillery fires. At 0432 hours, another attack by 200 enemies came in from the same direction but the artillery took a heavy toll. By 0500 hours, the weight of the enemy attack had shifted more to the southwest but repulsed half an hour later. At 0627 hours, another attack came directly toward the CP. At 0641 hours, the enemy had been beaten off and was dragging off bodies under fire.

A search and clear sweep was conducted at 0810 hours by all units on the perimeter. Enemy dead were lying throughout the area and numerous weapons were collected.

The entire battle had lasted continuous for 48 hours and the enemy had suffered at X-ray almost one third of their total losses throughout all three phases:

- KIA (body count): 834

- KIA (estimated): 1215

- CIA: 6

-Weapons captured: 141

- Weapons destroyed: 100

As for the 1/7 battalion, 79 troops were killed and 125 wounded.

The ratio which amounts to 1/10 has proved how lucky the 1/7 battalion had been because it was rather surprising that from the hills which dominate the LX, the enemy did not position any crew-served weapons to support their attack. Such a situation could be explained only by the following reasons:

- The enemy has lost nearly all their heavy crew-served weapons during the first phase.

- They had been surprised by the attack of the 1/7 battalion and their commanders had failed to make the best use of the terrain.

- Their tactics relied mostly on the "human waves" and they were too confident that their attack would disorganize the 1/7 battalion very quickly.

The 1/7 battalion left LZ X-ray at 1040 hours on 16 November and was replaced by the 2/7 and 2/5 battalions.

(www.generalhieu.com/lzxray_moore_hieu-2.htm)

It seems that in those old days, plagiarism was not a sin.

Besides, it shows that Hal Moore was just reporting his action to the author of the operational concep the way he executed it.

Phieu


#478 18 Dec 11, 13:53

Max Alcibiades : Boonie might feel somewhat embarrassed for giving you a tub with which to thump your adversarial dementia, but he should take heart in the fact that you managed to swindle Texas Tech twice.

Boonie should not feel somewhat embarrassed because it was not my adversarial dementia that has been exposed here.

Is the exposé of the uniqueness of Pleime counteroffensive operational concept a product of my so called dementia? Isn't it not a fact, a history fact that has never been revealed anywhere else but this ACG forum to date? He should be proud for having facilitate that revelation to occur right here.

Phieu


#479 18 Dec 11, 17:11

Phieu: Do you know that when Colonel Hieu wrote the following he plagiarized LTC Hal Moore?

(www.generalhieu.com/lzxray_moore_hieu-2.htm)

It seems that in those old days, plagiarism was not a sin.

Besides, it shows that Hal Moore was just reporting his action to the author of the operational concep the way he executed it.

What I see in your postings within this thread is both Plagiarism and possibly Copyright violations.

Plagiarism is not illegal; but really frowned upon and "First Known Use of PLAGIARISM 1621"; your "in the old days" doesn't fly.

plagiarize

transitive verb

: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source

intransitive verb

: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dicti...0&t=1324240164

Copyright material you used within this thread and evidently in "the book", I recognized, was at least one Map by Ray Smith, which was originally marked as Copyrighted material. Unless you had written permission to use the data, you broke the LAW.

Copyright law

http://lib.byu.edu/departs/copyright...le1/page2.htm#

My conclusion; you are lazy, a thief, and law breaker. I know I'd rather trust Altus than you. The material "facts" you have presented may very well be valid. But your character is flawed; therefore you opinions are also "flawed".

By the way I had never rated this thread; but since you mentioned it, and keep using my name in your posts, I have (selected worst rating on list).

KEN JENSEN


#480 18 Dec 11, 17:14

Enough distraction from you ... I won't bother to respond to you anymore...

(post #437)

Phieu


#481 18 Dec 11, 22:32

Response to a question raised

I used to be a high school teacher way back in Viet Nam.

When a student asked a question, if I determined because

a. I did explain the lesson quite clearly and he was a genuine student, open-minded and eager to learn,
- I would try to explain again a little more clearler;

b. He did not review previous lessons, and so did not understand this lesson,
- I would tell him to review his lessons first;

c. He was too impatient and expected to understand immediately the lesson,
- I would tell him to wait until the end of the lesson or the chapter, and would automatic understand the new lesson without further explanation;

d. He just wanted to show off in front of the class,
- I would demonstrate to him how shallowed and limited his knowledge is still (that would certainly humiliate in front of the class and shut up) and would move on with the lesson;

f. He was a repeater category c. student,
- I would just flatly tell him to shut up;

g. He was not at the level of the class,
- I would request that he be put down to a lower level grade;

h. He was just too obtuse,
- I won’t bother to explain further to him and just moved on for the entire class and hoped and prayed the best for him.

Phieu


#482 19 Dec 11, 01:22

33 pages; and on each page you sound more like Lt. Gen. Ngo Quang Truong telling me how well the ARVN 3rd Division fought during the opening days of the Easter Offensive in '72.

I will spell out the parallel if you don't get it... p>skiplc


#483 19 Dec 11, 02:42

33 pages ! Isn't it great?

Naaah ... Student category c.? p>Skipped!

Unless you can tell it in 33+ pages ...

In such case, better start a new thread ...

Even better: Gonna buy some booze & tobacco and just waste the rest of it., ship mate.

P.S.

Firstly, LTG Trưởng was IV Corps Commander at that time. He only replaced LTG Hoàng Xuân Lãm after the loss of Quảng Trị. Brigadier General Vũ Văn Giai was 3rd ID Commander then.

Secondly, Trưởng ain't Hiếu...

Phieu


#484 19 Dec 11, 02:55

Side Bar: 1st Air Cavalry Commanders’ Cockiness

Later on when he became 22nd Infantry Division Commander, General Hieu continued to have experience with abrasive 1st Air Cavalry Commanders, like in the following case of Eagle 800 operation as narrated by Colonel Trinh Tieu, chief G2/22nd ID:

On the subject of joint operations with allies' units, I still remember operation Eagles Claw 800 in the beginning of 1967. In accordance with General Westmoreland's and General Cao Van Vien's plan, all Vietnamese, American and Korean units must implement operation Search and Destroy in 1967. Binh Dinh Province was the largest province, with 12 districts, the most populated province in South Vietnam (approximately 1 million habitants) and was the province most infected with Viet Cong. From 1945 to 1954, Binh Dinh was the capital of Communist Region 5 (the French army had never set foot in this region). During over 9 years under the communist control, many joined the Communist Party, others rallied up to the North, consequently almost every family had some ties with the Communist.

In this area, the Communists had the NVA 3 Yellow Stars Division, the renown Division of Communist Region 5, a Governor and Command Post composed of numerous local battalions, and innumerable guerillas. According to the planning maps of operation Eagles Claw 800, the four northern districts: Tam Quan, Bong Son, Phu My and Phu Cat the most populated areas, were assigned to 22nd Division with the mission to search and destroy and also to pacify the areas. The southern areas were: Qui Nhon, Tuy Phuoc, Phu Phong and Van Canh were operational areas of Korean White Tiger Division, and the four western districts: An Khe, Vinh Thanh, An Lao and Hoai An, treacherous and mountainous areas were designated as operational areas of the American 1st Cavalry Division, because this Division was equipped with plenty of helicopters and Air Force fire powers, and thus was the spear-headed force in the planning of the 3 Vietnamese, American and Korean General Staffs. The American 1st Cavalry Division was to operate in its operational area the first 3 days, then came the turn of the Vietnamese 22nd Division and the Korean White Tiger Division to operate in their respective operational area.

During the first 3 days, with ample helicopter supports, the American 1st Cavalry Division poured their units into the most secured areas of the Communists in Hoai An and Vinh Thanh districts, destroyed and burned up numerous rice storages of the Communists, the well protected rear service areas of Region 5 and of the 3 Yellow Stars Division. The American soldiers were very aggressive in their search and destroy the enemy, but the Communists were very clever in avoiding any contacts with the Americans because they knew the American units were very strong.

At 11:00 p.m. on day D+3, the Major General of the American 1st Cavalry Division's helicopter landed down at the 22nd Division headquarters. He went in to meet and confer with General Hieu. He requested that General Hieu abandon the attack into the direction West of district Phu My area and coordinated with the 1st Cavalry Division to attack into An Lao where he was convinced the 3 Yellow Stars Division had its units gathered. General Hieu called me in to confirm this intelligence information. I briefed General Hieu and the Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division that I had encountered a Viet Cong guerilla who resided in the mountainous areas west of Phu My district. I had spent a lot of money to feed this guerilla's family. A few days ago, he informed me that numerous units of the 3 Yellow Stars Division rallied at the boundary areas between Phu My and Hoai An districts. Based on previous confirmed information provided by this guerilla, I determined that he was believable. I reported to General Hieu and to the American General that a few regiments of the 3 Yellow Stars Division was hiding in the operational area above mentioned.

The American 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General [John Norton] said: "Today, I had a company of Rangers heli-lifted into that area to search and destroy the enemy, but no contact was made. I knew I did wrong in so doing because I stepped in the operational area of the 22nd Division, but because of my eagerness to destroy the enemy, I was forced to do so." He asked me: "Major (I was head of G2 Intelligence unit of the 22nd Division at that time), are you certain that the enemy is present in that area where the operation will be conducted?" I responded: "Major General, the Communists were extremely careful in avoiding to make contact with the American units because they were afraid of your fire-powers. I am convinced the 22nd Division will make contact with the 3 Yellow Stars Division at this target." General Hieu politely told the American General: "In the plan discussed by the three Vietnamese, American, Korean Divisions, our Division will go into our operational area tomorrow, we should not change our plan too early."

Based on intelligence information provided by G2, General Hieu ordered Lieutenant Colonel Bui Trach Dzan, Commander of 41st Regiment to only use 2 infantry Battalions and the Regiment Command Post unit to enter the operational area early in the morning and when the units reached the area around 3:00 p.m., to have the units settled down, have the soldiers take their supper and dig extremely solid defensive fox holes. This area was infested with Viet Cong informants. Knowing perfectly that these informants would signal to the Communists to attack our units when they knew the number of our units committed in the operational area, General Hieu made a plan to counter attack them with the force of armored cavalry. General Hieu hid one Infantry Battalion and one Armored Cavalry Regiment at a distance of 10 km away from the operational area, out of enemy sight.

At 2:00 a.m., Lieutenant Colonel Bui Trach Dzan radioed back to the headquarters that the enemy began attacking his units. General Hieu gave the order to the Armored Cavalry Regiment and the reserved Battalion to speed into the targeted area and to go behind the enemy line, to encircle the enemy, preventing the enemy from withdrawing and to destroy the enemy. The American 1st Cavalry, found out that we came into contact with the enemy, sent up helicopters to provide lightning support. Artillery of both Vietnamese and American Divisions fired continuously in support. Luminous rockets launched by the American 1st Cavalry were so bright that night became as clear as day. The Communists' night attack planning was sapped. Thirty minutes later, the Armored Cavalry Regiment and the reserved Battalion arrived at the scene on time, encircled the enemy and killed a lot of them. At 5:00 a.m. the Communists had to leak their wounds, disperse and withdraw into the jungle, leaving behind 300 KIA lying all over the place, numerous weapons and ammunition scattered all over the operational area.

General Hieu landed down by helicopter to inspect the battlefield. Fifteen minutes later, the Commanding General of the American 1st Cavalry Division also landed down at the operational area. Seeing that our units had achieved victory over the 3 Yellow Stars Division with glory, the American Major General came to see me, happily shook my hand and congratulated several times on the luring tactic achieved by the 22nd Division and on the exactitude of intelligence gathering achieved by its G2.

(www.generalhieu.com/HieuVeagles.htm)

The American Advisors at II Corps Headquarters were also uneasy with the abrasive attitude of 1st Air Cavalry officers (Coleman, page 105)

The people manning the division’s forward control element moved into the MACV advisory compound at II Corps headquarters, causing a doubling-up in the dormitory rooms to accommodate the newcomers. This was not always done with good grace; many of the First Teamers tended to take the attitude that the Cavalry had come to the rescue of the advisors, while the advisors felt that a quiet little war had been unnecessarily heated up because of the 1st Cavalry. A lot of the American advisory people didn’t have a clue about the size of the NVA elements operating out in the valley, and they were convinced that the whole operation had been staged to give the 1st Cavalry an introductory showcase. One advisor was heard to grumble to another at the bar that “it was a nice war until the Americans came in.”

Phieu


#485 19 Dec 11, 02:57

Did you miss the...

Light a fart and jump through a hula hoop?

skiplc


#486 19 Dec 11, 03:00

See P.S. of Post #483

Phieu


#487 20 Dec 11, 02:07

My Current Standing Status in ACG Forum

Let me make a report on my standing status in this forum as I understand it.

When I first joined in this forum, I was greeted with open arms.

I was humbled and eager to learn from military experts among the members as well as willing to offer my insights of the Ia Drang battle. I made it very clearly that at the outset that I would bring the expertise of my brother, General Nguyen Van Hieu, who was the main player in that battle.

On the way, I exposed my ignorance in some basic military knowledge, such as map reading, military symbols, types of report (AAR, ORLL), etc. I was offered some schooling in these areas and gladly accepted the opportunity to learn. A mutual friendly rapport had been established.

But then came in Altus, the VC I knew from TTVNOL, who started to challenge me at any opportunities. When I went into the counteroffensive and denounced him as a spy, I provoked an unexpected collective clamor of indignation from several ACG members who was unknowningly “americongs”. I was even admonished by the moderator for “nonsense” and “disturbance of peace”. In addition to that, I contrived several prominent members by exposing their flaws in their military fields of expertise. With the combination of these two elements, the tide took a sudden adversarial reverse turn against me.

The end result is that although I presented a most compelling exposé of the Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang campaign, during which time, nobody was able to come up with any objections and remained silent all along, until the moment I laid out the Art of How To Bridle a Mustang, Boonie launched the first salvo of an attack, not on inaccuracies of what I said – he could not name a single one, but a personal attack of a vague accusations of “hagiography, of promoting my brother and my book (what’s wrong with that even if that’s false or true). His followers in the assault could neither come up with any inaccuracies of what I said and also were contented with personal attacks.

The majority of ACG’s members - not the silent majority, but the vocal ones - had their mind totally locked up. They could not see the beauty of Colonel Hieu’s extraordinary operational concept that enabled him to herd the three NVA regiments into one location and to maintain them lingering at staging areas to become seating ducks, perfect targets for B-52 air strikes. They did not applaud when faced with such a military feat. Just because Colonel Hieu, an Arvin, had fared better than his American counterparts commanding generals, they booed him down. They are capable of praising a PAVN general, but not an ARVN general!

Strange indeed! It’s beyond comprehension. How can they justify their negative attitude? Are they that biaised?! Did they let their negative feelings obfuscate their mental ability of judgement and fairness attitude?

When I pointed out that my thread is well received and the fastest growing one based on the numbers of views, I was told no one – meaning ACG members – would read my postings anymore! The continuation of multiple counter clock tickings (10918) has – thanks to God – proved them wrong.

This strange situation makes me put in doubt the integrity of some “top” ACG members (actually I found out they are a group of self-serving guys who pat each other shoulders and could not stand being contradicted). And I can say I have not been treated fairly by them.

They almost succeeded in preventing me from bringing in my insight contribution on the Ia Drang battle to the ACG community.

Phieu


#488 20 Dec 11, 06:25

FWIW...I stop by this site to read up on my father’s war. This thread started out pretty good. Since page 5, it has devolved into an insult-fest sprinkled with nuggets of information. I hope it can be brought back on target. There was alot of good info in the first 5 pages...Don.

don744


#489 20 Dec 11, 06:51

On the contrary, the first 5 pages were only probing maneuvers to feel and flush out the potential "foes", get a feeling on their strenghts and weaknesses, ending with a promise "the best is yet to come", and on the way put out some small bush fires. And that best is yet to come is the Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang Complex, followed by a series of The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept, capped by The Art of How to Bridle a Mustang, when all hell broke loose.

Put aside all the posts that devolved into an insult-fest sprinkled with nuggets of information and you have a seamless thread, without all the smoke screens thrown out by the "americongs", who did not number many, I should say (should I name names? Naah...)

To tell you the truth I was expecting an onslaught attempt coming from the VC, like Altus, Chiangshan, Sleepy Worm, ChineseFox, and al. But it seems that they had learned the lessons not to venture into a certain loosing battle (Enter the same river a second time is not my cup of tea, might say Altus). And perhaps, I have to give credit to Altus , who looks smarter and more knowledgeable in military fields and has had some training in general staff stuffs, than our "americongs", who seem to be limited in basic infantry skills imparted in enlisted and NCO schools.

If you only care about the good info in the first 5 pages, skip this thread and go to www.generalhieu.com where you will find a distraction free atmosphere.

Phieu


#490 20 Dec 11, 06:56

hankwill : Here Nguyen,have a sip of rep.,on me.Strange management say's I can not give you anymore reputation points.Funny,I never have!

You did with the following visitor message:

What you still may not... 29 Nov 11 16:07 hankwill Your songs Boring,find a proper place for it

And your post #431:Sir,you are correct.Something else I posted"off the top of my head".I thank you for your sound advice and concern.

I can not give you anymore reputation points

I welcome serious debates on ideas in the seek of the truth of the Iadrang battle.

Phieu


#491 20 Dec 11, 07:46 Phieu : On the contrary, the first 5 pages were only probing maneuvers to feel and flush out the potential "foes", get a feeling on their strenghts and weaknesses, ending with a promise "the best is yet to come", and on the way put out some small bush fires. And that best is yet to come is the Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang Complex, followed by a series of The Uniqueness of Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept, capped by The Art of How to Bridle a Mustang, when all hell broke loose.

Put aside all the posts that devolved into an insult-fest sprinkled with nuggets of information and you have a seamless thread, without all the smoke screens thrown out by the "americongs", who did not number many, I should say (should I name names? Naah...)

To tell you the truth I was expecting an onslaught attempt coming from the VC, like Altus, Chiangshan, Sleepy Worm, ChineseFox, and al. But it seems that they had learned the lessons not to venture into a certain loosing battle (Enter the same river a second time is not my cup of tea, might say Altus). And perhaps, I have to give credit to Altus , who looks smarter and more knowledgeable in military fields and has had some training in general staff stuffs, than our "americongs", who seem to be limited in basic infantry skills imparted in enlist and NCO schools.

If you only care about the good info in the first 5 pages, skip this thread and go to www.generalhieu.com where you will find a distraction free atmosphere.

You missed the forest for the trees Phieu...have fun with your probing maneuvers. They have cost you credibility with me (a student).

don744


#492 20 Dec 11, 10:11

Isn't it rather you than me who missed the forests for the trees, Don ?

Student category c., g. h. ? (post #481)

Phieu


#493 20 Dec 11, 10:28

Phieu, I strongly suggest you stop that attention-seeking tantrum or believe me I won't hesitate a single second to ban you permanently from ACG and delete your precious thread. I have neither the time nor the patience to deal with that kind of s**t right now

Boonierat


#494 20 Dec 11, 10:41

Yes, Sir!

No, it's not attention seeking tantrum, Sir!

You don't need to curse, Sir!

Yes, Sir!

I am going back to Iadrang battle ... where I do best... Sir!

Phieu


#495 20 Dec 11, 17:18

Didn't someone have some H-15 Main Force Battalion info??

samtn77


#496 20 Dec 11, 19:28

What a relief: first post that does not have the character of an attack on me in a long while, but a genuine concern about the main topic of the Iadrang battle.

Phieu


#497 20 Dec 11, 20:36

What is the lesson then on the H-15 then? I do not remember seeing this unit designation before in this thread. I will admit, however, I did not go back and re-read 34 pages of posts...it was one that seemed new.

I have learned a great deal of the Ia Drang valley battles. There is alot of great info here for novice historians like myself. I appreciate all the interaction, but some of the personal commentary can cause a bit of distraction from the topic.

don744


#498 20 Dec 11, 20:56

Why Pleime, chapter III

Any pressure exerted by the VC upon the Camp thus compels II Corps Command at Pleiku to necessarily conduct relief operations. But therein lay the risks and the difficulties, because the only ground avenue of approach(2) to Pleime is Provincial route #5 which no longer deserves its name and has become as hazardous as a trail in the jungle for friendly displacement. It's perhaps enough to assume that since the terrain is disadvantageous for the rescuers then assuredly it favors the attackers and explains why the VC have selected Pleime and are convinced that it would be a success. Because their hope is also founded on the capabilities of the forces which have been allotted to Field Front:

- The 32d, 33d and 66th Regiments infiltrated from North Vietnam;

- The H-15 Main Force Battalion (local unit);

- One battalion of 120 mm and 82 mm Mortars;

- One battalion of 14.5 mm Anti-Aircraft Machine guns.

Very little is said about this unit in the Pleime Campaign, which seemed not to play a major role. Pribblenow mentions it in footnote 25, of his essay, The Fog of War:

25. Huan quoting Cuu, 99-101. The 7th Battalion's 3d Company, away on a work detail, did not participate in this attack; Toan and Dinh, 31-32; Moore and Galloway, 171, say the Viet Cong H-15 Battalion participated in this attack. Coleman, 274, says the H-15 Battalion made the later attack on LZ Columbus. Some PAVN histories place the H-15 east of Plei Me and do not mention it in either battle.

Phieu


#499 21 Dec 11, 02:35

Different names assigned to Pleime Campaign

- B3 Front Command

Plâyme Campaign was the initial name given to this campaign by B3 Front Command. Later, North Vietnamese Communist military establishment came up with another name, Plâyme-Iadrang Campaign, with the intention of concealing the fact its troops were caught by surprise by units of US 1st Air Cavalry Division that jumped in at their arrears at Iadrang valley and claimed they attacked the ARVN puppet troops at Pleime camp on 10/19/1965 to lure in and to ambush the American troops who came in to rescue at Iadrang valley - more than 30 kilometers away from Pleime camp - on 11/14/1965!

- US 1st Air Cavalry Division Command

Instead of humbly accepting its secondary OPCON role to II Corps and remaining under II Corps' control during the Pleime Campaign as Long Reach operation, US 1st Air Cavalry Division Command opted to change it to become Pleiku Campaign or Pleiku-Iadrang Campaign - which sounds as a totally different campaign in relation to Pleime campaign - and in which either the ARVN's role became secondary or even the Pleime battle was the epic encounter between solely two major forces - Viet Cong and American without the presence of any ARVN combat units.

In substituting the name of Long Reach Operation with the one of Pleiku Campaign, the American side wanted to imply it was a solely the accomplishment of the 1st Air Cavalry without any inputs from ARVN II Corps Command.

- II Corps Command

In reality, Pleime Campaign was the counterattack of II Corps that had neutralized B3 Front's Plâyme Campaign with three major battles: one, at Pleime camp (ARVN 3rd Armored Task Force); two, at the footsteps of Chu Pong massif (US 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade); and three, at Iadrang valley (ARVN Airborne Brigade).

The Viet Cong and the American only emphasize the battle at the footsteps of Chu Pong massif - that both named Iadrang battle (it should be called Chu Pong battle instead and reserved to the battle conducted by ARVN Airborne Brigade) - and either ignore or minimize the importance of the two battles conducted by ARVN units at Pleime camp and at Iadrang valley.

I have established the key role of II Corps Command (Colonel Hieu) even in the Long Reach Operation, the second phase of Pleime campaign which was conducted by units of the three Air Cavalry Brigades, 1st , 2nd and 3rd with its contribution in intelligence and operational concepts. And therefore, only Why Pleime offers a complete and accurate account of this campaign that I prefer to name the Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang Campaign to avoid any confusion and misundertanding.

Phieu


#500 21 Dec 11, 03:02

don744: What is the lesson then on the H-15 then? I do not remember seeing this unit designation before in this thread. I will admit, however, I did not go back and re-read 34 pages of posts...it was one that seemed new.

I have learned a great deal of the Ia Drang valley battles. There is alot of great info here for novice historians like myself. I appreciate all the interaction, but some of the personal commentary can cause a bit of distraction from the topic.

You might want to use the SEARCH THIS THREAD tool on top of this page to find out if it is at all discussed in this forum, if yes then in which thread(s) or post(s).

This facility makes ACG forum one of the best.

Phieu


#501 21 Dec 11, 06:23

Thanks Phieu. I used the search function first, but met with negative results. I appreciate the info.

don744


#502 21 Dec 11, 06:57

It probably means H-15 had not been discussed in this thread prior to this point.

Try LOCAL UNIT MAIN FORCE, LOCAL UNIT.

Try to experiment with MUSTANG and see what happens.

Phieu


#503 22 Dec 11, 02:00

Pleime Counteroffensive Operational Concept

The Pleime counter offensive - a preferable name to Long Reach - operational concept was the annihilation of the B3 Field Front forces with B-52 air strikes, not with 1st Air Cavalry ground forces, as most people are enclined to believe.

Pleime, trận chiến lịch sử (Why Pleime Vietnamese version) illustrates this concept well with a map (not shown as clearly in Why Pleime)

1 Destruction of VC field hospital 11-1-65 ) herding move
2 Ambush of 66th Regiment 11-3-65) herding move
3 Discovery of a weapon cache 11-4-65 ) herding move
4 Destruction of one 33rd Regiment’s battalion 11-6-65) herding move
5 LZ X-Ray 11-14-65 ) distractive move
6 LZ Albany 11-17-65 ) distractive move
7 Artillery location 11-18-65 ) coup de grace move
8 B-52 air strikes targeted areas 11-15, 18-65 with B3 center of mass vicinity YA8702

The giant B52 bombers had flown a total of 96 sorties. One after the other, the areas of the Chu Pong massif - each of 20 square miles - underwent a systematic earthquake spreading from West to East.


#504 22 Dec 11, 22:01

The issue I have with your conduct Phieu, is your lack of respect for members that have been here for quite some time. I don't know what Altus may or may not have done outside the walls of ACG, and frankly I don't care. This is ACG, we play by our rules, not theirs. That being said, Altus has always been your friendly neighborhood communist, respectful of the other posters here, and meticulous. Sure he (in the words of one our posters) "wouldn't hesitate to throw a satchel charge in your fighting hole", but hey, he never said he wouldn't. You've kicked open the door a la gangbusters and instigated silly arguments on multiple threads. Then, when solid reasoning was presented in opposition to your pov in the Dien Bien Phu thread, you discounted it out of hand, and proceeded to insult those who dared to challenge your omniscience on the subject. Following that, when anyone had the gall to return your insult, you took up the mantle of the victim, and accused many of being "americongs". Left no other tactic because of your volatile personality, most chose just to ignore your thread. When that happened you purposely posted a hissy fit attempting to lure those that were ignoring you back into posting on your thread and hijacked the ripcord thread, as the view count seems to be your foremost concern.

That's the way I see it, and I don't want to go back down that road, or if you prefer you can use whatever the hell that river analogy was. I'm here primarily to learn. You deserve one compliment, I can say that you've definitely got me reading on the subject extensively. I do appreciate that you took the time to scan your volume of Why Plei Me?, and I'm going through it at the moment. But don't mistake that appreciation for acceptance of your tone. I can understand that many of these issues may be personal --scratch that, I cannot understand, having never been in your shoes, but I can imagine. But please, for god's sake, I would be relieved if you were a little more friendly in your demeanor, especially since many of the posters here are actually veterans that fought in the defense of your nation.

I would like to get back down to brass tacks in this thread, and I have some points of contention with your reasoning:

First, I think that your depiction of this seemingly grand, genius-like, operational concept supposedly outlined by II Corps is grossly exaggerated. I don't see any evidence that there was this apparently secret master plan for the destruction of the three NVA regiments in the central highlands, kept from Generals Larsen, Kinnard, and Westmoreland, and only possibly revealed to Knowles because he may have had personally met Colonel Hieu. I think the explanation for this is pretty simple. Knowles was in tactical command, and therefore was making the on-the-spot decisions for movements of the brigade in action at any given time. Kinnard had to manage the rest of the division, not to mention it's large logistical demand. This is a perfectly good reason imo, why he might have been ignorant of the movement of the search area further west, and the subsequent insertion of one battalion into the Ia Drang. If he would have had issue with the change in the tactical concept, he would have made Knowles change it.

When the First Cavalry Division entered the fray on the 23rd, it was strictly in support of the ARVN. Its overall mission was reinforcement and reaction, nothing more. The artillery bases were given very small areas of operations (AO). For example, when Ingram's battalion (2/12 Cav) secured Objective FIELD GOAL, the AO was only three kilometers on either side of the base, just enough to provide local security. On the 26th, the area of operation was expanded slightly into an elongated slash covering the route the ARVN column was traveling to Plei Me and the terrain just south of the camps. This provided for artillery support and a cavalry screen in the immediate area of Plei Me. The importance of a formal AO cannot be overstated. Within the boundaries of a defined area of operations, a commander could do juts about anything he wanted to accomplish his basic mission. But to go outside the boundaries required prior coordination with adjacent or higher command levels. And if the area outside the AO boundaries belonged to the ARVN, the coordination patters got complicated and time-consuming.

That same morning, the 1st Brigade headquarters moved its forward command post (CP) location from Camp Holloway to LZ HOMECOMING to better coordinate the final actions around Plei Me. On the afternoon of the 26th, Generals Westmoreland, Larsen, Kinnard, and Knowles met for a conference at the 1st Brigade's command post at LZ HOMECOMING. The meeting marked the turning point in the division's operation at Plei Me. Even with the limited intelligence available to allied officers at the time, it was apparent that the NVA effort at Plei Me had been something more than a routine baptism-of-fire operation for a newly infiltrated unit. In the conference between Westmoreland and the division officers, Kinnard hammered on the theme that U.S. forces must now do more than merely contain the enemy or simply reinforce the ARVN. The NVA, he felt, must be sought out aggressively and destroyed. Of course, as far as Westy was concerned, Kinnard was singing to the choir; Westmoreland long had yearned for the opportunity to go on the offensive. Kinnard and Knowles also spent considerable time at the conference explaining to Westmoreland and Larsen exactly what the division could do and how well it could do it. Westmoreland eventually turned to Larsen and said: 'Give Kinnard his head'.

It was the opening Kinnard had been waiting for. In a twinkling, the division's scope of operations changed from one of reinforcement and reaction to one of unlimited offense. It was released from a small, confining zone of operations and provided a tactical area of operations that covered nearly twenty-five hundred square kilometers: the entire vast sweep of terrain from Route 14 on the east to the Cambodian border on the west, and from Highway 19 on the notrh to the province boundary on the south--nearly one-half of Pleiku Province. [1]

There are conversations on record between Knowles and both Larsen and Kinnard. When Larsen visited the forward command post on November 12th, Knowles made it clear that they were drilling a dry hole east of Plei Me.

"Larsen said, 'Why are you conducting operations there if it's dry?' Knowles's response was, 'With all due respect, sir, that's what your order in writing directed us to do.' Larsen responded that the cavalry's primary mission was to 'find the enemy and go after him.' Shortly thereafter, Knowles visited Brown at the 3rd Brigade command post and told him to come up with a plan for an air assault operation near the foot of the Chu Pongs. [2]

And subsequently, after the fight began, the Konwles's conversation with Kinnard:

General Knowles had been at the division's TOC when the first news of the contact came in. He piled into his command chopper and headed for Catecka, where Brown briefed him. Both commanders realized that they had stirred up a hornet's nest that would take more troops to quell than Brown had available. Knowles got on the horn and called Harry Kinnard back at An Khe, asking for another infantry battalion, more artillery, and both troop- and medium-lift helicopters. Kinnard replied 'They're on the way, but what's going on?' Knowles responded, 'We've got a good fight going. Suggest you come up as soon as possible.' After setting the reinforcement wheels in motion, Kinnard choppered over from An Khe and met Knowles at Catecka. When he arrived, Knowles showed him the situation map he had propped up against a palm tree. Kinnard took one look and said, 'What the hell are you doing in that area?' Obviously, someone hadn't kept the boss informed about Larsen's guidance to get after the enemy even if it meant walking away from the dry holes in the east. Knowles told Kinnard, 'The object of the excercise is to find the enemy, and we sure as hell have!' Knowles remembers an awkward pause before Kinnard said quietly, 'Okay, it looks great. Let me know what you need.' [3]

This is an unbroken path through the chain of command starting with Westmoreland at MACV, through Larsen at Task Force Alpha (soon to become IFFV), to Kinnard at First Cav, and Knowles at the TOC. If you could provide to me a reference, any citation of a conversation having taken place between those at II Corps, and either Knowles, or any other commander involved, I'm prepared to reconsider this position. But currently I see no proof that the operational concept for the pursuit west involved II Corps planning. Especially since Vinh Loc was unwilling in the first place to release the necessary force to smash the ambush that all knew was coming. It was only with Larsen's offer of the First Cav as security for Pleiku and Mataxis' urging that Vinh Loc was willing to release the additional two battalions to the relief column. [4]

He even makes reference to the need to wait for additional reinforcements in your main source, Why Plei Me? He blames the delay on the weather.

II Corps Command decided to play the enemy's game. Since the VC expected to successively eliminate our forces the scheme of maneuver had to make the best use of the factor of TIME and to exploit the inherent weakness of the enemy troop disposition.

Right in the afternoon of 20 October, an Armored Task Force Composed of:

—HQS, 3rd Armored Cavalry Squadron

—One Ranger Battalion

—One APC Company (M 113)

—One M-41 Tank Company

—One Artillery Battery

—One Engineer Platoon

was ordered to move to Phu My, 20 kilometers South of Pleiku. It closed on its assembly area at 1800 hours, bivouacked for the night and impatiently prepared to go on further at dawn.

In the morning of 21 October, the LUAT Task Force moved on, along the Phu My - Pleime axis but to simply conduct aggressive patrols within a 10km radius! The order had been expressively given by II Corps Command to the T.F. Commander, Lt Col. LUAT, to simulate the imminent approach of a relief column to the Pleime camp while in reality, he had to wait for more adequate and sufficient attachments whcih would be moved by air from Kontum [22nd Ranger Battalion] and Binh Dinh to Pleiku, as soon as the weather conditions allowed the air movements. [5]

The one instance in which II Corps interaction with U.S. commanders is mentioned, is ambiguous at best. This description of their operational conceptualization is in fact, much similar to those presented by all of the American sources. Also conspicuously absent is any mention of any plan to canalize the enemy and push their mass together to make it easier to use B-52s:

On 26 October 1965, while the relief column and the garrison of Pleime were conducting a sweep around the Camp, a conference was held at II Corps TOC with the presence of US advisors and unit commanders. [What Units?]

All the information received and the analysis of the situation converged to the same conclusion.

The enemy units had withdrawn west in the direction of the Cambodian border. This would be their only chance of escape because in addition to the advantages of the terrain, the base of Chu Pong and the sactuary of Cambodia provided not only shelters but also supplies and replacements of which the 32nd and 33rd Regiments were running short.

For the first time since the war broke out on the Indochinese peninsula, friendly forces had the opportunity to come to such a conclusion. Throughout the hostilities since 1948, the enemy has always been able to leave the battlefield and to withdraw safely, to give up fighting at their own will.

Thus the chance which was offered to friendly forces had not to be overlooked : the two NVA Regiments were to be pursued because if not, the danger would persist and the enemy would have time to reorganize their units.

Besides that, the above decision could this time be made possible because reserve forces were available, with the presence of the 1st US Air Cavalry Division[...] [6]

Finally, in his concluding chapter, Vinh Loc notes that by Phase III of the campaign, actually it was the very fact that the two commands were separate, that led to the competitive successes that the campaign enjoyed.

In phase III, the operations had been conducted through a close cooperation between ARVN and US Forces : that was the latest procedure ever put into application since the second World War. It is characterized by :

—Joint intelligence and support activities.
—Commonly-shared concept of operations and results.
—Separate TAOR
—Separate command.
—Separate deployment of forces.
—Separate conduct of activities.
—Separate reserve.

The above procedure has brought many good results, especially in a country such as ours where the psychology of the people is charged with complexities and subtleties. I also find in that procedure a real competitive spirit between the two armed forces and between units. [7]

This is why, I don't believe that you can, in any way claim that II Corps used the First Cav "by proxy".

Notes

1. J. D. Coleman, Pleiku: The Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam, 1st ed. (St Martins Pr, 1988). pp. 91-93.
2. Ibid. p. 181.
3. Ibid. p. 202.
4. Operations Report - Lessons Learned, 3-66 - The PLEIKU Campaign. 4 May 1966. p 27.; Pleiku. pp. 76-77.
5. Vĩnh Lôc, Why Pleime? Saigon: Information Print. Office, 1966. p. 55.
6. Ibid. p. 73.
7. Ibid. p. 119-120.

Lucky 6


#505 23 Dec 11, 00:24

Lucky 6: The issue I have with your conduct Phieu, is your lack of respect for members that have been here for quite some time.

I challenged them, I did not lack respect for them. They rather disrespected me with their condescending attitude, and got mad because I pulled them down from their mighty pedestals of "military expertise" by pointing out their flaws.

I don't know what Altus may or may not have done outside the walls of ACG, and frankly I don't care. This is ACG, we play by our rules, not theirs.

Did I not play by ACG rules? I am still here, am I not?

That being said, Altus has always been your friendly neighborhood communist, respectful of the other posters here, and meticulous. Sure he (in the words of one our posters) "wouldn't hesitate to throw a satchel charge in your fighting hole", but hey, he never said he wouldn't.

Yours, not mine.

FYI, I have succeeded in shutting his big mouth in both fronts: DBP and Ia Drang, haven't I?

You've kicked open the door a la gangbusters and instigated silly arguments on multiple threads.

Am I limited to only one thread? I hardly recognized me: a la gangbusters? silly arguments? <>Then, when solid reasoning was presented in opposition to your pov in the Dien Bien Phu thread, you discounted it out of hand, and proceeded to insult those who dared to challenge your omniscience on the subject.

In the Dien Bien Phu thread, there is nothing to reason about, just to present one simple fact: the French intelligence report, period. I am not the omniscience - erudite - professor, Max is; I took the role of the common sense janitor.

An erudite physics professor leads a group of his graduate students up a staircase toward the classroom. A student touches the metal ball at the end of the stair rail and is startled that the opposite side to the direct sun is warmer and the other side is colder. He asks the professor who gives a lenghty lecture with various physics theories to explain this abnormal phenomenon. In a nutshell, according to these theories, the heated particles all had moved to that opposite side to the sun. At that very moment, the janitor happens to pass by and injects: I just turn the ball around. Knowledge versus common sense!

Following that, when anyone had the gall to return your insult, you took up the mantle of the victim, and accused many of being "americongs".

You mean only a few ACG members have the gall to return - not my insult - but my sarcasm? You are really insulting your fellow ACG members.

Why did I have to take up the mantle of the victim? I am the victim!

If you are a VC sympathizer, I call you "americong". Is that wrong?

Left no other tactic because of your volatile personality, most chose just to ignore your thread.

Volatile personality?

Too bad for them: they won't never know the truth about Ia Drang battle.

When that happened you purposely posted a hissy fit attempting to lure those that were ignoring you back into posting on your thread

False accusation!

Am I that expert in luring tactic! You flatter me!

and hijacked the ripcord thread,

How is that possible to hijack a thread?

To hijack with what weapon?

You are again insulting the other ACG members by considering them spineless.

as the view count seems to be your foremost concern.

Nope. I am only concern of telling the truth about Ia Drang battle as it is. I am just happy that a lot of people are listening to what I am saying.

By the way, I watch the X-Factor tonight. I like the elimination and selection process, based not on individual judgement of the four judge panel, but on the general public votes.

Do you see the parallelism?

That's the way I see it, and I don't want to go back down that road, or if you prefer you can use whatever the hell that river analogy was.

I did not use that river analogy. Your friend Altus did!

I'm here primarily to learn.

You won't learn much, if you already conditioned yourself into an adversarial attack mode that renders all the particles in your brain foggy. p>You deserve one compliment, I can say that you've definitely got me reading on the subject extensively. I do appreciate that you took the time to scan your volume of Why Plei Me?, and I'm going through it at the moment.

Thank you! Thank you!

You need to study Pleime, cuộc chiến lịch sử, if you expect to see the whole picture of the Ia Drang battle. Is your Vietnamese good enough?

But don't mistake that appreciation for acceptance of your tone.

God forbids, no I won't. Buying friendship that way is not my cup of tea, to quote your friend Altus. (I do like him, you see!)

I can understand that many of these issues may be personal --scratch that, I cannot understand, having never been in your shoes, but I can imagine.

No, you cannot understand nor imagine. And I don't expect you to.

But please, for god's sake, I would be relieved if you were a little more friendly in your demeanor,

Don't you notice that, when I am provoked to bite back, I just and ?

Look my post # 496:

”What a relief: first post that does not have the character of an attack on me in a long while, but a genuine concern about the main topic of the Iadrang battle. “

especially since many of the posters here are actually veterans that fought in the defense of your nation.

Hey, don't you remember that I did follow the example of General Vinh Loc and Colonel Hieu in expressing our gratitude to our valiant Vietnam vet combattants?

I would like to get back down to brass tacks in this thread, and I have some points of contention with your reasoning:

For the rest of your post, I consider you as student category b.

b. He did not review previous lessons, and so did not understand this lesson,
- I would tell him to review his lessons first;

34 lenghty pages!

and go to my next post too. It addresses to your specific doubt. Student category c.

c. He was too impatient and expected to understand immediately the lesson,
- I would tell him to wait until the end of the lesson or the chapter, and would automatic understand the new lesson without further explanation;

Phieu


#506 23 Dec 11, 03:41

Pre-requisieted Key Factor in Pleime Counteroffensive Planning and Execution

Colonel Hieu would not waste his time conceiving his operational concept of destroying the three NVA regiments with B52 air strikes if he was not sure he would always be in possession of solid intelligence on the enemy situation - intention, location, movement, morale, planning,etc - by the minutes, hours and days (see post #384 the intelligence factor). And he would not be able to execute his operational concept with the herding maneuver, the enticement maneuver, and the distractive maneuver, which cumulated in having the three NVA regimental units clinging to each other as seating ducks at staging areas, as ideal targets for B-52 air strikes.

He wrote in Pleime, cuộc chiến lịch sử, page 94:

The battle from phases 2 and 3 (*) also introduced an aspect never seen up to now because for almost 20 years, during the Franco-Vietnamese war, seldom pursuit operation was considered after each time the enemy made appearance and when it was conducted, no significant results had been achieved. Therefore this time around, the determination not to allow the enemy to escape, coupled with the solid intelligence on the enemy situation had permitted the battle to develop to maximum degree and scale and at the same token lead to the biggest victory ever achieved by the ARVN and its Allied.

Trận chiến từ giai đoạn hai và ba cũng mang thêm một sắc thái chưa từng có từ trước tới nay vì ngót 20 năm rồi, khi còn chiến tranh Việt Pháp, chưa mấy khi các cuộc truy kích đã được đề cập tới sau mỗi lần địch xuất hiện và nếu có thực hiện được cũng không đem lại kết quả gì đáng kể. Cho nên lần này ý chí quyết không để cho địch chạy thoát, cộng với sự nắm vững tình hình địch đã làm cho trận chiến phát triển đến một mức độ và quy mô tối đa đồng thời đem lại những chiến công lớn nhất từ trước đến nay của Quân Lực Việt Nam Cộng Hòa và Đồng Minh.

This paragraph, quoted from Pleime, cuộc chiến lịch sử, had been left out in the English translation of Why Pleime.

These military feat had not been achieved prior to Pleime campaign, and I might say, nor after Pleime campaign, for the simple reason that it is quasi impossible to posses a solid intelligence on the enemy situation to the extreme degree that Colonel Hieu, by a stroke of sheer luck, had - a stroke of military genius also nevertheless.

-----------------------------

(*) Long Reach and ThầnPhong 7 or Pleime Counteroffensive into Chupong-Iadrang

Phieu


#507 23 Dec 11, 07:31

Lucky,

Now that, my man, is how to construct a good argument. The passage I bolded and underlined hits the nail on the head, IMHO. No secret grand plan, just a commander exercising command, and manuevering his units.

Regardless of personal POV, this thread has provided a ton of great information and resources for further reading. I thank y'all.

Lucky 6: I think the explanation for this is pretty simple. Knowles was in tactical command, and therefore was making the on-the-spot decisions for movements of the brigade in action at any given time.

don744


#508 23 Dec 11, 10:21

don744 : Lucky,

Now that, my man, is how to construct a good argument. The passage I bolded and underlined hits the nail on the head, IMHO. No secret grand plan, just a commander exercising command, and manuevering his units.

"First, I think that your depiction of this seemingly grand, genius-like, operational concept supposedly outlined by II Corps is grossly exaggerated. I don't see any evidence that there was this apparently secret master plan for the destruction of the three NVA regiments in the central highlands, kept from Generals Larsen, Kinnard, and Westmoreland, and only possibly revealed to Knowles because he may have had personally met Colonel Hieu. I think the explanation for this is pretty simple. Knowles was in tactical command, and therefore was making the on-the-spot decisions for movements of the brigade in action at any given time. Kinnard had to manage the rest of the division, not to mention it's large logistical demand. This is a perfectly good reason imo, why he might have been ignorant of the movement of the search area further west, and the subsequent insertion of one battalion into the Ia Drang. If he would have had issue with the change in the tactical concept, he would have made Knowles change it. "

Regardless of personal POV, this thread has provided a ton of great information and resources for further reading. I thank y'all.

Don, you are quite simplistic. How can you expect to win a campaign without planning, strategic planning, general staff planning!?

You missed the forest while focusing on the trees...

I concur with you that Lucky6 did make an effort to contruct a good argument. Did he succeed in his attempt? I honestly do not think so...

Phieu


#509 23 Dec 11, 10:38

Phieu: Yours, not mine.

FYI, I have succeeded in shutting his big mouth in both fronts: DBP and Ia Drang, haven't I?

About Altus. Let me quote my post # 179

Altus, do me a favor, will you?

knew and why I am wrong and where I err. Or if you still do not understand because my presentation is unclear, just go straight to the point; and I will do my best in my explanation.

In other words, put yourself in the mode of a friend not a foe. I think by that the forum will benefit a healthier and more enjoyable ambiance.

and #180

You are corrected [Lucky6]. I copied the Pleiku AAR from its original copy stored at the National Archives in Maryland as a standalone. Bonnie said mine is the "real stuff" I post it on my website: www.generalhieu.com/pleiku-2.htm

That's why the pages don't match. The original pages of Pleiku AAR have been displaced when incorporated in the ORLL 3-66.

@Altus, I wish you can mirror Lucky6's state of open mind and friendly attitude. Things get resolved much quicker and better.

Phieu


#510 23 Dec 11, 13:28

Phieu Don, you are quite simplistic. How can expect to win a campaign without planning, strategic planning, general staff planning!? You missed the forest while focusing on the trees... I concur with you that Lucky6 did make an effort to contruct good argument. Did he succeed in his attempt? I honestly do not think so...

Sometimes things are quite simple. I do not see in his argument where Lucky6 said there was a lack of planning, strategic planning, or general staff planning in regards to the US operation. Neither did I see in your reply any retort to his argument.

Can you tell me on what date the series of operation(s) became known as a campaign? I think that answer is significant. From what I have read, I do not see yet that the whole series of operations in the Pleime-Ia Drang-Chu Pong AO was a deliberate campaign by RVN or US military planners, but, rather began as a series of reactions to a deliberate campaign by the PAVN.

That may sound overly simplistic, but I am just a novice. Thoughts?

Don744


#511 23 Dec 11, 16:10

don744: Sometimes things are quite simple. I do not see in his argument where Lucky6 said there was a lack of planning, strategic planning, or general staff planning in regards to the US operation. Neither did I see in your reply any retort to his argument.

You did not see in my reply any retort to his argument, because I consider him as student category b. and c.

I would like to get back down to brass tacks in this thread, and I have some points of contention with your reasoning:

For the rest of your post, I consider you as student category b.

b. He did not review previous lessons, and so did not understand this lesson,
- I would tell him to review his lessons first;

34 lenghty pages!

and go to my next post too. It addresses to your specific doubt.

Student category c.

c. He was too impatient and expected to understand immediately the lesson,
- I would tell him to wait until the end of the lesson or the chapter, and would automatic understand the new lesson without further explanation;

I will respond to the rest of your post later on, when I have time.

Phieu


#512 23 Dec 11, 16:24

Phieu: I did not see in my reply any retort to his argument, because I consider him as student category b. and c.

But Sir, you forget student category i: teacher is unable to clearly articulate the lesson.

Not everyone is unlearned or a distraction. You seemed to have been very wise for a mid to late 20's high school teacher during that timeframe, having the wisdom to be able to categorize your students in this manner... in your shoes I would have fewer student categories...probably A and B. A, being pains in the asses, and B being students with potential.

My question over the "campaign" is not an easy one. I already think I have the answer. Hint: Big Army told me so....

34 lenghty pages!

It is actually alot more than 34 pages. Every page has several external links and references which could take half a lifetime to absorb. You have had several decades to read and compile...of which I am greatly appreciative. I have been following this in earnest since the start of this thread, so I have been reading thru all the other links and other supplemental reading when I have time. A drop in the bucket compared the time you have invested. I am grateful for what you have brought here.

don744


#513 23 Dec 11, 16:56

You make my day, Don!

Even if there was only one with your earger to learn attitude, I would consider worthwhile laboring through this thread.

Phieu


#514 23 Dec 11, 17:00

don744 : But Sir, you forget student category i: teacher is unable to clearly articulate the lesson.

You mean student category a. on my revised list:

a. I did not explain the lesson quite clearly and he was a genuine student, open-minded and eager to learn,
- I would try to explain again a little more clearler;

b. He did not review previous lessons, and so did not understand this lesson,
- I would tell him to review his lessons first;

c. He was too impatient and expected to understand immediately the lesson,
- I would tell him to wait until the end of the lesson or the chapter, and would automatic understand the new lesson without further explanation;

d. He just wanted to show off in front of the class,
- I would demonstrate to him how shallowed and limited his knowledge still is (that would certainly humiliate him in front of the class and shut him up) and would move on with the lesson;

e. He was a repeater category c. student,
- I would just flatly tell him to shut up;

f. He was not at the level of the class,
- I would request that he be put down to a lower level grade;

g. He was just too obtuse,
- I won’t bother to explain further to him and just moved on for the entire class and hoped and prayed the best for him.

in your shoes I would have fewer student categories...probably A and B. A, being pains in the asses, and B being students with potential.

Well, that would be too simplistic! It would be appropriate, if you just want to kick asses, instead of careful discernment to help out students as much as you can.

Phieu


#515 23 Dec 11, 17:01

Phieu : You make my day, Don!

Even if there was only one with you earger to learn attitude, I would consider worthwhile laboring through this thread.

Well, now you have one...please continue.

don744


#516 24 Dec 11, 02:17

don744 : Can you tell me on what date the series of operation(s) became known as a campaign? I think that answer is significant. From what I have read, I do not see yet that the whole series of operations in the Pleime-Ia Drang-Chu Pong AO was a deliberate campaign by RVN or US military planners, but, rather began as a series of reactions to a deliberate campaign by the PAVN.

That may sound overly simplistic, but I am just a novice. Thoughts?

The answer was already given in post #560 (Pre-requisieted Key Factor in Pleime Counteroffensive Planning and Execution). Let me rephrase it as following to make it addresses more specifically to your question.

On October 26, 1965, there was a conference at II Corps Headquarters. It was decided to pursue the withdrawing units of the 33rd Regiment from the ambush site and of the 32nd Regiment from the Pleime camp. It was a type of exploitation operation. II Corps Command got the approval from General Westmoreland (MACV) and General Larsen (IFFV). It was decided that 1st Air Cav would be the main force with Long Reach operation, and Airborne Brigade as reserve force.

A 1st Air Cav Forward Command Post was established next to II Corps Headquarters, and the operandi modus of the joint VN and US commands was sharing of intelligence and operational concepts, with separate TAOR, troop command and deployment. Since 1st Air Cav was unfamiliar in the Highlands situation, intelligence and operational concepts came exclusively from II Corps.

With the possession of solid intelligence of the enemy situation by the minutes, hours and days in terms of movements, locations, intentions, planning, moral, II Corps conceived the operational concept which consisted of destroying the three regiments with B-52 strikes.

- On October 27, All the Way operation started with 1st Air Cav Brigade (herding maneuver)

- On November 8, Silver Bayonet I operation started with 3rd Air Cav Brigade (enticement maneuver with the switch in direction from west to east) ordered by General Larsen (suggested by II Corps) while General Knowles wanted to rush in to Chu Pong where the bulk of the enemy was located. The intention of the switch was to entice B3 Front to attack and in doing so would gather its troops in assembly areas for reorganizing, training and rehearsals.

- On November 13, B3 Front decided to attack again Pleime camp and gather its troops in staging areas for imminent movements to attack. The center of mass of B3 Front forces was at vicinity YA8702 (workable targets for B-52 strikes)

- On November 14, General Larsen (suggested by II Corps) ordered General Larsen to insert a 1st Air Cav Battalion at the footstep of Chu Pong (distractive maneuver) aiming at redirecting B3 Front’s attention from attacking Pleime to attacking 1/7 Air Cav Battalion. And in so doing, B3 Front maintained its troops at staging areas.

- On November 15, B-52 entered in action as planned from the outset of Long Reach operation

- On November 18, started Than Phong 7 operation with Airborne Brigade as main force and Silver Bayonet II with 2nd Air Cav Brigade as reserve force, also as planned from the outset of Long Reach operation.

You see there was a consistency underlining the consecutives operations which were all conducted with the main intention of creating workable targets for B-52 air strikes to go into action. That was strategic planning done by II Corps and shared with 1st Air Cav. It was a deliberate campaign by ARVN and executed by US forces and definitely not a series of reactions to a deliberate campaign by the PAVN. That Plâyme campaign came to a dead end on October 26, that B3 Front, enticed by the switch of operational direction on November 8, attempted to resuscitate on November 16.

Why Pleime set up its chapters as following:

- Chapter IV: Phase I - The "Dân Thắng 21" Operations - From 20 to 26 October 1965 - Lifting the Siege at Pleime.

- Chapter V : Phase 2 - The "Long Reach" Operations - From 27 October to 17 November 1965 - Pursuit and Exploitation - The Battle in the Chupong Massif

- Chapter VI: Phase 3 - The "Thần Phong 7" Operations - From 18 to 26 November 1965 - The Coup de Grace at Ia Drang

Dependly to the duration of the military operation, when comes time for the after action report, it will be called

- battle, if day-long

- operation, if week-long

- campaign, if month-long.

Relatively though. For instance, General Schwarzkopf calls Than Phong 7 a campaign (9 days) and General Kinnard renames Long Reach operation to Pleiku campaign!

Besides the duration, General Kinnard also took into account the size of the operational area and the number of the troops involved, to call Long Reach operation Pleiku campaign instead (see Pleiku campaign), not counting his desire to boost up the American prestige and to distance himself from II Corps Command's role of control on him.

(P.S. After this re-explanation session, if you still raise a question, I would have to categorize you into to b, or c, or e, or f, or g, or h; definitely not d - or to be safe and say: you never know!)

Phieu


#517 24 Dec 11, 07:38

Thanks Phieu. The questions I would raise at this point have already been asked. The only way to resolve them would be for me to read on my own.

In response to the "campaign" question I asked, it seems that the US Army did not officially recognize this as a campaign, as the 1st CAV DIV did not receive campaign credit. BG Knowles, in the forward to his his AAR in May 1966, said that this could be defined as campaign due to length of time, size of area of operations, and size of forces. However, that statement shows that the decision to refer to it as a campaign by US forces was made in hindsight, not that it was a deliberate, strategic, planned campaign. Additionally, there are other documents that also refer to a Pleiku campaign, but these are all “after the fact”. I have found nothing yet from the US side that referred to a deliberate campaign in advance of the operation.

Then there are these two quotes that are somewhat contradictory.

November 12

The last of the 1st Brigade’s units departed the area of operations, bound for An Khe, and the third of the 3rd Brigade’s three maneuver battalions arrived. All three battalions now were working the color-coded search areas generally between Plei Me camp and Highway 4. It had been a dry hole for everyone, and General Knowles and Tim Brown were getting impatient and starting to look longingly toward the west. Knowles had long wanted to stage some kind of operation inside the Chu Pong Massif.

[…]

That day, General Larsen was visiting the division’s forward command post at the II Corps compound. He asked Knowles how things were going. Knowles briefed him on the attack on Catecka the night before and then told him the brigade was drilling a dry hole out east of Plei Me. Larsen said, “Why are you conducting operations there if it’s dry?” Knowles’s response was, “With all due respect, sir, that’s what your order in writing directed us to do.” Larsen responded that the cavalry’s primary mission was to “find the enemy and go after him.” Shortly after, Knowles visited Brown at the 3rd Brigade command post and told him to come up with a plan for an air assault operation near the foot of the Chu Pongs.

and

On November 14, General Larsen (suggested by II Corps) ordered General Larsen to insert a 1st Air Cav Battalion at the footstep of Chu Pong (distractive maneuver) aiming at redirecting B3 Front’s attention from attacking Pleime to attacking 1/7 Air Cav Battalion. And in so doing, B3 Front maintained its troops at staging areas.

The first quote seems like an entirely unilateral decision on the part of 1st CAV leadership to conduct an operation at Chu Pong, and not part of a grand plan. The second (possibly with errors in dates and names…I assume it was “Larsen ordered General Knowles”) infers this decision was suggested by II Corps. Now, this absolutely could have been an official, strategic, and deliberate campaign by II Corps, in which US forces participated. I will continue to read to see if there are more sources to corroborate the assertion that these operations were planned in advance as part of an ARVN campaign. As Lucky said earlier, at this point, I do not see hard evidence that II Corps was C2-ing 1st CAV by proxy. These two passages clearly contradict one another.

Then I have a problem reconciling the following:

With the possession of solid intelligence of the enemy situation by the minutes, hours and days in terms of movements, locations, intentions, planning, moral, II Corps conceived the operational concept which consisted of destroying the three regiments with B-52 strikes.

I will also see if I can find anything else to corroborate this statement. It just does not seem plausible to, as a concept of operation, plan to canalize and destroy 3 regiments by B-52 strike. I have a hard time grasping this concept. The use of a weapon system (in this case B-52s) to destroy the enemy would be more of a hasty decision based on the situation on the ground, not as the predetermined end state of an operation. I mean, how much real-estate can 3 regiments occupy and what was the reaction time of a B-52 strike from the time it was requested until there were bombs on target? Even with solid intelligence and an almost clairvoyant ability to determine enemy units movement, location, and morale, down to the minute as claimed, in my opinion, there is just way too much room for error. That claim just does not make sense. The enemy might not want to play ball and follow the plan. They could decide to do something else (as was the case with the 33d and the hasty ambush of 2/7 CAV at Albany). If the plan was to canalize the enemy, seems the 33d decided to head east rather than west, and in doing so inadvertently put themselves in a position to attack 2/7. If II Corps intel was that good, did they just let 2/7 walk into an ambush? If not...well you see my point then, dont you?

I’ll continue to read and see if I can resolve questions I have. Thanks for the explanation.

don744


#518 24 Dec 11, 07:57

I will try to respond to a few points that you have raised later on during the day.

For the time being, I have to add another type of student in my classification list:

h. He was just too ahead of his classmates,
- I would assigne him independent studies.

!

Phieu


#519 24 Dec 11, 08:04

Phieu, I appreciate anything you have that would clarify this for me.

don744


#520 24 Dec 11, 15:11

don744 : In response to the "campaign" question I asked, it seems that the US Army did not officially recognize this as a campaign, as the 1st CAV DIV did not receive campaign credit. BG Knowles, in the forward to his his AAR in May 1966, said that this could be defined as campaign due to length of time, size of area of operations, and size of forces.

I take note that you have learned your lesson well when you say , General Knowles, instead of General Kinnard, although this latter was the signator of the Pleiku campaign AAR in May 1966.

However, that statement shows that the decision to refer to it as a campaign by US forces was made in hindsight,

As I already said, the military operation only is characterized as battle, operation, or campaign at the time the AAR is drafted.

not that it was a deliberate, strategic, planned campaign.

Yes, for as far as the US forces were concerned, because it was a deliberate, strategic, planned campaign conceived by II Corps Command.

Additionally, there are other documents that also refer to a Pleiku campaign, but these are all “after the fact”. I have found nothing yet from the US side that referred to a deliberate campaign in advance of the operation.

You are wrong. General Westmoreland, who was the supreme US Forces, Vietnam Commander did, although he preferred to call it “Pleime battle” (the choice of battle, operation or campaign is relative as I had pointed out). I already quoted him. Let me do it again (www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_preface-2.htm):

10 October 1966

This most interesting manuscript vividly recalled to mind the threats and challenges our forces faced against a common enemy just one year ago. General Vinh Loc's assessment of the significance of the battle of Plei Me is in accord with mine; history may well confirm that this represented the turning point in the war. It is all the more significant that in this crucial test of arms, Vietnamese and United States forces fought side by side as comrades, and decisively crushed the best combat units that the VC have yet been able to deploy against us.

From the standpoint of U.S. forces, Plei Me was the "test by fire" of our most recently developed instrument of war, the 1st Air Cavalry Division. The mobility, flexibility, and great impact of this division under most adverse conditions of weather and terrain portend the direction of further developments of the future.

From the standpoint of employment of joint forces, the Plei Me battle was a classic. The signal successes of the latter phases could, perhaps, never have been realized had it not been for the judgment and foresight of Vietnamese leadership. The initial preparatory effort on the ground, paving the way for the introduction of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, was accomplished by Vietnamese forces. Similarly the very successful final phase exploitation was accomplished largely by the Vietnamese Airborne Brigade. The effectiveness of this highly organized, closely integrated, cooperative effort has not often been emulated in modern warfare.

General Vinh Loc has not attempted in this work to provide a completely detailed account of this battle, nor is it yet possible, scarcely twelve months thereafter, to place the numerous individual actions of the many Vietnamese and U.S. units into accurate perspective. This cannot be accomplished with conviction until, perhaps much later, the VC accounts of this battle as seen from their side become available. Nevertheless, it is particularly interesting at this time to gain the perspective of General Vinh Loc, who served with distinction as Commander of the ARVN II Corps during the battle.

W.C.Westmoreland

General, USA
COMUSMACV

The only thing that General Westmoreland missed is that the in between phase, conducted by the 1st Air Cav, was only due to the judgment and foresight of Vietnamese leadership, because he was not aware that the operational concept of that phase was conceived by Colonel Hieu. I have pointed out that the following paragraph in the Pleime, cuộc chiến lịch sử was left out when translated into Why Pleime, which General Westmoreland had received and considered as this most interesting manuscript :

The battle from phases 2 and 3 also introduced an aspect never seen up to now because for almost 20 years, during the Franco-Vietnamese war, seldom pursuit operation was considered after each time the enemy made appearance and when it was conducted, no significant results had been achieved. Therefore this time around, the determination not to allow the enemy to escape, coupled with the solid intelligence on the enemy situation had permitted the battle to develop to maximum degree and scale and at the same token lead to the biggest victory ever achieved by the ARVN and its Allied.

Trận chiến từ giai đoạn hai và ba cũng mang thêm một sắc thái chưa từng có từ trước tới nay vì ngót 20 năm rồi, khi còn chiến tranh Việt Pháp, chưa mấy khi các cuộc truy kích đã được đề cập tới sau mỗi lần địch xuất hiện và nếu có thực hiện được cũng không đem lại kết quả gì đáng kể. Cho nên lần này ý chí quyết không để cho địch chạy thoát, cộng với sự nắm vững tình hình địch đã làm cho trận chiến phát triển đến một mức độ và quy mô tối đa đồng thời đem lại những chiến công lớn nhất từ trước đến nay của Quân Lực Việt Nam Cộng Hòa và Đồng Minh.

Phieu


#521 25 Dec 11, 01:43

don744 : Then there are these two quotes that are somewhat contradictory.

"November 12

The last of the 1st Brigade’s units departed the area of operations, bound for An Khe, and the third of the 3rd Brigade’s three maneuver battalions arrived. All three battalions now were working the color-coded search areas generally between Plei Me camp and Highway 4. It had been a dry hole for everyone, and General Knowles and Tim Brown were getting impatient and starting to look longingly toward the west. Knowles had long wanted to stage some kind of operation inside the Chu Pong Massif.

[…]

That day, General Larsen was visiting the division’s forward command post at the II Corps compound. He asked Knowles how things were going. Knowles briefed him on the attack on Catecka the night before and then told him the brigade was drilling a dry hole out east of Plei Me. Larsen said, “Why are you conducting operations there if it’s dry?” Knowles’s response was, “With all due respect, sir, that’s what your order in writing directed us to do.” Larsen responded that the cavalry’s primary mission was to “find the enemy and go after him.” Shortly after, Knowles visited Brown at the 3rd Brigade command post and told him to come up with a plan for an air assault operation near the foot of the Chu Pongs."

and

"On November 14, General Larsen (suggested by II Corps) ordered General Larsen to insert a 1st Air Cav Battalion at the footstep of Chu Pong (distractive maneuver) aiming at redirecting B3 Front’s attention from attacking Pleime to attacking 1/7 Air Cav Battalion. And in so doing, B3 Front maintained its troops at staging areas."

The first quote seems like an entirely unilateral decision on the part of 1st CAV leadership to conduct an operation at Chu Pong, and not part of a grand plan.

General Knowles did not have a grand plan. For him, it was only a search and destroy operation.

The second (possibly with errors in dates and names…I assume it was “Larsen ordered General Knowles”) infers this decision was suggested by II Corps. Now, this absolutely could have been an official, strategic, and deliberate campaign by II Corps, in which US forces participated. I will continue to read to see if there are more sources to corroborate the assertion that these operations were planned in advance as part of an ARVN campaign. As Lucky said earlier, at this point, I do not see hard evidence that II Corps was C2-ing 1st CAV by proxy. These two passages clearly contradict one another.

In taking the initiative of exploiting the victory at Pleime camp by pursuing the enemy, II Corps Command had a plan and right at the outset, Colonel Hieu saw the possibility of using B-52 air strikes because he was in possession of the means to get real time intelligence on the enemy situation by the minutes, hours and days, as I have pointed out. When he saw that moment occured, he had had a 1st Air Cav Battalion inserted at the Chu Pong's footstep.

The fact that General Knowles wanted to lunge at the enemy at Chu Pong and was ordered by General Larsen to go east and drill “dry holes” and then back to the west at the appropriate time, is an indication General Knowles was not purviewed to the operational concept of Colonel Hieu.

There is no contradiction in the two passages, if one is aware of the "stealthy" operational concept that dictated the two actions.

Phieu


#522 25 Dec 11, 05:59

don744 : Then I have a problem reconciling the following:

"With the possession of solid intelligence of the enemy situation by the minutes, hours and days in terms of movements, locations, intentions, planning, moral, II Corps conceived the operational concept which consisted of destroying the three regiments with B-52 strikes."

I will also see if I can find anything else to corroborate this statement. It just does not seem plausible to, as a concept of operation, plan to canalize and destroy 3 regiments by B-52 strike. I have a hard time grasping this concept.

That is it, Don! You are not the only one having hard time grasping this concept. It’s everybody! But it’s a fact!

It’s author, Colonel Hieu, said it all!

“The battle from phases 2 and 3 also introduced an aspect never seen up to now because for almost 20 years, during the Franco-Vietnamese war, seldom pursuit operation was considered after each time the enemy made appearance and when it was conducted, no significant results had been achieved. Therefore this time around, the determination not to allow the enemy to escape, coupled with the solid intelligence on the enemy situation had permitted the battle to develop to maximum degree and scale and at the same token lead to the biggest victory ever achieved by the ARVN and its Allied.”

The use of a weapon system (in this case B-52s) to destroy the enemy would be more of a hasty decision based on the situation on the ground, not as the predetermined end state of an operation.

Not a hasty decision at all! Knowles said it in Pleiku campaign AAR (Pleiku, page 9):

"The original plan to employ strategic bombers in support of the division was presented by the Assistant Division Commander (ADC-A) through Field Force Vietnam Commanding General to the J-3 of US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. "

When General Kinnard wanted to abandon LZ X-Ray immediately and hastily on November 16, he was ordered by General Larsen to stay for another 24 hours, because of the pre-planned imminent B52 air strikes scheduled a direct strike at the LZ X-Ray area set for November 17 (Cochran):

"At the time of the Xray fight, Swede Larsen was under pressure from the news media on why we left the battlefield. They didn't understand how our unit fought. With an air assault unit, we don't give much of a damn about terrain. You can go anywhere. The focus is on the enemy. You go where he is. At Xray, the enemy broke off, we didn't quit. We were no longer interested in Xray. That piece of ground meant nothing to me. I wanted to go on to where the enemy was. But Swede ordered me to stay in that spot, and I stayed there an extra 24 hours."

I mean, how much real-estate can 3 regiments occupy

Remember the lesson on pinpointing a target for B-52 air strikes to be effective? Center of Mass, vicinity YAxyx’y’?

On November 11, the most scattered 66th Regiment reached to a (center of mass Vic YA9104).

On November 15, the entire B3 Front units reached to (center of mass vicinity YA8702), That's where the B-52 first struck!

and what was the reaction time of a B-52 strike from the time it was requested until there were bombs on target?

That is exactly why B-52 strikes have to be pre-planned long, long ahead of time. They flew in from Guam and Thailand, for Christ’s sake!

Even with solid intelligence and an almost clairvoyant ability to determine enemy units movement, location, and morale, down to the minute as claimed, in my opinion, there is just way too much room for error.

Colonel Hieu kept the margin of errors to the possible minimum with his exceptional clairvoyant ability to determine enemy units movement, location, and morale, down to the minute. That was the purpose of the distractive maneuver which kept the B3 Front unit forces lingering at staging areas, as seating ducks readied for the onslaught strikes by B-52s

That claim just does not make sense.

Does it now? I hope.

If not, I would have to classify you as student category g!

Just kidding …

The enemy might not want to play ball and follow the plan.

Yes, but they did. They were outsmarted by Colonel Hieu. Colonel Ha Vi Tung, B3 Front Chief of Staff was subsequently let go after the defeat at Pleime.

They could decide to do something else (as was the case with the 33d and the hasty ambush of 2/7 CAV at Albany). If the plan was to canalize the enemy, seems the 33d decided to head east rather than west, and in doing so inadvertently put themselves in a position to attack 2/7. If II Corps intel was that good, did they just let 2/7 walk into an ambush? If not...well you see my point then, dont you?

I already talked about the intention of the continuation of setting up a distractive and blocking position assigned to the 2/7 in its march toward that direction. (Why Pleime, chapter V):

"On 17 November, the targets also included LZ X-ray and the two friendly battalions were so ordered to move 3 km away from the LZ, northward and northwestward to another called LZ Albany.

The displacement was also based on the estimate that the enemy had withdrawn in that direction. In the afternoon of the previous day, a friendly helicopter had been shot down over that area, the enemy movement could also aim at attacking the artillery position east of X-ray which had provided effective support to the 1/7 battalion during the last two days. The two battalions moved into different directions, the 2/7 northward and the 2/5 northwestward."

The 2/7 Commander was just inexperienced and careless while in operation (Coleman, page 249):

"Most experienced battalion commanders would not have moved anywhere in the Ia Drang in jus a simple column formation. But that was the problem. McDade was very inexperienced. He had taken over the battalion less than three weeks before it was deployed to the western plateau."

I’ll continue to read and see if I can resolve questions I have.

That’s your independent study assignment.

Thanks for the explanation.

Thank you!

Phieu


#523 25 Dec 11, 16:38

Phieu,

There are lots of things to digest. Before I started reading this thread, my knowledge of the Ia Drang Battle (all related operations in that area) consisted of reading a couple of articles and Moore/Galloway's book. The additional sources you brought to my attention are sure to occupy my attention for a while to come.

If at all possible at his point, it would be helpful if Altus, Boonie, and Lirelou would re-engage in some conversation on the topic. I have a question for Altus if he would care to comment...as far as the history of PAVN operations in this area prior to August 1965. What was going on in the Ia Drang Valley area in early to mid 1965? Thanks in advance. Don.

don744


#524 25 Dec 11, 17:47

Altus? Boonie? Lirelou?... Don is requesting for your respective expertise inputs ...

Phieu


#525 25 Dec 11, 17:52

don744 : Phieu,

There are lots of things to digest. Before I started reading this thread, my knowledge of the Ia Drang Battle (all related operations in that area) consisted of reading a couple of articles and Moore/Galloway's book. The additional sources you brought to my attention are sure to occupy my attention for a while to come.

You are a student category f. now

f. He was not at the level of the class,
- I would request that he be put down to a lower level grade;

Phieu


#526 25 Dec 11, 18:14

Phieu : You are a student category f. now

Possibly so. I can be known to be quite dense at times. I like to hear dissenting viewpoints, so long as things can remain somewhat civil. If there can be no further discourse, then maybe this thread has outlived its utility. I believe some have voted that way already. Personally, I think there is much more potential for information sharing here.

Although I see the potential for further dialogue, that depends on the groups willingness to reengage in discussion. If asking for input from the others would drop me to number 10 student ranking, well I suppose this thread, from a discussion point of view may have run it's course for me. Fortunately, all links provided will give me ample reading.

Altus...if you wish to continue here, I would like to hear about PAVN operations in that area early to mid 1965...

don744


#527 26 Dec 11, 00:37

don744 : If asking for input from the others would drop me to number 10 student ranking

No, it's not that. It is this:

my knowledge of the Ia Drang Battle (all related operations in that area) consisted of reading a couple of articles and Moore/Galloway's book

this thread ...may have run it's course for me.

Do you mind make up a list of what you have learned from me about the Ia Drang battle, that you did not know before?

I would appreciate it very much.

This list might put you back to number 1 student ranking...

I am certain you will find out you surpasse in acquired knowlegde those more advanced than you before, but had dropped out earlier...

Don't underestimate yourself... I don't.

Phieu


#528 26 Dec 11, 04:44

Side Bar: Why Pleime as an ORLL

Why Pleime is an After Action Report of the Pleime Campaign drafted by Colonel Hieu, II Corps Chief of Staff.

I thought that I would not write anything else, but a full report, to submit to the Joint Operations Center and to publish some experiences gained through these big fightings to the 22nd, 23rd, 24th Tactical Zones under my command, in order to minimize the sacrifices of our soldiers.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_foreword-2.htm)

However, since Pleime campaign was a joint effort between ARVN forces and US 1st Air Cavalry forces, it was and Operational Report, Lessons Learned that incorporated various after action reports from different participants units – Special Tactical Zone 24, G2/1st Air Cav, 3rd Vietnamese Armored Cavalry Squandron, 1st Air Cav Headquarters, 1/7 Cav Battalion:

- Headquarters, Special Tactical Zone 24, Advisory Detachment, Combat Operations After Action Report, Dated 15 Nov 65.

- Intelligence Report, Hqs, 1st Air Cav Div, Office of the G-2, Dated 24 Nov 65, Subject: Ia Drang Valley (Silver Bayonet 1) YA 9104 14-19 Nov 65.

- Interview on 10 and 12 Dec 65 with Major James S. O'Neal, Armor, US Army. Advisor to 3d Vietnamese Armored Cavalry Squadron which was the armored element involved in the relief of Plei Me Special Forces Camp in Oct 65.

- Armor in Vietnam's Central Highlands by Lt Col. Edward B. Smith, Jr - Armor Magazine, May-June 1966, pp 10-15.

- Headquarters, 1st Air Cavalry Division, Pleiku Campaign.

- The Lure and the Ambush, an account of the opening battle of Phase Three in the Struggle for the Highlands 19 Oct 65-26 Nov 65 by Maj. William P. Boyle and Major Robert Samabria.

- Headquarters 1/7 Cavalry Battalion, Combat After Action Report, Ia Drang Valley Operation, 14-16 Nov 65.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_VCD-2.htm)

He did want Why Pleime After Action Report to be as complete, as exhaustive, as accurate, and as objective as possible.

I sincerely call on:

- The Commander of the Armor-Infantry Task Force,

- The 21st, 22nd Ranger Battalions and 1/42 Infantry Battalion Commanders,

- The Airborne Battalion Commanders in the General Reserve,

- The Battalion Commanders in the Vietnamese Marine Alpha Task Force,

- The Brigade Commanders of the 1st US Air Cavalry Division,

- The Artillery Battalion Commanders,

- The Air Force and Army pilots.

- The Air Force Observation Officers,

- The Special Forces and SF Ranger Officers.

If they have details or documents related to the commitment of their units, they should send them to II Corps TOC so that they could be added to this book to make it become a complete historic document, because it is the result of the hardships and sacrifices endured by the valiant and zealous soldiers serving in the remote Highlands.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_foreword-2.htm)

General Westmoreland wanted more than that: he was seeking for VC accounts of this battle from their side.

General Vinh Loc has not attempted in this work to provide a completely detailed account of this battle, nor is it yet possible, scarcely twelve months thereafter, to place the numerous individual actions of the many Vietnamese and U.S. units into accurate perspective. This cannot be accomplished with conviction until, perhaps much later, the VC accounts of this battle as seen from their side become available. Nevertheless, it is particularly interesting at this time to gain the perspective of General Vinh Loc, who served with distinction as Commander of the ARVN II Corps during the battle.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_preface-2.htm)

Well, after 47 years, we still only have, according to Pribblenow, recently (February 2001) published People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) accounts heavily colored by communist hagiography and propaganda,

For the past 35 years the US Army and the North Vietnamese have claimed victory in the October to November 1965 Ia Drang Valley Battle. While the United States side of the battle has been extensively documented, the Vietnamese [communists] version has remained obscure.

Although heavily colored by communist hagiography and propaganda, recently published People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) accounts provide answers to many questions and acknowledge a number of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) mistakes and command failures. When added to information from US sources, these accounts reveal how greatly the fog of war, over optimism and blind fate influenced the battle.

(www.generalhieu.com/e66pleime-2.htm)

Despite being heavily colored by communist hagiography and propaganda, published People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) accounts, when put side by side with Why Pleime ORLL, do help get the truth about what really happened at Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang in 1965.

That is the reason I have tried to get as many PAVN accounts as possible and translated a few samples so that Vietnamese-illiterated historians and scholars of the Vietnam War had the opportunity to go the sources:

• Pleime Campaign (www.generalhieu.com/pleime-vc-2.htm)

o Crushing the American Troops in Central Highlands (www.generalhieu.com/f304-2.htm)

o NVA 66th Regiment in Pleime-Ia Drang Campaign (www.generalhieu.com/f304iadrang-2.htm)

o The Political Commissar at the First Battle Against the Americans in Central Highlands (www.generalhieu.com/pleime-dangvhiep-2.htm)

o First Engagement With American Troops at Pleime-Iadrang(www.generalhieu.com/pleime-huu_an-2.htm)

Phieu


#529 26 Dec 11, 07:45

Phieu: No, it's not that. It is this:

Do you mind make up a list of what you have learned from me about the Ia Drang battle, that you did not know before?

I would appreciate it very much.

This list might put you back to number 1 student ranking...

I am certain you will find out you surpasse in acquired knowlegde those more advanced that you before, but had dropped out earlier...

Don't underestimate yourself... I don't.

Phieu,

I would be happy to do that.

don744


#530 26 Dec 11, 11:05

First off, I have a solid basis for understanding small unit tactics at the Platoon/Squad level. I know how to read a map quite well, and understand Army culture. I know that use of terms like “strategic” “battle” and “campaign” have different meaning to different people or different echelons in the chain of command. I would like to refrain from being bogged down into defending use of these words, but rather I would like to communicate a general idea of what I now know.

Thru the maps, grid coordinates, and the awesomeness of “google earth” I was able to look firsthand at the terrain, specifically locating LZs X-Ray and Albany, and there relation to Pleime to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground. Just looking at the military maps…Chu Pong mountain itself is key terrain that we should be glad was not exploited to any great extent by the B3 front prior to the battle.

Starting off, the first learning point for me was that the Ia Drang battle was a series of operations conducted in response to the attack of the Special Forces camp at Pleime. Notable among the USSF Soldiers at Pleime was Charlie Beckwith, future commander of the US Army Delta Force. Prior to reading this thread, I was unaware this was a related action to the LZ-Xray/LZ Albany battles.

I believe the entire series of significant US ARVN operations in that area were initiated because PAVN forces executed a deliberate plan, to cut SVN in half, beginning with an attack on the Pleime SF camp. I had no knowledge of the composition of enemy forces prior to this thread, but now recognize it was the B3 front composed of the 33, 32, and 66 regiments. Considering the difficulty of infiltrating forces, as well as the importance and value of supplies, this seems to me to be a very significant commitment by the PAVN. So, after the enemy forces began a withdrawal from Pleime, the month long Ia Drang “battle” began with the US 1st CAV DIVs Operation Long Reach, which comprised of Operations All the Way (1st BDE), Silver Bayonet I (3d BDE), Silver Bayonet II (2d BDE), and culminated with operation Than Phong 7.

My first point of confusion is, from one side of the allied forces there was discussion of a grand strategic plan, from the very beginning, to canalize the enemy to a point on the map 40+ KM from the action at Pleime, and destroy them via B-52 strikes. From the other side a picture of a standard CAV operation to go forth locate and destroy the enemy. Basically, a fluid, real-time operation, to find and fix the enemy...then pile in additional forces, not a set-piece plan.

Also, I am unclear about how “joint” the effort was with II Corps and the 1st CAV Division, as I have come to understand there was a separation of operational effort that was in effect. This leads to my second point of confusion. Although there may have been a separate operational effort, was there intel sharing? From one side I hear there was total strategic and tactical understanding of the size, composition, line of march, timing, and morale of enemy forces…from the other, a general idea of where the bad-guys “might” be, but some type of perceived operational restriction from going there. Goes back to why the CAV was digging around in the east, instead of getting a blocking force inserted between the PAVN forces and the Cambodian border during their withdrawal from Pleime.

So, this leads me to comment that at this point I still remain unconvinced that II Corps was the decision-maker in selecting Chu Pong as the site to insert 3d Brigade. They may have had some influence, or provided some limited intelligence. I would love to read other information following the following quote to better understand the context:

General Kinnard, in an interview with Cochran in 1984, said, "The choice to go into the Chu Pong, a longtime enemy sanctuary (near the Cambodian border) into which the ARVN had never gone, was not mine. (Cochran, Alexander S., "First Strike at River Drang", Military History, Oct 1984, pp 44-52, Per. Interview with H.W.O Kinnard, 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General)

I have a gut feeling he may go on to explain it was Knowles/Browns decision, as there were several other sources that directly cite Larsens visit with Knowles when operations were being conducted further east.

Oh…ask and ye shall receive. Here is a subsequent quote from that same interview:

The choice to go into the Chu Pong, a longtime enemy sanctuary (near the Cambodian border) into which ARVN had never gone, was not mine. It was either that of General Knowles or the brigade commander. We hadn't looked at the area. It wasn't intelligence that led us there. If anything, it was the lack of intelligence, and this seemed a logical place.

There is no direct reference I have read yet that specifically states that Larsen was asked by II Corps to direct Knowles to insert a unit into that Cu Pong area, or that Larsen was part and parcel of a grand II corps strategy or else he would have directed Kinnard (not Knowles) to maneuver his forces in a manner to reach the intended objective. What I have seen so far are veiled references, assumptions, or innuendo that Larsen knew, but nothing concrete. I can make the same argument in reverse.

Now, here is where it becomes interesting for me. A commander knows the enemy is withdrawing from the area around Pleime, knows the enemy has a sanctuary to the west in nearby Cambodia, but decides to continue to search in the east? Seems Knowles was operating based on a factual or perceived limit to his AO/Authority. Larsens visit removed those doubts when Larsen took the time to explain to another General Officer that the mission of the Cav was to go find the enemy. At that level of command, sounds like a slap in the face. I figure Brigadier Generals know the mission of units they command. So, based on what I can see as a logical decision to insert a unit as far west as possible, while selecting the specific site based on limited intel (consisting of a situation map with a red star vicinity Chu Pong), Knowles told Brown to plan the insertion of a Battalion at Chu Pong. It makes no sense to me that a Commander would send one battalion directly against 3 regiments. I still think much of this was based on limited intel, assumptions, and use of terrain to predict the possible enemy withdrawal routes.

Now, if you have the time, you can go to google earth, locate the Chu Pong Massif, review the terrain and see if you could find a place to insert a battalion by helicopter in that area. Just to the east of the massif and south of the river (which acts as a natural funnel) provides a good site by using the terrain to get the battalion between the retreating enemy forces and the border. To this day, you should have no trouble finding X-ray at the easternmost point of the Cu Pong. It is about the only somewhat clear spot in the AO. Unfortunately, it seems most of the B3 front had made it to this specific site before the 1/7. I believe it was just plain old dumb luck.

Now, as far as LZ Albany, that was also very enlightening. I did not previously know how the enemy forces were able to get in place to conduct an ambush of 2/7. That all became clear within this thread. The 33d was on the way to attack the unit providing fires for the Chu Pong battle. They had stopped their movement and 2/7 walked into their forces on their way to Albany. This was a hasty ambush. I think this is the point where where I really want to believe that the intel was limited and II Corps did not know the strength, disposition, line of march, and morale of enemy units minute by minute. See what I am driving at? Wouldn’t our allies make sure to notify out TOC and ensure they knew the 33d was sitting directly in the line of march of 2/7’s planned exfiltration?

That line of thinking goes with the whole battle and the information sharing between allies before LTC Moore’s feet hit dirt at LZ Xray. Did we receive intel that pinpointed the exact locations of the entire B3 front, and we just ignored it? I can’t imagine that. If we had pinpoint minute to the minute intel, we would have just called in the B-52s from the start and not have messed around with inserting troops. But, I still have a long ways to go with my reading.

I know there are likely answers to the points of confusion I have concerning the Ia Drang battle, I just need to take the time to read up on them a bit more. I am sure Why Pleime and many of the other sources in this thread will give some greater insight. Although much of these are my conclusions from my reading to date, I have a feeling since I mostly focused on the US perspective, that overall this will disappoint. To be very honest, I think purely from a cultural perspective it would be difficult for me to totally accept another viewpoint without first reconciling my own military leader’s viewpoints first.

I would also like to comment that, thru your site, I had the opportunity to read up and learn about your Brother. He sounds like he was a great Man and military leader. He was the first RVN officer I have had the opportunity to read about. I’ll continue to stop by and read some more. Maybe subsequent reading will clarify some of my questions.

Your thoughts Phieu?

don744


#531 26 Dec 11, 12:07

Great self assessment, fair and balance.

You have made huge strides on the conquest of understanding Pleime campaign.

It took me 20 plus years under the tutelage of my brother, the architect of that campaign, to really come to grasp the entire picture of that campaign and to share it with everybody in this thread.

You are getting there. Just stay open minded. I don't expect you to understand it at this point yet.

The picture of the Pleime campaign that I am depicting here is not just an ARVN perpective versus American or PAVN perspectives. It's just THE TRUE picture. Period.

I know, I am being cocky. But it's not an unreasonable cockiness (Altus, Boonie, Lirelou could not stand this attitude of mine) ...

It's just a result of being in your comfort zone.

I know, it will take times for people to digest and accept that view.

Well, I am not here to please, but to tell the truth as it is, without having to be diplomatic, having to sugar coating my presentation.

I hope and am confident there are plenty of persons as open minded as you among the 12,300 plus views.

Phieu


#532 26 Dec 11, 12:59

Don, thanks for taking the effort to keep the discussion alive. I have a bunch of random thoughts that I appreciate the opportunity to throw up there for the masses.

By stating Chu Pong is key terrain, what advantage do you feel it gives either side? What do you mean by "exploited" by B3 Front?

As far as intel sharing goes, the assets available to 1 Cavalry Division are pretty clear, with decent capabilities among most of the intelligence disciplines. For the South Vietnamese I'm not so certain, but I would suspect most of it would have been human intelligence. That said, I have no clue as to how quickly any tactical information gained around the Chu Pong area could have been communicated back to II Corps. I would say it's possible sources could have been working out of Duc Co, so a quick turnaround is possible. Communications security does not seem to have been followed much by the US and PAVN at least, so communicating in the clear over AM or FM nets is likely. Intel sharing between allies has always been an issue. In 1965, I find it unlikely that sharing of certain types of communications intelligence would have occurred. I have nothing to support this theory though.

As to why some units were searching to the east of Plei Me, I think we should consider the "read" on enemy intentions which appears to revolve around the enemy pushing through the Central Highlands and to possibly disrupt the rice harvest along the coast. There were however several moves to the west by 1 Cavalry, just none at the Chu Pong area. If you go through the message logs you see they were looking everywhere, but when activity dried up (ie, the PAVN learned to NOT SHOOT at anything that flies), the search areas expanded.

"Now, here is where it becomes interesting for me. A commander knows the enemy is withdrawing from the area around Pleime, knows the enemy has a sanctuary to the west in nearby Cambodia, but decides to continue to search in the east?"

I am not convinced this is a certainty. Did they in fact know the enemy withdrew? Several POW reports do indicate this course of action, but I can tell you from extensive personal experience that what should have been easily understood is not always the case.

"It makes no sense to me that a Commander would send one battalion directly against 3 regiments. I still think much of this was based on limited intel, assumptions, and use of terrain to predict the possible enemy withdrawal routes."

I don't think so either, whether a decision such as this was made by II Corps or 1 CD. I do think it's likely that intel of a nature that could not be released below brigade level was available concerning what was going on in the valley, but not properly analyzed. One battalion to "distract" or pin three regiments which were spread all over the valley doesn't hold water in my opinion either if the "plan" were to pin the enemy down and hit them with B-52s. SIDEBAR: Looking at the terrain of the Chu Pong, I don't see it as being a good candidate for carpet bombing. Can anyone point to references for targeting and B-52 mission parameters?

As to the 33rd Regiment and Albany, if the intel on the enemy was so good, then why was the area north of the river not also targeted by B-52 strikes?

samtn99


#533 26 Dec 11, 14:29

By stating Chu Pong is key terrain, what advantage do you feel it gives either side? What do you mean by "exploited" by B3 Front?

Key terrain is that which would provide a tactical advantage to the occupying force. By exploiting I mean to say “taken advantage of this terrain”. In this case the Chu Pong Massif was high ground that dominated the area, and acted as a natural barrier, which would have provided a tactical advantage for a defensive force, had it been occupied. Imagine having to attack uphill at a defense on the mountain. Just from looking at the contour interval on the military maps, I would not want to have to hump that mountain, much less fight my way up it. Also, as was stated elsewhere, what if the PAVN had any type of anti-aircraft capability on the hilltops? LZ Xray was less than 5 Km from the crest, meaning it was in range for any anti-aircraft weapon system 12.7 mm and up.

As far as intel sharing goes, the assets available to 1 Cavalry Division are pretty clear, with decent capabilities among most of the intelligence disciplines. For the South Vietnamese I'm not so certain, but I would suspect most of it would have been human intelligence. That said, I have no clue as to how quickly any tactical information gained around the Chu Pong area could have been communicated back to II Corps. I would say it's possible sources could have been working out of Duc Co, so a quick turnaround is possible. Communications security does not seem to have been followed much by the US and PAVN at least, so communicating in the clear over AM or FM nets is likely. Intel sharing between allies has always been an issue. In 1965, I find it unlikely that sharing of certain types of communications intelligence would have occurred. I have nothing to support this theory though.

I have few comments really, it is something I need to read up on, but I suspect your read on HUMINT by the SVN folks is on-target.

"Now, here is where it becomes interesting for me. A commander knows the enemy is withdrawing from the area around Pleime, knows the enemy has a sanctuary to the west in nearby Cambodia, but decides to continue to search in the east?"

I am not convinced this is a certainty. Did they in fact know the enemy withdrew? Several POW reports do indicate this course of action, but I can tell you from extensive personal experience that what should have been easily understood is not always the case.

My comments were based on my limited understanding of what happened... and some assumptions. I would think after the engagement at Pleime, there would be a need to re-consolidate, regroup, and resupply. It just seemed logical to me, since Pleime may have been the first objective of a PAVN operation, it subsequently turned into what was referred to as a siege. This attack across the country kinda stalled out in one spot. After the siege was lifted, I figure reconsolidation would be the order of the day for the PAVN.

"It makes no sense to me that a Commander would send one battalion directly against 3 regiments. I still think much of this was based on limited intel, assumptions, and use of terrain to predict the possible enemy withdrawal routes."

I don't think so either, whether a decision such as this was made by II Corps or 1 CD. I do think it's likely that intel of a nature that could not be released below brigade level was available concerning what was going on in the valley, but not properly analyzed. One battalion to "distract" or pin three regiments which were spread all over the valley doesn't hold water in my opinion either if the "plan" were to pin the enemy down and hit them with B-52s. SIDEBAR: Looking at the terrain of the Chu Pong, I don't see it as being a good candidate for carpet bombing. Can anyone point to references for targeting and B-52 mission parameters?

I agree with your assessment, for the reasons you mention.

As to the 33rd Regiment and Albany, if the intel on the enemy was so good, then why was the area north of the river not also targeted by B-52 strikes?

And this is almost the same argument as mine, except mine is simply to point out that surely II Corps would not have stood by and let that BN walk into an enemy ambush. They didn’t know either, which is why the 52s weren’t bombing up by Albany while 2/7 and 2/5 withdrew toward the south or southeast.

I would also add that, from LTC Moore's operation order for the insertion of 1/7 CAV dated 14 NOV 65, they only expected one (1) possible enemy BN. There were two other references in the OPORD to enemy forces....one was a possible secret enemy base (no size element) and possible sighting of enemy personnel on Chu Pong (no size element). That is the intelligence Hal Moore had to perform his operation. Not alot of meat on the bone there.

I appreciate the questions. I am relatively new to grasping the totality of this part of the Defense Campaign.

don744


#534 26 Dec 11, 15:43

May I inject into the dialogue between the two of you, Don and Sam?

Key terrain is that which would provide a tactical advantage to the occupying force. By exploiting I mean to say “taken advantage of this terrain”. In this case the Chu Pong Massif was high ground that dominated the area, and acted as a natural barrier, which would have provided a tactical advantage for a defensive force, had it been occupied. Imagine having to attack uphill at a defense on the mountain. Just from looking at the contour interval on the military maps, I would not want to have to hump that mountain, much less fight my way up it. Also, as was stated elsewhere, what if the PAVN had any type of anti-aircraft capability on the hilltops? LZ Xray was less than 5 Km from the crest, meaning it was in range for any anti-aircraft weapon system 12.7 mm and up.

- II Corps Command had chosen 11/14 to unleash 1/7th Air Cavarly Battalion into Chu Pong while the enemy troops lacked the support of their anti-aircraft battalion that would have shot down all the helicopters inserting troops and of their heavy mortar battalion that would have badly mauled the air cavalry troops prior to assaults, forcing the enemy cadres to sacrifice their soldiers in human waves tactic:

The ratio which amounts to 1/10 has proved how lucky the 1/7 battalion had been because it was rather surprising that from the hills which dominate the LZ, the enemy did not position any crew-served weapons to support their attack. Such a situation could be explained only by the following reasons:

- The enemy has lost nearly all their heavy crew-served weapons during the first phase.

- They had been surprised by the attack of the 1/7 battalion and their commanders had failed to make the best use of the terrain.

- Their tactics relied mostly on the "human waves" and they were too confident that their attack would disorganize the 1/7 battalion very quickly.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_chV-2.htm)

I have few comments really, it is something I need to read up on, but I suspect your read on HUMINT by the SVN folks is on-target.

The contribution from 1st Air Cavalry Division consisted mainly on radar and infra-red reports from aerial surveillance and target acquisition platoon and Radio Research Unit.

II Corps contribution consisted mainly on interrogations of prisoners and ralliers, recon missions by Montagnard Eagle Flight teams and VN Airborne Rangers teams inserted inside enemy territories, and radio intercept reports.

Among those intelligence sources radio intercepts of communication between Chinese Advisors at regimental and divisional levels was the main key to on real time intelligence knowledge. He only knew what the Chinese Advisor discussed in their communications, and they discussed a lot, almost everything... When they stopped talking, he had to rely on other less on real time intelligence reports from other sources.

"Now, here is where it becomes interesting for me. A commander knows the enemy is withdrawing from the area around Pleime, knows the enemy has a sanctuary to the west in nearby Cambodia, but decides to continue to search in the east?"

Intentionallly "Fake search east; Attack west"!

"It makes no sense to me that a Commander would send one battalion directly against 3 regiments. I still think much of this was based on limited intel, assumptions, and use of terrain to predict the possible enemy withdrawal routes."

A Commander would send a less unit than the opposing enemy force, if his intention is not to scare off the enemy.

One battalion to "distract" or pin three regiments

To distract the three regiments from Pleime to LZ-Xray in order to luring the enemy in maintaining the imminent attack mode and retaining them at staging areas.

which were spread all over the valley doesn't hold water in my opinion either if the "plan" were to pin the enemy down and hit them with B-52s.

They were not spread all over the valley: B3 forces center of mass (vic YA8207)

And this is almost the same argument as mine, except mine is simply to point out that surely II Corps would not have stood by and let that BN walk into an enemy ambush. They didn’t know either, which is why the 52s weren’t bombing up by Albany while 2/7 and 2/5 withdrew toward the south or southeast.

-First, 2/5 mission same as 1/7: distract and blocking position

-Two, that northwest areas were also targeted by B52 strikes, while operation Than Phong 7 and Silver Bayonet were carrying on:

21 Nov 65

- 22:00H: II Corps Capt Neary and Capt Martin - (Encoded) Request time of Abn Bde atk on obj vic YA 810055. Is Abn Bde aware of Arc Lite #4 at 221210H.

- 22:50H: II Corps Capt Neary - Ref encoded msg (log item #60). This request for info is for confirmation that subject (arc lite) is well coordinated. It also pertains to II Corps sec msg, cite number 174, which affects some subj (Arlite msg, gives southern boundary of area of opns which falls within Arc lite tgt. No times are included for movement south). Confirmation of time of movement is required as well as confirmation that subj of encoded msg (Arc lite) is coordinated. (www.generalhieu.com/pleime_1cav_g3_2.htm)

P.S. - Keep in mind: Colonel Hieu was a master planner, who left out any details. He was, as I told you, one kind of a corps chief of staff.

The well thought out operational concept and its execution is an indication it was the product one person, of a military genius - the only one Colonel Hieu! (Boonie can yell out "hagiography" all he wants!)

Phieu


#535 26 Dec 11, 22:17

Phieu : - II Corps Command had chosen 11/14 to unleash 1/7th Air Cavarly Battalion into Chu Pong while the enemy troops lacked the support of their anti-aircraft battalion that would have shot down all the helicopters inserting troops and of their heavy mortar battalion that would have badly mauled the air cavalry troops prior to assaults, forcing the enemy cadres to sacrifice their soldiers in human waves tactic:

No matter how “joint” an operation may be, host nation commanders don’t get to “choose to unleash” American forces unilaterally. I can think of no example in history that this has happened. Maybe after negotiation and joint planning, but the orders typically come from the US chain of command. We already know BG Knowles gave the order to go to Chu Pong, and COL Brown selected the 1/7, and began the planning of the US operation. Being as open minded as I can, I can not grasp the concept of LTG Larsen, working under direction of II Corps, ordering Knowles to attack Chu Pong. I see Larsen as possibly removing some operational constraints Knowles was working under when he told him to find the enemy. One can assume, draw a conclusion, or assume that he suggested the Chu Pong operation...but nothing shows he told Knowles to conduct operations at Chu Pong. As I said earlier, Kinnard said this was Knowles or Browns plan. Maybe there are other sources that directly corroborate II Corps involvement. That would surely bolster your assertion.

"Fake search east; Attack west"!

I have not read anything from the US side of the house yet that directly corroborates this statement. I still have much to read.

A Commander would send a less unit than the opposing enemy force, if his intention is not to scare off the enemy.

I contend that no American commander in any theater of war would permit use of his forces to act as “bait” in this manner. We would use a smaller force to find an enemy formation so other forces can be brought to bear (think movement to contact), but not to deliberately drop in a battalion at the footsteps of three regiments just to keep them sitting still. The PAVN used the tactic of keeping so close to the Americans that supporting fires could not be brought to bear. How does that match up with coordinating B-52 strikes with bad guys "grabbing the belts" of US forces?

They were not spread all over the valley: B3 forces center of mass (vic YA8207)

At the conclusion of Than Phong 7 maybe. The battle at X-ray occurred about 15 km south-southeast of this grid square. Battles are fluid and ever changing. While there are several natural barriers, there is little to confine a force into following a prescribed course of action. One can make decisions based on intelligence and timely reporting from the battlefield, which is what likely happened in operational planning for Than Phong 7. I will bet you will not find a document dated prior to 14 November that set the date, time, and location for Than Phong 7.

P.S. - Keep in mind: Colonel Hieu was a master planner, who did not left out any details. He was, as I told you, one kind of a corps chief of staff.

Phieu…Murphy’s first law of combat…the best plan does not survive first contact. That does not mean COL Hieu’s plan was flawed, it just means that things change very quickly in combat. You can not take into account those unknown factors outside your control.

Thoughts?

don744


#536 27 Dec 11, 03:28

don744: No matter how “joint” an operation may be, host nation commanders don’t get to “choose to unleash” American forces unilaterally. I can think of no example in history that this has happened. Maybe after negotiation and joint planning, but the orders typically come from the US chain of command.

Coleman, page 99:

On the afternoon of the 26th, Generals Westmoreland, Larsen, Kinnard, and Knowles met for a conference at the 1st Brigade’s command post, at LZ Homecoming. […] In the conference between Westmoreland and the division officers, Kinnard hammered on the theme that U.S. forces must now do more than merely contain the enemy or simply reinforce the ARVN. The NVA, he felt, must be sought out aggressively and destroyed. Of course, as far as Westy was concerned, Kinnard was singing to the choir; Westmoreland long had yearned for the opportunity to go on the offensive. Kinnard and Knowles also spent considerable time at the conference explaining to Westmoreland and Larsen exactly what the division could do and how well it could do it. Westmoreland eventually turned to Larsen and said: “Give Kinnard his head.”

We already know BG Knowles gave the order to go to Chu Pong, and COL Brown selected the 1/7, and began the planning of the US operation. Being as open minded as I can, I can not grasp the concept of LTG Larsen, working under direction of II Corps, ordering Knowles to attack Chu Pong. I see Larsen as possibly removing some operational constraints Knowles was working under when he told him to find the enemy.

Those are facts. It’s only an indication that General Knowles was not purviewed of the master plan. In the military field, the effectiveness of the action is due the “do first, ask latter” of the executor of the order.

One can assume, draw a conclusion, or assume that he suggested the Chu Pong operation...but nothing shows he told Knowles to conduct operations at Chu Pong.

Coleman, page 196:

That day - November 12 - General Larsen was visiting the division’s forward command post at the II Corps compound. He asked Knowles how things were going. Knowles briefed him on the attack on Catecka the night before and then told him the brigade was drilling a dry hole out east of Plei Me. Larsen said, “Why are you conducting operations there if it’s dry?” Knowles’s response was, “With all due respect, sir, that’s what your order in writing directed us to do.” Larsen responded that the cavalry’s primary mission was to “find the enemy and go after him.” Shortly after, Knowles visited Brown at the 3rd Brigade command post and told him to come up with a plan for an air assault operation near the foot of the Chu Pongs.

This means General Knowles acted under specific order of General Larsen, no?

As I said earlier, Kinnard said this was Knowles or Browns plan. Maybe there are other sources that directly corroborate II Corps involvement. That would surely bolster your assertion.

The mutual agreement of the "modus operandi": share of intelligence and operational concepts.

"Fake search east; Attack west"!

I have not read anything from the US side of the house yet that directly corroborates this statement. I still have much to read.

It’s mine! I coined it! I don’t know the equivalent American military jargon to it.

“A Commander would send a less unit than the opposing enemy force, if his intention is not to scare off the enemy.”

I contend that no American commander in any theater of war would permit use of his forces to act as “bait” in this manner.

Neither ARVN commanders.

I shouldn't venture to say, “maybe some other Armies’ commanders”

We would use a smaller force to find an enemy formation so other forces can be brought to bear (think movement to contact), but not to deliberately drop in a battalion at the footsteps of three regiments just to keep them sitting still.

Not just to sit still. To hold the ground. Needed reinforcements will be swiftly provided. Not with air assault “piling” tactic though, lest the enemy is scare off away. Just one more battalion, the 2/7, which was sufficient to hold the ground.

The PAVN used the tactic of keeping so close to the Americans that supporting fires could not be brought to bear. How does that match up with coordinating B-52 strikes with bad guys "grabbing the belts" of US forces?

On 11/17, the two replacement battalions, 2/7 and 2/5, were ordered to abandon LZ X-Ray, out of the 3km radius killing zone, did they not? So much for the “grabbing the belts” tactic!

“They were not spread all over the valley: B3 forces center of mass (vic YA8207)”

At the conclusion of Than Phong 7 maybe. The battle at X-ray occurred about 15 km south-southeast of this grid square. Battles are fluid and ever changing. While there are several natural barriers, there is little to confine a force into following a prescribed course of action.

That’s where the first location B-52 struch on November 15 (www.generalhieu.com/kinnard_88.jpg)

“The 15th also marked the introduction of a new weapon by the American forces and one which struck terror in the hearts of even the most hardened enemy soldier. Shortly after noon a large area in the vicinity of YA8702 suddenly erupted with hundreds of thunderous explosions that moved across the ground like a giant carpet being unrolled. The B-52 bombers had struck. For the next five days the big bombers systematically worked over large areas of the Chu Pong Massif. The NVA soldiers lived in fear of these attacks because they believed each raid covered a 20 kilometer area and they were told that ordinary trenches and foxholes were of no protection.”

One can make decisions based on intelligence and timely reporting from the battlefield, which is what likely happened in operational planning for Than Phong 7.

Nope, it only happened at Chupong-Iadrang in operation Bayonet I.

I will bet you will not find a document dated prior to 14 November that set the date, time, and location for Than Phong 7.

Not the date, time and location, not even the name (!) but it was already in Colonel Hieu's mind as earlier as October 26, 1965! He knew then that if he wanted to execute a "Coupg de Grace" operation, he would neet a surgical tool which was not the US Air Cav, but the ARVN Airborne. He was even so confident of the timing that he waited until Nov 17, to gather the scattered 5 Airborne Battalions from Saigon, Vung Tau, Hung Yen, Bong Son to Pleiku, Duc Co by USAF C-130's and by 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion's helicopters to the operational areas.

On 26 October 1965, while the relief column and the garrison of Pleime were conducting a sweep around the Camp, a conference was held at II Corps TOC with the presence of US advisors and unit commanders.

All the information received and the analysis of the situation converged to the same conclusion.

The enemy units had withdrawn west in the direction of the Cambodian border. This would be their only chance of escape because in addition to the advantages of the terrain, the base of Chu Pong and the sanctuary of Cambodia provided not only shelters but also supplies and replacements of which the 32nd and 33rd Regiments were running short.

For the first time since the war broke out on the Indochinese peninsula, friendly forces had the opportunity to come to such a conclusion. Throughout the hostilities since 1948, the enemy has always been able to leave the battlefield and to withdraw safely, to give up the fighting at their own will.

Thus the chance which was offered to friendly forces had not to be overlooked: the two NVA Regiments were to be pursued because if not, the danger would persist and the enemy would have time to reorganize their units.

Besides that, the above decision could this time be made possible because reserve forces were available, with the presence of the 1st US Air Cavalry Division stationed in An Khe, a major unit which possesses the highest degree of mobility all over the world and also the most up-to-date equipment and weaponry.

(....)

The decision made by II Corps Command to exploit the results of the first phase and to pursue the enemy was fully concurred by the US military authorities and agreement was reached to establish a close cooperation in operational activities. The 1st US Air Cavalry Division made the main effort with the Long Reach Operations and the ARVN Airborne Brigade acted as reserve, ready to participate on Corps order.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_chV-2.htm)

“P.S. - Keep in mind: Colonel Hieu was a master planner, who did not left out any details. He was, as I told you, one kind of a corps chief of staff.”>

Phieu…Murphy’s first law of combat…the best plan does not survive first contact. That does not mean COL Hieu’s plan was flawed; it just means that things change very quickly in combat.

It is believed that after a master plan commanding general conceived a master plan, he can go to sleep after releasing it to the field commander. Only minor adjustments would be needed.

You cannot take into account those unknown factors outside your control.

That’s the difference between an average planning and a master planning.

That’s also why it is more difficult to execute a troop withdrawal operation than an attack operation.

More reading … Art of Troop Withdrawal (www.generalhieu.com/retreat-2.htm)

P.S.- Don, I think you are becoming student category b!

b. He did not review previous lessons, and so did not understand this lesson,
- I would tell him to review his lessons first;

I kept on repeating what I had already covered in response to your questions!

Or did I not articulate clearly enough in my presentations?

Phieu


#537 27 Dec 11, 06:14

Phieu, I appreciate the comments. As of this point I still remain with my assertion that the 1/7 Chu Pong Operation was an American forces decision. But I will also add…it might not have been a unilateral one, as you will see later.

On the afternoon of the 26th, Generals Westmoreland, Larsen, Kinnard, and Knowles met for a conference at the 1st Brigade’s command post, at LZ Homecoming. […] In the conference between Westmoreland and the division officers, Kinnard hammered on the theme that U.S. forces must now do more than merely contain the enemy or simply reinforce the ARVN. The NVA, he felt, must be sought out aggressively and destroyed. Of course, as far as Westy was concerned, Kinnard was singing to the choir; Westmoreland long had yearned for the opportunity to go on the offensive. Kinnard and Knowles also spent considerable time at the conference explaining to Westmoreland and Larsen exactly what the division could do and how well it could do it. Westmoreland eventually turned to Larsen and said: “Give Kinnard his head.”

I think both of us are not clear enough here. I contend that II Corps did not order 1/7 to Chu Pong without sharing their plan to fix PAVN forces in place, and use B-52s to destroy them. I mean shared the plan to the lowest level. Hal Moore would need to know his forces were to find and fix enemy formations, then on order, rapidly exfil in order to clear the area due to a B-52 strike. If the strikes were planned in advance, with specific targets, Moore would have briefed this as it is a vital piece of information for his company commanders to know.

I contend the American leadership asked permission to execute operations in that AO, but the decision of the location was made by Knowles. The following quote you provided bolsters my argument.

That day - November 12 - General Larsen was visiting the division’s forward command post at the II Corps compound. He asked Knowles how things were going. Knowles briefed him on the attack on Catecka the night before and then told him the brigade was drilling a dry hole out east of Plei Me. Larsen said, “Why are you conducting operations there if it’s dry?” Knowles’s response was, “With all due respect, sir, that’s what your order in writing directed us to do.” Larsen responded that the cavalry’s primary mission was to “find the enemy and go after him.” Shortly after, Knowles visited Brown at the 3rd Brigade command post and told him to come up with a plan for an air assault operation near the foot of the Chu Pongs.

This meeting generated your comment:

This means General Knowles acted under specific order of General Larsen, no?

Only in an indirect manner. Generals usually give “general” guidance, which give their commanders flexibility to execute their orders. I think my next reading should be Hal Moores OPORD for the Chu Pong air assault. That will provide commanders intent, scheme of maneuver, and other vital clues to the plan.

In order to conclude that Larsen told Knowles to deploy forces to Chu Pong, one must take these documented conversations; then infer, assume, or draw a conclusion. This passage does not directly state that Larsen directed, or even suggested the location. It simply says he told Knowles to, “go after the enemy.” This is the point, however, where I infer, assume, or draw a conclusion that I see Larsen as possibly removing some operational constraints Knowles was working under when he told him to find the enemy. Specifically, the same kind of constraints you cited in the earlier Coleman passage:

On the afternoon of the 26th, Generals Westmoreland, Larsen, Kinnard, and Knowles met for a conference at the 1st Brigade’s command post, at LZ Homecoming. […] In the conference between Westmoreland and the division officers, Kinnard hammered on the theme that U.S. forces must now do more than merely contain the enemy or simply reinforce the ARVN.

Those were operational constraints; contain the enemy/reinforce the ARVN. Sounds like the Commander did not have the freedom of maneuver to actively find the enemy.

I would like to hear from someone about American forces freedom to maneuver at this time in the war. Because, Phieu, I do see that as much as I think it unlikely that II Corps made a unilateral decision to unleash the CAV, I also don’t see the American forces ability to operate whenever/wherever they wanted to in a host nation without prior approval. I know I am opening a door here…which is what I alluded to earlier when I said the decision might not have been a unilateral one.

Also, if you could, please clarify the following. Was the date of the B3 Fronts grid that was provided the same date as the B52 strike…15 November?

“They were not spread all over the valley: B3 forces center of mass (vic YA8207)”

“The 15th also marked the introduction of a new weapon by the American forces and one which struck terror in the hearts of even the most hardened enemy soldier. Shortly after noon a large area in the vicinity of YA8702 suddenly erupted with hundreds of thunderous explosions that moved across the ground like a giant carpet being unrolled.

don744


#538 27 Dec 11, 07:59

I shall dutifully obliged to your requests shortly during the day.

I am currently busy entertaining Xmas party's guesses coming from where Miss Saigon resides...

Just give me a moment, I will come to servicing you...

Phieu


#539 27 Dec 11, 10:51

Thanks Phieu...as you have time. I just finished Moores AAR, and it suggests they did not know what they were going to find. Everything in the OPORD was for a search and destroy operation, not a "blocking" operation.

(sidebar: The OPORD just seems so...I dont know... so not at the level one would expect from a battalion-level combat operation. I realize it is a written transcript of a verbal order, but holy cow, it just doesn't provide much meat. Back to your regulary scheduled programming)

If hard intel was developed and not shared to the lowest level for this operation...on purpose...that would suggest criminal negligence on someone's part. Everytime I try to look at this operation through the lens of the situation you present, I keep coming up with that same answer.

I will comment that your observation that the 1st CAV did not pile forces onto the objective bears merit. Anyone care to guess why the CAV did not pour overwhelming force into the area once 1/7 was engaged?

Was it possible that the LZ X-Ray engagement clarified the situation for the IFFV/II Corps commanders to the extent they were comfortable in selecting the correct weapon platform to deal with the enemy formation (i.e. B-52s)?

My answer to that question is simply that I still think this entire operation was conducted more along the lines of a series of planned reactions to planned PAVN actions, not as the outcome of a month long plan with a predetermined outcome.

don744


#540 27 Dec 11, 11:01

don744 : Thanks Phieu...as you have time. I just finished Moores AAR, and it suggests they did not know what they were going to find. Everything in the OPORD was for a search and destroy operation, not a "blocking" operation. If hard intel was developed and not shared to the lowest level for this operation...on purpose...that would suggest criminal negligence on someone's part. Everytime I try to look at this operation through the lens of the situation you present, I keep coming up with that same answer.

I just managed to sneak out the party, still not sober yet though!

Since it's just a matter of cut and paste, I can afford to respond immediately without delay...

No Time for Reflection: Moore at Ia Drang

I have found this analytical essay regarding the battle at Ia Drang Valley in Chapter seven: No Time for Reflection: Moore at Ia Drang in the the book Command Concepts – A Theory Derived from the Practice of Command and Control by Carl H. Builder, Steven C. Bankes, Richard Nordin - Rand Corporation 1999.

Both the individual chapter and the entire book can be accessed free of charge at

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand...R775.chap7.pdf

and

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR775.html

(www.generalhieu.com/iadrang_moore_c2-2.htm)

And here is my take:

”No Time for Reflection at Ia Drang”?

The Operational Concept Behind the Ia Drang Battle

According to Carl H. Builder and al., Colonel Moore did not have an adequate command concept when he lead his 1/7th Air Cavalry Battalion into LZ X-Ray:

Lieutenant Colonel Harold Moore at Ia Drang did not have clearly expressed command concepts. (page xvii)

The command concept was fundamentally flawed and incomplete at Ia Drang (page 20)

And they attributed Colonel Moore’s shortcoming to higher commands:

But this concept was embedded in flawed higher-level concepts (page 100)

General Kinnard's operational objective was to inflict losses on a fleeing enemy about whom hard information was scarce. Colonel Brown's own command concept reflected this objective, as well as the implicit assumption that Moore, properly supported, could handle whatever he encountered. Brown's intent, not very well expressed in his FRAGO (FRAGmentary Order), was roughly: Find the enemy wherever he is and engage and destroy him. You have the force, training, and support to do the job. (page 98)

These quotations are taken from the book entitled Command Concepts: A Theory Derived From the Practice of Command and Control by Carl H. Builder, Steven C. Bankes, Richard Nordin , RAND 1999. The authors used the Ia Drang battle as their fourth – out of six – case studies in Chapter Seven: No Time For Reflections: Moore at Ia Drang to illustrate their command concepts theory.

An examination on the footnotes reveals the authors acquired their knowledge about the battle on two sources:

(1) Cash , John A., John Albright, and Allan Sandstrum, Seven Firefights in Vietnam, New York: Bantam, 1985 (originally published by the Office of the Chief of Military History , Washington D.C., 1970)

(2) Moore, Harold G., and Joseph Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once … and Young, New York: Random House 1992.

It is quite amazing that for such an in depth study, the authors failed to consult primary sources such as:

(1) General Harry W.O. Kinnard, Pleiku Campaign, After Action Report, Headquarters, 1st Air Cavalry Division, 4 March 1966.

(2) Coleman, J.D., Pleiku, The Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam, New York: St. Martin Press, 1988.

It is worthwhile to note that Coleman was the writer of Pleiku Campaign, when he was a Captain and

a G3 general staff member of 1st Air Cavalry Division.

However, even if the authors had studied these two first hand sources, they would not have discovered the operational concept behind the Ia Drang Valley battle, for the simple reason that the control of the battle did not lie in the hand of General Kinnard, Commander of 1st Air Cavalry Division.

to be continued ...www.generalhieu.com/iadrang_c2-2.htm

I am tip toeing back into the crowded and boisterous party. Hope nobody notices my brief absence!

Phieu


#541 27 Dec 11, 11:43

don744: If hard intel was developed and not shared to the lowest level for this operation...on purpose...that would suggest criminal negligence on someone's part.

Don, depending on several variables this is not a true statement. I do believe better intelligence than what LTC Moore included in his post mission written order based on his verbal order was available, but did not get to LTC Moore.

Classification levels may have prevented the flow of particular types of information. To have given a battalion commander and/or S-2 information for which they were not cleared for would have been criminal. To not give intelligence to someone who is not cleared for it (but could need it) would be an ethical dilemma, not criminal negligence.

samtn99


#542 27 Dec 11, 11:57

Sam,

I guess what I mean is...if the fact that there was 3 regiments that were to face Moore were kept from him...that is negligent. His OPORD showed i enemy BN, and two other enemy forces of unknown size. I understand the importance of protecting sources, collection methods, etc... that stuff is need to know. However, if the size and locations of enemy forces were known, Moore definitely had a need to know the forces arrayed against him.

don744 #543 27 Dec 11, 12:51

Ah, yes, concur. I do not think however that specific data was known.

I think the issue of a "red star" on the Chu Pong needs more attention. I think there are several suppositions about where that kind of intel came from.

1. Human intelligence sources

a. SVN agents or sources. Would these have had pinpoint intel, or more like "the enemy is in the Chu Pong"? This might lead an intel person to just put a big red star on the map, initiate some new collection requirements and wait for more info. Not sure if SVN would have shared hard info from these sources with us.

b. SVN and/or US interrogators (suspect a lot of jointness in this effort). Again, reporting would be pretty general. POW take at the ambush site did indicate that his unit was headed back to the Chu Pong. Again, likely to cause the Order of Battle sections at division or II Corps to put a big red star on the map, initiate more collection, etc.

2. Imagery sources: OV-1 flights, 1-9 Cav (more accurately described as human intel, but easier to categorize here), any SV or USAF overflights etc. I would state that intel coming from these sources would be relatively firm, and the sharing of this type of data down to battalion likely (can anyone with information on releasibility of OV-1 info chime in here?). I think it unlikely that data from Imagery sources would turn into a big red star on a map.

3. Communications intercepts:

a. Other sources (We Were Soldiers, Pleiku, etc) state the success of radio intercepts in locating enemy troop areas. Depending on the specific info from the intercepts, this could indicate enemy battalion, regiment or Front level echelons. I think the releasibility of this type of info would have been an issue however. In order to sanitize it, intel could have simply put a big red star on the map. If this were true, then i would have some serious questions for however ordered 1-7 into X-Ray.

b. SVN radio intercepts: I don't have any info on the capabilities of SVN dedicated radio intercept (by that i mean elements other than listening to unsecure radio transmissions). Phieu has stated in this thread that COL Hieu himself did all his own intercepting (from listening to unsecure transmissions) while at Duc Co, but if true there would have been no issues with passing on all info.

samtn99


#544 27 Dec 11, 13:35

samtn99: Ah, yes, concur. I do not think however that specific data was known.

Now Sir, I think you and I see eye to eye. Hence my comment. I think Moore had what Brown had, which was the same Knowles and Kinnard had. I dont wish to offend Phieu, but I would also add that is all II corps had too. Maybe somewhere, someone had an idea of the forces arrayed in the AOR, but not by definite location, and not to the specificity to hand over to Moore for his OP.

If they did then...

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'

Was there a man dismay'd ?

Not tho' the soldier knew

Some one had blunder'd:

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do & die,

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

I don't think I want to draw that conclusion.

Don744


#545 27 Dec 11, 13:42

samtn99 : 3. Communications intercepts:

a. Other sources (We Were Soldiers, Pleiku, etc) state the success of radio intercepts in locating enemy troop areas. Depending on the specific info from the intercepts, this could indicate enemy battalion, regiment or Front level echelons. I think the releasibility of this type of info would have been an issue however. In order to sanitize it, intel could have simply put a big red star on the map. If this were true, then i would have some serious questions for however ordered 1-7 into X-Ray.

Sam -- Location of enemy units was more a function of Airborne Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) than "intercepts" per se (other than used as "tip-off" for a signal being emitted on which ARDF aircraft would obtain a fix). If you Ia Drang enthusiasts have not come across it yet, I would recommend the (U)Cryptologic Almanac 50th Anniversary Series article, (U)SIGINT and the Battle of the la Drang Valley, November 1965, declassified in 2009. One revealing snippet --

It seemed to the PAVN commanders that every time one of their units settled in, an air strike would hit them. One intercepted PAVN message [REDACTED] concerned a staff meeting at which it was surmised that it was spies in the midst of the North Vietnamese ranks who were giving away their positions. Of course, it had not been spies at all; rather, it was airborne radio direction finding (ARDF) that had flagged the PAVN units and immediately reported their locations. Before this battle, ARDF results had been passed along after the aircraft had landed - no secure system was available in the early days. NSA had developed a tactical one-time pad that secured the messages from the aircraft. The planes now could report their fixes directly to the 371st element supporting the U.S. forces. The ASA personnel on the ground had converted an intercept position in a vehicle to a controller rack. For the Ia Drang battle five mission aircraft had been allocated. A final fix could be passed to the ASA controller within 30 minutes of first notice.

Of equal interest (at least to me) were the early-on capabilities of the counterpart PAVN Technical Reconnaissance Units (TRUs), which capitalized on the absolutely abysmal to non-existent COMSEC of the 1st Cav during this period. This was to be a landmark lesson extended by NSA/ASA to MACV as the war progressed.

RadioResearcher


#546 27 Dec 11, 13:54

RR, thanks, had forgotten the ARDF! Those assets would have been able to provide relatively accurate locations, yes?

Can you state who those elements belong to, and what would the reporting chains be? MACV?

Would it be an accurate statement to say information from those sources would have been restricted? If so, what levels?

samtn99


#547 27 Dec 11, 14:55

Why Pleime

OK Phieu,

Just finished reading Why Pleime. Here are some thoughts: The book just further reinforced in my mind that there was not a set-piece grand plan with predetermined outcomes. This was a series of reactions to the PAVN military operations beginning with siege of Pleime. When presented with a situation, II Corps/IFFV reacted. The follwoing quote shows that II corps wanted to pursue the enemy, and US military concurred. The relationship between II corps and IFFV was "coordination". (see order of battle at end of post).

Why Pleime Ch V

The decision made by II Corps Command to exploit the results of the first phase and to pursue the enemy was fully concurred by the US military authorities and agreement was reached to establish a close cooperation in operational activities. The 1st US Air Cavalry Division made the main effort with the Long Reach Operations and the ARVN Airborne Brigade acted as reserve, ready to participate on Corps order.

Two seperate commands C2-ing their own elements...and as far as real time minute to minute intel on troop designations, locations, line of march, and moreale, consider the following excerpt.

But in reality, the VC units were located by that time in the following places, as proved later on by subsequent operations launched into the very heart of the Chu Pong-Ia Drang complex:

- the three battalions of the 66th Regiment were strung along the north bank of the Ia Drang river;

- the 32nd Regiment was also up north in the same area;

- the 33rd Regiment maintained its positions in the vicinity of the Anta Village (VC appellation), east of the Chu Pong mountains.

There was not mention of who occupied Chu Pong beforehand...subsequent operations determined who was at home in Chu Pong.

The following passage highlights my assertion that the B-52 strikes were not to be the predetermined end result of the operation. When the situation had developed, II Corps committed their forces. B-52s are just an asset, or tool to use, albeit a powerful one.

Why Pleime CH VII

II Corps Command thought it was time to throw in the reserve in order to put an end to the battle which had lasted for about one month. Besides suffering heavy losses, the enemy was compelled to fall into the trap set by friendly forces and canalized into the routes of withdrawal which we had foreseen.

This time the main effort was conducted by the ARVN Airborne Brigade whose mission consisted of destroying the fleeing VC units and all their installations around the Ia Drang valley. The 1st Air Cavalry Division which had thus far borne the burden of the attack would continue to exert a pressure from East to West and to provide artillery support for the Airborne Brigade.

The operation - dubbed "Thần Phong 7" - began in the afternoon, 18 November when the brigade was helilifted to the area of operations, immediately upon arrival in Pleiku.

And then, here is the order of battle/friendly forces. The linkage at Corps level shows “coordination”. In the end the combined efforts of 1 CAV and 91st BDE did remove the remnants of 3 regiments from the AO.

thanphong_revere.jpg

don744


#548 27 Dec 11, 14:58

samtn99: Those assets would have been able to provide relatively accurate locations, yes?

Yes, up to within 100 meters of the transmitter, when conditions were ideal. See also Post #36 of the thread, Radio Research - and Other SIGINT in Vietnam.

Can you state who those elements belong to, and what would the reporting chains be? MACV?

that time, J2 of MACV controlled all ARDF taskings, through the ARDF Coordination Center and the 3rd RRU in Saigon, who maintained the aircraft as assets. At that time these were primarily the U-6.

Would it be an accurate statement to say information from those sources would have been restricted? If so, what levels?

As for reporting of fixes, as stated previously, those would have been sanitized for tactical use beyond/below the brigade S2 - to the best of my knowledge.

RadioResearcher


#549 27 Dec 11, 15:04

samtn99 : RR, thanks, had forgotten the ARDF!

I have also heard of the use of thermal or IR detection (red haze reports) somewhere in this massive thread.

don744


#550 27 Dec 11, 15:42

The OV-1C Mohawk in the divisional Aerial Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon had IR capability.

samtn99


#551 27 Dec 11, 15:43

RadioResearcher : Yes, up to within 100 meters of the transmitter, when conditions were ideal. See also Post #36 of the thread, Radio Research - and Other SIGINT in Vietnam.

At that time, J2 of MACV controlled all ARDF taskings, through the ARDF Coordination Center and the As for reporting of fixes, as stated previously, those would have been sanitized for tactical use beyond/below the brigade S2 - to the best of my knowledge.

Thanks RR, good info!

samtn99


#552 27 Dec 11, 17:04

Hi, Folks,

While discussing about intelligence at Pleime campaign, please just keep in mind the following statement from II Corps Command/Colonel Hieu:

He wrote in Pleime, cuộc chiến lịch sử, page 94:

The battle from phases 2 and 3 (*) also introduced an aspect never seen up to now because for almost 20 years, during the Franco-Vietnamese war, seldom pursuit operation was considered after each time the enemy made appearance and when it was conducted, no significant results had been achieved. Therefore this time around, the determination not to allow the enemy to escape, coupled with the solid intelligence on the enemy situation had permitted the battle to develop to maximum degree and scale and at the same token lead to the biggest victory ever achieved by the ARVN and its Allied.

Trận chiến từ giai đoạn hai và ba cũng mang thêm một sắc thái chưa từng có từ trước tới nay vì ngót 20 năm rồi, khi còn chiến tranh Việt Pháp, chưa mấy khi các cuộc truy kích đã được đề cập tới sau mỗi lần địch xuất hiện và nếu có thực hiện được cũng không đem lại kết quả gì đáng kể. Cho nên lần này ý chí quyết không để cho địch chạy thoát, cộng với sự nắm vững tình hình địch đã làm cho trận chiến phát triển đến một mức độ và quy mô tối đa đồng thời đem lại những chiến công lớn nhất từ trước đến nay của Quân Lực Việt Nam Cộng Hòa và Đồng Minh.

Phieu


#553 27 Dec 11, 17:37

Hey Phieu,

I saw that quote and agree with the assessment. It was repeated a couple of times in the texts I have read today. I would caution, however that solid intelligence is not a perfect, all knowing picture. Commanders and their staff use intelligence as one of the tools to draw out known facts and make assumptions to help develop courses of action for consideration. I would ask the folks that can better explain the relationship between intelligence and COA development to comment.

don744


#554 27 Dec 11, 17:49

don744 : Only in an indirect manner. Generals usually give “general” guidance, which give their commanders flexibility to execute their orders. I think my next reading should be Hal Moores OPORD for the Chu Pong air assault. That will provide commanders intent, scheme of maneuver, and other vital clues to the plan.

In order to conclude that Larsen told Knowles to deploy forces to Chu Pong, one must take these documented conversations; then infer, assume, or draw a conclusion. This passage does not directly state that Larsen directed, or even suggested the location. It simply says he told Knowles to, “go after the enemy.” This is the point, however, where I infer, assume, or draw a conclusion that I see Larsen as possibly removing some operational constraints Knowles was working under when he told him to find the enemy.

No problems with this

Specifically, the same kind of constraints you cited in the earlier Coleman passage:

“On the afternoon of the 26th, Generals Westmoreland, Larsen, Kinnard, and Knowles met for a conference at the 1st Brigade’s command post, at LZ Homecoming. […] In the conference between Westmoreland and the division officers, Kinnard hammered on the theme that U.S. forces must now do more than merely contain the enemy or simply reinforce the ARVN.”

Those were operational constraints; contain the enemy/reinforce the ARVN. Sounds like the Commander did not have the freedom of maneuver to actively find the enemy.

Those constraints were imposed during Dân Thắng 21 operation. Starting Long Reach operation, Kinnard-Knowles had carte blanche by General Westmoreland.

Luckily though, General Larsen, as US Forces in II Corps Commander, still retained control of Long Reach operation, and he did use his authority on Nov 8 (enticement move – west to east) , Nov 12 (distractive move – insertion of troops in Chu Pong footstep) and Nov 16 (B-52 airstrike - delayed troop withdrawal from LZ X-Ray).

Now, did he issued those orders from his own initiatives? No for sure, he was too distant at his headquarters in Nhatrang. The conduct of the operation had to be originated in Pleiku, at II Corps Command and/or 1st Air Cav Forward CP. Between the two headquarters, II Corps had the upper-hand in intelligence and operational concepts. Therefore General Larsen had to give out order as suggested to him by II Corps Command/Colonel Hieu. p>I would like to hear from someone about American forces freedom to maneuver at this time in the war. Because, Phieu, I do see that as much as I think it unlikely that II Corps made a unilateral decision to unleash the CAV, I also don’t see the American forces ability to operate whenever/wherever they wanted to in a host nation without prior approval. I know I am opening a door here…which is what I alluded to earlier when I said the decision might not have been a unilateral one.

II Corps had no authority on 1st Air Cav. 1st Air Cav was attached to IFFV Command.

Also, if you could, please clarify the following. Was the date of the B3 Fronts grid that was provided the same date as the B52 strike…15 November?

“They were not spread all over the valley: B3 forces center of mass (vic YA8207)”

“The 15th also marked the introduction of a new weapon by the American forces and one which struck terror in the hearts of even the most hardened enemy soldier. Shortly after noon a large area in the vicinity of YA8702 suddenly erupted with hundreds of thunderous explosions that moved across the ground like a giant carpet being unrolled.

Intelligence on Nov 11 placed

-the 66th (center of mass Vic 9104).

-the 33d (YA940010).

-the 32d (YA820070).

On Nov 15 the first target for B52 strike was at B3 forces center of mass (vic YA8207)

The planners for B52 strikes must have other sets of coordinates for the locations of the three regiments between Nov 11-15.

Phieu


#555 27 Dec 11, 17:51

don744: Hey Phieu,

I saw that quote and agree with the assessment. It was repeated a couple of times in the texts I have read today. I would caution, however that solid intelligence is not a perfect, all knowing picture. Commanders and their staff use intelligence as one of the tools to draw out known facts and make assumptions to help develop courses of action for consideration. I would ask the folks that can better explain the relationship between intelligence and COA development to comment.

Sure, sure ...

Just a reminder. Feel free to discuss the issue as you understand it.

Phieu


#556 27 Dec 11, 18:20

You are very understanding. Today was a big step for me with the reading of the 1/7 AAR (including the OPORD), a couple of PAVN accounts, and Why Pleime (and I paid great attention to this publication as I know it was your brother that authored that accounting). Noticably absent, however, are the higher commands battle plans. I see all of the tactical stuff from BN level, AARs/ORLLs, and personal accounts, but I haven't gotten to II corps or IFFV battle plans. Do they exist, or only in personal recountings of the operation?

don744


#557 27 Dec 11, 21:42

don744 : OK Phieu,

Just finished reading Why Pleime. Here are some thoughts:

You need to study it much deeper. Your thoughts after a quick look do not weight much to warrant comments from me at this point.

I would like however to point out that the order of battle at end post was not the one during Pleime campaign (Oct19-Nov26, 1965). It was applicable for the Paul Revere I, II/Than Phong 14, 17, 18 operations (May10-Aug28, 1966)

Anyway, it indicated the "coordination" of troop units deployements that were conducted in taking turn successively and separately. It did not reveal the "common sharing of intelligence and operational concepts" that still existent between the two commands.

In the end the combined efforts of 1 CAV and 91st BDE did remove the remnants of 3 regiments from the AO. 91st BDE ? Do you mean Airborne Brigade?

During Pleime, the ARVN paras were grouped into Task Force 1 (3d Bn, 5th Bn, 6th Bn) and Task Force 2 (7th Bn, 8th Bn). Subsequently, it was expanded into the Airborne Division in December of that year.

There was a 91st Airborne Rangers Battalion ... which later on became the 81st Airborne Rangers Group.

Phieu


#558 27 Dec 11, 21:48

don744: You are very understanding. Today was a big step for me with the reading of the 1/7 AAR (including the OPORD), a couple of PAVN accounts, and Why Pleime (and I paid great attention to this publication as I know it was your brother that authored that accounting). Noticably absent, however, are the higher commands battle plans. I see all of the tactical stuff from BN level, AARs/ORLLs, and personal accounts, but I haven't gotten to II corps or IFFV battle plans. Do they exist, or only in personal recountings of the operation?

If they do exist, they could only be found in the full report that II Corps submitted to the Joint Operations Center:

I thought that I would not write anything else, but a full report, to submit to the Joint Operations Center and to publish some experiences gained through these big fightings to the 22nd, 23rd, 24th Tactical Zones under my command, in order to minimize the sacrifices of our soldiers

Why Pleime is only a sanitized report of that official full report.

However, you have to consider Why Pleime as an ORLL and take into account and read all the other After Action Reports submitted by various participant units - and "incorporated" in Why Pleime ORLL - in order to gain a full account of the Pleime campaign, because the content in Why Pleime left out but assumed the knowledge of - most of the details reported in the other AARs. (see post #528)

Phieu


#559 28 Dec 11, 03:22

Side Bar: Watching Chess Game Pleime

A Master Chess Game: Chess Master vs Chess Master

When watching Chess Game Pleime, one has to put in mind that one is following a chess game between two Masters, in which the moves are all intentional, and carefully crafted.

Furthermore, in this chess game, there is only one winner, that we call the Grand Master; the looser one is simply a Master.

The difference between a Master and a Grand Master is the degree of capability of forseeing and pre-planning the numbers of moves to execute, for instance 8-9 moves versus 13-14 moves respectively.

It was believed that Deep Blue with a 19-20 move capability beat Garry Kasparov with only a 13-14 move capability.

Just keep in mind that it’s just not an ordinary chess game, where the moves are executed one step at a time, and dictated by the limited knowlegde of the opponent's single action.

The difference between a master chess game and an ordinary one consists in tactical moves dictated by strategic planning versus plain tactical moves without any strategic planning.

When offering comments and interpretations, try not to take a pontificate kind of tone, unless one is very knowledgeable; otherwise, one runs the risk of uttering nonsenses that would trigger either condescending smiles or obscenities from other on-lookers. One’s comments and interpretation should be colored with humility, eager to learn, open minded attitude.

With such a mind set, it’s fun to watch a master chess game together with other people. Otherwise, it’s fraught with frustration...

The excitement part is, for me, guessing right the strategy behind the moves.

If one is smart, one can guess right the strategy by observing and analysing the successive moves and be on the alert and sensitive to catch up and snatch "hints" on the fly. Otherwise, one would constantly insist in demanding for, "where are the facts ... where are the back up documents ...etc."

Phieu


#560 28 Dec 11, 05:51

Phieu: 91st BDE ? Do you mean Airborne Brigade? ...

There was a 91st Airborne Rangers Battalion ...

Yes...that is what I meant to say. I remember reading somewhere about the 91st, and mistakenly recollected the unit designation as the Airborne Brigade. It's what happens when you try to pour a gallon of knowledge into a shot-glass sized brain...there is sure to be some spillage.

don744


#561 28 Dec 11, 09:07

Phieu : When offering comments and interpretations, try not to take a pontificate kind of tone, unless one is very knowledgeable; otherwise, one runs the risk of uttering nonsenses that would trigger either condescending smiles or obscenities from other on-lookers. One’s comments and interpretation should be colored with humility, eager to learn, open minded attitude.

Phieu,

A pontificate kind of tone is not intended. I think I have, and still do, provide you a great deal of respect. However, the last sentence in your quote goes two ways. I read, draw my own conclusions, provide opinion, and ask questions. I am unconcerned with “asking a stupid question” or “uttering something another may view as nonsense.” That’s the least of my concerns. It is what prompts dialogue. If what I say is truly nonsense, then, by golly, I will wake up one day, log into the site, and there will be a big, fat old “BANNED” under my name. I am pretty comfortable with my standing here. Also, realize I am not trying to challenge your beliefs; I am trying to affirm mine. It may come across the other way, however. I have many questions and observations I do not want to share here, because I know without a doubt they will offend. Maybe it is time to branch of into another discussion.

don744


#562 28 Dec 11, 09:58

There were two additional Army cameramen at Ia Drang. These cameramen were members of the Department of the Army Special Photo Office (DASPO) some of their footage can be seen on the LZXRAY web site and more can be seen in the militaryvideo website.

DASPO Shooter


#563 28 Dec 11, 10:16

Thanks! Appreciate the info.

don744


#564 28 Dec 11, 11:03

don744: A pontificate kind of tone is not intended.

I didn´t have you in mind when I said that…

I think I have, and still do, provide you a great deal of respect. However, the last sentence in your quote goes two ways. I read, draw my own conclusions, provide opinion, and ask questions. I am unconcerned with “asking a stupid question” or “uttering something another may view as nonsense.” That’s the least of my concerns. It is what prompts dialogue.

Yours would not be qualified as stupid question or nonsense as long as they are colored with humility, open mind, earger to learn ...

If what I say is truly nonsense, then, by golly, I will wake up one day, log into the site, and there will be a big, fat old “BANNED” under my name. I am pretty comfortable with my standing here.

You won´t be banned for saying nonsense as long as it doesn´t disturb the peace in this forum or challenge the top brasses of this forum. I state this based on personal experiences.

Also, realize I am not trying to challenge your beliefs; I am trying to affirm mine. It may come across the other way, however. I have many questions and observations I do not want to share here, because I know without a doubt they will offend. Maybe it is time to branch of into another discussion.

I don´t mind you challenging my beliefs. I know they are hard for other people to digest them, because they sound "cocky (Altus), hagiographic(Boonie), unfound (Lucky), unrealistic (Lirelou), out of this world (Max) " ! Somebody accused me of trying to shoveling this nonsense down people´s throat!

Keep on the dialogue alive. It´s beneficial to you, to me, and to everybody who joins in the dialogue and the silent majority (13232 views) who follow it.

Phieu


#565 28 Dec 11, 19:34

don744: I contend that II Corps did not order 1/7 to Chu Pong without sharing their plan to fix PAVN forces in place, and use B-52s to destroy them. I mean shared the plan to the lowest level. Hal Moore would need to know his forces were to find and fix enemy formations, then on order, rapidly exit in order to clear the area due to a B-52 strike. If the strikes were planned in advance, with specific targets, Moore would have briefed this as it is a vital piece of information for his company commanders to know.

Colonel Hieu in ordering through General Larsen 1/7 to Chu Pong did not need to share the operational concept to Hal Moore, nor Brown, nor Knowles. All he needed to know was Hal Moore could hold the line if attacked and that he would get the necessary tools and help to achieve his mission.

Furthermore, Hal Moore did not need to know the locations of the three NVA Regiments, since his mission was not to search and destroy, just to create a distractive maneuver.

I contend the American leadership asked permission to execute operations in that AO, but the decision of the location was made by Knowles. The following quote you provided bolsters my argument.

Colonel Hieu, through Brown and Knowles, let Hal Moore had the latitude to choose the landing zone. He just had to make sure there would be no anti-aircraft guns and heavy mortars positioned at the hilltops overlooking the landing zone that would threaten the transport helicopters during troop insertion and the ground troops prior to ground assaults. He had also to make sure the landing zone would not be within B52 airstrike killing zones.

Phieu


#566 28 Dec 11, 20:37

Given his promotions and assignment to positions of increased responsibility, COL Hieu was obviously a true professional. Selection for division command, not once but twice, shows the trust and confidence given him.

Thank you Phieu for bringing here what you have. I have said this from practically my first post. Although alot of the guys have left, this has been a big learning experience. There was potential for much more. I think it is time for some "self study". There is much to consider.

don744


#567 29 Dec 11, 02:31

don744: Given his promotions and assignment to positions of increased responsibility, COL Hieu was obviously a true professional. Selection for division command, not once but twice, shows the trust and confidence given him.

Should I start a thread something like Who is General Hieu to introduce him to the ACG community after I am done with Ia Drang battle? (I know a lot of guys, as you have said, want me to go away!). What do you think, Don?

Thank you Phieu for bringing here what you have. I have said this from practically my first post. Although a lot of the guys have left, this has been a big learning experience. There was potential for much more. I think it is time for some "self study". There is much to consider.

Thank you for throwing at me, at the speed of a machine gun burst, formidable challenging doubts and though questions about my - or rather my brother's - take on the Ia Drang battle. Just by the fact I am able to hold the line against your onslaughts, is an indication I know what I am talking about, although a lot of it appear “nonsense”, not to a lot of guys, just a few who still from time to time sneaked in this thread furtively! They tiptoeing in, looked around, didn’t say a word, and tiptoeing out!

I concur it’s time for “self studies”, but keep the dialogue going on in case you need some more clarification, though…

Phieu #568 29 Dec 11, 07:19

Just to clarify...my comment was that the others have left this thread. As long as the tone can remain respectful, and personal attacks minimized, then most people will have no issue here.

don744


#569 29 Dec 11, 07:45

Chess Master Ha Vi Trung

Colonel Ha Vi Tung was identified as B3 Front Chief of Staff in

-Why Pleime:

At the Western Highlands Field Front Headquarters, VC General Chu Huy Man wearing a second hat as Commanding General of Military Region IV, and his principal assistants Colonel Quan, Assistant to the Commanding General, and Senior Colonel Ha Vi Tung, Chief of staff studied the plan they had formulated.

During the Indo-China war, Ha Vi Tung was commander of the 803rd Regiment which together with the 108th Regiment constituted the main forces of the Viet Minh in the Central Highlands. To their credit were the occupation of Kontum and the defeat of French Task Force #100 on Highway 19.

(www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_chIII-2.htm)

- Firepower and Maneuver in the Second Indochina War :

Senior Colonel Ha Vi Tung was Chief of Staff of the North Vietnamese Military Region IV in the Central Highlands. His area of operations began in Cambodia, cut across the midsection of South Vietnam, and ended at the South China Sea. A small man with deeply weathered features, Ha was a proven veteran of many battles with the French. His new task in 1965 was to drive his fresh division in a sustained advance through the Central Highlands with the ultimate objective of cutting South Vietnam in two.

(www.generalhieu.com/pleime_havitung-2.htm)

Colonel Hieu recognized in Colonel Tung a formidable chess opponent, just in considering the careful ambush plan that Tung had devised for the 32nd Regiment alone:

Top Secret (VC classification)

Combat Order for an Ambush by the 32d Regiment

Prepared at Regimental Headquarters/Plei-Luc-Chin

At 1500 hours, 12 Oct. 1965, Pleiku, Plei The (YA 815 008)

Map: scale 1/100000 made in 1962

1. After the initial attack on Pleime the GVN will likely send a relief column. The relief column will probably be composed of one ARVN Battle Group and one Armored Battle Group from the 24th STZ. There will probably be one or two US battalions in reserve. The relief forces could come by air or by road, which ever is the most suitable. They could arrive at the battle area in one or two days. Their battle formation could operate up to one kilometer from the road. They could have the infantry and armor elements interposed with each other; as an example an Armor element leading with the infantry 500m to one kilometer behind. After the ARVN elements are ambushed they will pull back to the O-Gri area to regroup. ARVN forces behind the ambushed element will probably move to the area of Po Post (20-14), O-Gri (22-18) and Klan (26-22).

2. In order to defeat the ARVN forces and those American forces engaged, all general activities must be coordinated throughout the battle area. To widen the liberation zone and develop guerrilla movement, the Field Front Headquarters orders the 32d Regiment (minus 7th Company, 966th Battalion) with two anti-aircraft companies, to destroy the ARVN infantry and armor units moving on Provincial Road 21 (TN. Provincial Route 5) from Phu My (AR750 275) to Pleime (ZA150 065).

To be continued …. www.generalhieu.com/why_pleime_VCA-2.htm

Coleman 1988 comments (page 82):

"In the 32nd’s operations order (which was captured later in the campaign), the Field Front/Colonel Tung and regimental planners were chillingly accurate in their estimate of the forces that the ARVN II Corps commander would commit to relieve the pressure on Plei Me. The estimate was almost precisely what General Loc would have sent down the road had not the American command and advisory structure intervened. The NVA also had an estimate of how the ARVN forces would react when struck by the ambushing elements.":

After the initial attack on Pleime the GVN will likely send a relief column. The relief column will probably be composed of one ARVN Battle Group and one Armored Battle Group from the 24th STZ. There will probably be one or two US battalions in reserve. The relief forces could come by air or by road, whichever is the most suitable. They could arrive at the battle area in one or two days. Their battle formation could operate up to one kilometer from the road. They could have the infantry and armor elements interposed with each other; as an example an Armor element leading with the infantry 500m to one kilometer behind. After the ARVN elements are ambushed they will pull back to the O-Gri area to regroup. ARVN forces behind the ambushed element will probably move to the area of Po Post (20-14), O-Gri (22-18) and Klan (26-22).

Colonel Hieu respected the thoroughness in his study of his opponent forces with which Colonel Tung prepared for an attack. He knew that Colonel Tung always calculated meticulously the respective strength of both sides in preparation of any attack, as is the case of Duc Co Battle (www.generalhieu.com/rescuingducco-2.htm):

The VC are well known for their meticulous gathering of intelligence prior to an operation. They carefully gather data not only on enemy strength to include number of troops, weapons and fortifications, but also the reinforcing capability of the headquarters controlling the zone in which they are in operation. When laying the groundwork for the attack at Duc Co the VC undoubtedly carefully calculated the number of troops garrisoning Duc Co and also estimated the troops available to the Special Zone and II Corps for a relief force.

Furthermore, Colonel Hieu admired Colonel Tung's skill in knowing to rapidly make adjustment in terms of utilizing new tactics to counter opponent's newly introduced tactics, such as in utilizing techniques of antiaircraft fire against helicopter gunships (www.generalhieu.com/highway19-2.htm).

At this time the Corps chief of staff (Colonel Hieu) and the Corps senior advisor (Colonel Mataxis) reconnoitered the area to clarify the situation for the Corps commander. They found that the VC troops were in battalion strength, well equipped, and had used conventional infantry tactics of fire-and-movement. In addition, the VC had been well trained in the techniques of antiaircraft fire against helicopter gunships. Those being fired at directly would seek cover, but those in the flanks would continue firing at the chopper.

Colonel Tung had been planning for the attack on Pleime since the beginning of 1965. It was approved by the NVA Joint General Staff in October 1965 (www.generalhieu.com/pleime-dangvhiep-2.htm)

Beginning of October1965, the Central Highlands Front Command received a telegram: The Central Military Committee and the Joint General Staff approve the resolution and planning of Pleime campaign.

The tactical plan would comprise 3 phases:

Phase 1: Encircle Pleime and destroy the ARVN rescue column.

Phase 2: Following the outcome of phase 1, either continue to encircle or overrun Pleime to force the American troops to intervene.

Phase 3: Concentrate our forces in an area to destroy from 4 to 5 American companies, combining with attrition to eliminate from 1,200 to 1,500 American soldiers.

(www.generalhieu.com/f304iadrang-2.htm)

The attack against Pleime camp was scheduled for late December 1965 or early January 1966. But the arrival of the 1st Air Cav in the Highlands, had forced Colonel Tung to have the Plâyme operation’s wheel start rolling on October 19, despite the fact the 66th Regiment was only due to arrive by November 1965.

His plan was thwarted by Colonel Hieu’s Dan Thang 21 operation and he had to withdraw his two attacking regiments, the 32nd and the 33rd, toward Chupong-Iadrang complex. At this point, October 26, ended Colonel Tung’s Plâyme operation, and he had to switch to a defensive posture.

The defeat sustained by B3 Field Front at Pleime cost Colonel Tung his seat as B3 Field Front Chief of Staff. He was subsequently replaced by Bùi Nam Hà.

Colonel Ha Vi Tung was also versatile in the use of various military tactics: “one main attack, two secondary attacks”, “fake an attack on an outpost and destroy the relief column”, “mobile ambush”,“grab the belts”, “bear hugs”, "hand-to-hand combat", "bayonet combat", etc…

First of all, Colonel Ha Vi Tung, B3 Front Command Chief of Staff, used the "one main attack and two diversionary attacks" tactic aiming at weakening the enemy forces with two battlefronts: the first one at Hoai An District, Binh Dinh Province, and the second one at Pleime, with the main attack to be at Pleiku.

By attacking at Hoai An District, Colonel Tung had tied down Task Force 1 Airborne which constituted II Corps reserve force, and forced II Corps to commit all helicopters of US 119th Helicopter Battalion in troop transport in this counter-attack named Than Phong 6 Operation.

Colonel Tung had chosen Pleime as the second battlefront because it was 40 kms south of Pleiku and thus out of artillery firepower reach coming out of Pleiku. He intended to interdict II Corps to use the "artillery preceding tanks" tactic.

Colonel Tung's plan comprised four phases: (1) 33rd Regiment would surrounded Pleime camp, exerting enough pressure to force Colonel Hieu, II Corps Chief of Staff, to send a reaction force; (2) 32nd Regiment would ambush the relief column and destroy it; (3) Both Regiments would combine force to overrun and destroy the camp itself; (4) Finally, 32nd and 33rd Regiments would join in with 66th Regiment to overrun Pleiku City. In this plan, Colonel Tung used the "attack the camp to destroy the relief column" tactic.

In order to force Colonel Hieu to send the relief force by land, instead of by air, Colonel Tung placed two companies of the 14.5 mm anti-aircraft battalion around Pleime camp to shoot down helicopters transporting troops coming to rescue the camp. This tactic would allow him to destroy the relief force more easily and to decimate II Corps troops more rapidly.

At the ambush site, in order to prevent his ambush troops to be neutralized by pre-artillery and airstrikes before the relief column appear, as it happened in the Duc Co battle of last August, this time around Colonel Tung used the mobile ambush tactic, by assembling his ambush troops at a staging area not far from the ambush site, and by only dispatching them to the ambush site just a little bit earlier that the relief column.

Colonel Tung had also calculated meticulously that Colonel Hieu would not be able to assemble a force larger than a regiment to counter his 32nd Regiment (of about 2,200 men), and would not only be able to pierce through the ambush but would be gobble up easily. Colonel Tung also anticipated that Colonel Hieu would obtain from the Americans one or two battalions for support, as in Duc Co battle where a few units of 173rd Airborne Brigade came to assume the security of Pleiku City.

Colonel Tung had set up a well thought plan that would for sure lead him to victory; it seemed that Colonel Hieu would have great difficulty to neutralize his adversary's tactics.

Phieu


#570 29 Dec 11, 08:12

Phieu,

Can you explain the role of the chief of staff in the II Corps headquarters? This has been a small sticking point for me, as the role COL Hieu played, and the considerations of the PAVN commander in the passage below, dont make sense to me. There may be a difference in roles and responsibilities of a chief of staff between US and ARVN forces. Also, in a broader sense, did ARVN General Staff align with US doctrine (i.e. coordinating, special, and personal staff sections)?

Colonel Tung had also calculated meticulously that Colonel Hieu would not be able to assemble a force larger than a regiment to counter his 32nd Regiment (of about 2,200 men), and would not only be able to pierce through the ambush but would be gobble up easily. Colonel Tung also anticipated that Colonel Hieu would obtain from the Americans one or two battalions for support, as in Duc Co battle where a few units of 173rd Airborne Brigade came to assume the security of Pleiku City.

Colonel Tung had set up a well thought plan that would for sure lead him to victory; it seemed that Colonel Hieu would have great difficulty to neutralize his adversary's tactics.

Don


#471 29 Dec 11, 10:57

Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Scales, Jr had a pretty good grasp of the role of the chief of staff in the PAVN military culture when he described the Plâyme campaign as Senior Colonel Ha Vi Tung’s campaign, not Chu Huy Man's or anybody else. Read his whole article and you will understand that concept.

Firepower and Maneuver in the Second Indochina War :

Senior Colonel Ha Vi Tung was Chief of Staff of the North Vietnamese Military Region IV in the Central Highlands. His area of operations began in Cambodia, cut across the midsection of South Vietnam, and ended at the South China Sea. A small man with deeply weathered features, Ha was a proven veteran of many battles with the French. His new task in 1965 was to drive his fresh division in a sustained advance through the Central Highlands with the ultimate objective of cutting South Vietnam in two.

(www.generalhieu.com/pleime_havitung-2.htm)

It was the same in case of Colonel Hieu in his role as II Corps Chief of Staff, with one additional note. General Vinh Loc was just a figure head and he relied entirely on Colonel Hieu’s general staff and command skills for the operations of the entire II Corps.

That’s why I state that the two main players of the Master Chess Game Pleime were Colonel Tung and Colonel Hieu, giving back to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar.

Phieu


#572 29 Dec 11, 11:09

Given his promotions and assignment to positions of increased responsibility, COL Hieu was obviously a true professional. Selection for division command, not once but twice, shows the trust and confidence given him.

Don, you cannot judge ARVN officers by their selection for higher command. Though there were some happy exceptions to the rule, of whom General Hieu may have been one, the opinion of many U.S. advisors was that the ARVNs best combat commanders seldom rose above lieutenant colonel, and that higher command in the ARVN was often tied to political connections.

A note on the 91st Abn Rangers. They changed their appellation to the 81st Airborne Ranger Battalion (Tieu Doan 81 Biet Cach Du) in 1968. When Project Delta went away in mid 1970, they were transferred to the Vietnamese Airborne Division

lirelou


#573 29 Dec 11, 14:34

Quite accurate observation, Lirelou. It was true that many general officers promoted to higher command were often tied to political connections. Some other happy exceptions to the rule: General Đỗ Cao Trí, General Nguyễn Viết Thanh, General Trương Quang Ân. All three Generals perished in helicopter accidents. General Ân died accompanied by his wife during an inspection tour to various outposts in Duc Lap district in Summer of 1970.

A note on the 91st Abn Rangers. They changed their appellation to the 81st Airborne Ranger Battalion (Tieu Doan 81 Biet Cach Du) in 1968. When Project Delta went away in mid 1970, they were transferred to the Vietnamese Airborne Division

Clarification: the 91st Abn Ranger Battalion became the 81st Airborne Ranger Group (Separate from Airborne Division).

An Airborne Ranger Company at a staging area readied to join the Phuoc Long battle in December 1974.

Phieu


#574 30 Dec 11, 02:31

The Chess Grand Master Colonel Hieu

His Checkmate Operational Concept

In the Chess Game Pleime, entering the counteroffensive phase (10/26), Colonel Hieu immediately foresaw the possibility to use B52 airstrikes to annihilate the three NVA regiments.

He achieved it in four (4) moves:

- herding move (10/27), operation All the Way with 1st Air Cav Brigade;

- enticement move (11/8), operation Bayonet I with 3rd Air Cav Brigade;

- distractive move (11/14), operation LZ X-Ray with 1/7 Air Cav Battalion;

- B-52 airstrikes (11/15-20)

- additional "coup de grâce" move (11/20,24), operation Thần Phong 7/Bayonet II with Airborne Brigade supported by 2nd Air Cav Brigade.

That was, in a nutshell, Colonel Hieu’s master plan which was translated into tactical maneuvers executed by General Knowles under the order of General Larsen.

Phieu


#575 30 Dec 11, 05:04

Side Bar: Bayonet combat tactic

One of the highlights in the battle at LZ X-Ray was the "take no prisoners" order issued by B3 Front. B3 Front Command was proud that their troops had obeyed that order faithfully:

In this battle, the number of enemy killed and wounded were shot or pierced from the chest up by our troops conducting close combat and using bayonets and knives, sowing consternation among the Americans. In this battle, comrade Dinh van Be, a Re tribesman, political company executive officer of 8th battalion has used his rifle to shoot down 5 enemies and his knife to cut down 3 enemies, to become the first class warrior in the killing of Americans.

Despite denial from General Nguyen Huu An' party in the meeting with General Hal Moore' delegation, it was a pre-meditated act, because troops were trained in bayonet combat prior to be dispatchet to the Pleime battlefied:

In the preparation process, we encountered numerous difficulties, among which was an incident that stuck forever in my mind. It was that a section of cadres and combatants assessed mistakenly that American troops could not be attacked with close range combat using bayonets, and discarded almost all bayonets along Route 559 (from Route 9 to B3). I had to mobilize some political cadres together with the transportation unit to go back and gather bayonets from Route 9 to B3, succeeding in recuperating 300 pieces, sufficient to arm 3 infantry companies (one of 7th battalion and 2 of 8th battalion of 66th Regiment). The use of bayonets in this battle was not to be entrusted to just anybody, but to selected and highly motivated and determined combatants to defeat the American troops. Then to motivate, to train to the perfection the bayonet combat tactic, close range combat and light foot, under enemy fire , in order to ascertain close contact appropriate to the targeted Americans that we will face at Ia Drang valley.

more reading ... Crushing the American troops in Central Highlands (Major General Nguyen Nam Khanh)

(www.generalhieu.com/f304-2.htm)

Phieu


#576 30 Dec 11, 05:28

Training in bayonet combat = "Take no prisoner" order issued.

Your signature wit differently.

altus


#577 30 Dec 11, 05:31

Phieu


#578 30 Dec 11, 05:44

Phieu : One of the highlights in the battle at LZ X-Ray was the "take no prisoners" order issued by B3 Front. B3 Front Command was proud that their troops had obeyed that order faithfully.

Source? Training in use of bayonets (at face value) seems to corroborate the claim there was a PAVN plan to "grab the belts" of the Americans, more than it does a "take no prisoners" order.

don744


#579 30 Dec 11, 05:54

I don't know if there was a general order issued but they sure didn't take any prisoners at ALBANY.

Boonierat


#580 30 Dec 11, 05:55

Fact: were there any American prisoners taken away by VC combatants when they withdrew from LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany?

Source? Do you expect to be able to dig out those official documents where the order was dictated?

Mission Impossible. All evidences are destroyed once the orders have been acknowledged receipt! and the Agency would deny any involvement in your actions!

Phieu


#581 30 Dec 11, 06:02

Kind of...when you make a claim as you did, you have to be able to back it up in some manner. I have seen a picture of Rick Rescorla with a fixed bayonet. Does that infer the Americans also issued a take no prisoners order?

don744


#582 30 Dec 11, 06:14

Boonierat : I don't know if there was a general order issued but they sure didn't take any prisoners at ALBANY.

I need to read up on that portion of the battle. I have been absorbed to this point reading up on X-Ray. Any anecdotal evidence that American Soldiers tried to surrender at Albany? I ask this because, by our own doctrine, when conducting an deliberate ambush, when moving across the objective to the limit of advance, you tap the bad guys as you pass. At the point when you reach the limit of advance and send in search and litter teams is when the rules change.

Don744


#583 30 Dec 11, 06:17

Kind of...when you make a claim as you did, you have to be able to back it up in some manner. I have seen a picture of Rick Rescorla with a fixed bayonet. Does that infer the Americans also issued a take no prisoners order?

The difference in the training of bayonet combat tactic, the VC combatants were motivated to kill the Americans, while the 1st Air Cav combatants were conditioned to defend themselves.

VC captured during the Nov 14-15 engagemens at LZ X-Ray were 6.

Phieu


#584 30 Dec 11, 06:26

I have a strong feeling the 1st CAV were also motivated to kill VC. American forces were also trained in the use of bayonets. (e.g. What makes the grass grow?). My opinion is, this part of the discussion is subjective in nature, but not without merit. The question is this...was there an opportunity to capture Americans at X-ray or Albany?

don744 #585 30 Dec 11, 06:31

don744: I need to read up on that portion of the battle. I have been absorbed to this point reading up on X-Ray. Any anecdotal evidence that American Soldiers tried to surrender at Albany? I ask this because, by our own doctrine, when conducting an deliberate ambush, when moving across the objective to the limit of advance, you tap the bad guys as you pass. At the point when you reach the limit of advance and send in search and litter teams is when the rules change.

A lot of US wounded were executed during the night, which explains there were more killed than wounded during the engagement. There are several examples where NVA executed US WIAs after they had overrun a unit, especially in the Central Highlands. That said I don't know if this was done because it was a standing order or for more 'practical' reasons.

Boonierat


#586 30 Dec 11, 06:37

Gotcha...thanks Boonie.

don744


#587 30 Dec 11, 06:38

don744: I have a strong feeling the 1st CAV were also motivated to kill VC. American forces were also trained in the use of bayonets.

A robber carries his pistorl with the intention to kill a cop when caught in the act. The cop carries his in order to protect himself against a potential cop killer.

The question is this...was there an opportunity to capture Americans at X-ray or Albany?

Plenty ... the VC dragged away most all of their wounded fellow combatants, did they not?!

Phieu


#588 30 Dec 11, 06:43

Hey, you guys! You are stealing Colonel Hieu's show!

Any comments regarding his Checkmate Operational Concept?

Not that I mind you side track ... temporarily ...

Phieu


#589 30 Dec 11, 06:49

I can drag away a fellow Soldier that was killed or wounded next to me...moving forward under fire an additional 25 meters into an enemy perimeter to drag off a prisoner is an entirely different story. Use of bayonets, especially during rehearsals, seems to lean towards a deliberate plan to get in close. It's planning for hand to hand combat as part of the operation. It makes sense to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, the Americans fire support by doing so.

don744


#590 30 Dec 11, 06:52

The interval lull periods were quite lenghty, you know, especially at nights.

Phieu


#591 30 Dec 11, 07:36

I have a question that was asked a bit earlier. When LTC Moore was given the mission to conduct an air assault into Chu Pong, the mission in his OPORD was to find and destroy the enemy. Once he was in heavy contact, and the situation was further developed, why did Kinnard or Knowles not pile in overwhelming force? It seemed as if units were trickled in only to provide support to Moore's situation at X-ray.

I already understand Phieu's POV, that the X-Ray battle was a blocking maneuver to hold enemy forces in place that were preparing to launch a second attack at Pleime.

Any other thoughts?

don744


#592 30 Dec 11, 08:05

One of the highlights in the battle at LZ X-Ray was the "take no prisoners" order issued by B3 Front. B3 Front Command was proud that their troops had obeyed that order faithfully.

There were also some discussion of sources. They surely exist, maybe not a direct example of a "no prisoners" order in written form, but rather anecdotal information from a source that would at least provide information to sway the argument one way or another.

An interesting passage from the 2/7 AAR;

"During the night 2 wounded NCOs managed to evade the VC who had captured them and make their way to the Bn perimeter."

Probably as part of a large operation, taking of prisoners is a target of opportunity more than an operational objective. Either the VC disobeyed an order, or they took prisoners as the situation permitted.

Don744


#593 30 Dec 11, 11:03

Let’s put things under a wider scope:

Early 1965, the Joint General Staff summoned me and the 304th division commander to give us the order to enter the South on a combat mission. Comrade Deputy Chief of Staff said: "You must think carefully: we are going to engage an American troop, our main force must strike the enemy with an "upper-hand" advantage. The high command gives you two the control to lead a full division into the South, to joint with the people and militias of the South to defeat the American troop and succeed in the very first fight."

General Khanh understood well the order and wonder how he could instill fear for life in American troops’ mind:

The first time a full division of main force of the People's Army of Vietnam faces an opponent whose combat capabilities are unknown to us, and yet equipped with the most modern weaponry; in order for us to defeat them to the point of "remembering for life" and "fearful" is not an easy task.

Here is how he indoctrinated his troops into hating the American devils to the point of killing without remorse:

In terms of ideology, the troops, the combattants must be informed that the scheme of the American imperialists was to conduct an war of invasion, to destroy all economic, military endeavours, even livelihood of the population in order to revert Vietnam to the stone age area. As a foundation, to point out the enemy's evil intention, to build hatre and resolve to defeat the American Imperialists. The division imparted in due time to the troops, combattants information on evil acts committed by the American Imperialists in the South, rekindled patriotism, revived the image of past slavery, the starvation of the population in 1945; educated with Uncle Ho's exhortation to fight against the Americans to save the country from 1954 to 1975. Through education, ideology indoctrination aiming at elevating the moral and resolve of achieving victory over the Imperialist Americans, we obtained three levels (excellent level of determination 30-35%, good 50-55%, acceptable 8-10%), those whose performance was poor remained behind for further preparation. And the troops attaining the three levels of awareness must be categorized in accordance with different formation: basic; tactic, mission. Various major weaponries must be manned by strong will and well-trained troops. At key cadre positions, the man in charge must be equally professional and determined.

The PAVN commanders did not value their own troops' lives either by chaining gunners’ feet onto machine guns:

During the operation they had met fanatical resistance, and one PAVN soldier was observed chained to a .50 caliber machine gun.

and

The sweep lasted until noon 27 October. Down south the Camp, in the vicinity of the famous hill of Chu-Ho, more enemy corpses and weapons were discovered. Some dead VC gunners were found chained to their anti-aircraft heavy machine guns

or they did not hesitate to use “human waves” tactic

Their tactics relied mostly on the "human waves" and they were too confident that their attack would disorganize the 1/7 battalion very quickly.

PAVN foot soldiers were so disciplined to the point you do not ever hear one single incident in which one of them molested a South Vietnamese girl or woman. Do you think they would dare to massacre American soldiers in such a unhuman way without direct orders?

Shouldn't Dinh Van Be be court-martialed - for disobeying direct orders -as a villian instead of praised as a hero for obeying direct orders?

Phieu


#594 30 Dec 11, 15:37

Phieu : Any comments regarding his Checkmate Operational Concept?

Well, if you must absolutely ask, then I think this ridiculously lunatic HIStory of yours is a Strongly Hyperbolic Incorrect Tale.

altus


#595 30 Dec 11, 15:38

Prove it otherwise, Altus!

That's only all what you are able to muster to say?!

Let's avoid personal attacks - cocky, lunatic, stupid etc.- and discuss the issues as gentlemen, shall we?

Sorry that in the process I indirectly put the PAVN commanders in a bad rendition.

I wish you all the luck that you would need in case you attempt to redress and restore their bad guy images.

Phieu


#596 30 Dec 11, 15:54

stated a Strongly Hyperbolic Incorrect Tale, with no evidence, no supporting fact, with half the "players" incorrect, no sound analytic reasoning, with Strongly Hyperbolic Incorrect Tale-loads of baseless innuendos and logic-defying speculations, and all you now can say is "Prove it otherwise!"

Frankly, Phieu, do seek professional help, before it is really too late!

altus


#597 30 Dec 11, 15:56

The people among the 13858 views might be lunatic too!

Phieu


#598 30 Dec 11, 17:05

According to the 1 Cavalry Division interim report on operations, the division began operations in response to the attack on Plei Me under the following orders:

CG IFF-V (Commanding General, First Field Force, Vietnam) sent the following message to General Kinnard: "Commencing first light 23 Oct First Air Cav deploys one Bn TF minimum 1 Inf Bn and 1 Arty Btry to PLEIKU mission be prepared to assist in defense of key US/ ARVN installations vic PLEIKU or reinforce II Corps operations to relieve PLEI ME CIDG CAMP."

Now clearly the division at this point was supporting a II Corps effort: the security of Pleiku, OR reinforce II Corps.

So at this stage, the 1 CD history has no problem stating its supporting role to II Corps.

By 28 Oct 1965, the mission changes (source again is the 1 CD report):

At this point a significant decision was made. General William C. Westmoreland visited the 1st Bde Forward CP at HOMECOMING, the LZ 5 kilometres northeast of the Plei Me CIDG Camp, and authorized the 1st Cav Div (AM) to pursue, seek out, and destroy the enemy. These orders were confirmed on 28 Oct by message from CG IFF-V: "Elements 1st Cav Div (AM) currently deployed Vic Pleiku will coordinate with and establish an area of operations VIC Plei Me CIDG Camp and undertake operations to find, fix, and destroy VC forces which endanger that general area."

Some questions should come up here. Did General Westmoreland talk to or visit II Corps before he arrived at the 1st Bde Forward CP at Homecoming? General Westmoreland might have visited II Corps HQ before his arrival at 1st Bde, and discussed the situation. However, I find it unlikely II Corps would not be forthcoming with him and give him the full plan if there was something more than find and kill the enemy wherever he could be found. However, there’s no indication General Westmoreland had more knowledge than was shown in the mission statements. Also, II Corps would have been totally reliant on FF-V to coordinate anything to do with B-52s.

Now if you go through the mission change, there is a line that states “will coordinate with…”. Who the division is to coordinate with is not clear to me. IF it means II Corps, coordinate with does not mean subordination to II Corps; in fact I believe it to mean almost the opposite. However, I take the line to mean to coordinate with Plei Me Camp, which was under US control (ie 5th Group). Note the lack of any mention of II Corps in the order from FF-V.

In the background section (II) of LTC Moore’s after action report, he states that “On the 12th, the Assistant Division Commander-A, during a visit to the battalion, indicated to the Brigade Commander that he had no objection to the latter sending a battalion into the IA DRANG Valley.” The terminology is important here I think. The ADC-A stating he “has no objection to the latter (brigade commander) sending a battalion into the IA DRANG Valley is nowhere near the same as giving an order to a subordinate, nor does it imply Larson gave specific orders to Knowles to do so. On 13 November, COL Brown gave LTC Moore an order to conduct an assault into the Ia Drang Valley at the base of the Chu Pong. The AO assigned to Moore was AO LIME (you can see the AO in Moore’s AAR).

If Phieu’s contention that the insertion of a battalion into X-Ray were part of some II Corps master plan of strategery, then the so called pinning operation into X-Ray was based on very flimsy guidance, and it was not much more than luck that it occurred at all. IF COL Heiu gave GEN Knowles guidance (unlikely) to put a battalion into an LZ at the base of the Chu Pong, GEN Knowles is unlikely to have couched his subsequent guidance to the brigade commander in those terms (ie, “no objection”). Additionally, I have doubts that General Knowles would have been too receptive to instructions given by a Staff Colonel from SVN. II Corps commander, maybe (I’m sure that will come across as harsh to some). General Knowles does strike me as a guy itching to get in the fight and do it his way (tried to find a biography on him, no luck. Can anyone point me in a direction here?). What if COL Brown didn’t want to send a battalion there? Apparently it was his decision to make based on what he was told by General Knowles.

My view is that II Corps and the 1 Cavalry Division Forward CP (under General Knowles) liaised with each other, and I believe that they had a common understanding as to the operation. 1 Cav would search for the enemy and fight them. The ARVN brigade would be held as a reserve to be put into the fight when an opportunity presented itself.

samtn99


#599 30 Dec 11, 17:48

Phieu: The people among the 13858 views might be lunatic too!

Guess you have not seen "The last poster in this thread is the winner!" kind of insightful and intellectually stimulating exchanges.

altus


#600 30 Dec 11, 18:20

Phieu : Let’s put things under a wider scope.

How about before we put things under a wider scope, we take a look at the couple of questions that were asked. It happens often that a question is asked, and the conversation is redirected before there is a sufficient response.

1. When LTC Moore was given the mission to conduct an air assault into Chu Pong, the mission in his OPORD was to find and destroy the enemy. Once he was in heavy contact, and the situation was further developed, why did Kinnard or Knowles not pile in overwhelming force?

2. Can you explain the role of the chief of staff in the II Corps headquarters? This has been a small sticking point for me, as the role COL Hieu played, and the considerations of the PAVN commander in the passage below, dont make sense to me. There may be a difference in roles and responsibilities of a chief of staff between US and ARVN forces. Also, in a broader sense, did ARVN General Staff align with US doctrine (i.e. coordinating, special, and personal staff sections)?

3. Lastly, is there anything other than a "hunch" to show the PAVN had a no prisoners order in effect? I posted a source that showed they did take prisoners.

It is important as we go thru these different phases of the conversation we come to some type of conclusion before branching off into others.

Don744


Section I: post #1 – post #300
Section II: post #301 – post #600
Section III : post #601 – post #900
Section IV : post #901 – post #1200
Section V : post #1201 – post #1459

generalhieu