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

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #811  
Old 16 Mar 12, 03:25
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Pribblenow's Account of Iadrang Battle

... from the Viet Cong (North Vietnamese Communist)'s Perspective.

Besides the five Viet Cong accounts of the Plâyme Campaign by
- General Hoang Phuong,
- Toan and Dinh,
- General Nguyen Nam Khanh,
- General Vu Duc Hie-
- and General Nguyen Huu An
that I have translated and posted in this forum, Pribblenow's Vietnamese references also include
- Mai Hong Linh, "A Number of Issues Relating to Party and Political Activities During the Plei Me Campaign-1965,"
- Military History Institute and 3rd Corps, The Plei Me Offensive Campaign-1965
- Pham Vinh Phuc, "Special Characteristics of U.S. Helicopter Assault Landing Tactics During the Plei Me Campaign,"
- and MG Tran Ngoc Son, "A Few Thoughts on the Lessons of the Plei Me Campaign,".

Pribblenow's American references include only two sources
- J.D. Coleman, Pleiku: The Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam, (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988),
- Hal Moore and Joseph Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young (New York: Harper-Collins,1993).

It appeared that Pribblenow failed to consult the other major primary sources, namely
- General Harry Kinnard, Pleiku Campaign, 1st Air Cavalry Division Headquarters, March 4, 1966.
- G3 Journal, I Field Force Vietnam, October 1965.
- General Norman Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take A Hero, Bantam, 1992.
- General Vinh Loc, Why Pleime, Information Printing Office, Saigon, September 1966.
- Cochran, Alexander S. "First Strike at River Drang", Military History, Oct 1984, pp 44-52, Per. Interview with H.W.O Kinnard, 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General.
- Thiếu Tướng Vĩnh Lộc, Pleime, Trận Chiến Lịch Sử, Huỳnh Quang Tiên Printing Shop, June 1966.

Consequently, his account is not as exhaustive as the account I have presented in this forum. His mainly addresses to the what, and not the who, the why, and the how.

Last edited by Phieu; 16 Mar 12 at 06:42..
  #812  
Old 17 Mar 12, 04:41
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American Perspective of Pleime Battle

- Ground Combat Operations - Vietnam 1965 - 1972

Quote:
Silver Bayonet - 23 Oct-20 Nov 65 - 29 days - 5 Bns - 1st Cavalry Division - operation in Ia Drang Valley of Pleiku Province - VC/NVA KIA 1,771 - US KIA 240
- 1st US Cavalry's Website - Vietnam War

Quote:
On 10 October 1965, in Operation "Shiny Bayonet", the First Team initiated their first brigade-size airmobile action against the enemy. The air assault task force consisted of the 1st and 2nd Battalions 7th Cavalry, 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry, 1st Battalion 12th Cavalry and the 1st Battalion 21st Artillery. Rather than standing and fighting, the Viet Cong chose to disperse and slip away. Only light contact was achieved. The troopers had but a short wait before they faced a tougher test of their fighting skills; the 35-day Pleiku Campaign.

On 23 October 1965, the first real combat test came at the historic order of General Westmoreland to send the First Team into an air assault mission to pursue and fight the enemy across 2,500 square miles of jungle. Troopers of the 1st Brigade and 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry swooped down on the NVA 33rd regiment before it could get away from Plei Me. The enemy regiment was scattered in the confusion and was quickly smashed.

On 09 November, the 3rd Brigade joined the fighting. Five days later, on 14 November, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, reinforced by elements of the 2nd Battalion, air assaulted into the Ia Drang Valley near the Chu Prong Massif. Landing Zone (LZ) X-Ray was "hot" from the start. At LZ X-Ray, the Division's first Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War was awarded to [2nd Lt. Walter J. Marm of the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry. On 16 November, the remainder of the 2nd Battalion relieved the 1st Battalion at LZ X-Ray, who moved on to set up blocking positions at LZ Albany. The fighting, the most intensive combat in the history of the division, from bayonets, used in hand-to-hand combat, to artillery and tactical air support, including B-52 bombing attacks in the areas of the Chu Pong Mountains, dragged on for three days. With the help of reinforcements and overwhelming firepower, the 1st and 2nd Battalions forced the North Vietnamese to withdraw into Cambodia.

When the Pleiku Campaign ended on 25 November, troopers of the First Team had paid a heavy price for its success, having lost some 300 troopers killed in action, half of them in the disastrous ambush of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, at LZ Albany. The troopers destroyed two of three regiments of a North Vietnamese Division, earning the first Presidential Unit Citation given to a division in Vietnam. The enemy had been given their first major defeat and their carefully laid plans for conquest had been torn apart.

The 1st Cavalry Division returned to its original base of operations at An Khe on Highway 19.
- LZ X-Ray

Quote:
Prelude
In late October '65, a large North Vietnamese force attacked the Plei Me Special Forces Camp. Troops of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Cavalry were sent into the battle. After the enemy was repulsed in early November, the 3rd Brigade replaced the 1st Brigade. After three days of patrolling without any contact, Hal Moore's 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry was ordered to air assault into the Ia Drang Valley on Nov 14, his mission: Find and kill the enemy!
At 10:48 AM, on November 14th, Moore was the first man out of the lead chopper to hit the landing zone, firing his M16 rifle. Little did Moore and his men suspect that FATE had sent them into the first major battle of the Vietnam War between the American Army and the People's Army of Vietnam - Regulars - and into history.
Lessons Learned
Do you see the ARVN units mentioned in all these three excerpts? This is a typical example of how the ARVN is treated by the majority of American authors when they write about the Vietnam War. No wonder why the American public has so low an opinion about the ARVN units even to these days.

Last edited by Phieu; 17 Mar 12 at 04:48..
  #813  
Old 18 Mar 12, 06:39
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Viet Cong’s Perspective of Pleime Battle

At the Conference on Pleiku/Ia Drang Campaigns organized by the Vietnam Center in Washington on 11/12/2005, the Viet Cong were invited to participate and General Nguyen Van Uoc of the NVA appeared as a special guest speaker. He presented the viewpoint of the NVA about the Pleime Campaign and stated that the main objective of the Pleime Battle was to attract the American troops to the Ia Drang Valley where a trap was awaiting them. He backep up his assertion with a printed document (The 1965 Pleime Attack, The People's Army Military Institute and III Corps, Hanoi: The People's Army Publishing House, 1993):
Quote:
Early October 1965, based on assessment of enemy status and our preparation readiness, the campaign Command had decided to assign tasks to the units as following: the target and area to destroy the enemy was camp Chu Ho, siege set on Pleime camp, ambush to destroy the rescue column established on route 21 (from Hill 538 to Hill Blu). The area where our troops would attack the Americans would be the Ia Drang valley.
[…]
Regarding the plan, the campaign was divided in 3 phases: Phase 1. Encircle Pleime camp, destroy the ARVN rescue column; phase 2. Continue to encircle Pleime camp, forcing American troops to get involved; phase 3. Concentrate forces aiming at attacking an American major force and destroy it and end the campaign.
If that was true, then the VC tacticians were real genius. The well designed plan involving a division sized battle to attack a base camp with three regiments (32nd, 33rd and 66th), would require at least two or three months of studies. The Pleime Battle, according to this VC document, began on October 19, while the ship Rose that transported the first units of the US 1st Air Cavalry Division arrived at Qui Nhon port by mid-September, and these units went up to An Khe to start clearing the jungle in order to settle down in tents. It is hard to imagine the VC would have anticipated and taken into account the American troops of the US 1st Air Cavalry Division element in the planning of the Pleime attack months ahead.

On the other hand, the Viet Cong claimed to use the tactic of feigning to attack an outpost in order to destroy the relief column to attract the American troops. But in reality, the American troops that went in the Ia Drang Valley did not do so to rescue anybody and furthermore, the Viet Cong were caught by surprise, rather than were in a ready posture, since its battalion commander was not present with his attacked unit.

Quote:
While the enemy attacked our 9th battalion, its battalion commander had not returned from a regiment meeting, the executive officer commanded our troops at the battalion level to fight against the enemy and requested reinforcement from the 13th company. Although taken by surprise, our troops fought with courage.
The VC document continues:

Quote:
The victory of Pleime campaign […] has left many significant lessons learned in terms of the military art.
First of all is the art of accurate prediction of the combat opponent. When the American troops entered the South, the direct combat was an inevitable thing. However, at this period in time (October 1965), our knowledge regarding the Americans was very limited. The personnel organization, the art of combat; the capabilities of the American troops were still question marks to us. In order to verify this, since the American troops were present in the Highlands, we opened the campaign to attack Pleime. Our purpose was to fight and study hand in hand in order to complement our initial assessments. The reality had shown that our predictions were correct.
It is ludicrous for the Viet Cong to claim they attacked Pleime to lure the 1st Air Cavalry into Ia Drang Valley which was 40 miles away … and planned for that attack in the beginning of 1965 while the 1st Air Cav only came into existence in June 1965.
  #814  
Old 19 Mar 12, 04:49
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The Historical Truth about Iadrang Valley Battle

Both various American's and Viet Cong's perpectives of the Iadrang Valley Battle are inaccurate.

In fact, the Iadrang Valley Battle was the second battle in the trilogy of battles in the Pleime Campaign: Pleime-Chupong-Iadrang.
The Pleime Campaign was the reaction to the Viet Cong Plâyme Campaign and comprised two phases: phase 1, the relief of the besieged Pleime Camp; phase 2, the counter-offensive into the Chupong-Iadrang complex.

The counter-offensive into the Chupong-Iadrang complex comprised four phases:
- phase 1, herding the scattered enemy toward Chupong with All the Way operation conducted by the 1st Air Cav Brigade;
- phase 2, fixing the enemy troops at LZ X-Ray with Silver Bayonet I conducted by the 3rd Air Cavalry Brigade and 1/7 Air Cav Battalion;
- phase 3, annihilating the three NVA regiments at Chupong with B-52 carpet bombing;
- phase 4, finishing off the enemy at Iadrang Valley with Than Phong 7/Silver Bayonet II operations conducted by the Airborne Brigade and the 2nd Air Cav Brigade.

Only Why Pleime and Pleime, Trận Chiến Lịch Sử provide the full and accurate account of the Ia Drang Valley battle in particular and the Pleime Campaign in general, because it is an account done by its architect, Colonel Hieu, II Corps Chief of Staff. Anybody else’s narration of the Ia Drang Valley battle is either incomplete or biased.

Last edited by Phieu; 19 Mar 12 at 11:00..
  #815  
Old 20 Mar 12, 02:25
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Lessons Learned

What I have learned through this thread is that
- The Iadrang battle as it was is not well known at all by the general public and the historians and scholars of the Vietnam War alike;
- The role of the ARVN - its commanders and its combatants - in this battle was minimized and even ignored by the Viet Cong and the American authors alike;
- Should General Westmoreland, instead of taking over the command and control of the battlefields from the ARVN command, just provide air and artillery support and reserve forces like in the Pleime Campaign, the conduct of the Vietnam War would reach a positive outcome like in the case of the Pleime Campaign;
- If a simple batlle such as the Iadrang battle is that misunderstood, then the complex Vietnam War in general is still a barely touched upon field that needed to be explored much more in depth.

Last edited by Phieu; 20 Mar 12 at 09:20..
  #816  
Old 28 Mar 12, 09:05
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Unique Tactical Bombing Raid Successful

Feb 3, 1966
By CHARLES BLACK
Enquirer Military Write

During the evening of Nov. 16 [1965] at Pleiku, at the compound where the press corps covering the 1st Cavalry Division’s Plei Me campaign was staying between trips to the field, Capt. J. D. Coleman of the public information office passed out word which explained why Brig. Gen. Richard Knowles had pulled 3rd Brigade troops back from Chu Pong Mountains.

Col. Thomas Brown’s brigade was poised for yet another smash at the North Vietnamese army units in the Ia Drang valley - and a massive B-52 bomber raid would strike the slopes of Chu Pong Mountain the next morning.

Robin Mannick of Associated Press and myself got a helicopter arrangement made with Capt. Coleman and went out from Camp Holloway to get a sky-view seat for the bombing attack.

The attack was unique in B-52 tactical bombing history. Missions for this big bomber require 72 hours advance notice, and the coordination with Vietnamese officials is complex. Most of the bombs seem to finally land in areas deserted by the Communists.

The raid on Chu Pong Mountain was already planned for another target in the area and the 1st Cavalry Division’s assistant commander had prevailed in having the bombs carried on down to the Chu Pong battle.

Brig. Gen. Knowles had pulled the Sky Troopers back to trap the Communist units into filling a kill zone for what amounted to an ambush utilizing B-52 strategic bombers and 750-pound bombs.

On these raids, a 1,500 meter “zero line” is observed. No friendly troops or aircraft are allowed closer to the bomb targets than that distance. Our helicopter flew a monotonous pattern along the line at about 1,500 feet altitude. Chu Pong still was smoking from the battle just finished there and the scars of artillery and bombs were visible on its lower slopes.

Mannick and I were coping with seat belts which didn’t work by using a buddy system. He had a camera and I held him while he leaned out and took pictures. He had a telescopic lens arrangement which looked very impressive and I borrowed it to look at the mountain through. He took it back hurriedly when the helicopter lurched and I almost dropped it grabbing for a handhold.

‘You Hold Me’
“You hold me and I will hold the camera. I didn’t intend to establish any priority in grabbing the camera instead of you, then, of course. It was just a matter of putting first things first,” he informed me in his best Oxford manner.

I saw an orange blossom on the military crest of Chu Pong, then a long line of them grew, stretching in a continuous flash. As the orange flames disappeared a boil of black smoke went up and then the crash of the first explosions came to us.

I attempted to spot the B-52s which had dropped this fury and couldn’t see them at all. More bombs were bursting in lines which traced out an almost geometrical pattern of violence on the mountain and in the brush around Landing Zone X-Ray where the battle had been fought.

“That is fantastic,” I told Mannick.

He was shooting pictures and I was holding his belt to anchor him.

“Here, look at them through the lens,” he shouted, he held to me and let me handle the camera but he kept the cord to it securely around his neck.

Sees Bomb Bursts
Through the telescopic lens, I could see the initial burst of the bombs flattening trees and sending huge gusts of dirt and dust into the air. The boiling black smoke and dust would obscure one burst just as the next bomb exploded. I looked at the first string of bombs and saw a staggering line of craters stitched through the green canopy on the mountain.

Mannick went back to his photography and I kept shouting nonsensical directions at the pilots of the still invisible B-52s. There is a valley behind Chu Pong Mountain which seemed to be an especially desirable target to me, and there was a finger from the main ridge which shielded a defile from the battlefield below which had sheltered reserves and possibly a regimental headquarters, I had been told.

While I was pounding poor Mannick on the back instead of holding him, causing him considerable problems in properly focusing his camera, and acting like a football fan helping the quarterback of the home team, the B-52s kept up the inexorable pounding.

Sudden Cloud
The flash and smoke of bombs blotted out the finger of ground and its reverse slope and there was a sudden cloud of smoke and dust from behind the mountain in the valley I had been shouting about.

Mannick suddenly pointed to the sky. I saw tiny silver specks shining.

“Look at that! They must have dropped those bombs 20 or 30 miles from here! They are at 35,000 and hitting exactly where they should,” Mannick said.

The silver flashes kept coming. I had no detailed information on the number of planes or the number of bombs they had dropped, but the explosions were still flaring, this time in the timber around Landing Zone X-Ray.

The bombing was a display of brutal firepower and the lack of warning of any plane’s approach must have made them a horrible surprise to the PAVN battalions there.

The B-52s completed the display of U.S. firepower at Landing Zone X-Ray. The shattered, bloody woods had been the scene of the death of the 66th Regiment, 325th Division of the People’s Army of Viet Nam. A prisoner, his morale shattered, later deserted when “. . . less than 100 soldiers finally came to our rendezvous point. Regimental headquarters was also destroyed.”

The raid was an example of how the big planes could be used to full effect in a tactical blow.

Last edited by Phieu; 28 Mar 12 at 09:22..
  #817  
Old 10 Apr 12, 10:49
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Radio relay mission over Ia Drang Valley

Nov 25, 1965
Radio Relay Mission Is Wearying Flight
By CHARLES BLACK

Enquirer Military Writer

PLEIKU, Viet Nam - I got back here from Duc Co just in time to meet Capt. Robert C. Debardalaben, Capt. James Lybrand and Capt. Walter Urbach of the 17th Aviation Company (the Caribou company which has been flying record hours in support of the 1st Cavalry Division) and eat supper with them.
They were just back in from what must be the most wearying flights available in Viet Nam - radio relay missions.
When an airmobile division goes into the field it is not the easiest thing in the world to keep up with, as the frustrated press corps in Viet Nam has finally realized after trying to cover it from inaccurate and outdated information available at Saigon press briefings.
The key to the division’s ability to conduct coordinated combat activities over an area of several hundred square miles (aside from its air capability, logistics achievements, etc.) is communications. The men in charge must be able to talk to each other.
This implies that some efficient radio operations are being handled and the Caribou-laden radio relay is part of the communications net. A CV2 loads relay equipment on board, long antennae are thrust out the open cargo door like fishing poles, communications specialists climb in and the plane takes off and climbs to about 10,000 feet over An Khe.
Here it throttles back to about 75 m.p.h. and describes sedate circles for periods of up to eight hours, then its place is taken by another aerial switchboard. The Caribou thus becomes the world’s tallest radio antenna. (I never thought to ask if the pilots fly clockwise or counterclockwise, but I assume they can mix them up to kill the boredom.)
I absolutely refused to accompany anybody flying a radio relay mission. I once spent 14 1/2 hours on a Caribou flight from Calcutta to Saigon, and there just didn’t seem to be anything to add to my portfolio of calluses by inspecting a cylinder of air over An Khe for one third of a day.
I did unbend enough, however, to allow Capt. B. D. Silvey and CWO2 Gerard Keeler to get me into a CV2 loaded with gear and technicians who were simply going to fly to An Khe and load into another bird.
I didn’t trust them. Right up until landing I thought they had pulled the elaborate kind of practical joke Caribou pilots indulge in on such a universal scale and that I was stuck for eight hours. However, they made a nice straight-forward flight from Pleiku to An Khe.
Aboard the plane were some old friends of mine from the 13th Signal Battalion who were suddenly full-fledged flight communications crewmen.
S-Sgt. Arthur C. McCullough, Sp4 Gennaro Cappasso and PFC Wilbur C. Wells, all of A Co., showed me the elaborate relay equipment which they use to pick up messages and flash on to their destination and which extends the range of radio communications many fold.
Sp4 Nelson A. Hendrickson, the crew chief from the 17th Aviation Co., kept reassuring me that we weren’t up for the whole night, and when we landed I thanked him for being the best friend I had aboard. The men up in the pilot end kept implying over the intercom that this was probably “going to be the longest mission on record. . . we have updraft and can glide a lot to conserve fuel.”
  #818  
Old 08 May 12, 08:45
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The key that made possible the success in the Pleime Counter Offensive into Chupong-Iadrang was the obtention of enemy trop locations at every moment by means of radio relay intercepts of enemy radio traffic.

In the G3 Journal kept at I Field Force Vietnam, located in Nhatrang, one log entry mention that one such secret ARVN radio relay station operating deep in enemy territory was shot at by friendly 1 First Air Cavalry troops passing by.

Quote:
11/15/65 18:50H: 1st Air Cav (Capt Parham) Maj Chuckmoon at Pleiku Sector: At 1721 Hrs, VN operating radio relay point (sqd size) south of Pleiku (AR 7736) rec’d fire fm passing 1 Cav elements, no injuries. It was reported to FWD and no problem exists.

Last edited by Phieu; 08 May 12 at 14:27..
  #819  
Old 08 May 12, 13:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phieu View Post
The key that made possible the success in the Pleime Counter Offensive into Chupong-Iadrang was the obtention of enemy trop locations at every moment by means of radio relay intercepts of enemy radio traffic.

Quote:
In the G3 Journal kept at I Field Force Vietnam, located in Nhatrang, one log entry mention that one such secret ARVN radio relay station operating deep in enemy territory was shot at by friendly first of 1 First Air Cavalry troops passing by.
From what I have read, it was a radio intercept team attached to 7th CAV located just outside Pleime that provided limited intel on radio intercepts. Specifically RDF data. Moore discussed it in his book, but did not mention if it was a US Army, or ARVN team. I read it as a US team attached to Moore's unit. I dont think Infantry BNs had radio intercept capability, but I could be wrong. I thought they were divisional assets.

Also, FM comms are reletively short range, so I am not sure about the second quote where you referenced the radio relay station south of Pleiku. That was over 40 KM from the easternmost enemy forces (33rd Regiment) at Chu Pong. Dont know how much intercept would be going on at a site so distant from the battlefield. I admit there are lots of variables, but the range of manpack FM radios in that terrain just ain't that darn far. Hopefully RadioResearcher will be along shortly to give us the skinny...

Last edited by don744; 08 May 12 at 18:48..
  #820  
Old 08 May 12, 13:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don744 View Post
From what I have read, it was a radio intercept team attached to 7th CAV located just outside Pleime that provided limited intel on radio intercepts. Specifically RDF data. Moore discussed it in his book, but did not mention if it was a US Army, or ARVN team. I read it as a US team attached to Moore's unit. I dont think Infantry BNs had radio intercept capability, but I could be wrong. I thought they were divisional assets.

Also, FM comms are reletively short range, so I am not sure about the second quote where you referenced the radio relay station south of Pleiku. That was over 40 KM from the easternmost enemy forces (33rd Regiment) at Chu Pong. Dont know how much intercept would be going on at a site so distant from the battlefield. I admit there are lots of variables, but the range of manpack FM radios in that terrain just ain't that darn far. Hopefully RadioResearcher will be along shortly to give us the skinny...
Don -- My previous postings on this thread at #395 and #548 pretty much represent the "skinny" as I know it. I don't have anything on possible ARVN field teams "operating deep in enemy territory" such as to be able to pick up tactical FM transmissions. The expression "radio relay" sounds like a misnomer. That is a whole other entreprise. "Radio intercept" would be more a propos.

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Old 08 May 12, 16:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioResearcher View Post
Don -- My previous postings on this thread at #395 and #548 pretty much represent the "skinny" as I know it. I don't have anything on possible ARVN field teams "operating deep in enemy territory" such as to be able to pick up tactical FM transmissions. The expression "radio relay" sounds like a misnomer. That is a whole other entreprise. "Radio intercept" would be more a propos.

-- RR
I agree. I wanted to make the distinction between relay and intercept (SC vice MI) but I wasn't sure if there was any possibility of one colocating with the other. As far as intercept...the way I understand thing is...it is the range of the transmitter that counts . For team 40+ km away...in mountainous, vegitated terrain...in order to listen in, the bad guys would have to be pumping some wattage. At least that's what I think I know...

Last edited by don744; 08 May 12 at 16:06..
  #822  
Old 08 May 12, 19:58
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Originally Posted by don744 View Post
I agree. I wanted to make the distinction between relay and intercept (SC vice MI) but I wasn't sure if there was any possibility of one colocating with the other. As far as intercept...the way I understand thing is...it is the range of the transmitter that counts . For team 40+ km away...in mountainous, vegitated terrain...in order to listen in, the bad guys would have to be pumping some wattage. At least that's what I think I know...
If it's line of sight voice transmission, it's unlikely they would be picking up much at that distance. The implication is that the target was broadcasting in the clear - rare or non-existent for the NVA. If encrypted, see below.



On the other hand, if it was manual morse (off the ionosphere), they may have been able to pick it up, but, unless they had a cryptologist along and a lot of other processing skills (not likely at that time - we were still training up the ARVN SIGINT operators and analysts) - it wouldn't give them any actionable intelligence.



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Old 09 May 12, 03:52
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The following intelligence on enemy unit positions might be attributed to the second type of radio relay intercepts:

Quote:
On 10/27, the lead elements of the 33d had closed on it forward assembly area, the village Kro (ZA080030); on 10/28, the 32d Regiment had nearly closed its base on the north bank of the Ia Drang; on 10/29, the 33d Regiment decided to keep the unit on the move to the west, to Anta Village ( YA940010), located at the foot of the Chu Pong Massif; on 11/1, the 33rd regiment headquarters closed in at Anta Village; on 11/2, by 0400 hours, the 2d, the regimental CP had arrived at Hill 762 (YA885106); on 11/05, units of 66th Regiment continued to close in the assembling areas in the Chupong-Iadrang complex; on 11/07, the depleted 33d Regiment licked its wounds and waited for its stragglers to come in, meanwhile the remainder of Field Front forces were quiet; on 11/08, only fragmented units and stragglers remained east of the Chu Pong-Ia Drang complex; on 11/09, the 33d Regiment gathered in the last of its organic units; on 11/11, the three battalions of the 66th Regiment were strung along the north bank of the Ia Drang river (center mass at 9104), the 32nd Regiment was also up north in the same area (YA820070), the 33rd Regiment maintained its positions in the vicinity of the Anta Village, east of the Chu Pong mountains.
The following intelligence on enemy at regiment and division level cadre ’s intention and planning could only be gathered with the first type of radio relay intercepts:


Quote:
- On 11/1, soon after arrival at Anta Village, the regimental cadres held a conference in an attempt to discover what was allowing the US forces to make such repeated, accurate air strikes. It was concluded that only spies within the ranks could be furnishing the location and movement of the regiment's elements.
- On 11/2, the NVA division headquarters (Field Front) got the news the 66th Regiment due to arrive soon in South Vietnam and begin moving into assembly areas in the Chu Pong-Ia Drang area.
- On 11/04, the 33d Regiment was ordered out of its base at Hill 732, which it had hardly reached, and onto the eastern slopes of Chu Pong in the vicinity of YA922010 with its battalions (when they closed) to take up positions from Hill 732, down through Anta Village (940010) to the north bank of the Ia Meur (980000).
- On 11/08, the 33d Regiment began to assess its losses.
- On 11/09, the 33d Regiment began to count noses. There were many missing. The regimental muster brought these casualty figures:
Units* Approx Strength Prior to Pleime Percent or Number of Casualties
1st Battalion 500 33% KIA
2d Battalion 500 50% KIA
3d Battalion 500 33% KIA
Regt Mortar Company 120 50% KIA
Regt Anti Acft Company 150 60% KIA
Regt Signal Company 120 4 KIA-16 MIA
Regt Transport Company 150 50% KIA
Regt Medical Company 40 80% KIA or MIA
Regt Engineer Company 60 15 KIA or MIA
Regt Reconnaissance Co 50 9 KIA
In total, the headcount showed 890 men of the original 2,200 killed, with more than 100 missing and still more suffering from incapacitating wounds. Materiel losses were also heavy with the Regimental Anti-air-craft company losing 13 of its 18 guns and the Regimental mortar company losing 5 of its 9 tubes. Six more mortars were lost by the battalions, along with most of the recoilless rifles. The ammunition, food and medical supply losses also had been crippling.
- And at Field Front headquarters north of the Ia Drang, it was a day of situation analysis.
- On 11/11, Field Force B3 decided a second attack on Pleime camp scheduled for 11/16.
- On 11/12, Field Front units continued preparations and rehearsals for the scheduled attack on Pleime.
- On 11/13, Field Front forces began staging in the Chu Pong-Ia Drang area in preparation for movement to Pleime and the projected 16 November attack. Some recon parties and transportation units already had moved out.

Last edited by Phieu; 09 May 12 at 05:54..
  #824  
Old 09 May 12, 04:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phieu View Post
The following intelligence on enemy unit positions might be attributed to the second type of radio relay intercepts:
and

Quote:
The following intelligence on enemy at regiment and division level cadre ’s intention and planning could only be gathered with the first type of radio relay.
Good morning Phieu. RR and I were discussing Radio intercept capability, specifically manpack FM radio. It's important to understand the difference between radio types; manpack vice Base Station, and AM versus FM. Those things mean a great deal when discussing who intercepted what from where. Additionally there is a world of difference between relay and intercept. Two separate branches of the Army. Here is something to read over.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signals_intelligence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_relay_station

I know it is Wikipedia, don't have alot of time right now to try to find better sources, but it will do for my purposes right now. They clearly show the difference.

As I pointed out a couple of months ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by don744 View Post
I dont necessarily believe everything you have presented is "professional military stuffs". I think it is your best effort to explain something that you didn't have the full ability to explain.
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Old 09 May 12, 04:26
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Originally Posted by don744 View Post
From what I have read, it was a radio intercept team attached to 7th CAV located just outside Pleime that provided limited intel on radio intercepts. Specifically RDF data. Moore discussed it in his book, but did not mention if it was a US Army, or ARVN team. I read it as a US team attached to Moore's unit. I dont think Infantry BNs had radio intercept capability, but I could be wrong.
On Nov 15, locations of Moore’s units were indicated in the G3 Journal/IFFV
Quote:
- 16:00H: To: MACV (Sgt Glennon) Ref: Questions fr MACV. 1. Frdy Cas, 3 KIA, 49 WIA, 2. Code name and loc of unit attached to 11 Avn Gp (no units attached). 3. Loc of 2/5 HQ and C- Hq, Falcon, C, previously rept. 4. Loc of 2/7, 5. Loc of C/1/9 (AR 805472) 6. C/8th Eng (Stadium) 7. Hq & B/1/21 Arty Hq – Stadium, B, Macon.

- 16:30H: To: 1st Cav (Capt Parker) Request info on status on 2/7 and 1/5 movement: Ans. (Cook) A/1/5 began move to MACON at 1345. No closing time available. The remaining of 1/5 Cav began movement to Stadium by land at 1455. No closing time available. Was not aware the 2/7 was moving. A/B/D and fwd CP of 2/5 Cav are at X Ray. C/A of 1/21 Arty are at Falcon and B/1/21 is moving there now. C/2/17 Arty is at Stadium with A/2/19 Arty and 1/21 Arty Bn CP. Request info on plans for exploitation of Air strike, Ans, no info available. From Parham: 1/5 Cav has one contact picking up 2 VCS who were evacuated. The unit rec’d their Warning order to move at 0900 this morning.

- 16:55H: 1st Cav Fwd – Request SITREP for X-Ray and units at that location. Ans: Light SA fire, mostly sniper fire. 2/7, 1/7 and 2/5 (-) D Co are at X-Ray. D/2/5 is at Falcon. No info on airstrike.

- 17:10H: FFV Adv (Maj Boyle) Area X-Ray: All of 1/7, A & B/2/7, all of 2/5. Area Falcon: 1/7 recon and 2/5 Rear, A, B & C/1/21 Arty. Proposed location for C/2/17 Arty, YA 973027. 1/5 closing into Stadium shortly. At X-Ray, encountering light spasmodic sniper fire, no sniper contact, are probing battle area for bodies and weapons.

- 17:15H: 1s Cav Fwd (Maj Sandburn) A/1/5 closed Falcon at 1630H. One element (Co) is at Stadium, remainder are still enroute.
Quote:
I thought they were divisional assets.
G3/IFFV specified it was a “VN operating radio relay point”
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