War zone C

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Map of III Corps including War Zone C

War Zone C was the area in South Vietnam centered around the abandoned town of Katum near the Cambodian border where there was a strong concentration of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC) activity during the Vietnam War. This area war reportedly the general location of COSVN, the headquarters for communist military and political activities in the southern half of Vietnam.


War Zone C, located in the area designated as III Corps, was a section of South Vietnam with high strategic value due to its location in between Cambodia and Saigon as well as the fact that it was a popular jump off spot for NVA forces and supplies from the Ho Chi Minh Trail. War Zone C’s boundaries followed the Cambodian border to the north and west, while its eastern boundary ran parallel to Highway 13. The area included portions of Tay Ninh province, Binh Long province, and Binh Duong province. The area has been described as pathless jungles through mountainous regions and boggy swamps which made travel and transportation extremely difficult.[1]


War Zone C fell under the command of General Creighton Abrams for much of the conflict. The overall strategy that was adhered to focused on disrupting and reducing bases from which communist forces could operate from and threaten Saigon. U.S. and ARVN forces conducted small unit operations in this area, often re-sweeping previously explored areas, and established a more effective defense along the Cambodian border to prevent VC and NVA troops from regaining access to bases in the southern provinces.[2] War Zone C played host to several American combat operations throughout the war including Operation Attleboro, Operation Birmingham, and Operation Junction City (one of the largest operations conducted during the Vietnam War).[3] Many of the battles in III Corps did not develop due to direct assaults into the wilderness, yet instead occurred in a multitude of small, sporadic fire fights located miles apart.[4]


  1. ^ Poindexter, The Anonymous Battle, p. 10.
  2. ^ Kutler, Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 524.
  3. ^ Summers, The Vietnam War Almanac, p. 357.
  4. ^ Marshall, Two Vietnam Battle Narratives: Ambush and Bird, p. 12.


  • Kutler, Stanley I. (1996). Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. ISBN 0-13-276932-8. OCLC 32970270.
  • Marshall, S.L.A. (1968–1969). Two Vietnam Battle Narratives: Ambush and Bird. New York: Nelson Doubleday, Inc. OCLC 317495523.
  • Olson, James S. (2008). In Country: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. New York: Metro Books. ISBN 978-1-4351-1184-4. OCLC 16776977.
  • Poindexter, John (2004). The Anonymous Battle. OCLC 71201818.
  • Summers Jr., Harry G. (1985). The Vietnam War Almanac. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-7394-4290-2. OCLC 9730994.