VN071-KC The Battle of Long Tan Set #1
A kneeling NCO (non commissioned officer) kneels and opens fire with his Australian-made Owen Submachine Gun. Backing him up are two lying prone soldiers… one fires the American M60, belt-fed machine gun while the other utilizes the standard L1A1 SLR (self loading rifle). The fourth member of the section is the radio man holding his M16 rifle in one hand while he calls in a SITREP (situation report) on the handset of his PRC-25 radio set.
THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN in August 1966 has gone down in Australian military history as one of their ‘Finest Hours’ during the Vietnam War.
‘D’ Company of the 6th Royal Australian Regiment (just 106 men) were patrolling through a rubber plantation not far from their base at Nui Dat, South Vietnam when they were confronted by a much larger combined force of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong infantry of about 1,500 strong. Pinned down and vastly outnumbered the Australians fought courageously and held their defensive perimeter against numerous enemy attacks over many hours.
Accurate long-range artillery fire helped the Aussies hold on while a relief force was readied and eventually reached their beleaguered position. Australian casualties were 18 killed and 24 wounded, Australia’s greatest one-day loss during its involvement in the Vietnam War.
Long Tan is now remembered and honored as a symbol of Aussie military bravery, endurance and teamwork in a very tough battlefield situation.