We have conducted two interviews about the Battle of Long Tan, 1 with Major Harry Smith, the Officer Commanding D Company 6 RAR and one with 2 LT Dave Sabben, the Platoon Commander of 12 Platoon.
Dave tells his story starting from his training at Scheyville and Harry discuss the training he put the Company through before deployment to Nui Dat.
A couple of important facts about the battle.
6 RAR celebrated their first birthday on the beaches of Vung Tau just weeks before the Battle of Long Tan. Many of the soldiers were ‘nashos’ who did not have a lot of time in the Battalions.
Op Hardihood, the operation to clear Phuoc Tuy province was conducted from 16 May to 8 June, 1966, with 1 ATF occupying Nui Dat on 5 June, just 10 weeks before the Battle of Long Tan. US Forces consisted of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 1 RAR and 5 RAR. Casualties were: US – 23 KIA, 160 WIA, Aus – 5 KIA and 15 WIA. VC losses were estimated at 48 KIA.
The area was far from cleared and the base, undermanned because of the manning cap had minimal defensive works completed by the time of the battle.
Scroll through the individual episodes and have a listen to one of the episodes.