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|1969 Tet Offensive|
|Part of Vietnam War|
|United States|| Viet Cong
Most attacks centered on military targets near Saigon and Da Nang and were quickly beaten off. Some speculate that the attacks were mounted to test the will of the new U.S. President Richard Nixon who retaliated by secretly bombing Communist sanctuaries in Cambodia the following month.
Numerous U.S. bases were breached, these attacks were all beaten back but did inflict casualties and reinforced the fact that Communist forces were able to mount attacks at will.
Intelligence had indicators of the pending attacks. On 19 February, a Hoi Chanh surrendered to ARVN forces and revealed a large VC force would attack key installations in the Saigon area to include Long Binh Post. Unfortunately, the reporting was delayed and did not reach Long Binh until the morning of 22 February 1969, the day the Hoi Chanh warned the attacks were set to begin. After sundown on the 22nd, elements of the 274th VC Regiment, 5th VC Division made their final preparations while occupying three hills along Highway 15. The regiment was located approximately three kilometers south of the base. That evening, several ambush squads from the 720th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade kept watch along potential avenues of approach to Long Binh Post. One of the MP ambush squads held a position within a kilometer of the VC stronghold. At 0200 hours on 23 February, the 274th VC Regiment initiated their attack with an estimated 78 rounds of rocket and mortar fire from their positions. The rounds landed on post with some igniting the POL fuel site east of the highway.
The VC made several attempts to advance on the base, but were halted. Full-scale sweeping operations to secure the perimeter began just after noon that day. Armored Personnel Carriers and Sheridan armored reconnaissance vehicles supported the forces on the ground while Cobra gunships and Light Observation Helicopters provided air support. These units made occasional contact, often with NVA or VC who fought stubbornly from trenches and spider holes.
- Cold War International History Project's Cold War Files
- Pike, Thomas F., Operations & Intelligence, III Corps Reporting: Tet 1969, 2016, http://www.tfpike.com, ISBN 978-1-534-79903-5
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