THE GROUND WAR IN SOUTH VIETNAM

Created: 12/31/1965

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ANNEX IV

THE GROUND WAR IN SOUTH VIETNAM

I. The Build-Up of Forces

The course.of the ground war in South Vietnam is marked by the extent to which, in the conventional military sense, it has becomeonfrontation between third country forces. This situation reflects the already heavy commitment of indigenous manpower resources to the war The heavy casualties sustained by local Communist forces (VC) ara putting an increasing strain on their ability to mobilize additional military manpower. The GVN hassubstantial manpower resources to pacificationand internal security and police programs. Over half of the GVN military forces are committed to these counter-insurgency programs. The GVN potential for expansion of its military forces, which would be limited under the best of circumstances, is restrained further by the political unrest 'in the GVN and the high desertion rate in the ARVN.

SinceVA troops in South Vietnam haveby They now0 of aboutercent of the total VC/NVA main force. By the endn0 NVA troops will account for nearly half of the VC/NVA main force. Byn0 NVA troops will account forercent of main force strength. US/Third Nation* forces at tha end4 totaled0 troopsercent of Allied regular troop strength. InhereS/Third Nation troops orercent of total strength. Projected deployments indicate that US/Third Nation forcesroops orercent of the regular Allied Army strength in South Vietnam by

Regular Free World forces now outnumber the totalCommunist forceondargin

*Hece and throughout the remainder of the text, South Korean, Australian and New Zealand Forces are referred to as "Third Nation" Forces.

over the VC/NVA main force units. Overwhelming air and artillery support, coupled with considerable troop mobility and naval participation also add significantly to theof Allied military strength.

, Thereharp distinction between Communist andforces in the number of support troops needed to back up tactical combat troops. Only about one-fifth of the total Allied Army and Marine Corps troops are committed to engaging and destroying the enemy in offensive operations. Thusorce in6 totaling slightlyrmy and Marine Corps ground forces0 represented troops in maneuver battalions. roops were in-volved in indirect combat, logistics, constructionsecurity and other support tasks and0 troops are in artillery battalions. The Communist forces, on the other hand, have to commit0 troopsittleercent of their regular forces to combat support, compared to overercent for the Allied forces...

When the relative build up of opposing forces is looked at in this manner the troop strength ratios change The troop strength ratio of Allied maneuver battalions becomesather. In the II and IV Corps area the ratio is in the favor of the Communists. Theof estimated Communist main force strength and Allied troop strength in maneuver battalions inroop strength -ratio which gives the over-all strength advantage to the Communists. The advantage is offset, of course, by the air, artillery and naval support of the Allied forces and their highly developed mobility. Nevertheless, the Communist build up, particularly of NVA forces,etermination to commit whatever forces are necessary to match the Allied build up and to extend the war as long as possible. Even if the Communists admit that they cannotonventional military victory in South Vietnam they may still calculateong extended war with increasing US casualties may eventually break down US will and determination to persevere.

II. Casualties

The toll in human lives is, however, presenting anhigh cost to the Communist forces. The heavy casualties sustained by VC forces has already stabilized the oxtent to which they can commit troops and has forced

them to rely more heavily on NVA replacamenta. Totalin action, captured, seriously wounded andfrom an0 6 we estimate that these losses may rangend0 for the first six months7 if the current rates of combat are maintained and projected troop strengths are realized. We estimate that0 of the losses6 will be North Vietnamese; an0 North Vietnamese will be lost during the first halfhe bulk of these losses will result from battle deaths and serious wounds. Local Communists will sustain estimated losses of06 and an0 during the first half About two-thirds of local Communist losses will result from battle deaths and serious wounds. The remainder will be accounted for by captives and deserters.

In terms of the number killed in action on thethe Allied forces will continue to maintain an We estimate that0 Communists will be killed6 and an0 during the first six months7 compared0 Free World soldiers estimated to be killed60 US and Third0 ARVN) and anhat will probably be killed during the first six months

Reports on battle fatalities among Communist forcesthey have increased from slightlyonth during the first six months5 toach month during the second half of the yearonth during

On the basis of very limited data we estimate that the number of Communist troops seriously wounded and hencelost has increased fromonth5 toonth Our estimates indicate that the numbers of Communist personnel captured56 do not vary much, ranging5 to an

The Allied forces have achieved betterill ratio over the enemy. Our data on VC/NVA forces killed in actionharp change in the relative shares accounted for by GVN forces and US/Third Nation forces. In the last

IV-3

six monthsS/Third Nation forces accounted forercent of total Communists killed in action. In the first five monthsowever, US/Third Nation forces accounted forercent of total Communists killed in action.

The rising casualty rates among Communist forces have had no detectable influence on North Vietnam's desire to continue the war in the South. The enemy continues to buildup his forces in the South, and the Communist forces arein battle as well today as they were4he manpower drain on North Vietnam, in numbers alone, has not yeturdensome level. Although the VC units have borne most of the casualties to date and are squeezed for manpower, Hanoi seems willing to increase its commitment. The drain on manpower could, however, become more critical as the casualty rates in the South and the competing demands for more manpower in the North increase. An increase in casualty rates in the South substantially higher than those already estimated throughould require an Allied commitment of maneuver battalions substantially greater than that indicated in current deployment programs.

APPENDIX A

THE GROUND WAR IN SOUTH VIETNAM

I. General Troop Strength

t

and Third Nation

- General -

. military commitment in South Vietnam, along with that of South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, has grown from0 troops at the end4roops at the end of Projected troop strengths indicate thatThird Nation forces will be stationed in South Vietnam bySee Table IV-1)

In both an absolute and relativeThird Nation troop strength in South Vietnam has grown morehan has the corresponding buildup in the South Vietnamese regular forces (See Table Thirdforcesercent of total Allied regular troop strength1 percentndercent in They will account forercent of the planned regular Allied forces in South Vietnam by

Third Nation ground forces in South Vietnam are predominantly deployed in the I, II, and III Corps areas, with South Vietnamese troops, as ofaintaining complete military responsibility in the Capital Military(Saigon) and IV Corps areas. United states Marines are stationed at Da Hang, Chu Lai and Phu Bai inorps area. Field Force I, with headquarters at Nha Trang (II Corpsontains the 1st Calvary Division, elements ofh Infantryirborne Division. ROK forces, and the 5th Special Group. Field Force II, with headquarters at Cu Chi (III Corpsontains the 1st Infantryelements ofhirborne Brigade, and Australian and New Zealand Units (See Figure

Vietnam

1. eneral

At the end ofhe Republic of South Vietnam hadeople under arms (See Table

g

i|

|

u

i-iih'

" -

Table IV-2

South Vietnam: Comparative Actual and Projected Regular Allied Troop Strength

fin thousands)"

and Third Ration

c

. .

and Third Nation

Percent of Total

to thehousand. H End of year figures except for6 and Excludeshousand quasi-military/security personnel.

Table IV-3

Total South Vietnamese Armed Strength7

(in thousands)*

This figure, however, does not accurately reflect the regular South Vietnamese military strength. Only aboutercent of the total South Vietnamese armed strength is committed to conventional military operations.

he South Vietnamese have responsibility for the bulk of the pacification program and measures to eliminate or neutralize the Viet Conghese-programs require the commitment of0 men in quasi-military, self-defense and national police units. The South Vietnamese regular military force consistsrmy0 ;air^fbrceavy/marine forces/-'

he regular South Vietnamese mili-

tary force has increased by0 men or byrojected deployments indicate that the regular forces are to be increased byen,total strength upen by

2. Major Deployments

Theouth Vietnamese Army Order ofis presented'in Table'j.

Table IV-4

Major South Vietnamese Ground Force Deployments 'Corps Area,

CombatStrength

' I ",

II

III -.

IV

Capital Military.Region

General

Support Units and

five GVN Marine Battalionsotal strengthen. Approximatelyercent of the combat strength is allocatedorps,ercent to II Corps,ercent to III Corps,ercent to IV Corpsercent toand the Capital Military Region..

war in South vumw is rapidly developing into trecHtloti between the United States and Worth vi

vietnaneee forces on both cider* playing relatively reduced roles. In spit* of tepidly growing Allied troop strength and resulting heavy enemy louti, Worth Vietnam continues to send regular troops south in increasing The Vietnamese Communists apparently recognise tho io> possibilitylassic military solution, but My hope to Attain their objectives by unconventional means andintend to extend the war as long as possible in the hope of wring downwill to see the war through*

An early and successful conclusion to theary struggle rests, therefore, with the ability of Allied forces to hunt down and destroy the enemy on hie own ground. It la in this context that the numerical superiority in tha ratios of allied to Communist strength became lees o meaningful relationships and trend* in analyzing the present and future course of the ground war depend on the actual number of Allied troops theoretically capable of engaging and destroying the enemy in offensive operations

Allied troop strength in South Vietnam presently stands aten. Current KVA/VC main force strength is estimated to bet first glance it would appear that Allied regular forces presentlyuaerical superiority over the trvA/vC naln force. ractical sense, however, this la not the case. Western troops and their South Korean and Vietnam a* Allies require considerable numbers oC support troops to maintain offensive combat units in the field. Since the seal* cf combat irt South Vietnam at the present tin* is largely dependent on the level of Allied Initiatedoperations, it seess logical to exclude Allied support

*Irregular forces, political cadres and combat support forces are excluded from Communist troop strength in this analysis because ot their limited role in conventional

IV-9

troop* in deriving meaningful ratios of actual CooRUoiit/ " _o- battlerield strength. The combat strength of the SVA/VC main fore* i* taken at current estimated fallen. Allied combat strength to" include the number of troops assigned to maneuver betta)lons--tbosc troops vho initiate offensive groundand conceptually come into direct contact with the ofieny. The critical troop ratio is defined as WVX/VC main force/Allied maneuver battalion strength.

2. Offensive Combat Strength

* a. Third Nation

only ground Pen in t

For purposes of this troopsen in the Air Force and Kavy are excluded from the Analysis. (See Tablepproximatelyercent of tbe total D. S. Amy and Marine Corps strength in South Vietnam is connitted to maneuver battalions. (See Figure Anercent ie assigned to artillery battalions that primarily provide con-bat support to the maneuver battalions.* Ihe remainingercent of the Army and Marine Corps personnel performconstruction* engineering, security, and relatedtasks. The percent of naneuver battalion strength to total Third Nation troop strength ie considerably higherthese troops are largely supported by US service Tbe deploynent by Corps area and service of US/Third Nation maneuver battalions is presented in Table IV-I. As of1 percent of US/Third Nation maneuverstrength vaa locatedorps,ercent in II Corpa, andercent in III Corps* Projected deployments for June IHT indicate that0 US/Third Hat ion troops In maneuver battalions will be distributed in the following manners orpsercent, II Corpsercent, and III Corpsercent.

b. South Vietnam

In the analysis of the critical troop ratios only tho South Vietnamese Army is given

*Artillery battalions are excluded from tbe critical ratio due to the manner in which they are employedat T

iv-io

secret*

1

I

3*il

1

COMPOSITION OF US MANEUVER BATTALION AND ARTILLERY BATTALION STRENGTH' TO TOTAL US ARMY ANO USMC TROOP STRENGTH57

fThoutands)

en in the Air Force, Navy and Marines are excluded. Approximatelyercent of the total South Vietnamese Army strength is committed to maneuver battalions. (See Figure As of1 percent of ARVN maneuverstrength was locatedorps,ercent in II Corps,ercent in III Corps and Capital Military Region, andercent in IV Corps. Projected deployments for7 reflect no change in present troopf deployment. (See Table

c. NVA/VC Main Force

For purposes of this analysis regular enemy combat strength is considered to include all NVA/VC main force troops. Although it is recognized that not all of the troops in this classification are performing combat tasks, there are several justifications for making such an assumption. These regular enemy troops must be hunted down and destroyed or eliminated regardless of their operational functions. It is also recognized that the NVA/VC main force requirements in terms of endogenous support troops aremall fraction of similar requirements needed by western troops.

The estimated strength of NVA/VC main force Corps areas as of6 indicates that approximatelyercent of NVA/VC main force strength is locatedorps area,ercent in II Corps,ercent in III Corps, andercent in IV Corps. (See Figure NorthArmy troops are predominantly deployed in the two Northern Corps while VC main force units are largelyin the two Southern Corps areas. Currently there are no known North Vietnamese Army units in the IV Corps.

3. Analysis of Critical Troop Ratios

a. Aggregate Field Strength Ratios

It should first be pointed out that in the field, Allied forces as defined, do notistinct numerical manpower advantage over the regular enemy forces. In fact. Communist forces in certain Corps areas possess superior numbers. Strong objections could be raised to this observation. The high degree of Allied troopand essentially unlimited air and ground support

iv-ll

Figure IV-6

APPROXIMATE COMPOSITION OF ARVN MANEUVER BATTALION STRENGTH TO TOTAL ARVN TROOP7

( Thousands)

it"

in

probably help Co make the ratio of friendly to enemy field forces less critical than it appears in Tablehe ratio of friendly to enemy field forces has increased slightly in favor of the Communists during the6 period. riendly to enemy field force ratio8 was observed ination Projections of enemy and Allied field strengths indicate that the Communists mayatio with opposing field forces in6atio by

Aspects of Increases inStrength

The contribution of South Vietnam to both the Allied and local Communist field troop strength has stabilized in the past year. InVN troops accounted forercent of Allied field strength. In6 GVN troops made upercent of Allied field strength. Inouth Vietnamese Communists accounted-forercent of the enemy field forces. Byocal Communists accounted forercent of the enemy field forces. United States/Third Nation field forces haveby0 during the6 period. Regular South Vietnamese Army field forces have increased byn the same period. Regular North Vietnamese Army force increased by0 troops in the6 period. The endogenouscontribution to VC main force increased strength by an0 during the same period.

Area Field Strengths

The critical ratio of opposing field forces in South Vietnam by Corps area as ofhat Allied strength varies considerably from one area to another (See Table The Allied field forces enjoy ananpower superioritynd III Corps areas respectively. In II and IV Corps areas the Communists enjoy ansuperiority in the field. Consequently, it isthat while Allied forces enjoy an aggregatesuperioritynuch anis not held equally at each Corps level.

Table IV-10

South Vietnam: Ratio or Allied Maneuver Battalion Strength to EBtiBBted RVA/VC Main Force Troop Strength7

(In Tbouaand*)

n-lradly to Era

US/Ti to KVA

South Vietnam: Ratio of Allied Maneuver Battalion Strength to Estimated NVA/VC Main Force Troop Strength by Corps Area,

Corps

Corps

Corps

Corps

Friendly to Enemy

NVA/VC (US7TN +

DO

TrooD

estimate that by the end6 Communist field strength in South Vietnam will beySee Table North Vietnamese Army units will account forercent of the total. Projected Allied deployments for the end6 andhowroops respectively, will be allocated to maneuver battalions. Aboutercent of the projected Allied field strength will be accounted for by OS/ Third Nation forces. The projected increases in both forces

IV-13

will come largely from US/Third Nation troops and the

Table IV-12

South Vietnam: Projected Critical Troop Ratios: Allied Maneuver Battalion Strength to Estimated NVA and VC Main Force Strengths

(In thousands

(ARVN)

Friendly to

(NVA/VC

+ GVN)

The ratio of NVA forces to US/Third Nation forces has grown from approximatelynoon Projections indicate that this ratioon6 andy The North Vietnamese apparently plan to match the buildup in US/Third Nation maneuver battalions. (See Figure Thus, during the nextonths Allied forces in South Vietnam willelative sense,arger enemy force than they have in the past.

IV-14

I I

.IV-8

COMPARATIVE, ACTUAL, AND PROJECTED ALLIED AND US/THIRD NATION Tnop, MANEUVER BATTALION STRENGTH TO VC/NVA MAIN FORCE STRENGTH

6 tad Preitcted for6 nd7

ISO.

III. Operations

.. - v- /

ssumptions and

cCKViS ..

The statistics used; to evaluate the intensity and "course of the ground war in South Vietnam take onar without fronts. Several of the factors employed to assess the war in South Vietnam are subject tomargins of error, and as such require discussion. The number of Communist troops, reported killedaction is both the most important and least reliable statistical measure used to assess the progress of the military aspects of'the struggle. The figure is subject to error because of duplications, omissions, possibly-inflated body counts, and the inability to identify non-military casualties. On theand, if is well known that'Communist forces exert considerable effort to remove both their deadounded from the battlefields Of:South Vietnam. Atthere appears to be no-rational method for adjusting "enemy body count figures. Consequently, then'enemy dead are taken as received, subject to non-quantifi-able reservations on their accuracy.

The allocation^of the reported enemy dead to the respective inflicting forces alsoroblem. US/Third Nation and GVN operations are conducted inanner that an'accurate accounting of enemyby an inflicting force is difficult toimilar problem exists in trying to determine whether-air support or ground forces inflicted the Statistical problems also exist in allocatingto large and small scale operations.

allocate the number of reported enemy killed

in each engagement to the respective inflicting force, the number of Allied soldiers killed in each combinedwere weighted by their aggregate kill ratios.

number of Allied and enemy killed in action were also rounded in an effort to make the data consistent. It was observed that the majority of US/Third Nation inflicted and sustained casualties were results of ma-

euver battalion si2ed operations or greater. Aassumption with far less certainty was made with to GVN forces. South Vietnamese casualties, both inflicted and sustained, were allocated to their

rl

- n

Figure IV-10

MOO

800

400

RELATIONSHIP OF COMMUNIST AND US/THIRD NATIONBUILD-UP OF US/THIRD NATION MANEUVER6 ,

Com

BmHmJhm Strength

USmwITN

eec retiv-11

composition of reported vc/nva kia by inflicting force

4

ecern5

figure iv-12

approximate distribution of reported vc/nva kia, by corps area

ay

0 0

by them during theonth period,ercent werefor by US Marinesorps,ercent by US Army/Third Nation forces in III Corps. (See Figureeneral rule US/Third Nation maneuver battalion kill ratios have been highestnd II Corps areas and lowest in III Corps.

3. GVN

During the6 period the South Vietnamese Army participation in ground operations decreased. FromVN forces accountedercent of0 enemy troops reported killed in action, ornemy killed perSee Figure High desertion rates, heavy casualties and political instability have adversely affected thecontributions of South Vietnamese military units.

South Vietnamese forcesill ratio over Communist forces during theS6 period. Approximatelyercent of these kills were recordednd II Corps,ercent in III Corpsercent in IV Corps.

C. Communist Performance in Battle

The question of Communist troop morale is discussed in detail in Annex VII. Communist troop performancethat the enemy troops are not yet experiencing morale problems that adversely affect their behavior on the battle field. However, the number of captured Communist weapons, personnel, and desertions have increased considerably (See Table These losses can be explained by the increasing scale of combat and do not necessarilya decline in Communist battlefield performance.

RELATIONSHIP OF COMMUNIST AND GVN KIA TO BUILD-UP OF GVN MANEUVER BATTALIONS6

IV-13

South Vietnam: Absolute Indicators of Communist Performance in Battle

"Chieu Hoi" Military Desertions**

-Ir'/'-

Weapons Captured

A.

for entire year.

VN amnesty program for Communist deserters.

By relating theselected indicators to the.scale of combat (the number of enemy reported KIAaptured) it is possible to illustrate that:elative senseforces are essentially performing as well as in battle today as they were4.

Table IV-14

Relative Indicators of Communist Motivations in Battle Expressed in Terms of the Scale of

ercent of

Weaponsercent of

KIA and

"Chieu Hoi"s a

Percent

calculated on January-June data.includes weapons captured on junks and other infil* tration craft, consequently this ratio overstates the true battlefield weapons loss.

It is observed that Communist battlefield performance hasot changed in spite of the growing scale of combat andOS/Third Nation participation. At present, the magnitude of Communist morale problems in terms ofbattlefield performance, seems toinor hindrance to enemy operations in South

D. An Approximate Allocation of NVA/VC'

ties January-May

.'v

1.

One of the most difficult intelligence problems faced in South Vietnam is that of allocating enemyto their respective fighting units. The characteristics of guerrilla warfare make it impossible to distinguish be- ween civilians, irregulars, VC main force and PAVN troops killed in action. Laek of uniforms and unit insignias are some of the basic problems encountered. The time alloted to body identification of the battlefield is influenced by the pressures of combat and undoubtedly is far too short to allow for accurate body counts, let alone extensiveof enemy unit identification. The importancellocating enemy casualties to their respective units is crucial in assessing the present and probable course of the war in South Vietnam. The extent to which the Communists-must rely on internal recruitment and North Vietnamese regulars can best be determined by arriving'at anallocation of enemy casualties.

* ** * * i. * * *

It was initially assumed that all enemy reported killed in action were members of the Communist military establishment. Such an assumption obviously overstates enemy losses since it includes civilians inadvertently killed in and around the battlefields and counted as enemy dead. The inclusion of considerable numbers of South-namese Communist irregulars and combat support troops helps to relax this assumptionertain degree. However, the lack of any definitive study on such civilianmakes it impossible to adjust enemy casualties with any degree of precision. Consequently the killed infigures are taken as given.

In order to allocate enemy battlefieldto NVA/VC units, it was assumed that enemy casualties

were sustained in proportion to their respective troop strength in the various Corps areas as of In the case of irregular and combat support troops it wasthat these forces were half as likely to engage in major combat operations as were the NVA and VC regular forces. Reported enemy battlefield fatalities were allocatedorps basis during the6 period. Enemy losses and respective strength by corps area were then compared. Since there were no known NVA* troopsn IV Corps during6 it was concluded that all of the reported battle fatalities were sustained by local Communists. NVA strength in III Corps during the relevant period accountedmall portion of the enemy.main force5 percent in III Corps byhe preponderance of enemy casualties in III Corps during the relevant period were assumed, therefore, to be sustained by- local Communists.. The bulk of thetrength in.South Vietnam is stationed in IIorps respectively. Communist losses during the6 period in the. two upper-Corps were allocated to NVA/VC on' the basis of regular enemy troop strength as of By employing this methodology it was deduced thatercent of communist battlefieldwere inflicted on NVA troops duringrojected enemy troop strengths indicate that aboutercent of the enemy battlefield fatalities during the next year will be sustained by NVA forces.*

The use of Communist regular troop strength as ofeights the casualties heavily toward NVA forces during the6 period. NVAtrength has rapidly increased in recent months, thusprobable NVA losses during the early monthsias should counter arguments that NVA forces are employed more intensively in combat than are localforces. The use of total South Vietnamese Communist.

troop strength may also overstate local enemy casualties since it implicitly assumes that local forces have and will be engaged as often as North Vietnamese troops.

. Analysis

This distribution provides some insights into probable future trends in the growth and composition of enemy forces in South Vietnam. It is estimated thatbattlefield fatalities averagedonth during Average monthly North Vietnamese and VC battlefield fatalitiesespectively. Accepted aaverage monthly Communist infiltration during the same period. Combined accepted and reported NVA infiltration

month.

It is obvious that during6 North Vietnamese troop strength grewore rapid rate than did direct sustained battlefield fatalities. increases in estimated North Vietnamese Army strength in South Vietnam during the same period confirm this trend. The relatively stable size of the VC main force during the period probably indicates that the local Communists have been able to offset battlefield deaths byfrom the irregular forces and the populace.

IV. Communist Losses

A. Total Communist Losses

t is estimated that00 Communists (See Tableere effectively put out of action. Projections indicate thatnemy forces will be effectively lost6 andill be lost during the first halfattle fatalities account for approximatelyercent of the losses, seriously wounded, estimated on the basis of captured documents, account forercent, and captured and deserters the remainingercent.

South Vietnam: Estimate of Communist7

c.

Hoi" Returnees)

TOTAL

Wounded

,

' TOTAL

Killed

monthly reported Communist battleincreased from lessuring theonths5 toach month in the second half of the year. Duringommunist battle fatalitieser month. 0 Communist troops were killed in action 0 enemy troops were reported killed in action during January-May of this year, and current estimates indicateommunists will probably be killed in action by the end

2. Wounded in Action

a. Methodology

Few if any official figures are released that give an indication of the total number of Communistwounded in action. The primary reason for the lack ofuch information is that the enemyonsiderableof their dead and wounded from the battlefield in anto conceal their losses and prevent the capture ofpersonnel.

basic components went into derivation

of an estimate of NVA/VC wounded in action. Consideration was given to historical factors such as: S, ANZAC, and Japanese experience in Burma, Malaya, and the Pacific Islands in World War II; he experience of South Viet--namese, and US/TN forces in Vietnam;ommunist prisoner interrogation reports mentioning casualties and' captured enemy documents such as medical reports and unit combat records. The observed ratios of wounded to killed during World War II and in Vietnam are summarized in-Tableelow..

Selected Wounded to Killed Ratios

World Warto Killed

Campaign (Australian)

Campaign (us)

Philippines

Okinawa (US)

9

. *

3

South,

US/Third Nation,

Prisoner interrogation reports and captured enemy documents provideduantifiable observations on the relationship between Communist troops killed and wounded in action. Enemy casualties ranged fromn large unit actions toasualties or less in small group actions. All of these losses were sustained while fighting against South Vietnamese forces4 The observed ra-tios of wounded to killed in action ranged1,eighted average ratio Since these figures are not biased by enemy removal of dead troops from the battlefield they may better reflect the distribution of enemy killed to wounded than those ratios which employ Allied body countsase figure.

enemy document captured by the 1st.

airy Division onn central. Binh Dinhrevealed regimental data on Communist' troopsn action The 2ndh NVA, and Quyet Ram regiments which were estimated, be the major enemy elements stationed in Binh Dinh were listed in the document. The security, of Binh Dinh ismaintained by US and ROK forces. omparison between Communist troops killed in action (US/ ROK body count) and enemy accounts of those wounded inin Binh Dinh during the relevant period provides some indication of an enemy (WIA) relationship between US/Third

: (KIA) v'".

nation forces and the enemy.

US/ROK forcesommunists induring the relevant period according to bodydocuments indicateroopsommunists wounded in action were captured byforces. It is assumed that: S/ROK forcesof the fighting in Binh Dinh Province;bove mentioned Communist regiments comprise mostenemy strength in Binh Dinh. The resulting = 4 for Communist forces engaging

Third Nation forces in South Vietnam. The US/ROKprobably understates the number of enemy killedresults in higher wounded to killed ratioprobably

A general relationship between the number of troops killed in action and those wounded ln action was

'HjrWkmW

observed in the samples examined. Troops with high kill ratios (Enemy killed) also experienced high wounded to (Friendly killed)

killed ratios (Friendly wounded). Conversely, troops with

(Friendly killed) relatively low kill ratios tended to have low wounded to killed ratios. Troops (such as NVA/VC) with low kill ratios probablyarge number killedelatively smaller number wounded, while troops (such as US/Thirdforces) with high kill ratiosmaller number killedelatively larger number wounded. Thiscan be rationalized by the fact that better trained and organized troops with superior support fire fromand aircraft sustain fewer fatalities in obtaining or defending an objective than do forces that lack such support fire.

Captured enemy documents further indicate that approximatelyercent of the wounded receivedbones and damage to internal organs that required immediate surgery. Aboutercent of the wounds were classified as light, and most of these cases were immediately returned to the battlefield. The remainingercent suffered slight wounds that required littleattention and were also immediately returned to the field.

It is difficult to estimate the number of seriously wounded Communist troops who die or cease to be effective fighting men. However, most of the seriously wounded are moved considerable distances by primitive means of transportation to surgical centers where, undoubtedly, the facilities and the quality of the medical personnel are far below Western standards. These factors coupled with the consideration that many Communist troops are alreadyby debilitating tropical diseases suggest that the majority of the seriously wounded troops are out of action for considerable lengths of time or indefinitely.

b. Estimate

00 Communist troops were seriously wounded End of year estimates indicate thatnemy troops will be seriously wounded

3. Captured

ommunist military personnel were captured in action Given the current scale of operations it is estimated thatnemy troops will be captured

4. "Chieu Hoi" Returnees and Deserters

i i

ommunist soldiers defectedthe GVN "Chieu Hoi" program Currentindicate that0 enemy military personnel are expected to defect under the "Chieu Hoi" program this year. No information exists on the number of enemy personnel who simply,desert and return to their villages. We estimate that unrecorded enemy desertions are at least equal to the number of defectors under the "Chieu Hoi" program. This isonservative approach and the actual numbers of deserters could be significantly higher thanused in this annex.

B. Allocations of Present and Future Communist Military Losses in South Vietnarr.

It is estimatedaximum of00 North Vietnamese troops will be effectively put out of action in South Vietnam An00 will be lost in the first half7 if current rates of combat are maintained and projected troop strengths are realized. The bulk of the North Vietnamese losses will result from troops killed and seriously wounded in action. Relatively few North Vietnamese losses will be accounted for by captures, desertions, or defections.

Local Communists (including main forces, irregulars and combat support troops) willaximum sustain00 effective losses in actionn00 will be lost in the first half Approximately two-thirds of the local Communist losses will result from battle deaths and serious wounds. The remainder will be accounted for by captures and The relative shift in casualties from local to North Vietnamese Communist forces7 reflects the expected increase in the role of PAVN troops in the South Vietnamese war. In terms of comparative battlefield losses the Allied

forcesistinct advantage over the Communists. It is estimated that0 Free World soldiers Will be killed in action00ompared0 Communists. Anllied soldiers will probably be killed byeflecting the same loss composition, compared to0 Communists.

ountry with an abundant population, whereatural deaths0 accidents occur each year, the loss ofouths annually for the sake of "National Liberation" does not, in an oriental sense, seem too high. -The increased North Vietnamese commitment in South Vietnam is not, however, entirely based onC units have borne the brunt of enemyto date and appear pressed to maintain their currant strength in face of growing Allied strength. The squeeze on VC manpower is becoming, more apparent, and the necessity-of outside help more acute if the war:is to be waged at the present level. North. Vietnam appears both willing and able to take on this task in the hoperotracted struggle will give them.ultimate victory. It may, however, find this commitment to be increasingly burdensome particularly as it required increasing numbers of the country's limitedof skilled manpower and leadership cadres.

Original document.

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