South Vietnam Government troops battled against determined resistance on Sunday (30 June) in the fourth day of a drive to recapture a key position north of the capital, Saigon.
LV Shell explodes in distance
GV Tanks across countryside (2 shots)
LV Shells explode
MV PAN Tanks roll by in column (2 shots)
SV Troops move through bushes (2 shots)
GV & SV An Dien hamlets with troops among debris (4 shots)
GV APC moves towards Ben Cat along road
GV Ben Cat township (2 shots)
SVs Groups of people preparing food after the communists withdrawal
SV Girls carrying water from well
SV PAN Troops and civilians in market place.
Initials BB/2219 BL/PN/BB/2240
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Background: South Vietnam Government troops battled against determined resistance on Sunday (30 June) in the fourth day of a drive to recapture a key position north of the capital, Saigon.
The drive on the Ben Cat front, less than 25 miles (40 kilometres) north of Saigon was staled by intense communist fire, and the government forces suffered heavy losses. At least 20 tanks and armoured cars were destroyed or damaged in the first two days of fighting.
The communist took the Ben Cat district in May and were well dug in. They were supported by rocket and artillery fire, from a rubber plantation to the north and undergrowth to the south.
The village of An Dien in the Ben Cat district was recaptured early in June. But government forces have suffered heavily trying to drive the communists from Position 82 a few miles to the west of An Dien.
The battle for Position 82 flared up on Thursday (27 June) when two government companies, supported by an armoured column, drove towards the outpost but were repelled, losing over 300 men killed or wounded.
The government forces have bene supported by massive air strikes apparently resulting in heavy losses among the communist forces.
But the communists have bene hanging on grimly, and the government forces have paid a heavy price in human life for every yard of recaptured ground.
SYNOPSIS: South Vietnam government troops battled against determined resistance on Sunday in the fourth day of a drive to recapture a key position north of the capital, Saigon. The drive was directed at the Ben Cat front, about twenty five miles north of Saigon. The area was captured by the communists in May and they were well dug in after seven weeks. The government drive was supported by columns of tanks.
Infantrymen searched large tracts of land for communist rocket and artillery positions. They also maintained a strong guard on the village of An Dien, which was recaptured in early June. The village was shattered in the attack and was largely deserted.
The government troops also captured a few smaller towns in the Ben Cat district. But they could make little headway towards an outpost known as Position Eighty Two. While life want on peacefully enough in the recaptured villages, the government forces were suffering heavily in the field. Last week, three hundred government troops were killed or wounded.
In this district town in Ben Cat, life began to come back to normal after the withdrawal of the communist forces. But a few miles away. government troops were paying a high price for every yard of recaptured ground.