The Battle of Long Tan

Investigate the Battle of Long Tan, when an infantry company of untried Australians and New Zealanders held off repeated attacks by two heavily-armed North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong units outnumbering them 20 to 1.

For the Viet Cong, this was to be a master stroke – annihilate the soldiers of two nations thus forcing Australia and New Zealand to withdraw from Vietnam, embarrass the US, and influence the looming Manila peace talks. Masters of the annihilation ambush and with a much stronger force, the VC believed victory would take about 20 minutes. But in a grim firefight in monsoonal rain the Vietnamese were mauled badly, losing more than 500 men to D Company’s 18 KIA.

What went wrong for the ‘invincible’ VC?