Heavy fighting broke out on four main fronts in South Vietnam on Friday (19 January) in what observers reported to be an apparent struggle for territory before the signing of a ceasefire.
GV & MV APCs down road (3 shots)
GV Government sign at checkpoint as tanks pass (3 shots)
GVs & MVs troops searching hamlet and countryside (5 shots)
GV wrecked tanks
GV APC passes Government sign
GVs & MVs APC entering towns (3 shots)
Initials ES. 1735 ES. 1800
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Background: Heavy fighting broke out on four main fronts in South Vietnam on Friday (19 January) in what observers reported to be an apparent struggle for territory before the signing of a ceasefire.
Major battles were reported along the Demilitarised Zone separating North and South Vietnam, in the Que Son Valley on the Northern Coast, the Central Highlands and north of Saigon.
The reports of the upsurge in fighting came after Government sources in Saigon said on Thursday (18 January) that a Vietnam ceasefire would be declared within the next two weeks.
Military sources reported that in northernmost Quang Tri Province, 123 communist troops were killed on Thursday in a 24 hour battle, involving air and artillery strikes.
Twenty-one marines were killed and another 77 wounded in the battle, the fiercest fighting for three months.
SYNOPSIS: An upsurge in fighting throughout South Vietnam was reported on Thursday when Government sources in Saigon said a ceasefire would be declared within the next two weeks. Government troops were immediately reported to have launched several drives against the North Vietnamese in a bid to gain more ground before a ceasefire. However the Government forces mat fierce resistance.
Armoured Personnel Cariers ferried troops into areas previously held by the North Vietnamese. Here troops supported by tanks of the 15th Tank Unit searched a hamlet and the surrounding countryside near Go Dau Ha, for North Vietnamese forces.
Earlier, several tanks were badly damaged by North Vietnamese land mines.
Saigon military sources reported heavy fighting on four main fronts in the struggle to regain territory. Government reinforcements were being sent to major battles in progress near the Demilitarised Zone. Government sources in Saigon said that the exact date of the ceasefire would depend on technical talks in Paris, but suggested it would not be later than the start of the Lunar New Year on February 3.