The 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam: Unparalleled and Unequaled

By Ira A. Hunt | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Fourth Phase of the VC/NVA
General Offensive

The division captured an enemy document in January 1969 that indicated that the fourth phase of the General Offensive and General Uprising, the Dong Xuan, a Winter-Spring Offensive, was imminent. Its objectives were to annihilate 60 percent of the enemy troops and destroy 50 percent of the enemy outposts; liberate the rural areas and attack the enemy lines of communication; and liberate half of the district seats and provincial capitals and destroy the remaining half so that they could eventually control them all. In fact, a Viet Cong supply convoy was interdicted in Kien Phong Province on 13 January, a few days prior to the quarterly conference, and a twelve -tube 107 mm rocket launcher with forty-five 107 mm rocket rounds and other supplies and ammunition were captured. Other new weapons and equipment taken by the division further indicated serious Viet Cong preparations for a new highpoint offensive.

The goals for the Dong Xuan changed but little in the forthcoming years. It was always the main Communist objective to defeat the GVN pacification program and to gain control of land and population, that is, “liberate the rural areas.” It wasn’t until December 1974 that the Communists managed to capture a provincial capital, Phuoc Binh, the capital of Phuoc Long Province, seventy-five miles northeast of Saigon.

Additional intelligence indicated that an NVA regiment was to be introduced into Long An Province and that NVA troop replacements would beef up the depleted VC main force units. The conflict south of Saigon was becoming a VC/NVA war. We also learned that two new VC battalions had been formed—the 560th Battalion in Kien Hoa and the 273rd Battalion in Dinh Tuong. Several reorganizations of the enemy forces were also made, including the formation of the 1st Battle Group to control the enemy battalions in Kien Hoa and the consolida-

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