Wednesday, August 17, 2016

44th Anniversary of the Second Battle of Quảng Trị 1972-2016

Republic of Vietnam Marines raise the flag over the Quảng Trị citadel, 1972.
            Forty-four years ago this summer, soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam were gripped in the middle of an eighty-one day battle to retake Quảng Trị province. The area was overrun by enemy forces during the Spring (or “Easter”) Offensive of 1972. However, the enemy offensive fell short of its projected aims, and the Republic of Vietnam was able to organize a successful counter-offensive. The battle was in many ways a test for the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, coming after the withdrawal of the majority of United States military units as part of the “Vietnamization” of the war.

Map showing the location of Quảng Trị province and city on the northernmost border of the Republic of Vietnam along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
General Ngô Quang Trưởng who commanded Republic of Vietnam forces during the
Second Battle of Quảng Trị .
             General Ngô Quang Trưởng led the Republic of Vietnam forces in the battle, which principally consisted of marines and airborne troops. The raising of the Republic of Vietnam flag over the Quảng Trị Citadel was the subject of the most iconic photographs of the battle. Nearly all enemy units involved in the battle were destroyed. The Republic of Vietnam passed this major battlefield test, and proved its effectiveness to launch large scale operations when properly supplied.

Republic of Vietnam troops during the Second Battle of Quảng Trị, 1972.

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