VOICE OVER FILM: For a time on Sunday afternoon, it appeared that Prime Minister Ky's paratroopers, Marines, tanks and airplanes had occupied Danang and crushed the anti-government troops and civilians quickly and with very little bloodshed.
VARIOUS SHOTS TROOPS AND TANKS OCCUPYING CITY, ON GUARD BUT NO SHOOTING
ANTI-KEY FORCES MILLING IN THE STREETS, SOME MILITARY TRUCKS AND GUNNERS, LOTS OF YOUNG KIDS AROUND THEM.
SOUND OF FILM: BAND OF KIDS APPROACHES MARINES, WAVING, UNTIL MARINES DROP GUNS
SOUND OF FILM: NESSEN IN STREET, STARTS TO SAY NEITHER SIDE WAS ACTUALLY SHOOTING DIRECTLY AT THE OTHER, WHEN SHOOTING BREAKS OUT AND NESSEN SCURRIES AWAY, YELLING AT CAMERAMAN TO MOVE TO SAFETY PLANES DIVING ON CROWD
PARATROOPERS AND TANKS MOVE UP STREET FOR BIG BATTLE.
RUN WILD TRACK OF HEAVY SHOOTING. PARATROOPERS RUNNING, CROUCING, SHOOTING, TANK SHOOTING TRUCK BUILDING IN STREET
WOUNDED GUY CARRIED AWAY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: VOICE OVER FILM: For a time on Sunday afternoon, it appeared that Prime Minister Ky's paratroopers, Marines, tanks and airplanes had occupied Danang and crushed the anti-government troops and civilians quickly and with very little bloodshed. But the real civil warfare was still ahead. Once The First Corps soldiers...Buddhists...and young men who had been to revolt against the Saigon government for two months, recovered from the initial shock of Ky's lightening strike, and they began to organize their opposition. The anti-government side was made bolder by this episode. About a dozen of Ky's Marines moved toward the anti-government stronghold in the market square. A gang of unarmed youngsters surrounded them, waving and hooting, and moving in closer and closer. Finally, the Marines lowered their guns and retreated.
Ky ordered his air force sky raider planes to dive on the section of the city held by the anti-government side. At first they did not shoot...but then rebellious troops fired at the planes and the planes shot back on two strafing runns.
In late afternoon on the first day of the civil war, the big battle began. Two companies of Ky's paratroopers...supported by tanks...moved to clean out the anti-government force in the market square. The tanks fired their big 90 millimeter gun...50 caliber and caliber machine guns. The paratroopers blazed away with machine guns, rifles, and grenade launchers. The rebels also had heavy machine guns and a 57 caliber recoiless rifle. Men were killed and wounded on both sides...south vietnamese who once had fought the Viet Cong together were now killing each other. Civilians, including women, also were hit. At nightfall, Ky's forces had taken the rebel market place...they had won the first big engagement of the civil war. This is Ron Nessen, NBC News, Danang.