Friday, May 26, 2017
Lessons of Tet
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
There are realities which face Americans, as they engage in actions placing their will against the will of other nations as Russia, China, North Vietnam, in areas scattered from Korea to Syria, and something the Americans have not experienced since Tet in South Vietnam, in what it is like to be in a firefight, and when you call for help, none came.
Tet for those who do not know, was an absolute disaster for the Vietnamese communist, but due to Walter Cronkite of CBS and other leftists, it became the propaganda victory for communists worldwide.
Tet stood for the Vietnamese New Year, and this is what Chariman Ho of Hanoi, and his communist leadership sought to strike America in real battle, instead of guerilla warfare in the south.
There are numbers of unsung heroes in Tet and two officers in General Fred Weyand who noted that General Westmoreland who was in command Vietnam had too many forces on the Cambodian border, and had them moved back to Saigon, the capital, proved the exact measure against Tet, as much as Major General Charles Stone, who painstakingly planned for an unthought of communist mass attack in the central highlands of Vietnam, provided for the defense of Plieku.
In the face of the many battles, the Cronkite 5th column focused on Saigon being fought over and the American embassy breached, but two battles were more telling, and foretell the warning if President Trump is provided fake intelligence again and drives America into involvement again in wars she should not be fighting.
The first is Chau Fu, the provincial capital on the Cambodian border with Vietnam. The Vietcong were assigned to strike this area and soon discovered they had engaged USSF B 42, Project Phoenix recon units, along with Navy SEALS. The United States Special Forces B 42, were the infamous assassin squads in the best America fielded.
In 36 hours of Tet, the Special Forces destroyed a quarter of Chau Fu, numerous civilians were killed in the combat, but the Vietcong terrorists were utterly routed.
The second is what takes place when things go wrong. Lang Vei was on the opposite side of the country and was Special Forces base which was in the process of moving from the old location and primarily had fighting bunkers.
It was manned by 24 USSF, 14 Vietnamese Special Forces, 443 sidge or CIDG, (civilian Vietnamese military) and a MIKE, mobile strike force.
It had a 4.2 inch, seven 81 mm, 16 60 mm mortars, two 106 howitzers, four 57 mm recoilless rifles, two Ma Deuce or Browning 50 caliber machine guns, 39 M 60 30 caliber machine guns, and 100 LAW or anti tank missiles.
On the evening of February 6, 50 rounds of 152 mm struck the camp. The Vietnamese had floated down the river Soviet light tanks for the attack and it was this group with struck the south of Lang Vei and were found in the wire with the sappers. It was then that all hell broke loose as it did not take that long for the Vietnamese communist to breach the main camp bunker and put it under direct fire.
The Americans were not having a good time of it, because the LAW missiles were duds, as they destroyed several tanks.
What compounded the problem was Lang Vie was facing overwhelming odds and started calling for help in artillery fire from KSCB Marines (Khe Sahn Command Base). The Green Berets at Lang Vie were promptly informed by the Marines that they were not under attack, much to the surprise of the Green Berets were receiving point blank tank cannon fire, detonation sachels and flame throwers scorching their areas.
The Marines too were under suppressive artillery fire, and were not inclined to venture out to help the beseiged at Lang Vie.
After repeated attacks on the main bunker in which the roof fell in, the civilian military surrendered and were promptly executed by the communist Vietnamese. The Americans held position, counter attacked with Laotian forces and the battle raged on, with a tank knocked out immediately in front of the main bunker, and the turret blowing off in the ensuing fire.
In the counter attack, the 5 Americans left the bunker, fanned out to attack the tanks and sappers with the dud LAW missiles, but were soon forced back as Vietnamese infantry rejoined the fight.
With the Marines not willing to send reinforcements by land in fearing an ambush as it required them 19 hours the last time they practiced such a deployment, and a night landing by helo not advised, it fell to Major George Quamo of FOB3 (forward operating base) to mount a rescue mission by helicopter at 1750 hours.
The Major rescued the majority of Special Forces, with the remainder fighting their way back on foot to FOB3. The remaining Laotian and sidge forces made it to Khe Sahn, where the Marines immediately disarmed them, in their first act in the battle.
All of the Americans, who surived, save one were wounded in this battle. It perhaps is needless to mention at this point in the story that the Green Berets had absolutely no time for Marines after this battle.
There are far too many times in real war, when the cavalry does not come riding over the hill, not because it is not there, but because they are going to save themselves, and can not comprehend that the enemy often appears with weapons in surprise attacks to surprise the Americans.
Americans have nothing around the globe now, but these firebases. They look good on paper and are what the Pentagon deems expendable, but the people who serve on them are not inclined to understand that they are expendable and expect support or rescue when things go south.
Americans must be prepared for the reality that they will lose badly in the opening of any war, as they do not have the defenses to absorb or stop an attack. These bases are meant to delay and consume enemy resources, drawing the enemy out, and then a counter attack will be enaged in more horrendous fighting to retake the ground.
It is not a pleasure to be left to make a stand, but that is what the lessons of Tet reveal.