Elements of South Vietnamese parachute troops have taken up defensive position around Hue recently, in an effort to add to the city's protection against an expected communist attack.
GV Troops carriers along road
SCU Troops aboard carrier along road (2 shots)
SV Troops carrier up incline
GV & SV Troops carriers along road (2 shots)
SCU Soldier prepares fire base
SV Truck being unloaded
MV Troops stacking shells
LV Troops prepare site
LV Troops on guard
LV Bomb exploding (2 shots)
MV Troops crossing stream
SV PAN Bogged-down vehicles
SV & CU Vehicles towed clear of stream (2 shots)
LV & SV Troops carriers machine gunning area (3 shots)
SV Troops standing by
LV Troops carrier
SV Troops carrier reversing
"This element of the Vietnamese airborne came to Hue from Pleiku when President Thieu decided that the defence of Hue was a higher priority than saving Kontum or Pleiku. The attack on Hue is expected to come from the west. In this first offensive probe, the airborne moved north on Route One, then struck towards the mountains, believe to harbour over a regiment of North Vietnamese. A fire base was quickly built to cover the area the airborne would probe. Light howitzers were zeroed in on the airborne's route. As the column of armoured personnel carriers pulled out of the firebase, a B-52 strike erupted on a suspected enemy camp in the hills. Streams were deeper than expected, and the column temporarily bogged down in muddy water. They pulled each other free of the mud, and continued the advance. There was no sight of the enemy, and no shortage of ammunition, so the commander ordered 'recon by fire'. Fifty-calibre machine guns sprayed the bushes, but there was no return fire."
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Background: Elements of South Vietnamese parachute troops have taken up defensive position around Hue recently, in an effort to add to the city's protection against an expected communist attack. The troops went out on patrol in the area around the city on Tuesday (16 May) as they began their operations in the region.
The parachute troops were moved into the area from Pleiku when South Vietnam's President Thieu decided that the defence of the old imperial capital of Hue had a higher priority than the saving of Kontum or Pleiku.
In their first offensive probe, the parachute troops moved west towards mountains where over a regiment of North Vietnamese troops were believed to be standing by. It's expected that the main attack on Hue will come from the west.
The troops were covered by light howitzers as they moved along in their armoured personnel carriers. Although they encountered no communist troops, they did bog down in deep streams and had to pull themselves out.
North Vietnamese pressure in the area around Hue increased on Wednesday (17 May). The nearby town of My Chanh received its heaviest pounding yet from communist 130-millimetre field guns. Some American officers have said that the field guns could make a success of a communist attack on Hue.
SYNOPSIS: These South Vietnamese parachute troops were recently sent to Hue from Pleiku. They moved when South Vietnam's President Thieu decided that the defence of the old imperial capital of Hue had a higher priority than the saving of Kontum or Pleiku. And on Tuesday, some of them went out on their first patrol in the area. The attack on Hue is expected to come from the west, so these troops moved west towards mountains where over a regiment of North Vietnamese troops were believed to be waiting. The parachute troops were guarded by their own howitzers.
The troops were in time to see bombs from a B-52 raid fall nearby.
The troops found the streams were deeper than expected ad bogged down in the water.
The soldiers used their armoured personnel carriers to pull the vehicles out of the streams.
They continued to advance, but there was no sign of communist forces. As ammunition was plentiful, the soldiers machine-gunned the bushes trying to flush out the North Vietnamese. But there was no return fire. Pressure against Hue was increased on Wednesday when the nearby town of My Chan was hit by its heaviest artillery barrage yet.