First film of the North Vietnamese offensive in Quang Tri province -- as seen from the Communist side -- has just been released from Hanoi.
First film of the North Vietnamese offensive in Quang Tri province -- as seen from the Communist side -- has just been released from Hanoi. It was shot early in April when the victorious Communist forces were overrunning the northernmost areas of South Vietnam, close to the demilitarized zone, and advancing on the old imperial capital of Hue. Since then, the tide has turned but when these pictures were taken the South Vietnamese Third Division was routed. The 56th Regiment of this division bore the brunt of the North Vietnamese attack. Its positions at Base Camp Carol, 19 kilometres south-west of Dong Ha, were overrun on April 2, Most of the unit surrendered, including its commanding officer, Lt. Col PHAN VAN DINH and second in command, Lt. Col VINH PHONG.
Lt. Col PHAN later broadcast over the North Vietnamese radio protesting against the war. He condemned the American Vietnamisation policy as a failure. An official announcement from Saigon had alleged that the Colonel committed suicide when forced to surrender.
Captured troops immediately joined the North Vietnamese forces -- according to Hanoi -- and were issued with new arms and uniforms. Lt. Colonel Phan explained to the prisoners that they should now direct their efforts towards the Americans, whom he described as "the true enemies of Vietnam."