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Vietnam Combat Operation Volume 2

 
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Vietnam Combat Operation Volume 2 - 9/14/2020 7:45:52 PM   
comte


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Historical Background:

New elements in the war's equation modified its shape in
the summer of 1965. Concerned by the continuing inability
of the South Vietnamese to handle the Communist threat,
a threat punctuated by Viet Cong successes in May and
June, the Johnson administration commited two Army
divisions and promised more as needed. With that
commitment, and a matching enemy escalation, the
conflict broadened out, forcing General Westmoreland to
search for a new approach to operations that he hoped
would bring the allies eventual victory.
In May the Viet Cong launched offensives in two areas of
South Vietnam, breaking a two-months lull in operations.
In III Corps the Viet Cong opened their Dong Xoai
campaign, seeking "to annihilate a large portion of the
puppet main-force [South Vietnamese] Army, intensify
guerilla warfare, assist the masses in destroying strategic
hamlets, expand the liberated areas and connect the
eastern Nam Bo [III Corps] bases with the southern part
of the Central Highlands." The offensive began on the
eleventh north of Saigon, with an attack on the capital of
Phuoc Long Province, Song Be, by up to four Viet Cong
battalions. Overrunning most of the town, the attackers
held their ground until the next day. When the South
Vietnamese dispatched two relief forces, both were
ambushed. On the twenty-ninth the offensive expanded
into southern I Corps. A Viet Cong force, probably in
regimental strength, attacked a South Vietnemse Army
company on a road-clearing operation near the hamlet of
Ba Gia, west of Quang Ngai City. The battalion commander
commited his other two companies, but the Viet Cong
ambushed both as they neared the battle site. The
following day three more battalions entered the fray, and
all took a beating. At the end of the fighting it was clear
that the South Vietnamese had suffered a major defeat,
losing 107 killed, 123 wounded and 367 missing, as well
as 384 individual weapons. The enemy had used a favorite
tactic: attacking and pinning down a South Vietnamese
element, and then ambushing the inevitable relief force.
American officials feared the worst. The South Vietnamese
seemed whipped. As General Larsen recalled, "We had to
do something and very fast." An analisys prepared on 5
June by the U.S. Embassy's Mission Intelligence
Committee and transmitted to Washington in Ambassador
Taylor's name, with General Westmoreland's concurrence,
reached a similar conclusion. The growing American
military commitment had persuaded the enemy to commit
more troops of his own. Although suffering heavy losses,
the Communists remained capable of continuing their
attacks, and soon U.S. Combat troops would have to move
out of their enclaves and go into battle.
Two days later, on 7 June, General Westmoreland
informed Admiral Sharp and the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, General Earle G. Wheeler, that the Viet
Cong main forces and the increasing number of North
Vietnamese units in the South could mount regimental-size
operations in all of the corps tactical zones and battalionsize
ones in all of the provinces. Furthermore, he believed
that in the near future the enemy would initiate attacks in
several strategic areas. The South Vietnamese Army, with
it's high desertion rates and higher than expected losses in
recent battles, might not be able to hold. Therefore, the
United States had very few options if it wanted to reverse
the trend. "I see no course of action open," wrote
Westmoreland, "except to reinforce our effort in SVN
[South Vietnam] with additional U.S. or third country
forces as rapidly as praticable during the critical weeks
ahead." As his only recourse, he requested the
commitment of addtional maneuver elements. Counting
these units plus the brigades already in country or on the
way, the number of U.S. or third-country (Australian and
South Korean) battalions would total forty-four, and the
U.S. expeditionary forces would increase to some 175,000
officers and enlisted men by the end of 1965. The
maneuver elements would establish "a substantial and
hard hitting offensive capability on the ground to convince
the V.C. that they cannot win." Planning also had to begin
for the deployement of even greater forces, if and when
required, to defeat the Communists.
Another major South Vietnamese setback soon punctuated
the need for American troops. Shortly after General
Westmoreland made his request, the South Vietnamese at
Dong Xoai suffered their worst defeat since 1964. When
the fighting ended on 12 June, they had lost 416 killed,
174 wounded and 233 missing. For a time, the 173d
Airborne Brigade was poised to intervene, but the enemy's
withdrawal eliminated the need. MACV termed the
engagement "a tactical and psychological victory for the
VC."
Given the almost certain likelihood that incidents like Dong
Xoai would recur, Westmoreland sought confirmation of his
authority to commit his troops for offensive operations. On
13 June Admiral Sharp informed him that he could use his
troops in support of South Vietnamese forces facing
aggressive attack when other reserves were unavailable
and when the military situation warranted it. Less than two
weeks later, in an even clearer message approved by the
Department of Defense, Secretary of State Dean Rusk
added unequivocally that Westmoreland could commit U.S.
Troops to combat "independently or in conjunction with
GVN [goverment of Vietnam] forces in any situation in
which the use of such troops is requested by an
appropriate GVN commander and when, in COMUSMACV's
judgment, their use is necessary to strengthen the relative
postion of GVN forces." The formula gave Westmoreland
as free a hand in managing his troops as he was ever
likely to receive.
Meanwhile, on 11 June the Chiefs of Staff had seconded
Westmoreland's reinforcement request by calling for
additional troops, particularly the men of the 1st Cavalry
Division. President Johnson, however, temporized. On the
nineteenth he approved preparatory steps necessary for
major deployements, but he held back on sending the
troops themselves. Frustrated, General Wheeler on the
twenty-fifth asserted that "we need more troops [in
Vietnam].... Everything else aside, this is the heart of the
problem." As the president deliberated, discussion among
the administration began to shift from what was necessary
to prevent a South Vietnamese collapse to what would be
required to win the struggle. Four days later, at Johnson's
request, Secretary of Defense McNamara asked
Westmoreland to specify the forces that would be
necessary beyond the forty-four battalions to convince the
enemy he could not prevail. In response, the General
recommended twenty-four more battalions plus the
support and air units necessary to sustain them, an
additional 100,000 men. Under the plan he developed, the
forty-four battalions would arrive as soon as possible to
contain the Communist offensive and to prevent a South
Vietnamese collapse. The second wave of troops would
reach Vietnam in 1966 to consolidate earlier gains by
attacking the enemy's main forces in their strongholds and
by assisting with the pacification of politically important
areas.
Throughout the month of July senior officials in the
Johnson's administration pondered the additional
deployements. The Saigon-Honolulu-Washington cable
traffic hummed during these weeks, and McNamara made
yet another trip to Saigon for consulatation with
Westmoreland and Taylor. After McNamara returned,
President Johnson and his most senior security advisers
met several times to arrive at a decision on Vietnam. On
the twenty-seventh Johnson approved Westmoreland's
original request of forty-four battalions, but with two
significant reservations: He declined to declare a national
emergency, and he postponed any decision on calling up
reservists for service in Southeast Asia.
President Johnson announced the decision the next day,
28 July, at a news conference. After highlighting the
importtance of convincing "the Communists that we cannot
be defeated by force of arms" and also his request that
Westmoreland specify what more was needed to curb the
North, he added that he intended to meet the general's
requirements. By ordering the 1st Cavalry Division and
other units to Vietnam, he continued, American fighting
strength in the theater would rise from 75,000 to 125,000
men, but additional forces would be necessary later and
would be sent as requested. Realizing the significance of
the president's statement, a reporter asked if the existing
policy of relying on the South Vietnamese to carry out
offensive operations while American forces protected
American installations and were available only as an
emergency backup had changed. Johnson responded that
the decision "does not imply any change of objective." But
it did, and dramatically so. In the words of one historian,
the president's decree became "the closest thing to a
formal declaration for war in Vietnam."
(Taken from Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide, May
1965 to October 1966 by John M. Carland, Center for
Military History, Washington, D.C., 2000)








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_____________________________

But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-
Post #: 1
RE: Vietnam Combat Operation Volume 2 - 9/14/2020 7:49:48 PM   
comte


Posts: 2346
Joined: 2/4/2009
From: Be'eri, Hadarom, Israel
Status: offline
Current News at the Beginning of the scenario:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by comte -- 9/14/2020 7:50:34 PM >


_____________________________

But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-

(in reply to comte)
Post #: 2
Ongoing Ops at the beginning - 9/14/2020 7:53:15 PM   
comte


Posts: 2346
Joined: 2/4/2009
From: Be'eri, Hadarom, Israel
Status: offline
OPERATION OP-ORD 19-65

28 Jul.-2 Aug. Operation: OPORD 19-65
Location: Rung Sat Special Zone; Phuoc Tuy Province. Type:
search and destroy. Controlling headquarters: 173d Abn Bde.
Task organization: 1-503 Inf, 2/503 Inf, 3-319 Art, E/17 Cav,
D/16 Arm. Execution: The brigade conducted this operation to
sever the supply route of the Vietcong between the Rung Sat
Special Zone and Phuoc Tuy Province.





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-

(in reply to comte)
Post #: 3
Ongoing Ops at the beginning - 9/14/2020 7:55:22 PM   
comte


Posts: 2346
Joined: 2/4/2009
From: Be'eri, Hadarom, Israel
Status: offline
Operation 5-65

Royal Australian Regiment Operation

29 Jul.-3 Aug. Operation: 5/65
Location: Bien Hoa Province. Type: patrolling operation. Controlling
headquarters: 2d Bde, 1st Inf Div. Task organization:
1RAR, 161 Bty RNZA, 1st APC Troop. Execution: 1RAR
provided warning and defense for the Bien Hoa air base during
the 173d Abn Bde deployment to Phuoc Tuy Province.






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-

(in reply to comte)
Post #: 4
RE: Ongoing Ops at the beginning - 9/14/2020 8:03:28 PM   
comte


Posts: 2346
Joined: 2/4/2009
From: Be'eri, Hadarom, Israel
Status: offline
After attempting to play out VCO volume 2 about 10 years ago I decided to try it again. I will be using TOAW III with an older patch not the final patch. As the scenario was play tested on older patches. I posted this in the TOAW IV forum since III is totally dead. I will be following all the house rules established in the scenario manual. I will try to follow the historical operations to the best of my ability. There will be no wacky stuff like invading Cambodia or Laos or even North Vietnam. I will follow the rules of engagement. Please feel free to comment and lets enjoy this journey into this controversial war that still defines our modern era.

_____________________________

But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-

(in reply to comte)
Post #: 5
RE: Ongoing Ops at the beginning - 9/18/2020 10:14:46 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1806
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Looking forward to this one! VCO series is on my list of "must play" ... I think there are 12 volumes now? Have you played the other volumes, too?

(in reply to comte)
Post #: 6
RE: Ongoing Ops at the beginning - 9/22/2020 6:43:51 PM   
comte


Posts: 2346
Joined: 2/4/2009
From: Be'eri, Hadarom, Israel
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hellen_slith

Looking forward to this one! VCO series is on my list of "must play" ... I think there are 12 volumes now? Have you played the other volumes, too?



I have dabbled in Tet and the Cambodia Invasion scenario.

_____________________________

But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 7
Operation Blast Out - 9/22/2020 6:52:11 PM   
comte


Posts: 2346
Joined: 2/4/2009
From: Be'eri, Hadarom, Israel
Status: offline
Operation Blast Out

August 2,3 1965

The 1/3 and 1/9 Marine Battalions have been tasked with conducting a search and destroy operation around the village of Cam Ne. The Marines will use 1/3 battalion as a blocking force as 1/9 will attack into the village. Viet Cong are encountered immediately when the marines arrive. Artillery from Da Nang as well as airstrikes by Marine F-4's will pound the Viet Cong in Cam Ne before the Marines enter the village.

*Morley Safer the reporter recorded an infamous news report from this operation where he showed the marines burning the village. The Marines conducting this operation were under fire from VC in the village and retaliated by torching houses that they received fire from.

*Also please note that the VC are hidden in the village I don't actually see them on the map due to the settings for this scenario but they are there.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by comte -- 9/22/2020 6:57:29 PM >


_____________________________

But when Territories are acquired in regions where there are differences in language, customs, and laws then great good fortune and much hard work are required to hold them.

-Machiavelli, Il Principe, Book III-

(in reply to comte)
Post #: 8
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