South Vietnamese forces sent to the relief of the besieged provincial capital of An Loc were pinned down Wednesday (April 12) fifteen miles short of their objective.
CU ZOOM OUT.. soldiers on tank (2 shots)
GV Armoured personnel carriers over rough terrain
GV PAN..Bomb crater
SV & GV Artillery piece firing (3 shots)
GV ZOOM IN smoke rising from jungle target
GV & SV rumoured column along Highway Thirteen (3 shots)
SV PAN..troops in field
CU Tank ZOOM OUT GV tank strafing area (3 shots)
LV South Vietnamese tank on fire (2 shots)
SV Troops waving on aircraft and aircraft bombs (5 shots)
SV & CU wounded soldiers being checked and tagged (3 shots)
The First Airborne Brigade had been moving well for the past couple of days. They had moved more than forty miles up Highway Thirteen to the district town of Chon Thanh... Only fifteen miles from their objective, the besieged provincial capital of An Loc. Communist troops had moved in and around them. They had even managed to blow up the road south of Chon Thanh. These men were weary - their base camp had been heavily shelled and they had been attacked on the ground for most of the night. The enemy was around in force and they were close. The targets for the artillery fire were at some five-hundred yards away. But tired or not their objective was still fifteen miles north - so despite heavy enemy presence in the area their commanders decided to move up the road. They didn't get very far. The column had barely advanced five-hundred yards when the North Vietnamese who were hidden in the dense undergrowth opened up with automatic weapons ... The tanks and armoured personnel carriers laid down a withering line of fire - but the North Vietnamese were well dug in. And they were well armed too. A B Forty rocket-propelled grenade hit one of the lead South Vietnamese tanks. The crew inside never had a chance. The column was thoroughly pinned down. Ground controllers called in air strikes... Some of the bombs exploded within three hundred yards of the Highway... The South Vietnamese took what commanders called moderate casualties: at least fifteen dead - and more than twenty-five wounded. The troops were never able to get far enough into the brush to find any enemy dead. Because of the heavy fire it was too dangerous to go in."
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Background: South Vietnamese forces sent to the relief of the besieged provincial capital of An Loc were pinned down Wednesday (April 12) fifteen miles short of their objective.
They had moved forty miles up Highway Thirteen to the district town of Chon Thanh when they were encircled by Communist troops who survived withering fire from Government tanks and armoured personnel carriers. Ground controllers called in air strikes, but the Government forces were unable to break through.