324th Division (Vietnam)

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324th Infantry Division
Active ~1955-present
Allegiance  Vietnam
Branch Vietnam People's Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Part of 4th Corps
Garrison/HQ Bình Dương Province, Vietnam
Engagements Operation Hastings
Con Thien
Operation Buffalo
Operation Kingfisher
Operation Kentucky
Easter Offensive
1975 Spring Offensive
Hue-Da Nang Campaign
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Tran Quy Ha

The 324th Division (named as 324th-B Division during Vietnam War) is an infantry division of the 4th Military Region (Vietnam People's Army).

First Indochina War[edit]

Among the first divisions raised, the 324th Division participated in the Battle of Hòa Bình. Alongside the 320th Division and other units, this division had participated in laying ambushes on armoured and relief convoys intending to lift the siege of Dien Bien Phu alongside the battle itself[1].

Vietnam War[edit]

Starting in 1955, the 324th Division 90th Regiment begun operating in Cambodia and training cadres and battalions from ethnic Khmer and Central Highlands groups[2]. These groups were to be trained as the nucleus for future revolutionary activities, in particular in securing the routes along the Ho Chi Minh trail[2]. In 1961, this division was placed along Xépôn and Route 9, on the Ho Chi Minh trail.

1966-7[edit]

In response to increasing US air-strikes, the 324B division was deployed increasingly southwards alongside artillery regiments attached to it[3]. These units were stationed along the border, with heavy artillery attached, meant to continually ambush and harass US forces that McNamara and other leaders had posted on the defensive[3]. These units during this time period would never launch a direct attack intending to take any bases directly. [4]

In April 1966 U.S. intelligence reported that the 324B was digging in north of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).[5]:17 On the morning of 19 May, units from the 324B attacked isolated ARVN outposts at Con Thien and Gio Linh south of the DMZ.[6] On 6 July two soldiers from Regiment 812 of the 324B Division were captured by Marines near the Rockpile, they revealed that their mission was to liberate Quảng Trị Province.[7] In response to this, the Marines launched Operation Hastings which ran from 15 July to 3 August 1966.[8]

On the early morning of 26 August the 812th Regiment of the 324B Division attacked Cam Lộ Combat Base.[8]:186–7

At 04:00 on 8 May 1967 the 4th and 6th Battalions of the 812th Regiment attacked the Marine base at Con Thien .[9] On 14 May during Operation Prairie IV, the 1st Battalion 9th Marines (1/9 Marines) clearing Route 561 from Cam Lo to Con Thien were ambushed by the 6th Battalion, 812th Regiment.[10]

On 2 July the Marines launched Operation Buffalo, in which the 324B division also participated a sweep of the area north of Con Thien. As the 1/9 Marines moved along Route 561 in an area called the Marketplace, the 90th Regiment attacked the Marines inflicting severe casualties on Company B. This was the single worst day for Marines in Vietnam.[11] On 16 July the Marines launched Operation Kingfisher in the western part of Leatherneck Square with the 324th also participating. The operation concluded on 31 October.[12] In early November 1967, an Arc Light strike was alleged to have hit the headquarters of the 812th Regiment three miles southwest of Con Thien.[13] On 1 November 1967, the Marines launched Operation Kentucky as part of the continuing operations to secure the DMZ around Con Thien. [14]

The entire division had participated at the Battle of Khe Sanh[15]. This unit had played a critical role securing hills in and around Khe Sanh from which artillery pieces can be placed.

[15]

1975[edit]

For the 1975 Spring Offensive, the 324B formed part of the VPA 2nd Corps with the 304th and 325C Divisions.[16]:13 As part of the Hue-Da Nang Campaign on 19 March the 324B and the 325C attacked the ARVN 1st Division and the 15th Ranger Group along Route 1 south of Huế.[17]:69 On the afternoon of 22 March the 324B pushed the 15th Rangers out of Phú Lộc cutting Route 1 and forcing the ARVN forces to withdraw back to a defensive line around Phu Bai Air Base [18] On 24 March all ARVN forces were ordered to abandon Huế and regroup in Danang, a disorganised seaborne evacuation followed and by 25 March the VPA was in control of the city.[19]

For the attack on Danang, by 26 March the 324B was located southwest of the city, the 9th Regiment of the 304th was located northwest of Danang, while the rest of the 304th and 711 Divisions encircled from the south and the 325C Division advanced from the north. By the afternoon of 29 March the 2nd Corps had penetrated the ARVN defences and entered the city which finally fell on 31 March.[20]

Post Vietnam War[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fall, Bernard B. (2005-05-24). Street Without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina. Stackpole Books. p. 200. ISBN 9780811741545.
  2. ^ a b https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/esau-54.pdf
  3. ^ a b Duong, Van Nguyen (2017-03-03). The Tragedy of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Officer’s Analysis. McFarland. pp. 107–110. ISBN 9780786483389.
  4. ^ Duong, Van Nguyen (2017-03-03). The Tragedy of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Officer’s Analysis. McFarland. ISBN 9780786483389.
  5. ^ Coan, James (2004). Con Thien: The Hill of Angels. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-1414-8.
  6. ^ Coan, p. 39.
  7. ^ Coan, p. 17.
  8. ^ a b Shulimson, Jack (1982). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: An Expanding War, 1966 (Marine Corps Vietnam Operational Historical Series). Marine Corps Association. pp. 159–175. ASIN B000L34A0C.
  9. ^ Coan, p. 65-73.
  10. ^ Coan, p. 78-81.
  11. ^ Coan, p. 112-125.
  12. ^ Telfer, Gary I. (1984). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: Fighting the North Vietnamese 1967. History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. pp. 125–139. ISBN 978-1482538878.
  13. ^ Coan, p. 277-8.
  14. ^ Shulimson, Jack (1997). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: 1968 The Defining Year. History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. p. 449. ISBN 0-16-049125-8.
  15. ^ a b RUBRIGHT, RICHARD W. (2015-02-01). The Role and Limitations of Technology in U.S. Counterinsurgency Warfare. Potomac Books, Inc. ISBN 9781612346762.
  16. ^ Trinh Vuong Hong; Pham Huu Thang (2006). History of the Tri-Thien Campaign and Da Nang Campaign during Spring 1975. People's Army Publishing House.
  17. ^ Dougan, Clark; Fulgham, David (1985). The Vietnam Experience: The Fall of the South. Boston Publishing Company. ISBN 0-939526-16-6.
  18. ^ Dougan, p. 70.
  19. ^ Dougan, p. 70-4.
  20. ^ Dougan, p. 77-83-4.