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

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Vietnam War Videos Videos and documentaries about the Wars in Vietnam 1945-1975

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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 08, 12:25
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Arrow Video: MIKE Forces in Vietnam

A great doc on the Mobile Strike (MIKE) Forces in Vietnam, part of the Special Ops series (total running time 45mins approx)


Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5



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  #2  
Old 30 Oct 08, 14:19
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Most Aussie MF troopies were not SAS

One important correction to the segment on the Australians with the II Corps MIKE Force. Only a small number were from the Australian SAS Regiment, and a smaller number were from Commando (Rayenne Simpson, seen wearing a Commando beret in the film clip, was a founding member of the Aussie SAS Regiment.) The majority were "Royal Australian Infantry Corps" with years of service with RAR. A smaller number were Signaleers, or artillerymen. SAS vets who come to mind include Tony Danilenko (KIA), J.E.D. White, David Savage, Jack Jewell, and Joe Urquhart. RAR vets included Don Cameron, Wallaby Wilkes, Barry Tolley, Peter "Roo" Rothwell, Jim Bourke, Peter Harris, Geoff Smith, Laurie Jackson, Jock Stewart, Danny "Hold on to your Wallet" McClymans, and Peter Elkins (Commando). I believe Mick Gill (KIA at Ben Het) was a Signaleer. The bottom line is that the fieldcraft and infantry skills that came to the MIKE Force from the Australian Army (AATTV) was based upon that taught and practiced in the battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment. We greatly appreciated our SAS and Commando brethren, but we never underestimated the abilities of the common Aussie RAR digger as evidenced at Duc Lap, Bu Prang, Ben Het, and Dak Seang.
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Old 31 Oct 08, 07:10
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LL, for a septic; your knowledge of things OZ is absolutely awesome.


Your point that the majority of those serving with MIKE Force units were regular RAR soldiers, is right on the money.

As a matter of general interest, Jim Bourke is the driving force behind the highly succesful efforts to locate and repatriate Australian MIA servicemen from Vietnam. Linky

Bourke was badly shot up on his first tour with 1 RAR in 1965. Another 1 RAR veteran who subsequently served with AATTV as a MIKE FORCE Commander was Bruce Davies. I think I might have previously hinted (subtlely) that Bruce has a new book out on the Battle at Ngok Tavak.

For anyone interested in further reading on Australians serving with MIKE Force see:

David Savage, "Through the wire"

and

Pat Beale, "Operation Orders", which is an absolutely searing account of the relief of the SF Camp at Dak Seang.

Once again

Cheers

Mick
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Old 31 Oct 08, 22:37
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I've read THE TEAM-Australian Army Advisers in Vietnam 1962-1972 by Ian McNeill and MIKE FORCE by Lt. Col.L.H. "Bucky" Burruss.

MIKE FORCE is a great read.
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Old 01 Nov 08, 01:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippymick View Post
LL, for a septic; your knowledge of things OZ is absolutely awesome.


Your point that the majority of those serving with MIKE Force units were regular RAR soldiers, is right on the money.

As a matter of general interest, Jim Bourke is the driving force behind the highly succesful efforts to locate and repatriate Australian MIA servicemen from Vietnam. Linky

Bourke was badly shot up on his first tour with 1 RAR in 1965. Another 1 RAR veteran who subsequently served with AATTV as a MIKE FORCE Commander was Bruce Davies. I think I might have previously hinted (subtlely) that Bruce has a new book out on the Battle at Ngok Tavak.

For anyone interested in further reading on Australians serving with MIKE Force see:

David Savage, "Through the wire"

and

Pat Beale, "Operation Orders", which is an absolutely searing account of the relief of the SF Camp at Dak Seang.

Once again

Cheers

Mick
Interesting, Dak Seang is probably our battle of "Đắc Siêng" in April 1970. The 9/66th batallion(the one at X-Ray), reported they ambushed the 23rd Ranger ARVN batallion on its way to releave Đắc Siêng post, destroyed it, killed its commander and also 3 American advisers. Look like not all of the 3 were Americans!
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Old 02 Nov 08, 01:21
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Banzua.

My information is that:

1 Battalion 2 MIKE force, led by Beale, initiated the combat assault into Dak Seang. Two Ranger Battalions (unnamed) were also involved. 4/2 MIKE Force was committed on the 6th April and air assaulted into 1/2 MIKE Forces perimeter. These two MIKE force Battalions relieved the siege at Dak Seang on 13th April.

Two Ranger Battalions and an ARVN Battalion were still 7 kilometers from Dak Seang when the siege was lifted. (Davies and McKay)

The 23rd Ranger Battalion in 1970 had no Australian Advisers. To the best of my knowledge, only the following Ranger battalions had Australians attached to them, at some point: 11, 21, 31, 32, 39 and 20 Special Battalion. (Davies and McKay, McNeill) Australian Advisers, particularly those with SAS service, served as instructors at the Ranger Training Center at Duc My.

Your information with respect to 23 Ranger Battalion may well be correct and tallies with Australian sources. If any advisers were killed with the 23rd, then they were most likely to have been American.

The only fatal Australian battle casualty among Beale’s Australians at Dak Seang was WOII J. G. Pettit who, as it happens, had served with the Australian SAS.

Lire Lou

The statistics for members of AATTV by Corp are as follows:

Infantry 588
Artillery 92
Engineers 76
Service 60
Armoured 56
Medical 49
Electrical Mechanical engineers 19
Signalers 19
Intelligence 12
Ordnance 8
Catering 4
Military Police 3
Staff 3
Survey 3

Total 992 (Team unique)

Cheers

Mick
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Old 02 Nov 08, 03:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippymick View Post
Banzua.

My information is that:

1 Battalion 2 MIKE force, led by Beale, initiated the combat assault into Dak Seang. Two Ranger Battalions (unnamed) were also involved. 4/2 MIKE Force was committed on the 6th April and air assaulted into 1/2 MIKE Forces perimeter. These two MIKE force Battalions relieved the siege at Dak Seang on 13th April.

Two Ranger Battalions and an ARVN Battalion were still 7 kilometers from Dak Seang when the siege was lifted. (Davies and McKay)

The 23rd Ranger Battalion in 1970 had no Australian Advisers. To the best of my knowledge, only the following Ranger battalions had Australians attached to them, at some point: 11, 21, 31, 32, 39 and 20 Special Battalion. (Davies and McKay, McNeill) Australian Advisers, particularly those with SAS service, served as instructors at the Ranger Training Center at Duc My.

Your information with respect to 23 Ranger Battalion may well be correct and tallies with Australian sources. If any advisers were killed with the 23rd, then they were most likely to have been American.

The only fatal Australian battle casualty among Beale’s Australians at Dak Seang was WOII J. G. Pettit who, as it happens, had served with the Australian SAS.


Mick
We identified the 2 ARVN ranger batallions engaged here as the 22nd and 23rd, also there were 2 battallions of the ARVN infantry regiment 42. Although these forces were far from Dak Seang, they still are the true targets of this campaign. After all, it's our first probe of the Vietnamization ...
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Old 02 Nov 08, 04:06
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Banzua.

We identified the 2 ARVN ranger batallions engaged here as the 22nd and 23rd, also there were 2 battallions of the ARVN infantry regiment 42. Although these forces were far from Dak Seang, they still are the true targets of this campaign. After all, it's our first probe of the Vietnamization ...

OK, that makes sense.

Ta.

Mick
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Old 02 Nov 08, 10:39
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Dates may be cause of some confusion

Chippymick and Altus,

1970 was the year that the CIDG converted to "border rangers". This conversion effected both the MIKE Force and the Camp Strike Forces, and coincided with an ARVN overhaul of the Ranger (BDQ) forces into Ranger "Groups". HOWEVER, that conversion did not take place until after August 1970, whereas the action at Dak Seang was in April 1970, when the the 2nd Mobile Strike Force Command (formerly II Corps MIKE Force) was still operating under that name. The initial unit into Dak Seang was the 1st MIKE Force battalion (largely manned by Jarai, Rhade, and Koho and based at Pleiku), later reinforced by the 4th Battalion (manned by Sedang, Bahnar, Rengao, and Halang and based at Kontum in 1968-69). Mention is made of the two (ARVN) Ranger units in Davies and MacKay's "The Men who Persevered" (p. 169), but not as directly involved in the operation, and probably (my opinion) operating against targets in support of the MF action at Dak Seang.

I do not believe that the Vietnamese (24th Special Zone Commander?) would have placed the MIKE Force and ARVN Rangers in close proximity to each other due to racial animosity and the obvious FULRO connections of the Mike Force indigenous leadership.
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Old 02 Nov 08, 12:21
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Extractrs from MIKE Force AAR - Sak Seang

Chippy Mick, Banzua, the following are extracts from the 2nd Mobile Strike Command Force after action report. Note that tere were three ARVN ranger units involved, but that they were working away from the MIKE Force, who were charged with operations closest to the camp.

Quote:
Siege began 010630 April 1970, with a heavy volume of rocket and mortar fire, followed by a ground probe. Initially on 1 April 1970 one (1) CSF Company from Camp
PLATEAU GI was combat assaulted on an LZ two (2) kilometers east of camp and proceeded to camp with light contact. They were not a part of the offensive operations as they were for camp defense within the camp and remained until 28 April 1970. Camp DAK SEANG came under the Operational Control (OPON) of the CO 24th STZ on 2 April 1970. The Tactical Ground units of the 24th STZ were committed into the Southern portion of the DAK SEANG TAOR on 2 April 1970 and they immediately had to go into a defensive posture and did not start to conduct offensive operations until 9 April 1970. The 1st MSF Battalion was committed to the DAK SEANG TAOR on 3 & 4 April to conduct offensive operations. They were extracted from the PLEI ME TAOR and inserted on an LZ approximately 4½ kilometers south east of camp with a mission of clearing an area along a stream running east to west. South of the camp and just forward
of the LZ, strong enemy resistance was met. Five (5) UH1H were damaged in several attempts to resupply the 1st MSF Battalion in the field. The 1st MSF Battalion was then directed to proceed to the camp for resupply and refitting; however, this plan had to be altered somewhat due to the numerous enemy contacts. On 8 April 1970 the 4th MSF Battalion reinforced the 1st MSF Battalion by combat assaulting into an LZ 2 kilometers south of the camp. There was stiff enemy resistance from the LZ until link-up with the 1st MSF Battalion on 10 April 1970. The 4th MSF Battalion secured an LZ for the 1st MSF Battalion to be extracted. The 1st MSF Battalion was extracted on 11 April 1970. The 4th MSF Battalion continued to conduct search and clear operations west of the camp with constant heavy enemy contact. The CSF from Camp DAK SEANG conducted a two platoon search and clear operation on 12 April 1970, 500 meters north west of camp that resulted in 13 NVA KIA. The 4th Battalion was extracted from Camp DAK SEANG TAOR on 29 April 1970. The 24th STZ units were extracted from Camp
DAK SEANG TAOR on 8 May 1970.
b. The 24th STZ conducted Operation TAT THANG 17, 18 and 18a in support of Camp
DAK SEANG during the siege.
(1) TAT THANG 17 was a one phase, six Battalion search and clear operation south of
DAK SEANG targeted against enemy units within the DAK SEANG TAOR. This operation started on 2 April 1970 and terminated on 10 April 1970. The initial phase of this operation reverted to a defensive phrase due to the heavy enemy contact encountered by ARVN forces.
(2) TAT THANG 18 was a one phase combat assault operation north of Camp DAK
SEANG to search and clear enemy units in assigned AO’s. This operation started upon the termination of TAT THANG 17 and terminated on 21 April. 1970.
(3) TAT THANG 18a was a two phase operation. The first phase was a search and clear
operation and the second phase a retrograde movement. This operation started on 26 April 1970 and was terminated on 9 May 1970.
(4) Troop Units participating in Operation TAT THANG 17, 18 and 18a in support of
Camp DAK SEANG.
(a) 1st and 4th MSF Battalions, 2d MSF Command.
(b) 42d Regiment (ARVN)
(c) 45th Regiment (ARVN)
(d) 47th Regiment (ARVN)
(e) 11th, 22d and 23d Ranger Battalions (ARVN)
(f) 404th and 406th Highland Scout Companies (ARVN)
(g) Two Platoons, 63d Artillery, FSB TANGO, 105mm (ARVN)
(h) One Section, 37th Artillery, FSB TANGO, 155mm (ARVN)
(i) “B” Btry 1/92d Artillery, FSB 6, 155mm (US)
(j) “C” Btry 6/114th Artillery, BEN HET, 8”/175mm SP (US)
(k) “C” Btry 1/92d Artillery, FSB 1, 155mm (US)
(l) A & B Troops 7/17th Air Cav Sqdn (US)
(m) 52d Avn Bn Lt (US)
(n) 2d Plt 219th Avn Co (OlE) (US)

2. ENEMY:
(A) Confirmed:
Confirmed enemy units operating within Dak Seang’s TAOR in defensive and offensive postures were the 28th NVA Regt, C-14 AA Co/28th NVA Regt, elements of the 40th Arty Regt, 2nd Independent Transportation Bn/B-3 Front and Cadre of the 66th NVA Regt which were assembled in the rear base area making preparations for the next battle at Plei Kan (vic 850250). These facts were confirmed by PW (deleted) Phong of the A-4/B-2/C-4/K-l Bn/28th NVA Regt and PW (deleted) Truong of the C1/2nd Transportation Bn. Phong was captured on 070930 hours April 70 VIC YB 905410 by a CIDG force from Camp Dak Seang and Truong was captured on 071130 April 70, VIC YB 800430 by the 7/17 Air Cav. Captured documents and marked enemy equipment also contributed to unit identification.
(B) Unconfirmed:
Enemy units which were suspected to be operating in Dak Seang’s TAOR were the K-37 Sapper Bn, elements of the K-16 AA Bn, and possible intel and radio intercept units. (Reference ground assault against 23rd ARVN Rangers at 062130 to 062230 Apri1 70. When the ARVN unit radioed that they were out of ammunition and needed a emergency resupply of ammo they then received an all out ground assault to include a bayonet charge shortly thereafter. The ARVN’s, who were not fact not out of ammunitions killed 122 NVA while suffering only light casualties.)
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Old 02 Nov 08, 12:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzua View Post
We identified the 2 ARVN ranger batallions engaged here as the 22nd and 23rd, also there were 2 battallions of the ARVN infantry regiment 42. Although these forces were far from Dak Seang, they still are the true targets of this campaign. After all, it's our first probe of the Vietnamization ...
The Dak Seang siege of 1970 wasn't the first test of Vietnamization in II Corps, in May 1969 already PAVN Regiments 28 and 66 tried to overrun the Ben Het CIDG camp but the 24th ARVN STZ employing the 2nd MSFC, 2nd Ranger Group (11, 22, 23 BDQ) and the 42nd Regiment mounted Operation DAN QUYEN 38A and broke the siege, claiming 945 enemy KIA.
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Old 02 Nov 08, 18:13
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The Team by Ian Mc Neill details the disaster of the battle of Tun Tavern 31May -3 June 1970.

"When the helicopter pilot made radio contact, Deane explained that there would be six to collect with no stampeding and no overloading. The pilot, who had experienced the rushes the day before, replied: 'OK buddy, got you, sounds good'. As the helicopter approached the position, Deane gave the word and the stretcher party set off at speed down the hill. Deane was especially satisfied when he saw no attempt by others to follow. Helicopter and party disappeared into the trees.
After a pause Deane heard on his radio: '******* it, how many did you say there were?' Before he could answer the helicopter appeared, lifting lazily into the sky and wheeling over Deane's head as it prepared for its return to Dong Ha. When it banked Deane had a full view of the passengers. All fifteen of the party were there, with the sergeant sitting on the edge waving while the sun glinted on his golden-toothed grin."
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Old 02 Nov 08, 22:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
Chippy Mick, Banzua, the following are extracts from the 2nd Mobile Strike Command Force after action report. Note that tere were three ARVN ranger units involved, but that they were working away from the MIKE Force, who were charged with operations closest to the camp.
In our different accounts, only 2 ranger batallions were mentioned, also there was an sapper attack against the 2nd Ranger Group HQ during the night 5-6 April at Po-co Ha Bridge. Otherwise there were hard contacts with 2 other batallions of the 24 regiment. Probably other ARVN units did not meet serious contacts.

The fighting NVA troops involved were :
-Artillery regiment 40: around Dak Seang and after move to Po Co Ha, the ARVN FSB.
-Regiment 28: Siege Dak Seang.
- Regiment 66: ambush relieve forces
- Sapper batallion 20 and 37.


@Boonierat: yes, the same NVA and ARVN units already met during May 1969. Our counterpart of ARVN operation "Dan Quyen" named was operation "Dak To 2".
Interestingly, the conclusion from that 1969 campaign was that:
the ARVN had less fire power (than American troops) but they were more vicious. Knowing pretty good the operation area, they marched faster on accident grounds and had more scouts around big units so that they were usually ready to avoid contact or fight when we attacked them...
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Old 03 Nov 08, 01:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzua View Post
@Boonierat: yes, the same NVA and ARVN units already met during May 1969. Our counterpart of ARVN operation "Dan Quyen" named was operation "Dak To 2".
Interestingly, the conclusion from that 1969 campaign was that:
the ARVN had less fire power (than American troops) but they were more vicious. Knowing pretty good the operation area, they marched faster on accident grounds and had more scouts around big units so that they were usually ready to avoid contact or fight when we attacked them...
Interesting. Do you know if it was common practice for the PAVN to name its operations/campaigns in the same way the US and ARVN did?
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Old 29 Aug 09, 04:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
Chippy Mick, Banzua, the following are extracts from the 2nd Mobile Strike Command Force after action report. Note that tere were three ARVN ranger units involved, but that they were working away from the MIKE Force, who were charged with operations closest to the camp.
Lou, I'm looking for information on Operation TAT THANG 21, took place from 10 May to 3 June 1970, still probably around Dak Seang, do you have anything on it?
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