Vietnam Infantry Tactics (Elite)
Gordon L. Rottman
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Osprey's study of the evolving US, Viet Cong and NVA tactics at battalion level and below throughout the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Beginning with a description of the terrain, climate and the unique nature of operations in this theater of war, author Gordon Rottman, a Vietnam veteran himself, goes on to explain how unit organization was broken down by combatant forces and the impact this had on the kind of tactics they employed. In particular, Rottman highlights how units were organized in reality on the battlefield as opposed to their theoretical tables of organization.
US tactics included the standard US tactical doctrine as prescribed by several field manuals and in which leaders and troops were rigorously trained. But it also reveals how many American units developed innovative small unit tactics specifically tailored to the terrain and enemy practices. Key Free World Forces' tactics that will be discussed in detail include Command and Control, Combat Patrols and Ambushes, Counter-Ambushes, Defensive Perimeters, and Offensive Operations (sweeps, search and destroy, clear and secure). In contrast, this book reveals the tactics employed by Viet Cong and NVA units including their own Offensive Operations (attacking bases and installations, attacking moving forces), Reconnaissance, Movement Formations and Security, and Ambushes.
preference, or local terrain, and reactions had to take many factors into consideration - direction of attack, size and disposition of the force, terrain, visibility, volume of fire, and other intangibles. To react effectively required experienced and "savvy" leaders and troops. C I : A US squad reacts to fire from a bunker, which it assaults. (The same maneuver would be used when running into an enemy patrol or other small element.) The two fire teams might advance alternately, "leap-frogging"
Various methods have been tried for carrying the belts, from Claymore bags, pouches utility, to specially manufactured waterproof covers. (5) The biggest advantage is its dependable sustained fire. The new scaling of 28 per battalion in a pool is considered adequate for the sustained fire role. 90mm RCL [M67 Recoilless Rifle]. Is mainly used in defensive locations or ambushes close to the base (flechette round thought valuable), as too heavy to patrol with. Grenades. Rifle grenades performed
inflict casualties on the enemy from concealment, they varied greatly in size and intentions. Free World Forces used them as a security measure around bases, establishing squad- and platoon-sized ambushes on likely approaches in hopes of catching enemy patrols or forces moving into attack positions. Units operating in the field might set ambushes on nearby trails during lengthy rest halts. At night they might do the same in order to protect themselves from surprise attacks. COUNTERAMBUSH
companies areas within this. Once a company had cleared part of its AO and moved on, the VC tended to simply move into the "cleared" area. The boundaries between unit AOs were not being searched, and the VC used these as corridors to move back into already-searched areas. These fix-and-destroy operations - essentially, shows of force - saw an ARVN unit move into an area and sweep through it searching for the VC, focusing on the small hamlets dotted across the Vietnamese countryside. Such sweeps
it stayed in one location too long it would invite attack. If there was a hamlet in the area, the battalion might locate there to segregate the population from the enemy. 58 Local Self-Defense Corps and Civil Guard platoons and companies protecting hamlets would be incorporated into the operation (the LSD and CG became the Popular Forces and Regional Forces, respectively, in 1964 - see MAA 458.) Saturation operations became more effective when battalions later received a fourth company,