On July 2 1966 two companies of Marines were sweeping North (well outside the DMZ-Demilitarised zone) when A Company tripped two claymore mines* taking heavy casualties.The NVA (North Vietnamese army) swarmed forward to attempt to kill all B Company (who had thus been forced out into the open).Only Napalm airstrikes beat them back. A mere 58 soldiers of B Company got back to the Con Thien base.
It transpired then that 3,000 NVA troops swarmed forward to surround them,so they were without water for 36 hours.Then a huge NVA force was spotted across the Ben Hai River, (man this was a really nasty nasty business) 159 Marines were dead and 345 wounded.
In response to these repeated NVA assaults tanks, airstrikes and relief battalions were brought in.
in response to the VC (Vietcong) attacks the greatest single concentration of firepower on earth was launched against the flip-flop pyjama wearing Vietcong.
12,577 artillery rounds were fired in Vietcong positions and NVA hideouts, for the Vietnamese were accomplished at using tunnels and forests to hide.The U.S. 7th Naval fleet also contributed 6,148 more.
Marines then began to call the Hills of Angels the Meat-grinder.
Unfortunately mines couldn’t tell the difference between humans and animals and there are many reports of airstrikes called in upon some hapless water buffalo who strayed into the killing zone.
Communist supply lines ran through Laos and the NVA frequently would withdraw into Cambodia when things got hot.
The U.N. scorned the idea that South Vietnam was vital for U.S. ‘security’ and Communist N.V.A leaders insisted America quit Vietnam (seeing them as another foreign invader like the Japanese and French)
It was the Soviets more sop then the Chinese who continued to pump Millions of Roubles worth of food and weapons to support North Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh (alias Nguyen Sinh Cung, Nguyen Tat Thanh, and Nguyen Ai Quoc)
an example of what went on……
*So here it is, the Claymore Mine that we all know and love. With a layer of plastic explosives lining the inside of the curve shaped mine, there are about 700 ball bearings laid into the explosives that fire forward supposedly at enemy troops as shrapnel.