THE VIETNAM WAR: The battle of Long Khan and Operation Overlord

BOB FRESHFIELD

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

BRAVERY WAS PUT TO THE TEST AS DIGGER DRAGS A WOUNDED MATE BACK TO THE COMPANY POSITION.

OPERATION OVERLORD WAS PUT INTO EFFECT WITH SOME TREPIDATION AMONG THE LOWER RANKS.

The Australian government began reducing troops at the end of 1970. Left were 2 battalions at 1ATF Nui Dat, along with substantial support of armour, artillery and RAAF air support.

By the end of 1970 Phuoc Tuy province was almost free of NVA and Viet Cong large scale movements, and a lot of the security of the provincial towns went to the South Vietnamese ARVN troops to administer.

With 8RAR going home, and not replaced, 3RAR arrived for its second tour to join 7RAR, who were also in the process of returning to Australia.

And 4RAR/NZ, with a contingent of a Company from New Zealand, arrived in March 1971 as the last elements of 7RAR departed.

Thus, Phuoc Tuy province became the responsibility of just 2 battalions for the remainder of the war.

Patrolling was by Australian Special Air Service, (SAS), in the north of Phuoc Tuy province, near the border with Long Khan province.

It began to show signs of the presence of large numbers of Viet Cong D445 Regiment in the vicinity of the Courtenay rubber plantation.

Indeed, when given permission to extend patrolling 4 kilometres into Long Khan province, intelligence … found D445 and the 33NVA regiment were attempting to disrupt local security, using the area to refit and retrain.

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Operation Overlord was put into effect with some trepidation from among the lower ranks.

They realised the name and loading zones as well as the date of commencement, were the same as those used during the WW2 Normandy D-day landings; this might telegraph Australia’s intentions.

However, the operation was launched on June 6, 1971, with 3RAR and C Squadron Centurion Tanks given the task of driving the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese into a blocking combination of 4RAR/NZ, A Squadron 3 Cav Regiment, and 8th Battalion 3rd US Cavalry Regiment.

Next: There was a large group of enemy troops hidden in a bunker system. They had been avoiding open combat with the Australians.

SOURCE: Adapted from Vietnam Veterans Journal from a series by Bob Freshfield.
Below: A digger urges his mates to take cover.


GREAT AUSSIE FIRST: Election stood in the way of the monorail!

FRANK MORRIS

BRITISH INVENTOR BRENNAN’S MONORAIL.

BRENNAN WAS A DEAD ISSUE POLITICALLY.

Australia’s first monorail system could have been up and running in the early 1900s had it not been
for an untimely federal election.

British inventor Louis Brennan, who lived in Australia from 1861 to 1880, designed the first gyroscopic monorail system which he offered to the Australian Government in 1907.

But before Brennan’s unique transportation system could be discussed with the other states, the then Prime Minister Alfred Deakin was voted out of office.

Deakin’s successor, Labour’s Andrew Fisher, was keen to press on with the idea but nothing came of it.
By 1909, when Deakin was re-elected Prime Minister for yet a third time, Brennan’s monorail was a dead issue politically.

That same year Brennan held public demonstrations of his monorail in London with spectacular success.

GREAT AUSSIE FIRST: Going to the “flicks” and the death of the cinema

FRANK MORRIS

THE MOVIES WERE AN EXPERIENCE THAT BELONGED TO A GREAT MASS OF CINEMAGOERS.

“The flicks” was short for “the flickers”. It peterer out in the mid 1950.

It’s a hangover from those magical early days when the movies were black and white images that flickered on cinema screens in the city, suburbs or the back of the beyond.

It is an appellation that obviously came from the pages of the movie fan magazines like Silver Screen, Photoplay, Modern Screen, Screenland, and dozens of others, which were around when Tinseltown was America’s dreamland.
The movies were an experience that appealed to a great mass of people. In pre-television days tens of thousands of families would pile into the roadster and head for the nearest cinema.

By the 1920s there were over 750 cinemas in Australia -- that’s not counting halls, tents, and former live theatres. The bulk of cinemas, invariably in the art deco style, was built in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly when the ‘talkies’ came on the scene.

In the first year of sound, theatre attendances went through the roof. “Every amusement except film recorded a drop in patronage,” writes one leading historian. It is safe to claim that almost every suburb and country town in Australia had a cinema.

The Depression years 1929 to 1933, movie patronage took a severe tumble as unemployment hit the 30 percent mark. By the late 1930s attendances doubled to over 126,000,000, and kept soaring.

In 1955, twelve months before the introduction of television, there were over 1700 theatres and 166 other “film showing” venues.

When television sank its teeth into the film market, audiences plunged overnight and many theatres were unceremoniously closed. By 1960 there were only about 1590 theatres; and by 1970 only 970-odd, which included 230 drive-ins.


SHAPES & SIZES: Viking Ships -- How yester-year crafts grew to become to giants of the sea!

LONGSHIPS WERE SLEEK WOODEN CRAFTS WITH A SINGLE SQUARE SAIL, USED FOR EXPLORING AND LAUNCHING RAIDS. ABOUT 1000 YEARS AGO, VIKING WARRIORS ROWED THEIR LONGSHIPS WHEN THE WIND BLEW FROM THE WRONG DIRECTION; OR STOPPED BLOWING ALL TOGETHER.
SOURCE: Mighty Machines Parragon, Bath, UK.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST DAYLIGHT SAVING WAS FIRST TRIED IN 1917; AND THEN IN 1942. TASMANIA’S DAYLIGHT SAVING HAPPENED IN 1968. IN 1971, NSW, SA, AND CANBERRA FOLLOWED TASMANIA. WESTERN AUSTRALIA, QUEENSLAND AND NORTHERN TERRITORY DON’T OBSERVE DAYLIGHT SAVING. – FM.
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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 04 July 19

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