The History of the Revolutionary Struggle in Long Đất (District) Lịch Sử Đấu Tranh Cách Mạng Của Huyện

Long Đất - translated from Vietnamese, with notes and comments Danh, Phan Ngọc & Toại, Trần Quang1, Lịch Sử Đấu Tranh Cách Mạng Long Đất (The History of the Revolutionary Struggle in Long Đất), Nhà Xuất Bản Đồng Nai (Đồng Nai Publishing House), Đồng Nai, 1986. ((Copy provided to the translator by Bruce Davies)) Under the auspices of the Party Chapter Executive Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party – Long Đất District. Comment: Two aspects of the book are perhaps of particular interest to readers interested in the Australian military involvement in the Vietnam War. The Battle of Long Tân took place in the far north of Long Đất District on 18 August 1966 – between D Company of the Australian Task Force’s 6th Battalion and the 275th Việt Cộng Regiment/D445 Provincial Battalion. The Australian forces lost 18 killed, and estimated that 245 communist troops were killed. The Long Đất History makes no mention of this engagement. Secondly, the Long Đất History describes the building of an 11 km-long minefield by the Australian Task Force in May 1967 from Đất Đỏ south to the coast – and the communist success in removing mines from the minefield and deploying the mines against the Australian troops. A map of Long Đất District is included in the book’s frontispiece (see following page). Notes: The major village of Đất Đỏ is indicated in the centre of the map – but is not named. The Australian Task Force (1 ATF) base at Núi Đất - in the neighbouring district of Châu Thành2, was not indicated on the Long Đất History map, but has been added by the translator. In the far north of Long Đất District, the site of the 18 August 1966 “Battle of Long Tân” has also been indicated by the translator. The map has no scale – but the map’s “frame” is about 23 kilometres (north-south) by 25 kilometres (east-west). Indicative distances are: Route 23 from west-to-east through Long Đất District is about 25 kilometres; from the northern-most point in Long Đất District south to the cape below the Long Hải Mountains is about 22 kilometres. Since Liberation in 1975, several of the land routes in the region have been re-numbered – eg: Route 15 is now Route 51 (from Vũng Tàu through western Bà Rịa and north towards Sài Gòn); Route 2 is now Route 56 (north from Bà Rịa town, past the site of the former 1 ATF base at Núi Đất and into Xuân Lộc District of Đồng Nai Province); and Route 23 is now Route 55 (from Bà Rịa town, westward through Long Đất District and into Xuyên Mộc District).

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Translator’s Note: As “official historians” for the region, Phan Ngọc Danh and Trần Quang Toại have contributed to the history of Đồng Nai Province – which includes Long Đất District ie: Đồng Nai 30 Năm Chiến Tranh Giải Phóng (1945-1975) (The 30-year Liberation Struggle in Đồng Nai), Nhà Xuất Bản Đồng Nai, Đồng Nai, 1986 – together with Phạm Văn Hy. An English translation of the Long Đất History has reportedly been completed by Dien Nguyễn – see p.529 (footnote 2 to Chapter 10) in McNeill, I., To Long Tan – The Australian Army and the Vietnam War 1950-1966, Allen & Unwin/Australian War Memorial, St Leonards, 1993. Dien Nguyễn has also reportedly translated Đồng Nai 30 Năm Chiến Tranh Giải Phóng (1945-1975). 2 Translator’s Note: The Việt Cọng Châu Thành District was also called “Châu Đức District”.

As noted on the previous page, the map has no scale – but the map’s “frame” is about 23 kilometres (north-south) by 25 kilometres (east-west). Its legend and annotations are: Ranh Giới: Border; Đường Lộ: Route/Road; Đường Đá: Unsealed Road; Núi: Mountain; Làng Xóm: Villages; Sông Suối: Rivers and Streams; Ruộng: Ricefields; Ruộng Muối: Salt Pans; Huyện: District; Biển Đông: South China Sea.

Translation of extracts follow – E. Chamberlain, May 2009 Long Đất … ((full translation of the first “descriptive” chapter)) From Route 51 (15) (Biên Hòa to Vũng Tàu), if you turn on to Interprovincial Route 23 and pass through the town of Bà Rịa and Châu Thành Distict and travel for about seven kilometres, then you enter the area of Long Đất District. Long Đất is a district of the province of Đồng Nai. To the east it is bordered by Xuyên Mộc District, to the west and the north it joins Châu Thành District, and to the south it borders the South China Sea. In the feudalist period, the Long Đất area comprised two cantons (tổng): Upper Phước Hưng and Lower Phước Hưng of the sub-province (phủ) of Phước Tuy within the province of Biên Hòa (1832). In January 1862, the French colonialists attacked and seized Phước Tuy and established the province of Bà Rịa - with Long Điền and Đất Đỏ as its two districts. During the Resistance War against the French colonialist invaders (from 1945 to 1954), in May 1951 – in accord with the resolution of the Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN)3, the Bà Rịa-Chợ Lớn Province came into being. Long Đất District was established on the basis of merging the districts of Long Điền and Đất Đỏ (also encompassing the present-day district of Xuyên Mộc and the two villages of Hòa Long and Long Phước of Châu Thành District). With the Resistance War against the French concluded (July 1954), Long Đất was again divided into the three districts of Long Điền , Đất Đỏ and Xuyên Mộc. At the beginning of 1960, in implementing the Central Committee’s Resolution 154, the two districts of Long Điền and Đất Đỏ were again integrated to form Long Đất District. In January 1976, with the requirements to build and protect the Socialist Nation, Đồng Nai Province was established. Long Đất became a district of Đồng Nai Province5, comprising the two towns of Long Điền , Long Hải and nine villages (Footnote 1: An Ngãi, Tam An, Phước Thạnh, Phước Long Thọ, Phước Long Hội, Phước Hải, Phước Tĩnh, Láng [sic] Dài, Long Tân). The terrain within Long Đất is semi-hilly (bán trung du) with an average height above sea level of 10 to 15 metres. Based on the terrain and the soil, it can be divided into three regions: the red basaltic soil region - such as at Phước Thạnh, Phước Long Thọ, Long Tân, Láng Dài; the region along the coast affected by salt - such as at Phước Hải, Phước Tĩnh and Long Hải; and the region of ancient alluvial (silt) soil in the remaining villages. The composition of the soil in the three regions is quite complicated with many different types of soil – and the fertility and degree of terrain slope of the areas is also different. Long Đất is in a region of tropical climate with two seasons: the rainy season is from May to November, and the dry season from November to May. Apart from being a
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Translator’s Note: COSVN – directed from Hà Nội, was the communist political and military headquarters responsible for Vietnam south of the Central highlands, an area termed “Nam Bộ” (equating to the French colonial “Cochin China” region). 4 Translator’s Note: Issued in January 1960, the Resolution of the 15 Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Lao Động Party “laid out the guidelines for the developmental and combat operations of our armed forces in both North and South Vietnam” – Pribbenow, M.L., Victory in Vietnam, University Press of Kansas, 2002 – translation of: Lịch Sử Quân Đội Nhân Dân Việt Nam, Tập II: Thời Kỳ Trưởng Thành của Quân Đội Nhân Dân Việt Nam trong cuộc Kháng Chiến Chống Mỹ, Cứu Nước (1954-1975), History of the People’s Army of Vietnam during the Resistance War against the Americans to Save the Nation (1954-1975), Vol II, Military History Institute of Vietnam, People’s Army Publishing House, Hanoi, 1994, p.50. 5 Translator’s Note: In 1992, Bà Rịa was broken away from Ðồng Nai Province and merged with Vũng Tàu– Côn Đảo to form Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province. The province of Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu includes the districts of Long Điền and Đất Đỏ.

semi-hilly terrain with relatively flat areas, Long Đất also has many mountains and hills: Da Quy Mountain6 in Phước Thạnh is 82 metres high; Núi Nhọn Mountain at Láng Dài is 24 metres, and Núi Thơm Mountain (also called Núi Đất 7) at Long Tân is 126 metres. Of particular note is the Châu Viên and Châu Long mountain range (ie the present-day Minh Đạm Mountain) - with the Thùy Vân Cape protruding into the sea in the area of the four villages of Tam An, Phước Hải, Long Hải, Phước Long Hội, and comprising the Châu Viên Mountain at 327 metres, Thùng Peak at 214 metres, and Đá Dựng at 173 metres. The coastline of Long Đất runs for 27 kilometres from Phước Tĩnh, Long Hải, Phước Hải to the estuary at Lộc An. Lộc An is being developed into a harbour. During the two resistance wars, it had received vessels carrying weapons sent from the Central Committee to Bà Rịa and the Eastern Nam Bộ Region. The 45 kilometre-long Sông Ray River has its source in the Tân Phong and Chứa Chan Mountain, flows south into Xuyên Mộc District, and from Xuyên Mộc into the sea at Lộc An. The Sông Ray runs for 5,700 metres through the terrain of Long Đất. The District also has many small streams, but they only flow in the wet season. *** The people of Long Đất – almost all of whom are original local residents, have lived in the District for a very long time. In 1985, the District’s population was 94,586 – consisting of lowland8 Vietnamese, Chinese, and the minority Nung9 and Châu Ro10 peoples. The majority are lowland Vietnamese, numbering 83,453. The towns of Long Điền, Phước Hải and Đất Đỏ were crowded and bustling from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. They were centres of exchange and trade for merchandise from Bà Rịa and Sài Gòn – and reverse. Consequently, the population densities in Long Điền , Phước Hải and Đất Đỏ are still higher compared to other villages in the District. With a diversity of terrain – encompassing jungle, sea and mountains, the people of Long Đất have always lived by traditional occupations such as wet rice cultivation, fishing at sea, salt-making, and those trades requiring skills such as carpentry, carving, metal casting, pottery making … . However before the August 1945 Revolution, almost all the fields, boats, salt pans, pottery kilns and saw mills were in the hands of the landowners and those who owned the boats, kilns, and farms. The people of Long Đất had to work for hire in the form of handing over produce, share-cropping or as salaried day workers. Field workers - who worked exhaustingly throughout the year, only produced enough to pay the landlord. Labourers and salaried workers worked hard, but their incomes were not enough to live. Under the feudalist colonial regime, the people of Long Đất had to bear many other harsh taxes such as: poll taxes, household taxes … and were oppressed by canton chiefs and village officials who trod on their necks. The struggle for existence in the natural environment and the oppression of the feudal colonialists precipitated the emergence of a spirit of unity among the people of Long Đất – especially in those areas of population
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Translator’s Note: Sometimes also spelt as “Gia Quy” - an ancient volcano, termed “The Horseshoe” by Australian troops. 7 Translator’s Note: Termed “Núi Đất 2” by the Australian forces – ie with their Task Force base called “Núi Đất”. 8 Translator’s Note: “Lowland” – ie “ethnic Vietnamese”, as distinct from minority peoples from the Central Highlands and the Chinese. 9 Translator’s Note: The Nung people are a Chinese-related minority group (in China classified as the Zhuang people). Within Vietnam, the Nung have traditionally lived in the northern provinces contiguous to the Chinese border. Large numbers reportedly moved south to Eastern Cochin China (ie Đông Nam Bộ) in 1954. 10 Translator’s Note: More commonly called the “Chơ Ro”, they are a Mon-Khmer ethnic group living mostly in the provinces of Đồng Nai, Bình Dương, Bình Phước, Bình Thuận, Lâm Đồng, and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu . In 1999, the Chơ Ro population was reportedly 22,567.

concentration like Long Điền , Phước Hải and Đất Đỏ where the people more easily grouped together to oppose the tyranny and injustice. The people of Long Đất are industrious, habitually diligent, value constancy and faithfulness, respect superiors, concede to the weak, and worship their ancestors. Buddhism in Long Đất developed more strongly than other religion. There are communal halls and temples in almost all villages. The roofs of the communal halls in Long Đất depict the respect and gratefulness towards those who developed the local area. In an expression of this tradition of remembering the work of predecessors, in July 1982 the village of Phước Long Hội built the first martyrs’ temple in Đồng Nai Province to record those martyrs that sacrificed themselves for the liberation of the people. Establishing temples to honour martyrs, developed into a movement across the District and quickly spread across the whole Province. Long Đất has great economic potential. Having a sea area of more than 9,000 square kilometres, with sufficient means of exploitation – fishing and processing facilities, the District could be a large source of sea products. Long Đất’s potential for tourism development is also quite large. From east to west along the base of Minh Đạm Mountain via the road to Nước Ngọt and past Thùy Vân Cape, the scenery is beautiful and poetic. Beside the road are sheer rock cliffs rising up and crumbling down – and whitened by the waves. In the spring, on both sides of the road there are peach and apricot blossoms – and many types of flowers vie with one another, boasting beneath the warm sunshine. To the west at the end of the pass, is a valley with rows of sweet-smelling green poplars whose rustling in the sea breeze is quite musical. The Poplars bathing beach – with its tourist projects, is ready to welcome guests who come for sight-seeing or recreation. Along Route 23 from the town of Long Điền to the crossroads at Đất Đỏ (Route 23 and Route 52), we come to the attractive Võ Thị Sáu park that commemorates the indomitable and dignified example of the heroic female martyr of Đất Đỏ11. From the beginning of the 20th century, tens of temples were built in the mountains of Châu Vien and Châu Long (Minh Đạm Mountain): Tứ Sơn Tự, Bồng Lai, and Quan Âm. Naturally beautiful and poetic, these are places for visitors from all corners of the earth to come on a pilgrimage and to worship. During the two wars of resistance, this was the famous revolutionary base in the District and in Bà Rịa Province. About a kilometre from the town of Đất Đỏ, we come to Bàu Thành – which the people call the Elephant Pool (Bàu Voi). This is a man-made lake that has water all year-round - measuring 600 metres in circumference, five metres deep, and has a surrounding wall four metres high and 10 metres wide. According to legend, in the past a king ordered it constructed so that elephants and horses could bathe in the heat and times of drought. The surface of the lake is covered thickly with water lotus. Bưng Bạc – a swamp in the area of Long Phước village (nowadays part of Châu Thành District) has a lot of life. In the past, you could find a number of Stone Age archaeological research sites proving that people had lived here thousands of years ago. No one knows how long the Bàu Thành and Bưng Bạc have been there. However, both are mentioned in the poetic songs of the masses in Long Đất to express their feelings of constancy: Now the Bưng Bạc is no longer swampy There is no water in the Bàu Thành, our pity is ended Long Đất District is in a strategic position. For road communications, it has Route 23 from Châu Thành District traversing the town of Long Điền through Đất Đỏ to Láng Dài. To the east, it then runs 22 kilometres to Xuyên Mộc and Hàm Tân. Since the 17th and 18th centuries, Route 23 was the “thousand li road” – ie a very long road, from the North
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Translator’s Note: The life of Võ Thị Sáu is later described at pp. 64-65.

through Central Vietnam to Đồng Nai where Long Đất was first entry point. Route 52 from Long Tân (contiguous to Route 2) runs directly to Đất Đỏ town and down to Phước Hải – more than 15 kilometres. Route 44 (lower) from the Long Điền-An Ngãi junction runs to the southeast to the base of the Minh Đạm Mountains then to Phước Long Hội – a distance of eight kilometres. Route 44 (upper) runs for more than 10 kilometres from Long Điền town down to Long Hải in the south. From the town of Long Hải through to Phước Hải, the road curves around the beautiful Nước Ngọt Mountain. Along Route 23 from Long Đất, you can join Route 51 to Vũng Tàu or Sài Gòn – or take Route 2 via Route 1 to Biên Hòa or Sài Gòn. Long Đất has the sea port of Lộc An where both large and small vessels can dock. Moreover, there is the Minh Đạm base area that faces out into the South China Sea like a gigantic guardian of the sea. Because of its position, from the 18th century Nguyễn Ánh – having been defeated by the Tây Sơn forces at Gia Định, withdrew to this area to hide and accumulate provisions before counter-attacking. In January 1862, the French colonialists attacked and seized Bà Rịa and the Long Đất region around Long Kiên, Long Xuyên, and Long Nhung (which today are Hòa Long, Long Phước and Long Tân) – areas that supplied a large amount of food for the Trương Định insurgent army. In 1941, the Japanese fascists entered Bà Rịa and also chose the Phước Hải coast as their landing bridgehead. During the two wars of resistance against the French colonialists and the American imperialists, Long Đất was a decisively disputed region between us and the enemy. Within Bà Rịa Province (ie the province of Bà Rịa-Chợ Lớn from 1951 to 1954; and Bà Rịa-Long Khánh from 1963), Long Đất was always clearly defined as the Province’s critical area. If Long Đất could be held – together with the Minh Đạm base, then the revolutionary movement in the Province could be maintained. From Long Đất, we were able to create a springboard to threaten Route 15 (nowadays Route 51), attack the enemy’s military base at Vũng Tàu – and, at the same time, obstruct their access and defend the base of the Province Committee in Xuyên Mộc. Conversely, if the enemy controlled Long Đất and was able to protect the strategic Route 15 and defend its military harbour and base at Vũng Tàu – then the pacification program of the foreign aggressors could expand into Long Đất and destroy a large part of the revolution that was decisive in Bà Rịa. Long Đất was the earliest place in Bà Rịa that received the revolutionary light of the Marxist-Leninist ideology, and was where the first Communist Party cell in Bà Rịa was established (ie the Phước Hải Party cell set up in 1934). In the period of the Indochinese Democratic Front (1936-1939), Long Đất was also the place where the movement was most active – through to the revolution of August 1945. Throughout the two resistance wars (1945-1975), the people of Long Đất did not begrudge shedding blood or property under the direct leadership of the District Party Chapter that steadfastly held on to - and securely maintained, the revolutionary will that fought for and achieved the final victory. In particular, during the resistance war against the Americans to save the nation, our forces and the people of Long Đất had to simultaneously face the American imperialists, their Australian and New Zealand vassals, and the puppet forces who were all equipped with the means of modern warfare. The enemy flattened the terrain of Long Đất – especially the Minh Đạm base, with B52 bombs, poisonous chemicals, and with various types of shelling by naval vessels and New Zealand artillery etc to destroy the region and exterminate the revolutionary forces. The District’s revolutionary movement faced difficulties many times – many of its Party Chapters were “lost”; many cadre, party members, fighters and fellow countrymen fell in their homeland. However, the Party Chapter and the people’s forces of Long Đất still held on dauntlessly – and cleverly,

resourcefully and creatively, defeated all the wicked tricks of the Americans, their puppets and vassals. We attacked relentlessly and rose up to win complete victory. ((Translator’s Note: the following section comprises translations of selected items and passages from the book only)) On 13 July 1931, communist pamphlets appear in Đất Đỏ (Bà Rịa) – and six “hammer and sickle flags” (cờ búa liềm) were raised, including in Long Điền. In 1933, a communist representative was appointed for Bà Rịa. In May 1945 – the Vanguard Youth (Thanh Niên Tiến Phong) was formed in Bà Rịa – p.18. On 6 March 1946, several Việt Minh armed groups were formed in Long Đất - ie “Đội Du Kích Quang Trung” (Quang Trung Guerilla Unit) in Long Phước and “Đội Tuyên Truyền Xung Phong” (Volunteer/Armed Propaganda Unit) – p.43. In September 1946, a vessel with an armed platoon and 500 thousand đồng landed at Hồ Trầm – p.47. In October 1946, HQ Region 7 established “Chi Đội 16” (Detachment 16) in Bà Rịa under Huỳnh Văn Đạo – incorporating the two “Đội Du Kích” – that then comprised five “phân Đội” (sections) - pp.47-48. The Chi Đội was based at Long Mỹ and Long Tân; The Chi Đội fought two battles at Long Tân in November 1946. In May 1948, “307th Regiment” was formed – 919th Battalion assisted two local guerrilla units - p.53, and two “Công An Xung Phong” (Volunteer/Armed Public Security Detachments) were formed. Mid-1948; a spy betrayed the secretary and deputy of Long Điền ie Bùi Công Minh and Mạc Thanh Đạm – who were ambushed at the Đá Vàng pagoda and killed. The Núi Châu Viên and Núi Châu Long areas were given the name “Minh Đạm” – the base area for two resistance wars – p.61. In July 1949, Long Điền formed two “Bộ Đội Đia Phương” (Local Forces) - ie the “Đội Phan Đình Phùng” (Phan Đình Phùng Unit) and the “Đội Hà Huy Tập” (Hà Huy Tập Unit); and two province-level companies were allocated to Long Điền and Đất Đỏ - ie 3567 Company and 3568 Company - p.62. In October 1949, 3567 Company destroyed a French Legionnaire section at the Phước Văn bridge (Long Tân) – but the French still established a post at Long Tân. On 13 March 1950, 3568 Company and the Long Điền Local Unit attacked the Nước Ngọt Training Centre (2/22 Regiment) and killed all the enemy - p.64. In May 1950, Võ Thị Sáu, a member of the Đất Đỏ Công An Xung Phong was captured – She was born in 1933 in Phước Lợi (joined Viet Minh at age of 14), sent to Côn Đảo ((prison island in the South China sea)), and executed in January 1952. Võ Thị Sáu was made a member of the Đảng Lao Động Việt Nam ((Vietnamese Labour – ie Communist, Party)) on day before being shot – pp.64-65. A photograph of the statue of the female martyr Võ Thị Sáu – erected in Đất Đỏ in 1985, is at p.99 ((also depicted on the front cover of the Long Đất History)). At the beginning of 1951, all the Việt Minh elements were forced to move into the Minh Đạm base area. On 15 March 1953, Battalion 300 (main force) and the Long Đất local unit attacked Route 23 – and captured a French officer (Fardel – commander of Đất Đỏ). Hàm Tân and Xuyên Mộc were chosen as the 80-day regroupment areas for several provinces. “Almost 10,000 cadre and troops from the eastern provinces regrouped at Hàm Tân and Xuyên Mộc to board ships for the North.”- p.77. In April 1960, the Bà Rịa Committee directed the establishment of Long Đất District incorporating Long Điền and Đất Đỏ - p.91 – and a “Đội Vũ Trăng Tuyên Truyền”

was formed under Tám Lang. In March 1961 - armed district forces coordinated with a section of the Province Unit C45 at Hội Mỹ village. In May 1961, the Long Đất District local force unit - ie C25, was formally established – p.102, under Mười Hùng. Fortified villages were established at Long Tân, Long Mỹ and Hội Mỹ. At the beginning of 1962, the first ấp chiến lược (strategic hamlet) was established by Government at An Nhứt – destroying three fortified villages. A Hòa Hảo12 Company was located at Đất Đỏ (based at Phước Thọ). In 1963, the Government’s strategic hamlet programme was completed – locations are described at pp.108-109. On 25 August 1963 , C25, C45 and Khu (D800) attacked the Long Hải complex – killing 19 - p.113. On 29-30 November 1963, a 100-tonne vessel (30m x 5.8m) – the first from the North (ex Hải Phòng) bringing support for Eastern Nam Bộ, arrives at Lộc An – but runs aground - pp.114-115. The Region sent transport Group 1500 (đòan vận tải 1500) to coordinate with the province troops to arrange the movement of “Chinese” weapons with help of people of Phước Hải – pp.114-115.13 Because of its strategic location and the high terrain, COSVN established a radio station (15 watt) in the Minh Đạm. In 1964, liberated villages ie “xã chiến đấu/giải phóng” were established at Long Tân and Tam Phước – at Long Tân village, a 1000-metre long “địa đạo” (underground passage/tunnel) system was created with three entrances – p.118. Bình Giã – p.119. End of 1964 – Battle of Bình Giã: From 2 December 1964 to 7 January 1965 – two enemy battalions were destroyed; 38 aircraft destroyed … etc; District forces then attacked the Bờ Đập14 post (Hội Mỹ) on 5 December to consolidate the security of the area around the Minh Đạm base – killing 42 - pp.119-120. Bờ Đập was retaken by Government forces on 13 December. The Government’s Major Phước (ex Bình Xuyên15) – battalion commander, initiated an “accommodation” with the Việt Cộng until January 1965. At the end of December 1964, the 445th Company (Province) assisted the Đất Đỏ area – attacking at Đá Giăng on Route 44 between Long Hải and An Ngãi on 24 December 1964. Long Đất was provided with two 75mm recoilless rifles (RCL) by 800 Battalion – p.121; two companies from the Long Hải training centre were destroyed (150 killed including a US advisor). A second landing of weapons occurred on the coast at Lộc An on 15 March 1965 – “hundreds of tons” - p.123. “On 1 May 1965, the Australian 1st Infantry Battalion and a New Zealand artillery battery arrived at Long Bình.” – pp.124-125. On 17 March 1966, the enemy bombed, shelled and destroyed Long Mỹ village. On 25 April 1966, the 445th Bà Rịa-Long Khánh Provincial Battalion (four companies) and the C25 District Unit concentrated their forces at the Bà Sảng bridge (Long Tân village). At 1530hrs on 26 April, the forces attacked the Dân Vệ (Popular Forces)16 at the strategic
12

Translator’s Note: Founded in 1939, the Hòa Hảo were a Buddhist-based religious sect which, in the 1960s and subsequently, was anti-communist. 13 Translator’s Note: See McNeill, I., To Long Tan, op.cit, 1993, p.219 – that incorrectly states “1,500 troops” were used to move the stores - ie not “Group 1500”. 14 Translator’s Note: Also spelt as “Bâ Đáp”. 15 Translator’s Note: Formed in the 1920s, the Bình Xuyên was a militarized group of heavily-armed criminal gangs. The Bình Xuyên were almost wiped out by the Sài Gòn Government in 1955, but their forces were later used against the Vietnamese communists. 16 Translator’s Note: Established in 1956, the Dân Vệ (Self-Defence Corps – SDC) assisted the Government’s regular forces in maintaining security at the village and hamlet level. The SDC became a Department of

hamlet and destroyed the Dân Vệ company - pp.126-127; and attacked the enemy on both sites of Route 52. 81mm mortars were fired into the Đất Đỏ District Headquarters to block any reinforcements. Results: 99 enemy killed – 19 commandos17 captured – the Việt Cộng lost one killed and 18 wounded. On 15 May 1966, the US and their puppets launched a sweeping operation into Long Phước and Long Tân. The people of Long Tân village were moved by the enemy to Long Điền and Đất Đỏ towns. Long Tân village and the liberated zone were destroyed by the enemy.18 From 5 May to 4 June 1966, the 173rd Airborne Brigade operated in Long Phước – and was attacked by D445 and the Châu Đức Unit. On 8 June 1966, 173rd Airborne Brigade troops – together with a company of their Korean vassals and puppet troops, entered the Minh Đạm19 … to prepare for the Australian vassals to take over the responsibility for pacification in Long Đất. After shelling, their first advance was along Route 44 from An Ngãi, Tam Phước into the base area … the second along Route 52 to Bờ Đập and Long Mỹ. They attacked the Ngọc Tuyền pagoda – the location of the District Committee, District Unit, the Vũng Tàu City Committee and the B46 technical reconnaissance element. Our forces were about 120-strong (C25, village guerillas, Vũng Tàu City force …). On 17 June 1966, after a 10-day operation, the US forces left the Minh Đạm - p.129. We had killed and wounded 100 US troops, 30 Koreans, and 40 puppet troops. Comrade Tự Nghĩa – of the Vũng Tàu City Committee, and Comrade Giỏi – the commander of the B46 Technical Unit, were both killed. “After having established a base at Núi Đất (Bà Rịa)20 on Route 2, the headquarters of the Royal Australian Regiment placed a reinforced battalion of 1,000 troops there, and also established a base at Gia Quy Mountain21 (Route 52 in Long Tân) - p.130. Footnote: The supporting forces for the Australian military at Bà Rịa comprised: 3 flights of air force elements - numbered 2-9-35, with 31 aircraft and commanded by Air Commodore Sturgeon. The Task Force included 100 specialist counter-insurgency trainers to train the puppet troops at Vạn Kiếp in tactical jungle fighting. A 150mm [sic] New Zealand artillery element led by Major Masters routinely provided support to the Australian forces. Our people usually referred to this as the ‘New Zealand artillery band’. In the face of the enemy pressure, the Long Đất District Committee re-organised, splitting the Committee into three sections: the first area comprised the villages along Route 23 and the four villages of Đất Đỏ; the second comprised the villages along the coast – Phước Lợi, Long Hội Mỹ, Phước Hải and Tam Phước; the third region was the Minh Đạm base area, the area where the District leadership group was located.”
Defence asset in October 1961, but was not uniformed and only lightly armed. The Bảo An (Civil Defence – CD) – established in 1955, were a higher grade Government local force who were both armed and uniformed. In 1964, the Bảo An and the Dân Vệ were replaced respectively by the Regional Forces (RF – Địa Phương Quân) and the Popular Forces (PF – Nghĩa Quân). A subsequently-formed unpaid People’s Self Defence Force (PSDF - Lực Lượng Nhân Dân Tự Vệ) operated at the hamlet level providing night-time security. Under the Mobilization Law, all males in the age range 16-17 and 39-50 who were not members of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces - RVNAF (which included the RF and PF) were required to be members of the PSDF. Communist documents usually refer to the RF as “Bảo An”, the PF as Dân Vệ, and the PSDF as phòng vệ dân sự (ie the PSDF’s pre-1968 title). 17 Translator’s Note: In February 1960, President Diem established 75 150-man commando companies – later to become Ranger units (ie the Biệt Động Quân). 18 Translator’s Note: For the relocation of the populations and destruction of Long Tân and Long Phước in April-May 1966, see McNeill, I., To Long Tan , op.cit., 1993, p.243-246. 19 Translator’s Note: Operation Hollandia – McNeill, I., To Long Tan, op.cit., 1993, p.249. 20 Translator’s Note: With the Australian 5RAR battalion securing the area, units of the Australian Task Force began arriving at Núi Đất in early June 1966 – see McNeill, I., To Long Tan, op.cit., pp.247-249. 21 Translator’s Note: Also spelt as “Da Quy” – a partially-collapsed volcano crater, termed “The Horseshoe” by the Australians.

In February 196722 the Australians built a concertina wire fence from Gia Quy Mountain to the coast at Phước Hải – 11km long, to cut communications through the District, isolate the Minh Đạm base. and to create the conditions for the puppet forces and puppet authorities to advance their pacification program in the strategic hamlets – p.131. In April 1967, our secret agents informed us that two Americans using a canoe would go from Long Hải via Phước Hải and land at Nước Ngọt . The Phước Hải guerrillas swiftly deployed themselves and captured the two – together with two canoes and a submachine gun – p.131. The two Americans were passed by the guerrillas to the prison at Lò Ảng managed by the District Security Section. From that time, the term “Lò Ảng Americans” became well known among our fighters. Two days later, in order to find traces of the Americans, a combined force of Americans and Australians swept the Nước Ngọt area. The Phước Hải village guerrilla cell – only four strong and armed with personal weapons and grenades, fought for four hours forcing the enemy to withdraw. We shot and killed five Australians, set fire to a vessel and damaged a tank. In April 1967, a three-woman guerrilla element ambushed an Australian vehicle on Route 44 and killed four. Having been made aware by our secret agents that the Australian fence was vulnerable (ie no anti-lifting devices), the Long Đất District Chief Lê Thành Ba, directed that it should be destroyed - p.132. On the night of 1 May 1967, all our armed forces, District and village cadre took to the streets to simultaneously begin the task. We used steel poles to lever out the rolls of wire and pile them up. The Australian vassals and puppet officials in Long Đất were completely panic-stricken. Immediately afterwards, the Australians used helicopters and mechanized vehicles to move the wire, and employed modern techniques to drive in steel stakes and remake the fence. Having done that, they then attached ((gài)) anti-lifting devices to the mines.23 Externally, to ensure secrecy, the Australians deployed troops to deny access – not allowing anyone to enter the area, including the puppet soldiers. In July 1967, the Australian fence extended from Da Quy Mountain to the beach at Phước Hải– a distance of 11km24. On average, the fence was 50m wide – and as broad as 100m. On both sides, there were two fences of tall rolled wire – and between these were rows of “anti-assault” wire … - p.133. Underneath the “anti-assault” wire, the enemy laid several types of mines totally nearly 70,000. The most dangerous were the E3 type25 which, on detonation, were ejected higher than a metre in the air before exploding – and inflicted wounds over a radius of 25 metres. Beneath the E3 mines, the enemy attached M16 grenades26 that automatically exploded when the E3 mine was ejected upwards. Outside the fence, the Australians routinely observed the approaches from helicopters. There only needed to be a small change in the terrain for the enemy to call down artillery fire or use aircraft for an immediate reaction. With their minefield tactic – and together with the Australian’s counter-guerrilla experience in Malaysia, the enemy bragged: “A crawling dog couldn’t slip through the fence”; and: “the revolutionary
22

Translator’s Note: Construction of the fence by the Australian Task Force began on 16 March 1967 – with mines added in May – see Lockhart, G., The Minefield: An Australian tragedy in Vietnam, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2007, p.xvii. 23 Translator’s Note: The Australians laid 20,292 M16 “Jumping Jack” mines (lethal radius 25 metres, dangerous out to 200 metres) – of which 12,700 (about 25%) were fitted with an anti-lifting device below the mine. The anti-lifting device – an M5 pressure release switch, was screwed into an M26 fragmentation grenade – for detail see Lockhart, G., The Minefield, op.cit., 2007, pp.74-77. 24 Translator’s Note: There was a 4-5 kilometre gap in the minefield - from the southern outskirts of Đất Đỏ south to Hội Mỹ,due to the inability to lay mines effectively in the wet and sandy soil in the area of the Sông Bâ Đáp/Bờ Đập stream; and a smaller gap immediately east of the hamlet of Lò Gốm - see Lockhart, G., The Minefield, op.cit., 2007, p.69. 25 Translator’s Note: The minefield comprised both M16A1 and M16E3 mines. 26 Translator’s Note: As described above, the “anti-lifting” grenades were “M26”.

movement in Long Đất will certainly be wiped out”. … Looking down from the Minh Đạm, it was clear that the Australian’s minefield had cut contact between the three districts. The Minh Đạm was isolated. Our communications and liaison routes from the districts to the province – and reverse, were broken. The fields at Hội Mỹ village, Cầu Sa etc were abandoned and the lack of production impacted on the economy of the people. These difficulties in liaison contact (p.134) made it very difficult for the revolutionary forces to obtain food. The cadre and soldiers of Long Đất were forced to eat bamboo shoots, dig for roots and eat jungle vegetables instead of rice. In August 1967, the District Committee confirmed that the Party cells and the people of Long Đất were facing a serious challenge (p.134). … The District Committee directed: to temporarily transfer five villages east of Route 52 back to the Minh Đạm ((control)); to counter the enemy’s destruction of Đất Đỏ, we would promote activity in the Long Điền area to extend the enemy and move the internal cadre to hold on to the leadership of the movement of food; and that the first and important task facing us was the need to destroy the Australian’s minefield, open up the liaison corridors from top to bottom, and to create the conditions for those outside to increase their activities. … Knowing that our external revolutionary forces faced difficulties (p.135), the people of Đất Đỏ, Long Mỹ, Hội Mỹ etc were all very worried. Mothers and girls found many inventive ways to get past the enemy and to place rice outside for the cadre and soldiers to take away. They hid rice beneath loads of faeces and in pots of water. The basic problem for the District Committee was how to destroy the Australian minefield. The engineering section studied a document from the Province and the Region - but still didn’t know the type of mine that the enemy had laid in their minefield. Our reconnaissance and technical sources were also unable to provide anything further about the “secret” of the mines within the Australian fence. Accordingly, the District Committee decided that the issue could only be solved by bravery and group initiative. The District Committee launched a campaign entitled: “Resolve to sacrifice for the Nation” among the District’s armed units. With a love for the homeland and the revolution, Comrade Hùng Mạnh – together with Miễn and Đồng (who all members of the District engineer reconnaissance element), volunteered to be the first to disable the mines. The leadership of the District and the unit members believed in Mạnh’s abilities. An orphan from when he was very young, he was raised by a family in Phước Long Hội. He joined the resistance as a village liaison cadre, then became a member of the District engineer reconnaissance unit. Very inquisitive, Hùng Mạnh learnt through combat and through his work. He had dismantled all types of weapons and mines, and had created new weapons to fight the enemy. In September 1967, the District Committee held a function in the Minh Đạm to farewell the three soldiers on their way. Everyone was moved by Hùng Mạnh’s words: “We will strive to fulfill the responsibility given to us by the Party and the revolution – although we may be sacrificed”. The three comrades farewelled their team members - and gave them their personal belongings before departing. In the dark, they crossed the fields of Phước Hòa Long into Phước Lợi, the initial point at which they were to disable the first mines. Hùng Mạnh directed Miễn and Đồng to support him from outside the fence while he entered. Using sapper techniques, he crossed into the minefield without difficulty. He cut the wire of the assault fence and placed his two hands slowly on the ground. Working slowly and at full stretch, Mạnh found an E3 mine. Working very calmly, he used a pin to carefully find the safety switch and lock it. As the E3 mine was lifted from the ground, a light clicking (“tách”) noise was heard. A little later - hearing no explosion, Mạnh continued and removed the M16 [sic] automatic mine underneath. All three soldiers returned to the base with the first E3 mine and M16 [sic] grenade that had been lifted from the Australian minefield. The District Committee, cadre and soldiers in the Minh Đạm base were extremely happy with this first victory by Mạnh, Miễn and Đồng as

they had developed a capability that made a change to the revolutionary movement for the whole of Long Đất District. After carefully studying the mine’s characteristics, workings, triggering mechanism and techniques for disabling it, the District appointed Hùng Mạnh to establish a training class for the District’s engineer troops on lifting the mines. After the District engineer reconnaissance cell was able to successfully disable mines and the District and Province liaison routes were active, the District Committee arranged mine-disabling training for the troops, guerrillas and cadre across the whole District. The District advocated that cadre and guerrillas of every village bear the responsibility for disabling traps and mines to open liaison routes into the villages and to create an enthusiastic minedisabling movement within the District. … The guerrillas of Hội Mỹ village – Tiến, Dậm and Chiến, lifted 160 Australian E3 mines in one night. In Long Mỹ, Comrades Khanh and Hai Oai also lifted one hundred mines. Several young women – such as Sáu Thanh (in Phước Thạnh), Ích, Huê (Hội Mỹ), Hồng (Phước Lợi), and Bảy Xuân bravely lifted mines to open up liaison routes. The position had improved, but this was not an end to the difficulties – so cadre came down from the province-level to lead the movement. … Having opened up the minefield, reopened routes and broken the isolation of the Minh Đạm, the District Committee decided that the basic conditions now existed to create cells within the villages. … Many cadre from the District Committee were allocated to the villages and hamlets, to dig secret bunkers and to provide leadership. … At the end of 1967, there were almost 40 District-level comrades located among the people. Comrades Năm Quyết, Nữa, Dũng, Tri and Năm Ngọc took the initiative to construct secret bunkers in Phước Sơn inside the Australian minefield fence. Completely unknown to the enemy, the fenced minefield area had become a place to securely conceal food for the revolution p.138. To fulfill the policy of building a District base, Comrades Đồng (District reconnaissance), Chiến (people’s forces cadre), and Thắng (Phước Hải) were detached to use the Australian E3 mines and emplace them to defend the Minh Đạm. From Đá Chẻ Mountain to Sở Bông and running to the Giếng Gạch pagoda, they emplaced 200 mines. In the village, the guerrillas used Australian mines to make “death site” booby traps to block enemy sweeping operations and defend bases. The Australian minefield did not isolate or destroy the Long Đất revolutionary movement as they had wished. (p.139) … The two villages of Phước Long Hội and Phước Hòa Long (now called Phước Long Thọ) were declared as Heroic Villages in 1978 – commending, in particular, their achievements in using the enemy’s own weapons to attack the enemy. The puppet officials in Long Đất knew that our cadre were living among the people, so they increased their Regional Forces ((Bảo An)) and police in the hamlets and attacked our revolutionary organs to find our forces. The Đất Đỏ District Chief announced: “Anyone who discovers a Việt Cộng bunker will be rewarded with 500 đồng” – at a time when rice was only 20 đồng per litre. … p.140. In 1967, the women of Long Mỹ and Hội Mỹ villages demonstrated against the enemy to bury the remains of 36 soldiers of the 5th Division who had been killed at Chùa (Pagoda) Thất.27 … - p.142. In November 1967, the village guerrilla commander of Phước Thọ – Ba Thuận, and the village security cadre Tư Thôi secretly led an armed province section (1st Company, 445 Battalion) commanded by Ba Kiên into the hamlet to attack the enemy. Our force had just arrived when an Australian military vehicle approached from the Cống Dầu junction.
27

Translator’s Note: The History of the 5th Infantry Division (Phạm Quang Đinh, Colonel – Publisher, Lịch Sử Sư đòan Bộ Binh 5 (1965-2005), The People’s Army Publishing House, Hà Nội, 2005) does not describe any engagements by 5th Division elements in Long Đất District in 1967. However, on 20 June 1967, the 274th Regiment of the 5th Division and elements of D445 Provincial Battalion fought a fierce engagement to the northwest in neighbouring Đức Thành/Châu Thành District.

An accurately-fired B-40 hit the vehicle, stopping it. Our unit attacked and killed five Australians, wounded another – and withdrew safely. A series of armed actions in the villages proved that the Australian minefield was useless. 1968 Tet Offensive – (Chapter 7 p.143) : … To implement the Central Committee’s Resolution 14, at the end of January 1968, the Bà Rịa-Long Khánh Committee met in the Sông Ray base (to the north of the Suối Thề stream). Comrade Hai Lực, the COSVN representative, had come down to explain COSVN’s plan for the attacks and uprising. The Province plan would focus on two towns ie Long Khánh (440th Provincial Battalion) and Bà Rịa (445th Provincial Battalion). In the districts, the principal forces to be involved would be the troops, guerrillas, cadre and the local masses. The Province Committee appointed Comrade Phạm Văn Hy to present the province plan for Long Đất – but his movement was blocked by the enemy, and he had to return. Afterwards, a group of province cadre led by Comrade Hai Nhứt - and guided by Lê Văn Việt, came to explain the province military directive for Long Đất . However, when reaching Na Lang, they struck an enemy mine and Comrade Hai Nhứt was killed. Although the Long Đất Committee did not receive the specific directive from the Province Committee, the District ordered its cells – particularly within Long Điền town, to actively prepare food, flags, and banners with slogans ready for demonstrations when the order came for the attack. The District plan was to use its armed forces (C25 now comprised four platoons) to coordinate with the people and attack both Long Điền and Đất Đỏ. On 1 February 1968, D445 attacked Bà Rịa … As they had lost radio contact, they were unable to receive the specific directives on D-Day and H-Hour – but hearing the sounds of gunfire from Bà Rịa, the Long Đất District forces then attacked Long Điền and Đất Đỏ. We commenced our attack at 2am on 2 February … On 7 February, an Australian battalion from Núi Đất advanced to Long Điền - p.148. … On 5 May 1968, the Long Đất District Committee directed the District forces to launch the second phase of the offensive on Đất Đỏ and Long Điền - p.150. In particular, we captured three spies disguised as monks at a temple in the Minh Đạm who were directing air strikes. … the situation was extremely difficult in the Minh Đạm – more than 100 cadre and fighters were wounded. At the beginning of August 1968, Phước Tuy Sector deployed the “Thunderbolt” battalion of the 18th Division to Phước Hòa Long to support pacification - p.154. On Route 52, we (D445) ambushed them between Phước Lợi and Triên Vườn – the battalion was destroyed in 30 minutes. On 3 August 1968, the Australians were forced to withdraw from the Minh Đạm. On 22 August 1968, D445 attacked Long Điền – and inflicted heavy casualties on a relieving Australian company – D445 lost 11 killed. At the beginning of 1969 ((Chapter 8 – p.160)), a battalion from the 18th Division was stationed at Da Quy mountain – with Australian trainers. On 22 February 1969, our C25 Company attacked Long Điền and Đất Đỏ. In this phase, we lifted 407 E3 mines and 203 M16s to use in our defences - p.163. P.165 onwards: campaign to destroy the “ụ ngầm” – ie “emplacements/bunker systems” constructed by the Australians around villages for the RF/PF28 – “a failed program” - p.172. 1969 summary - p.174: We killed and dispersed enemy elements – Australians, Americans, puppets – totaling 24,136, completely destroyed three companies (including an Australian company), nine platoons (including two Australian platoons and an American platoon), destroyed 44 tanks, mechanized vehicles, and shot down four aircraft. Sub-Chapter II “Developing People’s War – Defeating the Australian Tactic of Leaf Barrier – Meat Fence” ((??explained in a footnote to p.186 as a tactic in which the
28

Translator’s Note: The Regional Forces (RF) and Popular Forces (PF) – formalized in 1964, were territorial units. The RF were usually based, and operated, in their home province - while the PF were usually districtbased.

Australians use tanks and commandos [sic] to make a fence/barrier to block the VC moving from their bases into the hamlets and villages)) – p.175. On 10 February 1970, the Australians and the Americans again entered the Minh Đạm – and destroyed the jungle from Dinh Cô to Nước Ngọt . The enemy’s psychological war increased. Difficulties continued for Long Đất due to the Australian campaign – ambushes etc: 10 lost on 15 January 1970; 12 on 16 February; 8 killed on 27 February – in 1970, 245 cadre and fighters of Long Đất District were killed; 188 people were captured and imprisoned, 162 youths were forced into the RVNAF. In January 1970, a series of seasonal COSVN-directed attacks commence. On 19 January, a US force entered the Minh Đạm and lost 35 killed to mines. On 17 April, an Australian force entered the Minh Đạm and struck an E3 mine – six were killed and 18 wounded. In June 1970, Australians operated into the Minh Đạm. On 17 June, six Australians were killed in a clash at Ngọc Truyền. On 18 June, 15 were killed and 20 wounded by an E3 mine and grenades. At the end of 1970, D445 ambushed the Australians at Phước Hòa Long, killing 80 - p.184. At Phước Lợi, village guerrillas used E3 mines to wipe out an Australian section moving into their base. Throughout 1970, the Australians and the puppets continuously used bombs and artillery against our bases and blocked the revolutionary forces with their “meat fence” – inflicting heavy casualties and causing difficulty for our movement Footnote – p.185: “In 1970, the District recruited 36 Party members (including 8 secret Party members), established 6 secret Party cells, recruited 28 “đoàn” ((mass organization)) members (including 12 secret members), organised 268 agencies of various types, and recruited 11 youths to participate in the resistance. In its guerrilla warfare, the Long Đất people’s forces wounded 1,211 enemy (including 527 Australians), destroyed 1,119 People’s Defence members, destroyed 61 vehicles, and shot down 10 aircraft. The Australians continued their “chiến thuật hàng rào lá chắn”, but in a more limited fashion. They increased their guerilla warfare training for the RF ((Bảo An)) – and at Bầu Lun set up a battalion-level training centre for the Lon Nol troops and used them for patrolling on Routes 23-44. At the beginning of 1971 (p.186), the enemy deployed the 302nd Battalion to operate on Route 44, and the 347th RF ((Bảo An)) brigade set up posts on Routes 52-44. In 1971 in Long Đất - apart from the Australian infantry battalion, there were 11 RF ((ie Bảo An)) companies, a company from 18th Division, 3 companies and 12 platoons of the PF ((Dân Vệ)), 110 village and hamlet “tề” ((quislings)), 60 police, 20 PRU29 commandos, 153 Rural Development cadre, 1 Lon Nol battalion, 1 company of trainees at the Long Hải training school, and 987 “phòng vệ dân sự”((PSDF)). In May 1971, COSVN directed a re-organization and the establishment of the Bà Rịa Sub-Region. Long Đất District additionally incorporated Xuyên Mộc District. Phạm Văn Hy became the Secretary of the Bà Rịa Sub-Region. Two companies of the D445 Battalion were allocated to Long Đất District – together with a battlefield reconnaissance cell. At the same time, to compensate for the rather heavy losses of the District forces in 1969 and 1970, the Bà Rịa Sub-Region sent 75 new recruits, soldiers and cadre to strengthen the units of the District and the villages. Footnote - p.189: At the beginning of 1971, each of the village guerrilla units in the Long Đất District only had from 1 to 3 comrades – apart from Phước Lợi which had none. Hội Mỹ and Long Điền had the most – ie three comrades. Almost all had no village sections or section leaders – such as the four villages of Đất Đỏ, Long Hải , An Nhứt, Tam Phước, An Ngãi, Phước Tĩnh and Long Mỹ. In 1971 the forces were organised as follows:
29

Translator’s Note: Provincial Reconnaissance Unit (PRU) – units managed by the US CIA that operated against the communist political infrastructure.

The 1st Company of D445 was responsible for Đất Đỏ (southwest of Routes 23, 52) and to support the coastal areas of Phước Lợi, Long Hội Mỹ, and Phước Hải. The 3rd Company of D445 was responsible for the area north of Route 23 and to support Xuyên Mộc and Phước Bưu. The Long Đất District Company C25 operated in the area of Long Điền and supported the villages of An Ngãi, An Nhứt, Tam Phước, Phước Tĩnh and An Ngãi [second mention]. The four-comrade battlefield reconnaissance cell was responsible for activity in the villages of Phước Lợi, Long Hội Mỹ, Phước Hải and lower Route 44. In June 1971 a combined enemy force of Australians, US and RF entered the Minh Đạm. In April 1971, we shot down a H-25 helicopter killing two Australians, and the 1st Coy of D445 downed a UH-1A with a four-man Australian crew – and C25 also shot down a UH1A. On 31 March 1972, Long Đất participated in the Nguyễn Huệ campaign, p.202 – D445 and the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Regiment and the Đất Đỏ guerrilla unit attacked the Sub-Sector and the Đất Đỏ police centre – and we held the town of Đất Đỏ for 13 days (p.204) before withdrawing to regroup in our base area. We also surrounded Xuyên Mộc . “Having overcome the difficulties of 1969-1971, the Minh Đạm base area became progressively secure - p.206. The Australians had been replaced, and their infantry slowly went home. The capability of the Australians to attack into the Minh Đạm base to find and attempt to destroy the Long Đất District revolutionary leadership was no more. The puppet military only had the strength to occasionally launch one or two company-level sweeps into the Long Mỹ delta area.” On 25 October 1972, D445 and the District unit attacked Đất Đỏ - forcing the police to withdraw. “In the two phases of the attacks in the Nguyễn Huệ campaign (March and October 1972), the Long Đất people’s forces had destroyed many enemy and developed our political and armed forces - p.210 - Footnote: From April to October 1972 in Long Đất, we had killed 1,764 enemy – comprising RF, PF, and Rangers. We had destroyed 18 posts, killed 24 cruel oppressors, and seized 300 weapons. Our military proselytizing had resulted in 889 enemy desertions, and completely destroyed 12 PSDF ((phòng vệ dân sự)) units of 435 enemy, and mobilized 12,014 of the masses to take to the streets and participate in the struggle.” On 21 January 1973, D445 and the District unit attacked and encouraged the people to rise up and take control of 22 hamlets in 9 villages (listed in a footnote at p.211). Chapter 10 – p.213: Liberating the whole of the District. The enemy’s violations to sabotage the Agreement in Long Đất reached their apex on 13 June 1973 when they deployed an RF battalion to sweep into Long Phước and Long Tân - p.210. From 13-26 June 1973, D445 and the District unit fought back - despite the enemy’s air and artillery support. We killed 76 enemy on the spot, wounded 79 and seized 13 weapons of all types. Moving into 1974, the enemy’s schemes in Long Đất were still aimed at two objectives - p.210: to seize our bases and liberated areas and to destroy the revolution’s economic base by strengthening control measures on the roads and seizing the people’s rice. To implement their schemes, the enemy increased the puppet troops in Long Đất to 2,199 personnel. The RF comprised battalions 326, 356, and 371 – totaling 780 troops (later replaced by battalions 302, 308 and 355). They increased the PF by two platoons, added two PRU platoons, 200 police and 154 hamlet and village quislings ((“tề”)). They set up 11 military Sub-Sub-Sectors ((phân chi khu quân sự)), 26 PSDF groups ((Đội phòng vệ dân sự)). At Long Hải , the commando training school usually had about 800 personnel who at times participated in operations.

On 15 February 1974, an RF company swept into the Minh Đạm base area - p.221 … - which we attacked at Bầu Tây. The enemy were relieved by the 356th RF Battalion … and we completely destroyed a company ((D445 involved)). On 17 February, the 48th Regiment of 18th Division deployed from Biên Hòa to Long Đất with artillery and tank support to seize Long Tân and Long Phước. After the victory at Bầu Tây (Long Mỹ), D445 returned to Long Phước and Long Tân – together with the Châu Đức unit C34 and the Military Region main force 33rd Regiment, to block the enemy’s advance. We inflicted heavy casualties on an enemy company – and on the afternoon of 26 February, the enemy withdrew from Long Tân to prepare for another operation. On 18 March, the 48th Regiment again attacked Long Tân but was again forced to withdraw on 23 March. In the engagements at Long Tân (26 February to 5 March) we killed 201 enemy, including a major, and destroyed an enemy company … . On 9 April 1975 the Xuân Lộc campaign began, and on 21 April the whole of Long Khánh was liberated - p.234. From Xuân Lộc, the enemy fled in terror south to Bà Rịa. On the morning of 26 April, the Long Đất District Committee directed an uprising to liberate the District. Also on 26 April, COSVN’s 3rd Main Force Division advanced own Route 2 and liberated the Đức Thạnh Sub-Sector and then moved along Route 44 to liberate the village of Long Hải . On 27 April, the District troops attack the Đất Đỏ Sector and police headquarters – seizing both. Also on 27 April 1975, D445 moved from Route 2 and attacked the Bà Rịa Sector, then advanced to Long Điền. On 27 April, the 372nd RF Company at Xuyên Mộc fled along Route 23, but was blocked by D445 at An Nhứt p.236. At 10am on 28 April 1975, we were in complete control of Long Đất. Chapter 11 – p.237 onwards: ie 1975-1978 “rebuilding”: In the three months – April to August 1975, nearly 6,000 puppet troops and officials were organized for reeducation – all realizing their past errors and happily accepting the revolution’s policies. Discussion of the “remaining 4,000 mines, grenades - and bringing 121,000 square metres back into cultivation”, fisheries, salt-making, culture, Party activities, first Party Conference on 12 March 1976. From p.240 onwards ie Part II : statistics on the economy, culture, national security etc in Long Đất in the period 1977 to 1985. End of translated extracts – EPC.

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