Friday, April 13, 2012


Last Night I watched a fantastic Documentary about the Battle of Long Tan, not a well known battle, but one of Australia's toughest encounters with the VC (Vietcong) and NVA (North Vietnamese Regulars) in the Vietnam war, this documentary is told from the views of both commanders from both sides of the conflict, a sombre but well written and professionally made documentary, I could not help but get teary at some of the tragedies of this battle and the insane loss of human life, a powerful documentary !  if you have the time and are interested, you can watch it online at the following web page, Red Dune Films, as a bonus the documentary is narrated by a well known Australian actor Sam Worthington known for films such as Avatar, clash of the Titans and Terminator Salvation.

Battle Summary
Late afternoon August 18, 1966 South Vietnam – for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith and his dispersed company of 108 young and mostly inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives, holding off an overwhelming enemy force of 2,500 battle hardened VietCong and North Vietnamese soldiers. With their ammunition running out, their casualties mounting and the enemy massing for a final assault each man begins to search for his own answer – and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.

The ensuing Battle of Long Tan becomes one of the most savage and decisive engagements in ANZAC history, earning both the United States and South Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citations for gallantry along with many individual awards. But sadly not before 18 Australians and more than 500 Vietnamese are killed.


The Angry Lurker said...

I had heard of this battle but only because I gamed the period, I will have to see this documentary though!

Adam said...

Sounds like a worthwhile watch.
Thank you for sharing.

Lead Legion said...

Yup. I'm off to take a late lunch and watch it right now.

The Extraordinarii said...

@Lurker - I see, if you have the time take a look.

@Adam - It is, and your welcome.

@Legion - Lol, no time like the present hey, good on ya.

Luckyjoe said...

I just watched the documentary. Very well done. Thanks for posting it.

Juan Mancheño said...

Thank you for the link, a very interesting battle.

Best regards.

lrqan said...

I'll give this a go over the weekend. Like Angry Lurker I dabbled in the period. Was not there a VC awarded in this battle?

The Extraordinarii said...

@Joe - Glad you enjoyed it, i know I did.

@Jaun - Thanks for your comment.

@Irqan - The battle summary insert that I added was info from an Australian military web site, so it was written from an Australian perspective, but in the documentry they interview VC and NVA commanders and their chests are covered in medals, I guess conflicts such as these tend to bring out the best and worst in people from both sides of the conflict.

lrqan said...

Sorry mate I ment the Victoria Cross, not Viet Cong (ha, ha). It since transpires that I was wrong I was thinking of a chap called Kieth Payne.

Shelldrake said...

I have had the pleasure of sitting in on a talk from LT David Sabben three times now - the latest in Jan this year.

David Sabben was a platoon commander for one of the platoons in the battle of long tan.

Nothing like hearing about it from someone that was there.

@Irqan: Keith Payne won his VC for actions involving the AATTV (Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam). Think of the AATTV as SAS type guys that worked with and did work similar to the Green Berets (very basic I know, but it covers it in general terms).

Shelldrake said...

Just to add to the bit on the VC winners - Australians only won four VCs in Vietnam - all of them were part of the AATTV.

The Extraordinarii said...

Ahh yes Sabben, I believe had 12th platoon, you heard him speak three times now, I'm sure that would have been awesome.