The 85-day seige of Quang Tri by South Vietnamese troops has left the town a devastated ruin.
GV EXT. South Vietnam flag flying PAN over ruins of Quang Tri
SV Wreckage of tower
SV Remains of truck
GV Shells of houses
GV Wreckage & tree stump
SV Dead bodies (3 shots)
SV Troops at post unloading supplies
SV INT.Prisoner questioned 92 shots
SV PAN Soldier TO wrecked city
GV Reporter picks up letter among ruins (2 shots)
GV Soldier through ruined city
CU PAN UP from bomb crater TO troops on hillside & troops walking among ruins
SV Dead bodies (2 shots)
GV South Vietnamese flag flying form hillside
STREITHORST: The South Vietnamese flag went up Saturday at 12.40. It flew over nothing. The desolation was like a surrealist painting or a scene out of a World War One movie. This was once a tower. This a truck. The skeletons of houses and the remnants of trees gave silent testimony to the ferocity of the battle. There was more evidence. North Vietnamese bodies were strewn all over the citadel. At a commend post, an intelligence officer questioned a prisoner. He'd been in the Army four months. He was seventeen years old. His companions had tried to get away. He just sat and watched and somehow survived. Still, the predominant mood in Quang Tri was one of quiet after all that noise. The only real sound was the distant thump of artillery. Walking in the muddy ruins, I saw a couple of sheets of paper, folded over. A love letter. Written on colourfully printed paper, dated named Lei Ha. It said the things that people say in letters. The last line in the letter said: 'I hope somehow we will be together again'. The letter is uncompleted and unsigned. Tom Streithorst, NBC News, Quang Tri city.
Initials SGM/2140 SGM/2205
original on 11578/72 82ft
This film carries a commentary by Tom Streithorst of the National Broadcasting Company of America (NBC). An alternative written commentary is provided.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The 85-day seige of Quang Tri by South Vietnamese troops has left the town a devastated ruin.
Scarcely a building still stands around the central citadel -- now a mound of ruble on which South Vietnamese Marines raised their flag last weekend.
There is not a sign of the people who once lived in Quang Tri, although many fled south when North Vietnamese troops over-ran the town in the May offensive.
President Nguyen Van Thieu visited Quang Tri on Wednesday (20 Sept), one day after the date set in his pledge to win back all captured territory.
However, much of Quang Tri province is still Communist controlled, including the northern town of Dong Ha.
SYNOPSIS: The South Vietnamese flag put up by Marines when they captured Quang Tri citadel flies over a devastated town. The bombs and shells of the eighty-five day seige have left nothing but craters and mounds of rubble.
This was a tower....this a truck.
The skeletons of houses and shattered tree stumps give silent testimony to the ferocity of the battle.
North Vietnamese bodies were strewn over the remains of the citadel. Government spokesman say nearly two thousand enemy troops were killed.
But some were captured alive when the South Vietnamese took Quang Tri.
This man told an intelligence officer that he'd been in the North Vietnamese Army for four months. He was seventeen years old.
Although fighting continues around Quang Tri, reporters there say a mood of quiet has settled on the town after the weeks of battle.
Am American correspondent, walking through the ruins found a letter, written by a soldier to his girl friend in North Vietnam.
This desolate scene has since been visited by President Thieu. It was he who gave the pledge to recapture Quang Tri after it fell to Communist forces during the offensive three months ago. The President congratulated his men on their achievement - but there was a warning that more remains to be done. As the President visited Quang Tri, Communist shells hit a military post just six miles away.