• Short Summary

    IN SAIGON YESTERDAY (FRIDAY), BOTH HOUSES OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HEARD PRESIDENT NGUYEN VAN THIEU ANNOUNCE A SPEEDED-UP MOBILISATION OF MILITARY FORCES AND OTHER EMERGENCY MEASURES IN THE FACE OF THE COMMUNIST OFFENSIVE.

  • Description

    IN SAIGON YESTERDAY (FRIDAY), BOTH HOUSES OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HEARD PRESIDENT NGUYEN VAN THIEU ANNOUNCE A SPEEDED-UP MOBILISATION OF MILITARY FORCES AND OTHER EMERGENCY MEASURES IN THE FACE OF THE COMMUNIST OFFENSIVE.

    THE ACCELERATED MOBILISATION, HE SAID, WOULD INCLUDE THE RECALL OF VETERANS AND MILITARY TRAINING FOR ALL CIVIL SERVANTS AND STUDENTS OVER 17 YEARS OF AGE. DEMOBILISATION OF SOLDIERS HAVING COMPLETED THEIR MILITARY SERVICE WOULD BE STOPPED.

    HE ASKED THE ASSEMBLY TO GRANT HIM SPECIAL POWERS IN THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL FIELDS FOR ONE YEAR BECAUSE OF THE COMMUNIST OFFENSIVE.

    HE WEPT AT ONE STAGE WHEN HE RECALLED THAT 1,000 VIETNAMESE MILITARYMEN HAD SUFFERED LOSSES IN THE COMMUNIST ATTACKS. THEY WERE APPARENTLY A SPECIAL TARGET OF THE COMMUNISTS.

    UNDER EARLIER PLANS, THE VIETNAMESE ARMED FORCES WERE TO BE INCREASED 65,000 MEN BY THE END OF 1968 BRINGING THE TOTAL ARMED FORCES STRENGTH TO ABOUT 700,000.

    GIA DINH IS JUST OUTSIDE SAIGON....ON THURSDAY (FEB 8), SIX YOUNG VIETCONG GUERRILLAS, CAPTURED DURING THE BATTLE, WERE SHOWED TO REPORTERS.

    THE PRISONERS, WHOSE AGES RANGED FROM 14 TO 19 WERE MEMBERS OF SUICIDE SQUADS WHICH HIT STRATEGIC AREAS INSIDE SAIGON ON JAN. 31.

    THEY INFILTRATED INTO GIA DINH TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE ATTACK AND MOVED INTO SAIGON TWO DAYS BEFORE THE OFFENSIVE. THEY HAD TAKEN PART IN THE ATTACK ON THE SAIGON RADIO STATION AND THE AIRPORT.

    THEY INFILTRATED INTO SAIGON POSING AS CIVILIANS WITH THE CORRECT PAPERS AND DOCUMENTS.

    A MILITARY HOSPITAL IS SAIGON IS PACKED WITH WOUNDED GOVERNMENT TROOPS -- SOLDIERS AND POLICE. THEY ARE PART OF THE 6,721 ARMY CASUALTIES WHICH WERE OFFICIAL REPORTED WOUNDED IN THE 12 DAYS OF FIGHTING IN SAIGON AND OTHER CITIES.

    THE GOVERNMENT ARMY LOST 1,733 MEN KILLED.

    MEANWHILE, FRESH VEGETABLES, FRUIT AND EGGS HAVE STARTED TO TRICKLE INTO THE CAPITAL. BECAUSE OF THE FOOD SHORTAGE, PRICES HAVE S???RED TO HEAR RECORD HEIGHTS. THE OFFICIAL RATE FOR THE PLASTRE TO THE U.S. DOLLAR IS 118 BUT SEVERAL MONEY CHANGERS ARE SAID TO BE OFFERING NOW 210 PLASTRES TO THE DOLLAR.

    BEN TRE WAS ONE OF THE PROVINCES IN THE RICE-RICH MEKONG DELTA WHICH CAME UNDER THE VIETCONG ONSLAUGHT.

    FIRING MORTARS AND ROCKETS, THE GUERRILLAS FLATTERED WHOLE BLOCKS OF HOUSES. THE CENTRAL MARKET AND HALF THE BUSINESS SECTION WERE DESTROYED.

    IT WAS HERE THAT THE VIETCONG HELD OUT IN THE FIGHTING WHICH STARTED ON THE FIRST DAY OF TE, THE VIETNAMESE LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVAL.

    BEN TRE, WITH A POPULATION OF 30,000, IS CAPITAL OF KIEN HOA PROVINCE WHICH IS A TRADITIONAL GUERILLA STRONGHOLD.

    AMERICAN OFFICIALS BELIEVE 1,000 CIVILIANS DIED IN THE FIGHTING, WHILE 1,5000 OTHERS HAVE BEEN WOUNDED.

    IF THE FIGURES ARE CONFIRMED, BEN TRE WILL HAVE SUFFERED, IN PROPORTION TO ITS SIZE, MORE THAN ANY OTHER SOUTH VIETNAMESE TOWN DURING THE OFFENSIVE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAC8V5O8W7BA10WJ4N5KUQOPMUM
    Media URN:
    VLVAC8V5O8W7BA10WJ4N5KUQOPMUM
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    10/02/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:06:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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