There have been confirmed reports of a massive build-up of Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces in the highlands of South Vietnam, and upon its borders with Cambodia and Laos.
There have been confirmed reports of a massive build-up of Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces in the highlands of South Vietnam, and upon its borders with Cambodia and Laos. Standing between the forces and their South Vietnamese objectives are a number of Special Forces camps, manned by Montagnard irregular troops under American and Vietnamese government military advisers. Such a camp is Dak To.
Mounting attacks over the last month have indicated that the North Vietnamese forces are on the point of launching a big offensive against Vietnamese and American forces in the border area. The Montagnard camps - Montagnards are Vietnamese tribesmen - are located in the mountainous regions of Pleiku and Kontum provinces, and all are within five to ten miles of the Cambodian and Laotian borders.
Dak To Special Forces camp lies directly in the path of any anticipated attack on Kontum City. Twice during recent weeks it has come under heavy attack - the most serious being on June 17, with many casualties.
The Montagnard soldiers, now losing much of the romantic glamour with which they were formerly imbued, have their families living with them. They live mostly underground, and their homes are their protection in times of attack. Most of the tribesmen are Christians, having been converted under the French colonialists.