The 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam: Unparalleled and Unequaled

By Ira A. Hunt | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
Post–Dong Xuan Operations

The aggressive actions of the RVNAF and the 9th Division in the Delta and U.S. forces and our Allies elsewhere in South Vietnam forced the Communist leaders to abort their Winter-Spring Offensive. Yet, the dispersed and elusive Viet Cong and NVA units that remained in the Upper Delta still had a limited capability to attack population centers and military installations if they were permitted to concentrate forces. We saw how, after the beating they took in the February 1968 Tet Offensive, the Viet Cong were able to mass and attack Saigon again in May. Even after the Mini-Tet losses, they attempted another highpoint in Long An in August and September. Consequently, to prevent yet another Communist attempt at a highpoint and to permit the GVN pacification program to progress, it was necessary for the division to continue to aggressively locate and destroy enemy local and main force units.


Unrelenting Pressure

Maj. Gen. Harris W. Hollis followed Maj. Gen. Julian J. Ewell as the fourth commanding general of the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam. Under his outstanding leadership, the 9th Division continued to apply unrelenting pressure, night and day, on the enemy. The large Viet Cong losses diluted the Communist leadership, replacements were not as well trained or experienced, the enemy’s resupply of weapons and ammunition was being interdicted and the people rallying to the GVN reduced his food supply. As the Viet Cong capabilities weakened, ours strengthened. In April and May, the 9th Division continued to operate full-bore and eliminated more than six thousand enemy (see table 14). The net result was that the Viet Cong Infrastructure eroded and pacification greatly improved. During April and May, seven different main

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