battle analysis format

These streams flowed to the west and southwest across the Cambodia border. The battlefield consisted f about 1,500 sq miles of what, by map, appeared to be flat rolling terrain. The Dominate terrain feature was the Chug Pong Massif. The Choc Pong Massif rose to mum above sea level at its highest point. It was covered with triple canopy rainforest’s and offered thousands of hiding places for the NAVA. The Choc Pong was in the southwestern portion of the 1 SST Cave area of operations and straddled the Vietnamese- Cambodia border. There were few passable roads to eastern and northern borders of the AH.

Much of the valley itself was also covered in with heavy jungle vegetation and trees as high as 1 Oft tall. The areas considered open, might have lacked trees, but were covered with elephant grass ranging from one to five foot tall and littered with ant hills up to eight feet tall. The terrain coupled with the extreme weather difference between day and night must have only added to the stress of high intensity combat. Unbeknownst to U. S forces the B-3 front had established a stronghold at the base of the Choc Pong Massif.

These NAVA forces were commanded by General Chug Huh Man, and consisted of the 32nd, 33rd, and 66th regiments. Each regiment consisted of around 2000 fighting men. Some of these men were infantry and some were engineers. There weapon of choice was the all too familiar AK-47. Two of the three regiments were veteran fighters with combat experience against the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVADA). General Chug Huh Man was also a Combat veteran of tells Indochinese war against the French. These forces have been occupying the valley since September.

They had ample time to rehearse, target, develop ambush sites, and master the terrain. The 8-3 front used simple tactics and well disciplined soldiers to maintain pressure on ARVADA forces. They would attack small outpost while another unit would prepare to ambush the ARVADA enforcements. They also used a HTTP called “hugging’. This tactic called for the NAVA forces to get so close to opposing force that it would not allow them the use of any firepower advantage. These NAVA forces were of high morale, and formed an extremely cohesive unit. The U.

S 1st Cavalry Division (Irremediable) was commanded by Major general Harry Kinder. This unit had been training for two years at Fort Binning Georgia on new methods of air assault. The division was made up of 3 brigade headquarters, 8 infantry battalions, an air cavalry squadron, an aerial artillery battery, 3 direct support artillery battalions, an aviation company, and normal support elements. The 1st Cavalry Division might have been well equipped and superbly trained, but still faced challenges with manning. Thousands of soldiers were ineligible for deployment due to estimated time of separation (TESTS).

The loss of experienced combat ready troops is an especially difficult challenge to overcome due to the lack of experienced personnel to replace them. To add to the difficulties the soldiers were issued a new primary weapon (WI 6 rifle) just 1 0 days before their deployment and were at the An She base camp less Han 90 days after the unit was activated. Also a resilient strand of malaria became an issue almost immediately after their arrival in theater causing an additional loss of a 1,000 men. The men had not trained for jungle warfare but would soon face a very determined enemy in just that.

The 8-3 Front’s mission was to cut South Vietnam in half and defeat all enemy in its way. They had planned to use their tactics of luring by attacking the Pile Me camp with the 33rd regiment and then ambushing the counter attack force with the 32nd. The ARVADA, who supported the Special Forces camp, were more numerous than expected. Also they were equipped with armor, supported by IIS Close air support (CASE), and artillery assets. The B-3 Front’s luring and ambushing forces were seriously reduced by the unyielding fighting of the ARVADA.

This defeat caused General Chug Huh Man to re-think his approach on defeating the LIST and ARVADA forces. General William Wasteland, who commanded American military operations in the Vietnam War, decided to utilize the 1st Cavalry to search and destroy the remainder of the 2 NAVA regiments. He decided to use the cavalry because of the lack of manpower in the ARVADA. General Wasteland believed the NAVA ere retreating into Cambodia. This is the beginning of what was to become known as the Battle of Ia Drank Valley. General Man began to redraw his battle plan from his headquarters inside the Chug Pong Massif.

He called for another regiment (the 66th) and requisitioned additional artillery and air defense assets. His new mission was now to destroy the Pile Me camp. This camp was reinforced with over 1 ,OHO ARVADA. Ultimately he wanted to gather intelligence on what impact the Americans would have on this war. General Man was extremely offensively minded and planned to attack and maintain operational initiative. He was convinced that he would set the terms of the battle by force, and deny his enemy the opportunity to do the same.

He believed that agility and speed would negate the enemy’s ability to reinforce in time to help out. General Man planned quick strike and withdrawal tactics had meticulously planned approach and egress routes. He had also used his time wisely to gather necessary resources in order to maintain pressure on his enemy without interruption. He planned on finding a weak spot in the defense of the camp and exploiting it by overwhelming the occupants of the Major General Harry Kinder had his own idea on maintaining he initiative. The use of helicopters gave him the ability to act faster than his enemy.

The helicopter greatly increased his ability to conduct long range reconnaissance, resurvey & reinforce troops faster than ever before, and shift concentration of troops in the blink of an eye. MGM Kinder also had an element of surprise. General Man was not expecting to fight a division of Americans. At the same time MGM Kinder was expecting to fight 2 battered NAVA regiments who were thought to be withdrawing into Cambodia. Instead he was about to face more than 2,000 disciplined combat troops with air offense and indirect fire assets, who were not withdrawing an inch.

L ETC Hal Moore, the squadron commander of 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry was given orders to conduct assault by helicopter missions in to the IA Drank Valley. His mission was to conduct search and destroy operations north of the Chug Pong. On Novo 14th, 1965, L ETC Moore, and his 411 men, landed at L Z X-Ray at approximately 10:48. 1-7 Cave made no immediate contact. By 1 0 all of B- Company and sufficient numbers of A- Company had landed unopposed. Lead elements of B-Company, who had pushed to the north-west of the LIZ, were engaged in an intense fire fight.

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