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


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Archive-Name: vietnam/armor
Last-modified: 1996/05/10
Posting-Frequency: monthly (1st)

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Frequently Asked Questions: soc.history.war.vietnam

The FAQ on "The Use of Armoured Vehicles in the Vietnam War"
was
     written by Brian Ross


The Use of Armoured Vehicles in the Vietnam War


Attitudes to the use of armour in Vietnam

   Essentially, all the combatants in the Vietnam War, who
used
armour, except perhaps the ARVN , did so reluctantly.  It
simply did
not fit the viewpoint present in any of the high commands as
to what
sort of war Vietnam was perceived as.

   Indeed Dunstan makes the point that the first deployment
of US
armour to Vietnam was by mistake when Marines were
dispatched to help
secure the Da Nang airbase following a Viet Cong mortar
attack which
had damaged and destroyed several USAF B57 Canberra bombers.
It seems
that MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam) had not
studied the
composition of a Marine Battalion Landing Team and the
arrival of the
integral armour of that unit had been greeted with some
consternation. 
Indeed the US Ambassador (who was defacto commander of the
US war
effort in Vietnam) deemed them to be "not appropriate for
counter-insurgency operations"(1)  The Marines on the other
hand did
not see any reason why they shouldn't have been brought and
so the
first US deployment of armour was by default rather than by
design.

   The next deployment of Armour (tanks as against APC's
that is), did
not occur until the arrival of the 1st Infantry Division
("the Big Red
One") incountry in late 1965.  Up until that point, each US
Armoured
and Cavalry unit which had arrived as part of the deployment
of its
parent division had swapped its tanks for APC's, usually in
the form
of ACAV's (Armoured Cavalry Assault Vehicles) or if
Mechanised
Infantry its APC's to become leg infantry.  It was at the
insistence
of General Johnston, the US Army Chief of Staff that the
Divisional
Cavalry Squadron should keep its medium tanks so as to test
the
feasibility of the use of tanks in Vietnam.  If it performed
well,
then it would be possible to reinforce it to full battalion
strength,
if it failed, then the reverse would also be easily achieved
with it
becoming simply another APC mounted unit.(2)

   General Westmoreland, commander of MACV's reply to this
decision
was that, "except for a few coastal areas, most notably in
the I Corps
area, Vietnam is no place for either tank or mechanised
infantry
units."(3)  Indeed, even though it was against the wishes of
the Chief
of Staff, the 1st Infantry Division's Cavalry Squadron's
tanks were
kept at Phu Loi, and it took six months of hard arguing to
convince
Westmoreland that his "no tanks in the jungle" attitude was
wrong
before they were released for general use.

   While the 1st Infantry Division had led the way, it was
not really
until the arrival of the 25th Infantry Division and its
forceful
commander, Major-General Weyand who insisted, despite
resistance from
both the Department of the Army and MACV, that his division
would
deploy complete with all its armour elements intact, that
the US Army
really started to make use of both tanks and APC's in a
combined arms
role.(4)

   This attitude though, was one which was to persist for
many years,
until the armour enthusiasts had finally proven their
detractors
wrong.  Indeed, by 1969, after the Tet Offensive of 1968,
General
Westmoreland had been so turned around by the successes
enjoyed by the
armoured units during the defeat of that offensive that he
requested
that all future reinforcements be armoured, rather than
infantry.

   Even amongst the Australians this attitude was prevalent.
The
infantry was considered "Queen of the Battlefield" with all
other arms
supporting her in her efforts.  So much so that the Sydney
Morning
Herald's editorial questioned the announcement of the
deployment of
the first squadron of Centurion tanks to Vietnam in 1967 by
asking if
they were to be used as "mobile pill-boxes" as no other use
could be
foreseen for them in a counter-insurgency war.(5)

   However, within the Army already deployed in Vietnam, the
attitudes
were somewhat different with the commanders of the 1st
Australian Task
Force (1ATF), and Australian Forces Vietnam (AFV), Brigadier
Jackson
and Major-General Vincent respectively both pressing for the
early
deployment of tanks to bolster the Australian forces in
Vietnam.  Army
Headquarters though, had different ideas, despite the
evidence of the
use of tanks by the US forces already present in Vietnam.
Vincent
however demanded that tanks be given a higher priority.
They were
needed because, he said, the infantry were relatively
ineffective in
`search' operations without the quick, responsive close fire
support
which can be provided only by tanks.(6)

   Amongst the "Free World" nations only it could be claimed
that the
ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) could be said to have
been most
willing to accept the role of armour in their war from the
very
beginning.  However, they were severely handicapped because
of their
dependence upon the US Army for both advisers and equipment.
With the
already mentioned prevailing attitudes in the US Army during
the first
half of the war, it was not surprising therefore that it
wasn't until
after the 1968 Tet offensive that the ARVN received their
first medium
tanks (M48a3's).   Before then, they had been intentionally
limited by
the US Army to only possessing light tanks (M24's initially
and M41's
for most of the war) and APC's (M3 half-tracks initially and
then
primarily M113's) which of course reduced their
effectiveness. 

   In addition, the ARVN was hampered by the uses (or rather
misuses)
that the various political and military leaders put their
armoured
units to.  The main contribution that ARVN armoured units
made to the
war before approximately 1967 was that of a securer of
political
power.   They were used in the long running series of coups
and
counter-coups which rocked Saigon from the fall of Diem in
1963 and
the arrival of the US military on the scene in real strength
in 1966. 
This misuse earned for them the ironic nickname "voting
machines"
amongst the Vietnamese.(7)  So paranoid were the ARVN
commander's
vying for control of the country in the various juntas which
formed
and reformed in the period that the ARVN tank units were
always kept
within a day's march or less of the capital, Saigon and were
forbidden
to carry out any manoeuvres in the direction of the Capital.

   This paranoia was so severe that apparently one evening
when US
advisers were delivering new M41 tanks after midnight to
avoid
Saigon's normally chaotic traffic, the then dictator General
Khanh was
so alarmed that he fled to Vung Tau, over 50 kilometres
away.(8) 
Air-Marshal Ky, not to be outdone by his army counterparts
managed to
secure a squadron of M24 Chaffee light tanks for use by the
RVNAF at
Tan Sohn Hut airbase (these were in fact the last M24's in
RVN
service).

   Now we must turn to the Vietnam People's Army (VPA) or
North
Vietnamese regular Army (NVA) if you prefer the American
nomenclature. 
Even the VPA was reluctant to make use of Armour because of
the
obvious difficulties of trying to move the vehicles down the
Ho Chi
Minh Trail from North Vietnam, as well as keeping them
supplied. 
Indeed, reading the accounts of how they apparently moved
some of
these vehicles over the difficult terrain so that they could
be use in
South Vietnam seems fantastic (the PT76's used in the attack
on the
Lang Vei Special Forces camp near Khe Sanh were apparently
carried
intact over some sections of difficult terrain and floated
down rivers
on log rafts poled along, according to some US intelligence
sources).(9)

   While the initial response to the introduction of armour
to the
battlefield by the "Free World" forces from the NLF
(National
Liberation Front or Viet Cong) and VPA was to increase the
quantity
and types of infantry AT weapons available to their forces
in the
field this was only a temporary.  Despite their rhetoric to
the
contrary, the communist commanders were only too well aware
that it
takes a very brave man indeed to hunt down a tank with an
RPG in the
middle of a battle.  That, coupled with the relative
ineffectiveness
of the weapons at their disposal meant problems. Dunstan
quotes from a
US Army report that M113's sustained approximately,

     one penetration for every seven RPG hits.  Hits in
     themselves averaged about one in eight to ten rounds
fired
     due to the inherent inaccuracy of the weapon. M41a3
     penetrations were proportionally less because of its
     superior ballistic configuration as compared to the
     slab-sided M113.  Statistical analysis reveals that
only one
     vehicle was destroyed for every seven penetrations and
     casualties were 0.8 per penetration.(10)

   Apparently, even the heavier recoilless rifles which the
NLF and
VPA often fielded in their larger formations were nearly as
ineffective.(11)  Nevertheless,  these simple and effective
weapons
were a constant and serious threat, as were the more
effective mines,
on the battlefield.

   However, with the increasing use of armour by ARVN and
allied
forces, it was obvious to the VPA and perhaps more
importantly their
Soviet and Chinese advisers, that the best counter was their
own
armoured vehicles.  An additional consideration surely would
have been
that already the opposition had demonstrated the power of
armoured
units to destroy VPA/NLF units whenever they encountered
them. With
the changing nature of the conflict from stage 2 (guerrilla
warfare)
of Giap's and Mao's classic "People's War" to that of stage
3 (open
conflict) then the VPA would also need the striking power
that only
armour could bring to a battlefield.

   The VPA though, had a considerable distance to catch up,
compared
with the ARVN and the allied forces opposing them, in
gaining the
experience necessary to make effective use of armour.  They
turned to
the USSR for aid and were provided apparently with training
facilities
to gain that experience inside the Soviet Union.  One
commentator has
suggested that the successes of the VPA in 1975 with the use
of
armoured units were initially learnt on the "steppes of
Odessa,"
information which was apparently gleaned from the
interrogation of VPA
tank crew after the 1972 Easter Offensive (which revealed
that
approximately 3000 of them had been trained at Soviet Armour
schools).(12)

   However, the VPA evolved its own doctrines on the use of
armour
which ran contrary to that of both its opposition and its
main
advisers the Soviets in that the North Vietnamese did not,
according
to Starry:

     advocate the use of tanks in mass.  Its doctrine stated
that
     armour would be employed during an attack, when
feasible, to
     reduce infantry casualties; however, only the minimum
number
     of tanks required to accomplish the mission would be
used. 
     Battle drill dictated that lead tanks were to advance,
     firing and to be supported by fire from other tanks and
from
     artillery.  Close coordination between tanks and
supporting
     infantry was stressed as a key to success in the
attack.(13)

   Even so, it is obvious that the VPA use of armour was at
first
stumbling but as confidence grew, by 1975 it had a unique
experience
base to draw upon.  So much so, that by the time of the
Vietnamese
invasion of Cambodia in 1979, the VPA was able to conduct a
classic
"blitzkrieg" style of invasion and carry it to fruition with
relatively few casualties.


The role of Armour in Vietnam

   Armour has many roles in normal warfare. These range from
seizing
ground, shocking the enemy command and control structure,
supporting
infantry, destroying enemy AFV's and through to finally
counter-attacking enemy attacks. In counter-insurgency
warfare and in
Vietnam in particular it was found that those roles expanded
considerably to include such tasks as convoy protection,
asset
protection and other internal security tasks.

   It was though, the ability of armoured units to bring to
bear
relatively large, massive amounts of fairly discriminatory
firepower
that was extremely mobile, was the major reason why all
participants
in the war turned to its use.  Reading through any battle
history of
the war one comes across accounts time and time again of
where
armoured units were able to basically decimate their
opponents because
of the amount of firepower they were able to bring to bear
quickly
against them whilst being protected by their own armour
plating.

   The US Army, in particular had a long history in WWII and
Korea of
the aggressive use of armour and this carried over to
Vietnam where by
its ability to force the pace and outmanoeuvre the enemy
units were of
considerable value. However, as Starry points out, whereas
in previous
wars armoured units had been used as the forces which probed
and
outflanked the enemy, in Vietnam, "armour was used as a
fixing force,"
essentially engaging the enemy and bringing him to battle,
"while
airmobile infantry became the encircling manoeuvre
element."(14)

   Whereas the French, in the previous Indochina war,
against the
communist Viet Minh had suffered severe casualties within
their
armoured units whenever they had been ambushed, the US and
allied
forces found that usually, "the armoured force, led by
tanks, had
sufficient combat power to withstand the massed ambush until
supporting artillery, air, and infantry could brought in to
destroy
the enemy."(15) So throughout the war, engagements for
armoured forces
usually took place with the armour forcing or creating the
fight,
often through invasion of the enemy's "safe areas" and
infantry being
used to reinforce or encircle were typical.

   Perhaps the only real success for armour from the outset
amongst
the Americans and ARVN was the way in which mounted combat
came to the
fore for infantry in the form of the ACAV (Armoured Cavalry
Assault
Vehicle).  Until Vietnam, the US Army's doctrine had been
that
infantry units should dismount before assaulting an enemy
position. 
However, as the ARVN discovered, this meant that when facing
the
massive amounts of firepower that the NLF or VPA could bring
to bear
during a firefight, the infantry was exposed to needless
casualties,
as well as losing the momentum of the attack.(16)  Indeed it
was the
ARVN which pioneered the use of mounted tactics from APC's
when they
first deployed the M113 in 1962.  They were also the first
to discover
the need for increased firepower on the vehicle by mounting
an extra
.30 Cal. MMG beside the commander, fired by an exposed prone
soldier
lying on the roof of the vehicle.  Perhaps more importantly,
they also
discovered the vulnerability of the exposed track commander
when
manning the pintle mounted .50 Cal. HMG during the battle of
Ap Bac
where 14 out of 17 commanders became casualties.(17)

   The US Cavalry units, perhaps smarting under the loss of
their
beloved tanks, took to the idea and improved upon it by
creating the
ACAV.  They added armour around the commander and a gun
shield for the
.50 Cal.,  provided two extra M60 GPMG's each athwart the
roof hatch
(protected by shields) and installed an M79 Grenadier inside
the troop
compartment, firing through the roof hatch to provide close
support. 
The result was a vehicle which was able to go where tanks
weren't, by
virtue of its lighter weight and ground pressure, packed
considerable
firepower and was agile and reasonably well armoured.  The
result,
when coupled with the aggressive leadership and tactics of
the US
Cavalry's commanders was highly effective by all accounts.

   US Army tanks only encountered VPA tanks once during the
entire war
and that was at the Ben Het special forces camp in 1969 when
VPA PT76
light tanks, supported by BTR50 APC's attacked the 1st
Battalion, 69th
Armor which was helping defend the camp in the Central
Highlands of II
Corps, with ARVN infantry.  The battle occurred at night and
the
training and night-fighting equipment of the US tanks
quickly showed
their superiority.  Although, because of the basic
uncertainty of ever
encountering VPA armour had resulted in the M48's of the US
unit
carrying too few HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) or AP
(Armour-
Piercing) rounds to complete the destruction of the enemy
vehicles
(they had, in the closing stages of the battle to resort to
the use of
HE rounds), it demonstrated that the M48 in competent hands
was very
much still a potent anti-armour weapon.(18)

   The Australian experience was similar, although due to
the
political constraints of Australia's involvement, the size
of the
units involved were usually much smaller.  Indeed, the
entire
deployment of Australian forces to Vietnam never amounted to
much more
than a heavily reinforced infantry Brigade at its height,
while its
armour elements never amounted to more than a squadron of
APC's and a
squadron of Centurion tanks.

   As a consequence, whereas American armoured units often
operated
independently of infantry formations, the squadron of tanks
and APC's
which were part of the Australian Task Force operated
primarily in
close cooperation and support of the infantry force within
the Task
Force.  In particular, their operations during 1968, in and
around the
Firebases Coral and Balmoral were notable, as was the attack
on Bin Ba
in June 1969.   The Australians also experimented with the
concept of
mounted cavalry combat towards the end of the war but it
never really
gained favour in what was essentially an infantry dominated
army.(19)

   The ARVN, on the otherhand, hampered by its lack, until
late in the
war, of any MBT's, found its armoured units more often than
not being
employed on security duties.  An exception to this was the
disastrous
Operation Lam Son 719 during which ARVN units, supported by
American
forces (primarily Engineers and helicopters) attacked the
VPA enclaves
inside Laos near the border with South Vietnam in an effort
to cut the
Ho Chi Minh Trail and decrease infiltration. During this
operation,
the ARVN's units equipped with M41 Walker Bulldog light
tanks
undertook the tasks normally allocated to MBT's and
performed
reasonably well but suffered losses from enemy infantry AT
weapons. 
When they did encounter enemy T54's during this operation
the M41
proved itself quite able to deal with the heavier enemy
tank.
Something which was later confirmed in the final offensive
of 1975
when M41's took on T54's in the streets of Cholon and
Saigon.

   Another exception was the Easter Offensive by the VPA in
1972. 
Here, the ARVN and VPA armoured forces encountered one
another for the
first time at the battle of Dong Ha on 27 March.  The ARVN
20th Tank
Regiment had only received their M48's a few months earlier
from US
Army stocks (they were, by all accounts rather worn examples
too). 
The 20th Tank Regiment itself was an unusual organisation
which,
because of the experience of Lam Son 719, where AFV's had
proven
vulnerable to individual AT weapons, the ARVN Joint General
Staff had
decreed that the 20th Tank Regt. was to have additional
infantry
assigned to it in the form of a Rifle Company of tank
riders, who's
job it was to ride on the outside of the vehicles and
provide
protection during battle to the tanks.(20)

   The 20th Tank Regt. proved itself up to the task and
successfully
defended Dong Ha and destroyed a large number of VPA
armoured
vehicles, including T54's, PT76's and BTR50's. However, the
Easter
offensive was also notable for the introduction of a
fearsome new
weapon by the VPA: the anti-tank missile (in fact the AT-3
Sagger),
some 18 months before their usually credited mass use during
the Yom
Kippur war in the Middle East.  The 20th Tank Regt. lost
several
vehicles to the Saggers, the ARVN tankers seemingly,
"fascinated by
the missile's slow and erratic flight"(21) before they
worked out
tactics to counter it.

   Indeed, the VPA's experience during the war, as already
mentioned
was one of learning many of the lessons that the other major
combatants had learnt in previous wars.  This meant numerous
mistakes
but as armour was not a major combat arm, these mistakes
resulted in
only what were in the main temporary setbacks.  In
particular there
was the Easter Offensive of 1972, where airpower played a
significant
role in blunting the VPA's armoured thrusts.  From this was
learnt
that organic air defences were needed and in 1975, a
considerable
number of ZSU-57-2 and ZSU-23-4 AA tanks and SA-7 Strela
SAM's were
provided.

   Indeed, when discussing the 1972 offensive, most VPA
commentators
(22) mentioned the signification role of US support in
limiting the
successes enjoyed by the VPA.  With nearly 900 aircraft,
including 100
B52's the RVNAF and the USAF, any weaknesses in the VPA's
anti-
aircraft defences were reflected in troop and vehicle
losses.  By
1975, while the RVNAF's strength had increased to over 1600
aircraft
of all types, the VPA was able to establish a protective
umbrella over
most troop concentrations, greatly reducing the incidence of
AFV
casualties from either tactical bombing or close air support
tasks.

   While in 1968 and 1969, at the Lang Vei and Ben Het
special forces
camps, armour had attacked with little cooperation with the
infantry,
by 1972, the VPA was obviously still failing to digest the
lessons
needed from those battles and while fielding mixed armour
and infantry
columns their experiences in attempting to capture the
provincial
capital of An Loc, in the words of Kym Stacey, "clearly
illustrated
weaknesses in tactical co-ordination and co-operation."(23)
Indeed the
lack of effective artillery support, combined with an
absence of
accompanying infantry, meant armoured vehicles became easy
prey to the
anti-armour weapons of the ARVN forces.(24)

   In 1972 though, the mid-intensity style of conflict which
the VPA
had been called upon to conduct was a new and novel
experience for it. 
In particular the commanders lacked the background to
organise
large-scale, combined arms operations and this deficiency
was
definitely reflected in high casualty rates amongst men and
vehicles. 
That the three fronts on which the VPA forces were fighting
were
uncoordinated and failed to support one another aided their
opponents
in the ARVN and US forces to contain the VPA drives.  In
particular,
on the northern front, the VPA drive lost its initial
momentum due to
the inability of the logistics system to maintain supplies
to the
fighting units.(25)   One commentator described the
situation in these
terms:

     hesitant uncoordinated fumbling with some
well-maintained
     Soviet vehicles showed once again that successful
armour
     employment is totally dependent on aggressive spirit
and
     technical skill on the part of the tank crews.(26)

   By 1975 though, most of these problems had been corrected
with
all-arms cooperation reaching a new high, with armour,
infantry and
artillery working closely together.  Indeed Stacey once more
makes the
point that the VPA most valuable lesson learnt from the 1972
offensive
was that concentration of armour is the major key to its
employment.(27)  For the VPA this meant abandoning its
previous
"penny-packetism" and deciding on what were to be the most
decisive
battles and those which would have the greatest influence on
the
prevailing strategic situation and employing armour there,
rather than
spreading it broadly across the whole theatre of operations.

   The VPA, according to Stacey, identified two main methods
of
successfully employing armoured forces - "sudden assault"
and "deep
advance".(28)  "Sudden assault" implied an overwhelming of
enemy
resistance by a quick attack.  In this the shock effect
created by the
AFV's was utilised to throw the enemy off balance and
prevent him from
regaining his composure.  This technique was used against
population
centres such as Xuan Loc, Bien Hoa, Hoc Mon and ultimately
Saigon.  A
successful "sudden assault" opened the way for an effective
"deep
advance" or pursuit.  The vulnerability of a withdrawing
enemy meant
pursuing VPA forces were able to inflict heavy casualties on
ARVN
units, as occurred during the retreat from the Highlands.
In
addition, the "deep advance" made use of a tactic referred
to as
"blooming lotus" by the VPA, in which units undertaking the
breakthrough of the enemy's lines would then spread out to
exploit
that breakthrough and hence cause the maximum damage
possible behind
the enemy's defences.

   In order to maintain the momentum of their advance VPA
commanders
used the technique of "leap-frogging" units.  When enemy
resistance
was encountered the leading units deployed for a quick
assault while
following units bypassed the enemy location to continue the
advance. 
This was the case with the attack on the Thu Duc Officers'
School
outside of Saigon. While it was in progress, other VPA unis
pressed on
to attack and seize the Saigon Bridge, and hence opening the
way into
Saigon itself.(29)

   The speed at which the VPA was able to maintain their
advance,
combined with a lack of planning and preparation on the part
of the
ARVN forces opposing them, denied the latter opportunities
to regroup
and consolidation.  The ability of the VPA to sustain its
progress
came from a well disciplined and well organised logistics
system based
upon more than 10,000 vehicles.  To fully capitalise on the
opportunities created by successful infantry and armour
attacks, VPA
troops needed the ability to move at the same speed as the
leading
armoured vehicles.  Where previously VPA divisions had moved
entirely
on foot, in this offensive the available resources made it
possible to
mount them in trucks for rapid redeployment.  The VPA also
made
greater use of APC's (Armoured Personal Carriers) for both
troop
transport and the close accompaniment of tanks during
assaults.  By
these various methods, the VPA units were able to cover an
average
of 50 to 60 kilometres in a 24 hour period.(30)

   The general level of competence of VPA armour commanders
also
underwent a vast improvement between the 1972 Easter
Offensive and the
1975 Final Offensive.  The VPA established within combined
arms groups
a command situation where the senior infantry officer was in
charge,
except where AFV's were performing the major attack task,
where
instead, the senior armour officer was in charge.  Training
also
stressed that to carry out an effective tactical
appreciation
commanders needed to be in a position to observe changes on
the
battlefield, while the implementation of any plan required
commanders
to have firm control over all the forces under their
command.  This
is, as pointed out by Stacey, at odds with the normal
beliefs
expressed about Communist leadership training which has
often been
criticised for stifling individual initiative, which has
often led to
commanders being unable to cope with unexpected situations.
Indeed,
according to VPA sources quoted by Stacey, such as Colonel
Xuan's
article on the 1975 Spring Offensive,(31)  the VPA's method
of
carrying out command tasks was to encourage flexibility and
creativity
in all combat situations.  This was to apply particularly to
commanders of  "deep advance" columns.  The successful
bypassing of
ARVN defensive locations to strike at centres of command and
control
depended upon the personal initiative of individual
commanders.

   What the VPA had learnt, primarily because of their
experiences in
1972, according to Stacey, was that if they ignored the
basic
considerations of AFV employment, high casualties could
result.(32) 
When examining the full experience of VPA armoured
operations it is
obvious that no new techniques or innovations occur in
comparison with
their opponents in the US or allied armies.   What is shown
though, is
that there are many valuable lessons demonstrating how
armoured
vehicles can be best employed in wartime.  Lessons which
were ignored
initially by the US Army and its allies, much to their
detriment and
which the VPA was forced to learn the hard way through its
failures in
1968, 1969 and 1972. What is interesting is that it took
only 8 years
approximately from the first appearance of VPA armour on the
battlefield to it becoming their major war-winning weapon.
Few armies
have been able to produce the necessary evolution in command
and
control to absorb and make use of the battlefield lessons
which they
have learnt the hard way, in that sort of time frame, when
making use
of a weapon of which they have little or no experience.


Conclusion

   This article has attempted to provide only a quick
overview of the
way in which armour was employed during the Vietnam War.  In
particular I felt it was important to try and convey the
conflicting
opinions of how armour was used by the various combatants
during the
war.  I would recommend that the reader, if interested in
following up
the subject further, refer to the bibliography below for
more
information.

______________________________
Bibliography

Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks, Arms & Armour Press, London,
1982.

Hopkins, R.N., Australian Armour; a history of the Royal
Australian
     Armoured Corps 1927-1972, Australian War Memorial,
Canberra,
     1978.

Royal Australian Armoured Corps, An Illustrated Record of
the Royal
     Australian Armoured Corps Tank Museum Puckapunyal,
Victoria,
     1977.

Stacey, K., `Armour in Vietnam: the lessons of 1972 and
1975,' Defence
     Force Journal, May/June 1980, No.22.

Stanton, S., The Rise and Fall of an American Army: US
Ground Forces
     in Vietnam, 1965-1973, Spa Books, Stevenage, 1985.

Ulmer, W.F., `Notes on Enemy Armor at An Loc,' Armor, Jan-
Feb.1973.

______________________________
Endnotes

1) quoted, p.62, Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks, Arms and
Armour Press,
London, 1982.
2) p.56, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam, Blandford
Press,
Poole, 1981.
3) quoted, ibid.
4) p.57, ibid.
5) quoted, p.140, ibid.
6) p.251, Hopkins, R.N., Australia Armour: A History of the
Royal
Australian Armoured Corps, 1927-1972, Australian War
Memorial,
Canberra, 1978.
7) p.49,, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam.
8) ibid.
9) p.251, Stanton, S., Rise and Fall of an American Army,
Spa Books,
Stevenage, 1985.
10) p.59, Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks
11) p.46, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam.
12) p.5, Ward, I., `North Vietnam's Blitzkrieg, Why Giap did
it:
report from Saigon,' Conflict Studies, Oct.1972, No.27.
13) p.150, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam.
14) p.71, ibid.
15) ibid.
16) p.39., Dunstan, S., Vietnam Tracks.
17) p.27, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam.
18 pp.150-153, ibid; p.286, Stanton, S., Rise and Fall of an
American Army.
19) pp.250-275, Hopkins, R.N., Australia Armour: A History
of the
Royal Australian Armoured Corps, 1927-1972.
20) p.203, Starry, D.A., Armoured Combat in Vietnam.
21) p.210, Ibid.
22) Stacey makes use of five works by VPA officers which
have been
translated and published in English.  They are:
   Senior Colonel Doan Ba Khanh, `The Advances Made in the
Combat
Operations of the People's Navy in the General Offensive and
Uprising
of the Spring of 1975,' Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi,
No.11, Nov.
1976, in U.S. JPRS, Translations on Vietnam, No.1906, 28
March 1977;
   Colonel Pham Quong, `In the General Offensive and
Uprising in the
Spring of 1975: Some Experiences in Assuring the Mobility of
the
Military Engineering Forces', Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan,
Hanoi, No.12,
Dec. 1976, in U.S. JPRS, Translations on Vietnam, No. 1920,
28 Apr
1977;
   Major General Than Tho, `In the General Offensive and
Uprising of
the Spring of 1975: Some Successful Lessons of the
Rear-Service Task',
Tap Chi Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, No.10, Oct.1976, in U.S.
JPRS,
Translations on Vietnam, No. 1885, 2 Feb. 1977;
   General Van Tien Dung, Our Great Summer Victory: An
Account of the
Liberation of South Vietnam, Monthly Review Press, New York,
1977;
   Colonel Dao Van Xuan, `In the Spring General Offensive
and
Uprising-Tank-Armoured Troops in Strategic Group
Offensives,' Tap Chi
Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, June 1976, in in U.S. JPRS,
Translations on
Vietnam, No. 1839.
23) p.43, Stacey, K., `Armour in Vietnam: the lessons of
1972 and
1975,' Australian Defence Force Journal, May/June 1980,
No.22.
24) Ulmer, W.F., `Notes on Enemy Armor at An Loc,' Armor,
Jan-
Feb.1973.
25) p.4, Ward, I., `North Vietnam's Blitzkrieg, Why Giap did
it:
report from Saigon,' Conflict Studies, Oct.1972, No.27.
26) p.15, Ulmer, W.F., `Notes on Enemy Armor at An Loc,'
Armor,
Jan-Feb.1973.
27) p.45, Stacey, K., `Armour in Vietnam: the lessons of
1972 and
1975,' Australian Defence Force Journal, May/June 1980,
No.22.
28) ibid.
29) ibid.
30) ibid.
31) Colonel Dao Van Xuan, `In the Spring General Offensive
and
Uprising-Tank-Armoured Troops in Strategic Group
Offensives,' Tap Chi
Quan Doi Nhan Dan, Hanoi, June 1976, in in U.S. JPRS,
Translations on
Vietnam, No. 1839, quoted p.47, in Stacey, K., `Armour in
Vietnam: the
lessons of 1972 and 1975,' Australian Defence Force Journal,
May/June
1980, No.22. 
32) p.48, loc.sit.

--Brian
Ross-----------------------------------------------------
"There can be no more melancholy, nor in the last result, no
more
degrading spectacle on earth than the spectacle of
oppression, or of
wrong in whatever form, inflicted by the deliberate act of a
nation
upon another nation..Gladstone

=================================================================
Copyright (c) 1996 Brian Ross.  Non-commercial distribution
for
educational purposes permitted if document is unaltered.
Any
commercial use, or storage in any commercial BBS is strictly
prohibited without written consent.

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