United States and South Vietnamese forces ended their 24-hour truce for the Tet Lunar New Year at dusk today (Wednesday January 27) after one of the quietest ceasefire periods since holiday truce started in 1965.
United States and South Vietnamese forces ended their 24-hour truce for the Tet Lunar New Year at dusk today (Wednesday January 27) after one of the quietest ceasefire periods since holiday truce started in 1965. The soldiers at Long-Phuoc village, 70 kilometres (48 miles) north-east of Saigon, had to stay on camp in case of a Viet Cong offensive, but they found time off to perform the traditional Dragon Dance for the villagers.
The Americans and South Vietnamese had announced that they were only observing a 24-hour truce, although the Viet Cong had called for one of four days. According to U.S. and South Vietnamese spokesmen, the Viet Cong had initiated 60 incidents with 37 Government soldiers and civilians killed or wounded, and only three American casualties.
Both American and Sputh Vietnamese troops remained on full alert during the truce period and defensive patrols were mounted to safeguard American positions, a US military spokesman said. The truce did not apply to operations in Cambodia or US air activities in Cambodia or Laos.
The South Vietnamese Army of more than one million men celebrated the passing of the 'year of the dog' and welcomed the 'year of the boar' in their barracks and in bunkers away from their families.
Military observers said the low level of battlefield activity reflected the scaling down of the war and the increased Viet cong and North Vietnamese pressure on neighbouring Cambodia.