In this round-up from Cambodia, we look at the results of two Communist attacks and the last operation by South Vietnamese forces under Lieutenant-General Co Cao Tri, the colourful leader of their forces in Cambodia who was killed in a helicopter crash this week.
(in this order): The damaged bridge and truck in water after slipping off pontoon; gunboats patrolling the Mekong; Cambodian troops scouring jungle near the Mekong; the attacked convoy being nursed towards Phnom Penh; and the last thrust under General Tri under way with shots of a captured North Vietnamese prisoner.
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Background: In this round-up from Cambodia, we look at the results of two Communist attacks and the last operation by South Vietnamese forces under Lieutenant-General Co Cao Tri, the colourful leader of their forces in Cambodia who was killed in a helicopter crash this week.
Early in the week the Vietcong struck twice south-east of Phnom Penh - first sabotaging a bridge and then attacking an oil and ammunition convoy sailing up the Mekong.
The bridge was on Highway One east of the Neak Leung ferry crossing on the Mekong. Vietcong sappers demolished it with mines. South Vietnamese Army engineers rigged up a pontoon ferry as a replacement, but that was soon out of action when a 40-ton army truck slipped off into the water.
South Vietnamese and Cambodian forces began sweeping the area and patrolling the River Mekong. Cambodian infantrymen, moving through heavy jungle, used crude home-made wooden carriers to transport their arms an supplies.
Then the Vietcong struck again - this time attacking a fuel and ammunition convoy further upstream towards Phnom Penh. Three merchant seamen and five South Vietnamese sailors were ... wounded. Gunboats escorted the convoy for the rest of the voyage.
Meanwhile, further to the north-east, a large South Vietnamese armoured column advanced towards the Mekong town of Kratie which was in Communist hands. The 20,000-man force was under the command of General Tri, a hero to the South Vietnamese who was killed this week.
At least one North Vietnamese was captured in the operation in which the South Vietnamese advanced up the east bank of the Mekong while the Cambodians advanced parallel on the west bank.