The battle of Quang Tri City, prime target for the South Vietnamese drive into the communist-occupied province south of the Demilitarised Zone, has intensified over the weekend.
GV Air strikes (2 shots)
GV & SV Tanks firing
LV Tanks on fire
GV Tanks moving up
SV Troops running
LV Tanks burning (5 shots)
LV Tanks moving back behind house
SV Troops into ruins (2 shots)
SV Troops looking for bodies (3 shots)
LV South Vietnamese flag PAN DOWN tanks
Initials SGM/2244 SGM/2259
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Background: The battle of Quang Tri City, prime target for the South Vietnamese drive into the communist-occupied province south of the Demilitarised Zone, has intensified over the weekend.
On Friday (July 7), when this film was shot, government troops were entering the outskirts of the city. But despite the backing of tanks and continuous air strikes, the 20,000 men in the South Vietnamese force have been pinned down on the outskirts by heavy artillery fire.
American bombers dropped hundreds of tons of explosives in an attempt to dislodge North Vietnamese artillery. While the shelling continued, the South Vietnamese made no attempt to move into the centre of Quang Tri City, where an unknown number of North Vietnamese are entrenched.
SYNOPSIS: American and South Vietnamese aircraft have been dropping hundreds of tons of bombs in an effort to dislodge North Vietnamese artillery around Quang Tri City. Until the weekend, the South Vietnamese advance on the provincial capital -- in communist hands since early May -- had been going smoothly. But the troops started to encounter fierce resistance as they approached Quang Tri City.
Eight North Vietnamese tanks were reported destroyed on the outskirts of the city. Then the twenty-thousand men in the government force were pinned down by heavy artillery fire.
While the shelling continued, the government troops made no attempt to move into the centre of the city, where North Vietnamese were thought to be entrenched. Units reaching the city's outskirts -- only a matter of hours after this film was shot -- also had to repulse ground attacks by North Vietnamese infantry. Focal point for the fighting was a soccer stadium in the south-eastern edge of the city. The South Vietnamese captured it, but were forced to ???ithdraw after being hit by artillery ???e. It was a similar story in the South-western outskirts. Airborne units were hit by over three-hundred rounds of long-range artillery and mortar fire.
Few of Quang Tri's forty-thousand inhabitants are believed still in the city. One South Vietnamese battalion commander has called for air-raids to flatten the city to neutralise communist opposition. But at the weekend, air-strikes had been limited to targets on the outskirts. And at that time, the south Vietnamese troops were still a long way from fulfilling President Thieu's pledge to push the North Vietnamese back acrose the Demilitarised Zone.