Reinforcements sent by the Khmer Republic army to reinforce Camp Alpha, 5 kilometres northwest of Krek city, had to return to Krek after meeting heavy enemy fire on Highway Seven.
Reinforcements sent by the Khmer Republic army to reinforce Camp Alpha, 5 kilometres northwest of Krek city, had to return to Krek after meeting heavy enemy fire on Highway Seven. Visnews cameraman Kim So was there to record the whole action, including the first reactions when the Rangers battalions and a tank unit first came under enemy fire. The battle raged from dawn to dusk, until the reinforcements were forced to retreat back to their base. Camp Alpha was hit by 130 rounds of rocket fire last Wednesday (6 October), but reported light casualties. Since then the camp has been under constant pressure.
SYNOPSIS: Mine detectors check Highway Seven as reinforcements from Krek city made their way to Camp Alpha on Thursday. These two battalions and one tank unit of the Khmer Republic army only got about three kilometres.
Three kilometres along Highway Seven the troops suddenly came under fire from the Vietcong.
The troops took up positions along the road as tanks returned Vietcong fire. Camp Alpha has been one of the main targets of the Vietcong since the beginning of the fighting around Krek. It was during this battle that the United States B-52 stratofortresses were used for the first time in the Khmer Republic.
The bombers dropped at least 180 tons of high explosives on suspected Vietcong troop concentration near the border. But they're still in force, and in this engagement the reinforcements were forced to call in air cover.
Back-up bombers appeared, but had little effect. The only tank put out of action was by a bomb.
The battle raged from dawn to dusk, until finally the reinforcements had to withdraw. There were few casualties...
Camp Alpha has been under heavy attack since Wednesday when it was hit by 130 rounds of rocket fire. The Vietcong were well entrenched.