Battle of Loc Ninh (1967)



As part of his tactical preparation for the Tet Offensive in 1968, General Vo Nguyen Giap began attacking isolated American outposts in the fall of 1967. Located in Binh Long Province, nine miles east of the Cambodian border, was Loc Ninh, a military outpost defended by three Civilian Irregular Defense Group companies, a company of Regional Forces, and a Popular Forces platoon. On October 29, 1967, two regiments of the 9th Vietcong Division came out of their base in Cambodia and attacked the base at Loc Ninh. They encountered tough resistance from the local forces, and on November 1, ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) forces and troops from the American 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division came in to reinforce them. On November 7, the Vietcong abandoned the fight, leaving 850 dead. Along with generally unsuccessful attacks at places like Dak To and Song Be, the Vietcong defeat at Loc Ninh encouraged American military officials to believe that at long last the enemy was trying to use conventional tactics. In fact, the attacks brought on a dispersal of allied forces out of the cities and into the countryside, precisely what Giap had hoped would occur so that the upcoming Tet Offensive would have more impact.


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