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‘Nam Book Preview

'Nam With Mike Haught.
Vietnam. In a small corner of the world, one of the most bloody wars to be fought occurred in this small country in Southeast Asia. Traditionally framed as a war of small skirmishes, long patrols, and guerilla ambushes, there is a lot more that happened such as full-scale offensives and pitched battles.The US and its allies have all the advantages of mobility and firepower. The ubiquitous Huey helicopter has become a symbol the war itself as it carries troops into battle and unloads fire on the enemy. Heavily armed flotillas sail up the windy Mekong Delta, heavy tanks and M113 ‘tracks’ bash their way through the jungle searching for enemy strongpoints, and resolute ‘grunts’ hold firebases against fierce enemy assaults…
Meanwhile, the Nationalists have all the advantages of the home team. They fight as guerillas, choosing the time and place of major operations or surprise attacks and appearing from nowhere to ambush enemy hunting them. When the time is right, they even commit their tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and seasoned troops into the fray to achieve total victory.

‘Nam gives you have everything* you need to take command of one of these forces. Building on the success of Battlefront’s Team Yankee, these rules and forces are easy to learn and use. Within these pages you can find all of the scenarios, missions, and notes on terrain to fully brief you before you step onto your Huey to lead your troops to the landing zone!

(Well, almost everything. A groovy playlist of 1960s and 70s tunes is compulsory for maximum playability.)

About The Book
Nam! is a one-stop shop for all of your Vietnam battles on the tabletop. It includes a complete rules set, missions, and a comprehensive list of American, South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese, and ANZAC forces to play. ‘Nam! includes a whole new set of rules based on the successful Team Yankee system. This gives you a streamlined set of rules and missions so you should be getting into the jungle a lot faster than ever before. There are also updated missions as well, keeping all of the flavour of the old Vietnam missions and streamlining the mission rules for fast-paced and exciting games.If you’re a seasoned Vietnam gamer, you’ll find all of your forces are here in the book as well as some new ones, such as the USMC and elite North Vietnamese sappers. So let’s start there and dive in to take a look at what’s new, what’s different, and how to properly play a Vietnam game.
'Nam
'Nam What’s New?
One of the highly anticipated forces in ‘Nam! are the US Marines. The Marines occupied the northern border of South Vietnam along the demilitarised zone. They were in constant contact with North Vietnamese forces during their entire stay in country, engaged in epic sieges, gruelling patrols, and fierce combat actions. In the book you’ll find a US Marine Rifle Company and a Marine Tank Company. The Marines have an unrivalled esprit-de-corps and  this is reflected in the unit cards, giving them high morale and excellent combat ability. They have some interesting equipment as well, such as the enormous LVTP-5 amphibious transport.
Descended from the ole LVPs from WWII, this beast was designed to carry an entire platoon of marines in two vehicles, unlike the M113 which would typically carry a half dozen troops. To put that into game terms, the platoon’s transports are carrying 5 to 7 teams each!
The Marines were backed by the first batch of M48 Patton tanks to arrive in the country in 1967. The Marine tanks saw lot of action in Vietnam, often accompanying patrols on missions up to the demilitarised zone. In addition to these gun tanks, they also had the only M48 flame tanks in country, equipped with a flamethrower instead of a main gun. These were useful for reducing bunkers and clearing brush away for the patrols.

The Marines really, really loved their 106mm recoilless rifles. So much so that they had one of the oddest vehicles in country, the bizarre M50 Ontos. The Ontos was a small fully-tracked armoured vehicle that carried no less than six 106 millimetre recoilless guns! Originally built as a tank destroyer, the Ontos was frequently used in Vietnam as a bunker buster or an infantry support gun. You can take several platoons of these little devils in your Marine formations.

'Nam
The second most requested force for Vietnam has been the North Vietnamese Special Tasks Battalion also famously known as sappers. These troops often led the assaults on major Free World firebases, silently sneaking into positions just prior to the battle and clearing a patch for the follow up assault forces. This gives the nationalists an elite force of their own, highly skilled and motivated to complete the mission before them. Unlike the other typical Nationalist forces they’re small units but they hit very hard.

'Nam

The book also extends the game’s timeline somewhat into 1975, when the last battles were fought between the south and the north Vietnamese. This allows players to field some new South Vietnamese formations such as M48 heavy tanks that they got from the Americans after the withdrawal in 1973. We’ve also included South Vietnamese marines to the Riverine forces which were highly regarded by their US comrades during the ‘vietnamization’ of the Mobile Riverine Force in 1968/69.

What About My Old Armies
For all of us old salts, our forces from previous tours are totally compatible with the new book. In fact there are probably new ways to feel your old forces if you wanted to try  something new with something old.
Total Immersion
One final note from the designer… Vietnam has the best soundtrack of any period in wargaming. To that end, ‘Nam! was designed to be experienced with groovy tunes playing in the background. While somewhat optional, you’ll be missing out if you don’t have a playlist of groovy tunes from the 1960s and 70s playing in the background. To help with that, in the history section of the book, I’ve included Billboard’s top 10 for each of the war years. This should help you assemble an appropriate soundtrack for your game. If you’re a Spotify user, I’ve made a list that has 6hrs of Nam-tastic groovy tunes that you can spin up on game day. Enjoy!

~Mike
Mike’s ‘Nam Playlist…

 

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Black Friday Sale Extended!

Thanks to an overwhelmingly positive response to our Black Friday sale, and an incoming restock about to arrive earlier than expected, we have decided to extend the sale through to the 8th of December. Make sure you have a suitably large plastic mountain in preparation for your Christmas holiday hobby time!

  • Flames Of War Mid War Desert terrain and models will be discounted by 40%
  • ‘NamGreat War, and Fate of a Nation product will be discounted by 30%

No matter what force you’re working on for whatever system, whether it’s a Desert Rats Valentine force, a US Marine for Great War, or an NVA ‘Nam army, there will be something for everyone over the sale period.

Click here to check out the FAQ…

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Black Friday Sale

Between November 15 and December 2, we will be holding a Black Friday Sale on selected Flames Of War Mid War Desert, Fate of a Nation, ‘Nam, Battlefield in a Box, and Great War product on shop.battlefront.co.nz.

This sale is a little different to previous sales— only products already in stock will be on sale and once that stock has been sold out, that product will be removed from the sale. This means there is a limited supply of any given sale item, but it also means that your product will be shipped quickly and arrive on your doorstep in no time.

  • Flames Of War Mid War Desert terrain and models will be discounted by 40%
  • ‘Nam, Great War, and Fate of a Nation product will be discounted by 30%

No matter what force you’re working on for whatever system, whether it’s a Desert Rats Valentine force, a US Marine for Great War, or an NVA ‘Nam army, there will be something for everyone over the sale period.

All Flames Of War Mid War Desert product will be reduced by 40%, so now is the perfect time to pick up whatever you need to finish off your Fighting First, Avanti, Armoured Fist, or Afrika Korps army. Desert terrain from Battlefield in a Box will also be reduced by a flat 40%, so you will be able to grab everything you need to setup the perfect North African battlefield for your home war room, club, or store gaming area.

‘Nam, Fate of a Nation, and Great War all have selected codes reduced by 30%, as well as their own specific Battlefield in a Box items so you can put together a force and battlefield from the trenches of France, all the way to the deserts of Syria or Egypt, to the jungles and rivers of Vietnam.

Once a product has sold out, it will be removed from the sale, so be sure to get in quick so you don’t miss out!

FAQ

Q: How long will I have to order?
A: The Black Friday Sale closes Midnight, December 2. Any order before then will be valid.

Q: What is going on sale?
A: Selected product that is IN STOCK for Flames Of War Mid War Desert, Great War, Fate of a Nation, and ‘Nam. Anything in on store.battlefront.co.nz with a Sale Banner.

Q: How much is the discount?
A: 40% off Flames Of War Mid War Desert product and Mid War Desert Terrain, and 30% off Fate of a Nation, Great War, and ‘Nam.

Q: Does all the terrain come fully pre-painted?
A: You bet.

Q: When will I be charged?
A: When you check out from the webstore.

Q: What happens when a particular item runs out of stock?
A: It will be removed from the sale.

Q: Can I buy multiple of the same item?
A: Of course you can.

Q: Can I get free shipping?
A: You will have your product shipped free to you if your order is placed at or above 60GBP in the UK, 80 EUR in Europe, or 100 USD in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Q: Are Battlefield in a Box Battle Mats on sale?
A: They are not, nor are any parts of any range that don’t have the Sale Banner attached.

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Bushrangers: The Flying Kangaroo

with Hauke Kolle


Although not nearly as numerous or famous as their American counterparts, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also operated helicopter gunships in Vietnam. While waiting for the bureaucrats in Australia to approve the purchase of gunship kits, the men on the ground traded beer for weaponry and modified the first gunship on their own. Thus, ‘Ned Kelly’, the first of four Australian gunships was created. They were piloted by airmen of No. 9 Squadron, RAAF, who were flying Australia’s UH-1H ‘Hueys’. The ‘Bushrangers’ provided the RAAF with the firepower to escort their medevac operations, along with the ability to directly support the infantry…

Click here to read more…

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Bushrangers: The Flying Kangaroo

with Hauke Kolle

Although not nearly as numerous or famous as their American counterparts, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also operated helicopter gunships in Vietnam. While waiting for the bureaucrats in Australia to approve the purchase of gunship kits, the men on the ground traded beer for weaponry and modified the first gunship on their own. Thus, ‘Ned Kelly’, the first of four Australian gunships was created. They were piloted by airmen of No. 9 Squadron, RAAF, who were flying Australia’s UH-1H ‘Hueys’. The ‘Bushrangers’ provided the RAAF with the firepower to escort their medevac operations, along with the ability to directly support the infantry. The RAAF operated under quite restrictive rules of engagement, giving the infantry the impression they were not as brave as the American helicopter pilots (who they considered insane anyway!)

A Bushranger door gunner blazing away with his twin M60s.

For day-to-day operations, out of the four helicopters, two ships would form a ‘Light Fire Team’, with the third helicopter held on stand-by and the fourth undergoing maintenance. The ships would cycle regularly between the roles, to guarantee their safe operation.

A Bushranger gunship undergoing maintenance. Notice the pylons’ forward positioning on the ship and the dual M60 gun mount for the door gunner.


Whereas the Americans mostly used the smaller UH-1B and UH-1C before introducing the AH-1 Cobra as a dedicated gunship, the Australians also converted the UH-1H, which was a transport-helicopter with a more powerful engine than the earlier D model. It was able to carry the same armament as the older models with ease, consisting of two M134 7.62mm ‘Miniguns’, each mounted beneath a pylons on either side of the aircraft and two M157 2.75″ 7-Tube rocket pods mounted beneath the weapon mounts of the two door gunners’
twin-M60 machine-guns. Yes, twin M60s! However any meaningful transport capacity was lost, since the passenger compartment was filled with ammo boxes for all those guns.

Looking at images of the different gunships you’ll notice that the miniguns aren’t always mounted in the same place. Some images show them mounted just behind the cockpit, while others have them mounted at the helicopter’s ‘waist’. You can find images of ‘Ned Kelly’, a UH-1B and the first Bushranger on the Australian War Museums excellent website and see that it carries all of its armaments in this compact manner. The H-model Huey gunships have their miniguns mounted on forward pylons, for easier ammo supply and less interference with the door gunners.
(For a short history of No. 9 Squadron, RAAF in Vietnam see: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/U53557)

How to make your own UH-1H ‘Bushranger’ gunships
Battlefront doesn’t offer a complete kit to build the slightly bulkier gunships based around the UH-1H, but we will not let that stop us. If you’re playing ‘Nam and/or Team Yankee, chances are you will have some of the spare parts needed for our little conversion on hand, anyway, or know someone who does. If not, take a lesson from history, grab a case of beer and find a US air base near you and do a trade!

What you’ll need:
1x VUSBX17 UH-1 Huey Aviation Platoon (Plastic) -OR- TUBX07 Huey Helicopter Flight (Plastic)
From this you’ll need the entire kit. Pay particular attention to the M60s!


VUSBX16 AH-1 Cobra Gunships (plastic) -OR- TUBX05 AH-1 Cobra (Plastic)
The Cobra sprue comes with 2 M157 rocket pods. If you know Team Yankee players who own Cobras, you might want to ask them, as they usually don’t use the small rocket pods for their 80’s-era gunships (they usually pack the larger, enclosed pods and TOWs).


1x VUSBX07 M113 Platoon -OR- TUBX03 M113 Platoon (Plastic)
From this sprue we’ll need the M134 ‘Miniguns’. Each M113 plastic sprue comes with one minigun, so we’ll need four sprues – the exact contents of a platoon box. If you plan on running ANZACs in ‘Nam, you can use the M113s for that (and since ANZAC M113 use special turrets, you won’t even miss the miniguns). If not, you might want to ask around for the bits.

For one Bushranger you should have these components ready: 1x Huey sprue, 2x M134 Minigun from the M113 sprue, 2x M157 rocket pod from the Cobra sprue, a modeling knife, a pair of pliers, some modeling putty. Not in the picture: some glue and a bit of water to dip your modeling knife into while modeling the pylons and mountings.

To get started all you need to do is build your UH-1 Huey as normal, but leave out Step 11 for now (adding the door gunners).
NOTE: I highly recommend priming and painting the door gunner models separately, paint the helicopters interior first and then glue them in, after.

Conversion #1: Twin-M60s and rocket pods
When assembling the doorgunners’ machine-guns, attach a second M60 to the gun mount, parallel to the first one. You can do this one of two ways. Method one: File or clip off the mounting of one M60 (I suggest the one with the grip modeled). Then file of the pins on both M60s, so they are easier to glue together and combine them into a twin-M60. Attach the twin-M60 as normal.

Alternatively you can clip of the mounting of both M60s, file off the pins, glue them together and then re-attach the mounting in the center and glue your twin-M60s in the middle of the mounting.

Then, add the armament to turn it into a gunship! The rocket pods are mounted beneath the door gunners’ M60 mounts. (Note: I used metal rocket pods from an old kit for my conversion, but going with the new plastic ones is even better, as they are easier to glue to the other plastic parts and weigh less.) The 7-rocket M157 rocket pods were later upgraded to 19-rocket M200 rocket pods; so if you want to use those, you absolutely can!

Conversion #2: Miniguns
The miniguns are a bit trickier to do right. The easiest way would be to simply file of the pins of the guns and glue them directly to the sides of the fuselage. However, ideally you model the pylons (sometimes called booms) and their mounting. The mountings you can attach with the model still on the sprue; put a bit of modeling putty beneath the windows, between cockpit and transport compartment. Dip the blade of your modeling knife in a bit of water (so the putty won’t stick to it) and cut away the excess putty. Then, use the pliers to carefully model two rails on either side of the mounting. Finally flatten the central portion, where the pylon will be attached later on.

The pylons can easily be made out of modeling putty like green stuff. Simply roll a small amount of putty into cylinders, 1-2 millimeters in diameter and 6-8 millimeters long. While the putty is soft, use the plastic minigun bits to form a socket to glue them into, later. The miniguns need to ‘hang’ down from the pylons’ tips. Once the putty has hardened, glue on the miniguns. They might not fit perfectly. In that case just glue them on and fix any open cracks and crevices with a bit of modeling putty.


For a final touch you might want to clip down the rear of the miniguns a bit and add the ammo belts. For these I once more suggest using modeling putty. After mixing it thoroughly, form a small ball of 1-2mm diameter (to get the right mass) and then roll it between your fingers, until you have a thin line. The ammo belts attach to the outer side of the miniguns and feed back into the helicopter through a slit in the door. I modeled mine slightly wrong (feeding around the door and to the inner side of the miniguns…), so keep an image of the correct ammo belt handy at all times!

To make modeling a little easier, use a hobby knife and pliers. Before modeling, dip these into water, so your freshly modeled ammo belts won’t stick to your tools. Use the pliers to flatten the top and sides of the ammo belts. When everything has thoroughly dried (over a few hours), prime and paint your new light fire team.

Painting the Bushranger
I am not much of a painter. Gaming takes clear preference for me, however I offer you this guide for painting the bushranger, so you have something to go on. I have no doubt, that your models will look a lot nicer than mine!

For most of the process you can follow the painting guide for helicopters in ‘Nam (pages 203 and 207-208) and this video guide for painting the Cobra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67JZsR_5Qd4.

First I primed the model. I had glued everything together in one go, so that included the doorgunners. I painted the hull in olive drab (Vallejo Model Color 70.887 Brown Violet) and then drybrushed the model lightly with a mixture of VMC Brown Violet and VMC 70.886 Green Grey, to add some wear and tear.

Next I painted the helicopters interior and the rocket pods with Vallejo Game Color 72.050 Cold Grey. If you have VMC London Grey available, use that. Then I painted the windows (except for the one on top) with VGC 72048 Sombre Grey. A slightly darker fit would be VMC Luftwaffe Uniform or Colours of War Luftwaffe Blue. The top windows I painted with VMC 70923 Luftwaffe Camouflage Green, since I did not have the recommended VMC Flat Green available. You can see that I had a little accident with one of the windows; that’ll be cleaned up later.

The Hueys upper nose and the doorgunners’ boots then got some black paint. I used VGC 72051 Black, as I didn’t have the VMC variant available. All things metal then got painted with VGC 72155 Heavy Charcoal (alternatively VMC Worn Rubber).

Now the door gunners got their uniforms painted with VMC 70924 Russian Uniform, except for gloves, helmet and chest plate. Time for details. I started with the door gunners, painting their faces with VMC 70955 Flat Flesh. They later got a bit of Army Painter Strong Tone quickshade for added depth.

The rocket pods got light grey highlights and were done. Miniguns, ammo belts and M60s got highlights with VGC Cold Grey, then were dry brushed with VMC 70863 Gunmetal Grey. All windows and any surfaces I wanted to apply decals to got a coat of Vallejo Gloss Varnish 70510.

For a bit more shading I applied some Army Painter Strong Tone wash in the crevices. Finally I cleaned up any areas I had botched earlier with a fine brush and a steady hand. Almost done.

Decals and markings
Of course you’ll want to use the ‘RAAF’ decal instead of the US Army one on the tail boom. Place it roughly in the middle between the tail fins and the point where the tail attaches to the main compartment. Place the flag (red-white-blue) on the tail fin, directly above the area where it attaches to the tail. If you feel brave and have a steady hand, pick a very fine brush and some black paint, to paint the kangaroo onto the tail. Don’t worry, it’s a lot simpler than it looks.

When you paint the bright coloured rotor blades and tail fins do yourself a favor and carefully prepare them with a sand-tone base coat first. This will bring the colours out a lot brighter and easier (although you will still need a few layers for a nice, even look). I used VGC 72006 Sun Yellow and VGC 72009 Hot Orange, because I did not have the VMC alternatives at hand.

You’ll find images of bushrangers in various states online, some of them no “Danger!”-arrows on the tail boom, some have two broad stripes on one rotor blade, others have a single rotor blade in bright yellow, to mark their position to aircraft higher up. You can paint them as I have painted them or research your own variants for more variety!

One last thing
The Bushrangers have no official Unit Card and no entry in the force organization plan. The simplest solution is to just use the models as a stand-in for a US Gunship Aeroweapons Platoon (page 83 of ‘Nam) taken as a US Allied Support Unit. This Unit can have no more than two helicopters, neither of which can be upgraded to become Gatling Gunships. I created a Unit Card myself, if you want to use that.

Special thanks to Battlefront and my friend Emanuel, who sponsored the parts I lacked for this conversion!




 

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Hanoi’s Saigon Front: Vietnamese Forces in the Battle for Saigon

Hanoi’s Saigon Front: Vietnamese Forces in the Battle for SaigonThe People’s Army of Vietnam viewed the area around Saigon as critical to winning the Vietnam War. Their B2 Front commanded the North Vietnamese forces in and around Saigon and the Mekong Delta. The battles there were tough and hard fought. Both sides made major offensives like the American Operation Cedar Falls and the North Vietnamese Tet offensive, but neither side was able to decisively beat the other in combat. In the end it was the North Vietnamese willingness to take casualties and keep fighting that won the war for them after the United States finally withdrew from Vietnam after seven long year.

Click here to read the full article…

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‘Nam Quick Reference and Victory Points Sheets

We’ve had a bunch of people asking for downloads of a Quick Reference sheet and the Victory Points Sheet for ‘Nam so we have put up PDF versions for you to download and print off. Simply right click the links and save as and you’ll be ready to slug it out in your next ‘Nam game in no time. Head to the link below to find both links

‘Nam Downloads…

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‘Nam Downloads

Numerous people asked for a handy quick reference sheet for ‘Nam and the  ‘Nam victory points score sheet from the back of the ‘Nam rulebook. So we have made PDF versions of them for you to download and print out, and perhaps have it laminated.

‘Nam Quick Reference sheet – Two A4 Sheets

‘Nam Quick Reference Sheet pdf Download (right click save as)…

‘Nam Victory Points sheet – One A4 Sheet

‘Nam Victory PointsSheet pdf Download (right click save as)…

 

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Operation Hastings

With Carsten MacLean

By early 1965, South Vietnamese forces had suffered a series of significant defeats. Despite spending much of the already decade-long war fighting an irregular opposition, the tide seemed to be turning, culminating in resounding defeats at the Battles of Bình Giã and Đồng Xoài. As a response to this shift in the fortunes of war, the United States unilaterally deployed 3500 Marines to South Vietnam. Initially, these Marines were tasked to assist in the defence of the American ally and ensure neither Viet Cong (VC) nor the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) could conduct success conventional operations against the South. These troops were quickly reinforced, and over 200 000 Marines would be on the ground by the end of the year. Army and other forces totaled thousands more. The American plan was fairly simple: initially, American forces, supported by her free world allies and South Vietnam, would commit enough forces to put a stop to North Vietnamese advances and seize the initiative. Following this, the US would conduct their own offensive operations, pushing the North Vietnamese forces out of key areas and reducing their strength. Finally, if necessary, American forces planned to hunt down remaining enemy combatants and destroy their ability to fight, ensuring the conditions for a safe and secure Vietnam. As we know, these plans did not unroll exactly as the United States would have liked.

By May of 1966, an ad hoc demilitarized zone (DMZ) had been established dividing North and South Vietnam. This did not stop a company-sized force of reconnaissance soldiers from PAVN Division 324B from slipping across the DMZ in the early morning of 17 May. Their mission was to act as scouts for the ten-thousand strong division as it readied for an advance into Quang Tri province, at the time part of South Vietnam and defended by the 1st Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s (ARVN) I Corps. An ongoing conflict between Buddhists and government forces in the South that paralyzed military forces in the province convinced Division 324B’s commander, General Nguyen Vang, that the time had come to strike. In order to set the conditions for a successful advance, VC units local to Quang Tri had been contracted to establish stores of food and ammunition around the province. When his reconnaissance elements arrived, General Vang learned that the supply caches were few and far between. With Division 324B poised on the border, the attack was held up by a matter of weeks to allow food to be requisitioned from North Vietnam.

OAs the North Vietnamese held just shy of the DMZ, American and South Vietnamese elements monitored and speculated on their intentions. While the logic of a large-scale assault into Quang Tri was acknowledged, General William Westmoreland, then commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), demanded a better picture of the North’s actions and intentions, and, in his words, “…there was no better way to get at it than by sending in reconnaissance elements in force.” There were also concerns at tactical levels about the feasibility of PAVN logistical support to a division-sized offensive and theories that the 324B’s build-up may be a feint designed to vex Quang Tri-based ARVN and US Marine forces. On the evening of 1 July, a small Marine reconnaissance force was sent to observe suspected enemy locations a few miles south of the DMZ. After coming into contact almost immediately upon arrival, the Marines received air support from A-4 Skyhawks and UH-1C Heavy Hogs, allowing them to escape. Further reconnaissance of the area confirmed large masses of soldiers, as well as a host of fortifications. The 324B had entered South Vietnam.

As the North Vietnamese held just shy of the DMZ, American and South Vietnamese elements monitored and speculated on their intentions. While the logic of a large-scale assault into Quang Tri was acknowledged, General William Westmoreland, then commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), demanded a better picture of the North’s actions and intentions, and, in his words, “…there was no better way to get at it than by sending in reconnaissance elements in force.” There were also concerns at tactical levels about the feasibility of PAVN logistical support to a division-sized offensive and theories that the 324B’s build-up may be a feint designed to vex Quang Tri-based ARVN and US Marine forces. On the evening of the 1st of July, a small Marine reconnaissance force was sent to observe suspected enemy locations a few miles south of the DMZ. After coming into contact almost immediately upon arrival, the Marines received air support from A-4 Skyhawks and UH-1C Heavy Hogs, allowing them to escape. Further reconnaissance of the area confirmed large masses of soldiers, as well as a host of fortifications. The 324B had entered South Vietnam.

In response, MACV and the local Marine commanders quickly created and launched Operation Hastings on the 7th of July. It was designed to locate, engage and push PAVN forces back across the DMZ. The operation would be the largest in Marine Corps history at the time and included the mobilization of over 8000 Marines and 3000 ARVN soldiers, supported by a wide array of artillery, naval gunfire, air, and aviation support. Task Force Delta, the task force executing Operation Hastings, would be led by then Brigadier General (later General) Lowell English, at the time Assistant Division Commander of 3rd Marine Division and would see four Marine infantry battalions and one Marine artillery battalion under his command. These Marines would advance across a series of mountains, foothills and jungle, ending in the shadow of The Rockpile, a large and solitary hill dominating the plateau north of the Cam Lo River. Aggressively taking The Rockpile, as well as trailheads leading from Quang Tri across the DMZ into North Vietnam, were deemed the highest priority objectives, in order to quickly and assertively weaken the grip of PAVN forces on the area and set the conditions for American forces to maintain momentum and push them back across the DMZ.

In preparation for the assault, B-52 strategic bombers dropped countless loads of explosives on suspected PAVN positions. Meanwhile further south, American transport aircraft dropped pallets of supplies to supply the Marines that would soon be on the ground. Supported by A-4 Skyhawks and F-4B Phantoms, the Marines inserted via CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters on the morning of the 15th of July. Landing in two drop zones, the first wave of Marines inserted quietly, with the second wave coming under sniper fire from PAVN forces. It was the third wave, though, that represented the first significant losses of the operation. While trying to land in the dense jungle, two CH-46s collided with each other in mid-air and crashed. When a third took evasive maneuvers to avoid them, it hit a tree and also crashed. Later, another helicopter was hit by PAVN anti-aircraft fire and went down in the same area. What was previously known as the Song Ngan Valley had become known, to the Marines of Task Force Delta, Helicopter Valley.

Despite the dark beginning, upon reaching the ground Marines immediately began executing both the task to take The Rockpile and to deny enemy movement through the trail-heads. Movement through the low-ground of Helicopter Valley towards the trail-heads was fairly quick, but those moving to take The Rockpile were hampered by dense, wet vegetation, and progress slowed. Meanwhile, by that evening Marines from the force moving through Helicopter Valley had been surrounded by PAVN forces, and were forced to employed artillery and fast air fires to drive the aggressors off. To reinforce this beleaguered force, the movement to The Rockpile was abandoned and those Marines moved to aid their comrades. By that night, both groups were under fierce PAVN attack, and fighting devolved in some cases to hand-to-hand combat. Despite this, the Marines again held their ground and pushed the North Vietnamese back, inflicting significant casualties in the process.

To compensate for their casualties and delayed progress, another battalion of Marines was deployed, while a reconnaissance force was inserted onto the top of The Rockpile. This capability proved invaluable, supporting surrounding allied efforts by reporting artillery targets throughout the battle. With this support firmly established, the Marines were able to consolidate their forces and establish a blocking line and an assault force, and began moving towards their new objectives on the afternoon of 18 July. As the Marines attempted to bring the fight to the enemy it was instead the PAVN who brought the fight to them, attacking the rearguard which had been left behind to destroy the CH-46s that had been downed in the previous days. Faced with around 1000 charging PAVN soldiers, the Marines held the line, but not before they took around 50 casualties. After having finally driven off the assault through the use of danger-close conventional and napalm airstrikes, the Company was able to withdraw, with both their Officer Commanding and First Platoon Commander being awarded Medals of Honor. The main Marine force was recalled and set up another block to turn back the large PAVN force.

The following week saw many smaller engagements, generally initiated by PAVN forces, and often following procedure first involving artillery and mortar strikes, followed by a fierce assault, then withdrawal. While this frustrated some American commanders, the casualty count was overwhelmingly in their favor. By the end of the month, the bulk of Task Force Delta would be withdrawn from the Area of Operations, predominantly due to poor terrain for helicopter insertions. However, reconnaissance patrols would continue to operate in the region, and the outpost at The Rockpile would continue to be an important artillery observation post. By 3 August, patrols found that the 324B Division had seemingly retreated back across the DMZ, and Operation Hastings was officially brought to an end. Despite at times heavy losses, the Operation proved a tactical, operational, and strategic success for the United States, and was instrumental in the adoption of several new tactics and techniques.