Operation Reahou was the operation in the Vihear Suor marshes in the area north-east of Phnom-Penh - over the Mekong.
Khmer flag. 7 BI (7th Infantry Brigade) flag and troops - they are Khmer Krom. Sirik Matak arrival and guard inspection - band plays.
Sirik Matak presents series of victory pennants to various units who fought the Vihear Suor battles - girl soldiers lined up in honour of their comrades - the heroes of the 7 BI and the unit commander (not Brigade commander) colonel Danh Kroch are the popular recipients of the final pennant. Danh Kroch (pron. dun croc) is possibly the most popular officer in the Khmer. forces. He is a "man of the people", and invariably dresses in tattered shorts and sandals, and wears no military insignia. He mixes well with villagers, who like him enormously. Danh Kroch is possibly the most (unheralded and probably unrealised) potent psywar weapon in the countryside. He is also a good Buddhist. Khmer Krom are Vietnamese-born Khmers who fought under American command in Vietnam, and have returned to fight for their country. They are recognised as the best troops in the Republic.
2 - 3 shots as they (7BI) receive their pennant, then Sirik Matak jokes with Danh Kroch the girls throw petals, with Danh Kroch hard in foreground: they march off.
Soldiers salutes as thy march away - close-up (not 7BI soldier).
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Background: Operation Reahou was the operation in the Vihear Suor marshes in the area north-east of Phnom-Penh - over the Mekong. The closest fighting came within about 10kms of the capital - i.e. heavy fighting, there are often light probing attacks - and was spread over the area enclosed on the west and north by the Mekong River - extending as far away as 35kms from Phnom-Penh. Heaviest fighting took place in the dense marshlands located about 12-20kms north-east of the capital. Heaviest fighting took place over a 5 week period, commencing the final week in May, and lasting till the end of June.
During 1970 the marshlands had been totally occupied and controlled by the communist forces - giving them virtual control of Phnom-Penh as well as a vital storage area. It was from here that VC/NVA rested before launching attacks into South-Vietnam, and of course within the Khmer Republic as well. Although taking heavy losses and seemingly on the point of defeat many times, the khmers hung on and eventually gained control, there are still sparodic clashes.
Prime Minister Delegate - on behalf of Marshal Lon Nol - presented the ribbons. Among the recipients were the hard fighting, successful khmer Krom 7th Infantry Brigade, and their very popular leader Colonel Danh Kroch.