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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War > Indochina 1945-1954

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Indochina 1945-1954 The Battle for Indochina, 1945-1954.

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  #1  
Old 10 May 17, 07:49
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Site of Groupe Mobile 100 ambush?

I've come across contradictory statements regarding the real life location of the ambush of Groupe Mobile 100. The Mang Yang Pass is associated whenever this battle is brought up in discussion, but it seems it happened just as close to Anh Khe combat base than the pass in relatively flat terrain. There is one comment which decsribes the exact location:

The French were outnumbered, and the battalion size unit was severly mauled in the engagment and ceased to exist as a fighting formation. The actual ambush occurred in the area between what was, in 1968, Bridge 25 and Strongpoint 5, approximately 15 kilometers west of the airfield at An Khe.
http://www.rjsmith.com/info_pages/ma...pass-info.html

Using Google Earth I can see locations that Veterans or researchers have marked as Bridge 25 and Strongpoint 5 and the coordinates are:

Bridge 25: Latitude 13°58'14.91"N Longitude 108°30'9.00"E
Strongpoint5: Latitude 13°58'32.44"N Longitude 108°31'19.25"E

That puts us between this location in an area 1.5 miles in length:

http://i.imgur.com/uRaJ9ry.jpg

There is what looks like a memorial in the centre of that image, and I must have driven past it when I went down route 19 last year and didn't notice it which is a shame.

Would anyone have any more information to point me to the correct location?

Last edited by haarp; 10 May 17 at 09:05..
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  #2  
Old 10 May 17, 13:05
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I think you already got it right. Note that according to Vietnamese sources, the ambush was set on both sides of Dakpo stream (where I believe your Bridge 25 stood) with a total length about 1.2 kilometers.

http://imgur.com/a/tzabo

http://imgur.com/a/s8nP1

And yes, Mang Yang Pass is a little bit incorrect name when we talk about location. On Vietnamese side the ambush is called "Battle of Dakpo".

Last edited by chiangshan; 10 May 17 at 13:10..
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  #3  
Old 11 May 17, 07:19
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One of the reasons I was confused by this location is that I read an account of the battle, it could've been in Bernard Fall's book, where it describes men jumping possibly to their deaths down ravines to avoid gunfire which makes sense if it actually happened in the Many Yang. But on this stretch of highway 19 I couldn't fit that account in to the location.
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Old 11 May 17, 08:00
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http://notresiteouebe.free.fr/doc/gm100_1954.pdf

https://penseemiliterre.fr/ankhe-cen...e_2015322.html









The first book changed his title it's now :


In french sadly , but the latest versions of google translate are working decently...
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Old 11 May 17, 13:59
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Yes, Mang Yang post was what the French were trying to reach, where they would link up with the cover elements coming from Pleiku. Mobile Group 100 wasn't a battalion. The Korean Battalion had been expanded to a 2 battalion Regiment, filled with Khmer Krom troops from the Mekong Delta, including Commando Bergerol, which had been cadred by teh 10th Colonial Artillery Regt. (the became 7 and 8 companies of 2 Coree). The BM/43rd Colonial Infantry Regt (Battalion) was also a mixed unit with two companies worth of Delta Khmer and some Vietnamese. The battalion of the 10th RAC had its batterys spread among the four "Rames" (subunits). The Vietnamese light infantry battalion was the 520th, which had barely been in existence for six months. I've also seen the 3rd Vietnamese Reconnaissance Squadron on some OBs. The Tank company had been split off from GM 100 and was not at the ambush. So their were a total of five battalions in GM 100, the two Coree Bns, the BM/43th RIC, and TD520KQ, and that one battalion (called "Groups" in French artillery terminology) of the 10th Colonial Arty.
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Old 12 May 17, 03:56
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Found this

la composition succincte du GM100 etait la suivante:

CCS 100
BM du 43°RIC
Regiment de Coree: 1° et 2° bataillons
II/10°RAC
3°/5°cuir
1 compagnie du genie
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Old 12 May 17, 12:26
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Maudit! I had forgotten the Engineers. They must have been with GM 100 at the ambush because as soon as BM/43rd Colo Infantry hit the rocks blocking Highway 19, they called for Engineers to clear them just about the time the VM sprang the ambush.

Regarding tanks (3rd company, 5th Cuirassiers) they were not with GM 100, but moving in as part of the linkup force. Specifically, COL Sockeel's Montagnard Mobile Group 42. So, they were part of the overall operation, but not with Mobile Group 100 when it pulled out of An Khe. (Note: they had been operating with various mobile groups in the Pleiku sector since the annihilation of a "ARVN" battalion from GM 11 in the Mang pass switchback on 30 March 1954.

As for the 520 TDKQ, an "ARVN" light infantry battalion with less than six months existence, it may have 'vaporized' the minute the ambush was sprung, fleeing into the forest, but it was definitely attached to GM 100 and positioned around the command post.
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Last edited by lirelou; 12 May 17 at 12:39..
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