South Viet Nam: A Tale of Two Wars

Jumping from U.S. helicopters in a clearing, 1,000 troops of South Viet Nam's crack "Red Lightning" division moved out against a battalion of 300 Communist Viet Cong guerrillas holed up in the village of Loc Ninh, deep in the Mekong Delta. Slogging through flooded paddyfields and reed swamps, rifles held high, the government soldiers advanced toward the tree line that marked the Viet Cong position. A pasting by napalm, rockets, bombs and machine-gun fire from T-28 fighter-bombers had failed to budge the guerrillas from their camouflaged foxholes. Guns cocked, the ragged Communists calmly held their fire until the first...

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