An attack on a South Vietnamese Army base on Wednesday (25 November) was beaten off following about three hours of heavy fighting.
SV 155 mm gun firing (3 shots)
SV Soldiers standing by tank
SV Colonel inspects armoured vehicles and talks to crews.
SV Colonel inspects rocket
SV Officers tour base camp
SV Officers past bodies of dead Viet Cong commandos (2 shots)
SV Captured weapons
SV Russian writing on captured rocket
SV Burning truck
SV Officer seated
SV Troops around bodies of Viet Cong (2 shots)
Initials JH/AS/BB/2106 JH/AS/BB/2154
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Background: An attack on a South Vietnamese Army base on Wednesday (25 November) was beaten off following about three hours of heavy fighting. By morning, the base at Kandaoi Chrum, about 25 miles (40 kms) east of Kompong Cham, Cambodia, was littered with burning vehicles, dead soldiers and captured weapons.
According to reports,, about 20 Viet Cong commandos broke through the outer perimeter of the camp, which houses the 52nd Regiment of the 18th South Vietnamese Division, based in Tay Ninh. Once inside, the commandos neutralised mines and killed a sentry. They set fire to vehicles and bunkers. The Viet Cong inside the camp were supported by a number of commandos outside who pumped supporting mortar and rocket fire into the South Vietnamese positions.
The commandos also used a new rocket which can be fitted to the muzzle of an automatic rifle--reportedly the first time this weapon had been used in Indochina. The weapon is said to be Soviet-made.
The Sough Vietnamese, supported by artillery, drove the attackers away. The South Vietnamese commander, Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Ba Thinh, is reported to have personally killed two of the commandos himself.
By dawn, there were 17 dead commandos inside the camp and 37 outside--among them two officers. The South Vietnamese lost ten men and 30 were wounded in the action. In addition, five Cambodians were killed and two wounded.
The commander of the 18th South Vietnamese Division, General Lam Quang Tho, visited the camp on Wednesday, inspected the scene and examined the new rocket weapon. The next day, South Vietnamese artillery fired at Viet Cong concentrations in the area.
It was announced on Monday (30 November) by the Viet Cong's Liberation Radio that its forces would recognise three-day truces at both Christmas and New Year and a four-day truce at Tet--the Lunar New Year--in late January. The broadcast referred only to Vietnam and said nothing about fighting involving Viet Cong forces in Cambodia. In a second announcement, the Viet Cong's High Command called on all guerrilla fighters to observe the ceasefire.