North Vietnamese suppers, among the most feared of the communist forces, mauled a South Vietnamese firebase near the highlands city of Pleiku on Saturday (6 May), killing and wounding more than 100 South Vietnamese soldiers.
GV Smoking ruins at firebase.
SV Bodies on ground.
GV & CU Wreckage (2 shots)
LV & GV Wreckage in base (2 shots)
LV & CU Wrecked artillery piece (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT Broken barrels on ground.
CU Unexploded bangalore torpedo in gun barrel. (2 shots)
GV & LV South Vietnamese troops board aircraft. (5 shots)
Initials VS/17.33 VS/17.44
original on 5860/72 45ft
This film is from the American National Broadcasting Company.
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Background: North Vietnamese suppers, among the most feared of the communist forces, mauled a South Vietnamese firebase near the highlands city of Pleiku on Saturday (6 May), killing and wounding more than 100 South Vietnamese soldiers. An American advisor was also killed in the attack on Firebase 42, on the highway to Kontum.
Most of the North Vietnamese were already inside the firebase, which is 6 miles (10 kms) north of Pleiku, before being discovered as the pre-dawn attack began. The fighting was bitter and involved hand-to-hand combat. At the end, at least 35 communist dead were counted.
Not one artillery piece in the firebase was left in working condition. The communist suppers shoved bangalore torpedoes -- explosive charges on a stick -- down gun barrels wrecking the weapons. But a few of the charges failed to go off, leaving the torpedoes still in the guns.
It's reported that one reason the South Vietnamese were able to hold the base was because a crack unit of paratroops were on hand when the attack took place. But a few hours after the assault, the airborne unit began flying out of the Central Highland area. The defence of the Pleiku and Kontum districts were once again in the hands of regular South Vietnamese ground troops.
American advisors have said they feel the South Vietnamese have enough men and equipment to hold off the communists in the current offensive. But the question, they say is whether the south Vietnamese soldiers have the willpower and morale for the job.