In the Khmer Republic, the little village of Phnom Baset, 14 miles (23 kms) from the capital Phnom Penh, has taken on new strategic importance.
GROUND TO AIR SHOT F-III
LV Bombs exploding ZOOM INTO GV ditto
SV & GV Young boys look on as new weapon is fired (2 shots)
SV MV PAN TO LV Young boys watching air strike and bombs exploding (2 shots)
MV New weapon being fired
GROUND TO AIR TILT DOWN FROM F-III in sky to explosions on ground (2 shots)
MV SV New weapon being loaded and fired (3 shots)
LV ZOOM INTO GV Explosions on ground
SV New gun fired
GV & LV ZOOM INTO GV Troops and boys looking on at F-III bombing and explosions (2 shots)
Initials BB/1805 WMcS/DE/BB/1825
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Background: In the Khmer Republic, the little village of Phnom Baset, 14 miles (23 kms) from the capital Phnom Penh, has taken on new strategic importance. If the Communists take the village, and especially a small hill overlooking it, they could attack Phnom Penh airport with relative ease. On 4 July, Government forces called in air support from F-III fighter-bombers. They were still there three-days later, making constant runs over Communist positions. In addition, ground troops were strengthened by two new 155 millimetre canons. It was the first field test under battle conditions for the weapons, which had arrived only 10 days earlier. So far, there are only four of them in the country.
SYNOPSIS: The tiny Khmer village of Phnom Baset has a new strategic significance and has become a prime Communist target. Phnom Penh is but 14 miles away. So, with the village under control, the Communists could attack the capital and its airport with relative ease.
The Government ... literally ... has brought in its "big guns" to halt the Communist advance on Phnom Baset.
Leading the ground attack ... two new 155mm cannons, which had arrived in the republic only days before.
This battle was the first test for the weapons under battle conditions.
In the air, there's strong support for the ground forces from F-III fighter-bombers. The F-IIIs were called in on 4th July, and they have bombed the Communist positions constantly, and heavily.
However, the cannons have drawn the most attention ... especially from village boys. Some of them have entrenched themselves at the Government camp, in order to have a better view of the weapons in action.
The bombing, at times, is perilously close to the camp, with some of the explosions less then a mile (2 Kms) away from the boys.
However, war and its effects are not new to the youthful spectators. Most of their fathers are soldiers, so thoughts of death are with their families always. And at Phnom Based at the moment, death is very near indeed.