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K-2 Ironclad Battalion Army Deal (VPAAB01) Spotlight

K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) Contains nine plastic T-54 Tanks, two ZSU-57-2 Tanks and one decal sheet.

Maoist doctrine calls for three phases in a revolutionary war. In the first phase, the revolutionaries gain the support of the population. In the second phase, guerrilla forces attack military and other vital targets. In the third phase, the revolutionary forces switch to conventional warfare, defeating the military, seizing cities, and taking control of the country. By 1971, with the ‘Vietnamisation’ of the war and the withdrawal of Free World forces, the Nationalists believed that the time had come for the third phase. They started forming large conventional forces including armour and artillery and conducting combined-arms operations.

Check out The K-2 Ironclad Battalion in the Online Store…

K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
T-54 Tank (plastic) (x9)
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
ZSU-57-2 (x2)
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)

The K-2 Ironclad Battalion In ‘Nam
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01) K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)

Assembling The K-2 Ironclad Battalion In ‘Nam
K-2 Ironclad Battalion (VPAAB01)
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Sampan Boats (VPA822) Spotlight

VPABX12 Contains two Sampan boats and two crew figures

Free World forces in the Republic of Vietnam faced the day-to-day paranoia of dealing with a civilian population whose loyalties could not be guessed. Any man, woman, or child of the local populace could be working for the resistance, reporting on troop movements, providing false information, or sniping at the enemy.

Check out the Local Resistance in the online store here…


Sampan Boats

Sampans were shallow-draft boats generally used for transportation of goods or people, usually in rivers or coastal areas. It was unusual for a sampan to sail far from land as they did not have the means to survive rough weather. They strived in areas normal boats couldn’t easily sail in.

Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Chris Townley

VPABX12
VPABX12
VPABX12 VPABX12
VPABX12
VPABX12
VPABX12
VPABX12 VPABX12

Contents

Contact the customer service team at [email protected] if you have any issues with any of the components.

VPABX12

Assembling the Sampan Boats (VPA822)

When assembling your sampan boats you have the option of using a rower or an engine operator. Below I will show you how to add either one.

Rower. Glue the feet of the rower to the back right of your Sampan boat as shown below. 

Tip: When assembling your models it’s always a good idea to dry fit your parts before glueing.
VPABX12 VPABX12
Engine operator. Glue the bottom the the engine operator to the back of the boat. Don’t forget to dry fit!
VPABX12 VPABX12

 

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BTR-50PK (VPA221) Spotlight

BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04) includes one BTR-50PK Armoured Personnel Carrier

The three companies of a North Vietnamese armoured battalions were often equipped with different types of tanks. At first this was due to a shortage of modern tanks, but later combinations of tanks, amphibious tanks, and armoured personnel carriers allowed a battalion to undertake whatever role was assigned it without further support.

Check out the BTR-50PK Company in the online store here…

Most armoured battalions include a đại đội cơ giới bộ binh
(pronounced dai doy kur vay boh beeng), or mechanised infantry company. These operate Soviet BTR-50PK xe thiết giáp chở quân (pronounced ser tee-et harp chur kwun) armoured troop carriers. Their role is to use their mobility and armour to advance close behind the tanks, then dismount and assault on foot covered by fire from the tank’s guns. Their high proportion of B41 anti-tank weapons means that they can defend themselves if attacked by enemy tanks.Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Blake Coster
BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04) BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
The BTR-50PK in ‘Nam
 
BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04) BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
Most armoured battalions included a mechanised infantry company operating Soviet BTR-5OPK armoured troop carriers. Their role is to use their mobility and armour to advance close behind the tanks, then dismount and assault on foot covered by fire from the tank’s guns.
BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04) BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04) BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04) BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
Contents of the BTR-50PK Company Box Set
Contact the customer service team at [email protected] if you have any issues with any of the components.
BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
Description of Components
a. Tank commander sprue.
b. Hatch sprue.
c.
.50cal AA MGs
d.
 Mudguard sprues.
e. Right-hand side tracks.
f.
 Left-hand side tracks.
g.
 Resin BTR-50PK hulls.
Assembling The BTR-50PK
Follow the diagram to the below to correctly assemble the BTR-50PK.

Tip: Use the figure of your choice from the tank commander sprue to identify the platoon command tank.

Below: The assembly diagram for the BTR-50PK.

BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
PAVN Tank Painting Guide
BTR-50PK Company (VPABX04)
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ZSU-57-2 (VPA161) Spotlight

ZSU-57-2 Anti-air Company (VPABX05) includes one ZSU-57-2 SP Anti-aircraft gunand one PAVN head sprue

The ZSU-57-2 was a Soviet built self-propelled anti-aircraft gun that first came into service with the Red Army in 1955. The acronym ZSU stands for Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka, which when translated means anti-aircraft self-propelled mount; 57 designates the calibre of the weapons and 2 states the number of gun barrels.

Check out the ZSU-57-2 SP Anti-aircraft Gun in the online store here…

Built on the chassis of the T-54 tank, the twin S-68 57mm cannons were mounted in an open-topped turret which only offered the crew inside a minimum level of armour protection. Manned by a crew of six (driver, commander, gunner, dedicated sight adjuster and a pair of loaders), the ZSU-57-2 was limited to only engaging aircraft that the crew could actually see.  Once an aircraft was spotted, the sight adjustor had to correctly calibrate the gun sight before the target could be engaged; making the vehicle virtually useless during night time operations.
ZSU-57-2 ZSU-57-2
The war in Vietnam was the first recorded service for the ZSU-57-2 in a combat zone. But the North Vietnamese quickly learnt that the ZSU-57-2 was just as effective in providing fire support for infantry attacks as it was sweeping the air of enemy aircraft.

Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Blake Coster
ZSU-57-2 ZSU-57-2
The ZSU-57-2 in ‘Nam
 ZSU-57-2
ZSU-57-2 ZSU-57-2
ZSU-57-2 ZSU-57-2
The ZSU-57-2 anti-aircraft tank is the chassis of a T-54 battle tank mounting twin 57mm anti-aircraft guns in an open-topped turret. Its rate of fire makes it deadly to aircraft and helicopters, while its high-velocity, long-barrelled guns punch through light armour with ease.
ZSU-57-2 ZSU-57-2
Contents of the ZSU-57-2 Blister
ZSU-57-2
Contact the customer service team at [email protected] if you have any issues with any of the components.
Assembling The ZSU-57-2
Follow the diagram to the below to correctly assemble the ZSU-57-2.
ZSU-57-2

 

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Assembling The K-3 (PT-76) (VPA031)

Step 1. Begin assembly with the tracks.

Tip: Each track is stamped with the letter ‘R’ or ‘L’ to indicate correct orientation.

Step 2. Attach the tracks to the resin hull.

Tip: When referring to left or right-hand side in regards to a Flames Of War miniature, the orientation is determined as if looking at the vehicle from the rear.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Step 3. Next, attach the mudguards to the front and rear of the hull.

Tip: The mudguards are generic so can be used in anywhere on the hull.

Below: Both front mudguards attached to the hull.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Step 4. Attach the mudguards to the rear of the hull. Below: Both rear mudguards attached to the hull.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Step 5. Next, attach the main gun to the front of the turret. Below: The main gun attached to the front of the turret.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Step 6. Attach the turret hatch to the top of the turret. Step 7. Finally, attach a AA machine-gun the rear of the turret.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Adding A Tank Commander
Step 1. Attach the commander’s hatch to the turret in the open position. Step 2. Add the tank commander figure of your choice. Tip: It may be necessary to reposition the AA machine-gun to accommodate the tank commander and the open hatch.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Below: The fully-assembled K-3 (PT-76) with and without a commander.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
PAVN Tank Painting Guide
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
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K-3 (PT-76) (VPA031) Spotlight

K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) includes one K-3 (PT-76) Armoured Personnel Carrier and one Tank Commander sprue.

The People’s Army committed their armour into battle in battalions, Tiểu Đoàn Thiết Giáp (pronounced thee-ow doh‑ahn tee-et harp), and grouped these into entire regiments.

Check out the K-3 (PT-76) in the online store here…

As aid from China and the Soviet Union increased, their armoured strength grew rapidly from a single battalion in 1965 to three armoured regiments in 1971. This gave them a significant advantage over the puppet forces as each battalion had more tanks than an entire ARVN armoured brigade.

The Vietnamese term xe thiết giáp (ironclad vehicle) is used to refer to tanks. However, the influence of the English word ‘tank’ has also led to the use of xe tăng (pronounced ser tung), or simply tăng as well. Confusingly, tăng itself means increase or up.

Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Blake Coster

The K-3 (PT-76) in ‘Nam
 
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Built as a amphibious light tank, the K-3 (Soviet designation PT-76) was ideal for operations in Vietnam where its light armour and mobility allowed it to manoeuvre through terrain that would stop other vehicles. Armed with a 76mm gun it could knock out enemy gun positions, but was less reliable against enemy armour.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03) K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
The K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company Advance
Contact the customer service team at [email protected] if you have any issues with any of the components.
K-3 (PT-76) Ironclad Company (VPABX03)
Description of Components
b. 1x Tank commander sprue.
c. 5x Turret hatches.
d. 5x Main guns.
e.
5x .50cal AA MGs.
f. 5x Mudguard sprues.
g. 5x Left-hand side tracks.
h. 5x Right-hand side tracks.
i. 5x Resin K-4 (PT-76) turrets & hulls.
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Hanoi’s Saigon Front: Vietnamese Forces in the Battle for Saigon

by Dave Wiggins
The 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 years

The Forces of B2 Front
During the first stages of the war, the forces in the south were largely from the People’s Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF) of the National Liberation Front (NLF). These were known to the South Vietnamese as VC or Việt Cộng, a contraction of Việt Nam Cộng-sản (Vietnamese communist). American soldiers referred to communist forces in general, both Vietcong and North Vietnamese, as Viet Cong. In 1965 B2 grouped its forces, supplemented by a big influx of regular army regiments from the North Vietnamese People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), into three divisions: 5th, 7th, and 9th. These divisions were officially ‘Main Force’ PLAF divisions, disguising the presence of the PAVN regulars. The Main Force divisions were composed of three regiments, and each regiment had a designated combat speciality: mobile operations, attacking fortifications, or ambush operations, but were able to fight in any situation that might present itself. In addition to the three Main Force divisions, B2 Front also commanded up to 3 sapper battalions (assault commandos), 2 rocket artillery regiments, and an air defence battalion, and ‘Local Force’ guerillas operating at the district and village level.

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

B2 Front in South Vietnam
It can be very hard to find information on PAVN units, so I have summarised the main force divisions fighting under B2 Front. In late 1969, the Front also commanded three (4th, 7th, and 8th) sapper battalions, severa independent regiments, two rocket regiments, and an anti-aircraft battalion. By this stage the VC contribution had massively declined after three years of fighting the American forces and the losses in the Tet offensive. The main source was Chiangshan’s posts on http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82511.
Sư Đoàn 5 (5th Division)
Formed Sep 1965. Operated in the Mekong Delta. Rebuilt with PAVN regiments after Tet offensive. These regiments had been formed for the First Indochina War against the French
.
Sư Đoàn 7 (7th Division)
Formed Jun 1966. Operated south of
the Mekong Delta. Created from 312th ‘Victory’ Division which then rebuilt its regiments as 141B and 165B.
Sư Đoàn 9 (9th Division)
Formed Sep 1965. Operated in the
Iron Triangle. First division formed in
the south. Created from independent
regiments. Suffered heavy casualties in Operation Junction City.
Trung Đoàn 4 (4th Regiment) until Apr 1968.
Name: ‘Đồng Nai’ (Name of province).
Trung Đoàn 33 (33rd Regiment) from Jul 1968.

Formed from 101B and 101C, 325th Division.
Name: ‘Trần Cao Vân’ (Anti-French leader).
Trung Đoàn 12 (12th Regiment)
Previously 165A Regiment, 312th Division
Name: ‘Lao Hà Yên’ (Name of province)
Trung Đoàn 1 (1st Regiment)
Previously 812th Regiment, then 271A
Regiment or Q761 of B2 Front
Name: ‘Bình Giã’ (Name of village)
Trung Đoàn 5 (5th Regiment) until Jun 1970.
Known to US as 275th Regiment
Trung Đoàn 3 (3rd Regiment) from Jul 1970.

Formed from 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment
Trung Đoàn 14 (14th Regiment)
Previously 141A Regiment, 312th Division
Name: ‘Ba Vì’ (Mountain range)
Trung Đoàn 2 (2nd Regiment)
Previously 272A Regiment or Q762 of B2 Front
Name: ‘Đồng Xoài’ (Name of town)
Trung Đoàn 88 (88th Regiment) from Sep 1967 to Sep 1968. Previously 88A, 308th Division
Name: ‘Tu Vũ’ (Name of village)
Trung Đoàn 174 (174th Regiment) from Oct 1968 Previously 174A Regiment, 316th Division

Name: ‘Cao Bắc Lạng’ (1949 campaign)
Trung Đoàn 16 (16th Regiment) until late 1967
Previously 101A Regiment, 325A Division
Name: ‘Trần Cao Vân’ (Anti-French leader)
Trung Đoàn 52 (52nd Regiment) Sep to Nov 1967

Previously with 320A Division
Name: ‘Tây Tiến’ (Western Progress)Trung Đoàn 209 (209th Regiment) from Jan 1968
Previously 209A Regiment, 312th Division
Name: ‘Sông Lô’ (Lô River)
Trung Đoàn 3 (3rd Regiment) until Sep 1968
Previously 3rd or 273rd Regiment of B2 Front
Trung Đoàn 3B (3B Regiment) from Oct 1968 to Sep 1969. Previously 88th, 5th Division

Name: ‘Tu Vũ’ (Name of village)Trung Đoàn 3 (3rd Regiment) from Oct 1969 Previously 95C Regiment, 325C Division
Name: ‘Nguyễn Thiện Thuật’ (Revolutionary)
PAVN divisions and regiments had a confusing variety of names. In part this was caused by the need to send reinforcements south to rebuild destroyed regiments. Regiments could be rebuilt with the letter B (or C or even D in some cases) after their number, or simply replaced with another regiment. As a result 33/7, 101/7, 101B/325, and 101C/325 all refer to the same regiment, which might also be referred to as 4/7 after the regiment it replaced.The Vietnamese also deliberately caused confusion by referring to units by different names, such as Công Trường 9 (Construction Site 9), a codename for the 9th Division.

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

The North Vietnamese were adept at concealing their true order of battle and the level of casualties they were sustaining. A continuous stream of replacement soldiers from North Vietnam followed the Ho Chi Minh trail south through Laos and Cambodia to replace on-going casualties. In the aftermath of major battles, whole PAVN regiments would be sent south to replace those lost in battle. These were replaced in the PAVN’s order of battle with new regiments with the same number, but with a B suffix, and on arrival in the south were renamed to replace the destroyed regiment. As you can imagine, this led to considerable confusion in American intelligence estimates which identified 308th, 312th, 320th and 325th PAVN Divisions as operating in the area

 

COSVN’s Strategy
The forces of B2 Front showed themselves to be fully capable of defeating the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) on the battlefield more often than not. Indeed, B2 Front’s dry season campaign of 1964 had as one primary objective the engagement and defeat of the most capable ARVN units, leading to the largescale intervention of the United States in 1965. Early defeats against the much better equipped and led US Army forced B2 Front’s leadership to re-evaluate their strategy.
General Tran Van Tra, commanding B2 Front, and his planners recognized that they could not expect to decisively

defeat the US forces in Vietnam. The US forces were more mobile, and could bring superior firepower to bear in almost any situation. Also, since the US controlled the skies of South Vietnam, resupply of B2 Front forces so as to maintain their combat effectiveness would be a considerable challenge. Thus, strategy shifted. Rather than fighting large battles to defeat US forces, B2 Front began a long war of attrition designed to inflict continuous casualties and ultimately demoralize the US forces

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

Despite appearances, the 1968 Tet offensive was not a departure from this strategy. While it was a large-scale offensive, both in numbers of troops and the area covered, they still avoided large battles whenever possible. The targets were individual towns, population centres, communications centres, and other important infrastructure. The speed and violence of the US Army’s response caught the Vietnamese off guard, leading to massive casualties, and ultimately another large influx of North Vietnamese regular regiments. Despite this setback, B2 Front’s strategy to end American involvement in Vietnam by making the Americans tired of the war and forcing them to leave Vietnam continued.

With the American departure in 1971, large-scale battles against the ARVN resumed, now supported by artillery regiments and even tanks. With these battles B2 Front was instrumental in bringing about the ultimate collapse of ARVN forces and the fall of South Vietnam.
~ Dave