South Vietnamese marines have engaged well-entrenched North Vietnamese defenders in a bitter battle to regain control of Quang Tri citadel, lost in the enemy offensive of I May.
GV EXT 175mm gun firing
SV Shell loaded into breech and gun fires (4 shots)
GV Smoke rising from air strike
SV Tank along road
GV Wreaked town
GV PAN APC along road and past camera
SV Stationary tanks and marines
GV Smoke rising in distance and tank moving up
REPORTER: "South Vietnamese 175-millimetre guns pointed their barrels at Quang Tri city, and opened fire. It appears the definite South Vietnamese drive to recapture the ruined capital of this country's northernmost province, is underway. The smoke over Quang Tri central fortress--the citadel--was caused by air strikes and artillery. Supported by tanks, South Vietnamese marines entered the citadel on Sunday. We could hear the fighting, even if we couldn't actually see it. The marines banned reporters from accompanying the operation inside the citadel. South Vietnamese forces have taken severe casualties in the three months of fighting for a city which is now militarily meaningless. The marines apparently want to avoid publicising the losses they still must take in the fight for central Quang Tri City."
Initials BB/0134 CG/AW/BB/0145
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Background: South Vietnamese marines have engaged well-entrenched North Vietnamese defenders in a bitter battle to regain control of Quang Tri citadel, lost in the enemy offensive of I May.
Massive mortar and artillery bombardments from both sides have reduced the terrain around quang Tri--in the far north of South Vietnam--to a create-riddled waste land.
Since the latest push into the fortress-like citadel, which started on Friday night, Saigon claims 938 North Vietnamese troops have died, while Government losses are put around 120 killed and 600 wounded.
Reporter Tom Streithorst sends this story...an alternative commentary is provided overleap.