The Principles of War Podcast
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31 – Long Tan 7: The final Coy Defensive position

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We continue our examination of the Battle of Long Tan with Dave Sabben. 

12 Pl has returned to the D Coy position, with some of the survivors of 11 Pl and the Coy prepares to receive the next assault.

BRIG Jackson is faced with the dilemma of trying to divine the true intentions of the enemy.  Is it a diversion in preparation for a move against the Task Force base, or is it an attempt to destroy a Coy outside the base.

B Coy is ordered to return to the D Coy location and 10 APCs are loaded with troops from A Coy at Nui Dat and dispatched to reinforce the D Coy position.

6 RAR CO, LT COL Townsend recalls the APCs because he wants to go out with the APCs.  How does LT Roberts respond to a call to return for the CO, when he knows that D Coy is in a critical situation with low ammunition.

At 18:30 what is enabling the Coy to survive in the face of ongoing assaults? 

What air support was available, how was it used and how effective was it?

The enemy starts to mass and commences further assaults against the position.  The pace of the assaults increases and the troops don’t have enough time to fully reload their magazines.  The sun has set and it is becoming increasingly dark. At 18:55 increase numbers of waves assault the position, around the perimeter. Troops, controlled by whistle blasts walking in firing from the hips.  It is now dark and the only illumination available to the defenders is the flashes from the artillery. 

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1 comment

Arthur Holzhauser March 18, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Great podcast, totally enjoyable and enlightening, sad at heart for those who gave all and those who made it home, as no doubt, many still suffer the experience/horror of their service. Defence Service Personnel don’t start these conflicts, Politicians order them to go fight, our Politicians have a lot to answer for, but as history has proven time and time again, they don’t really care, it’s not their butt on the firing line, they don’t have to lay in the mud and rain each night in ambush, patrolling carrying 60kg packs, stepping on a land mine, getting blown to hell and back by an IED. When our soldiers come back carrying the physical and mental scars, the politicians then, make them fight all over again to get any recognition and help. Maybe if all politicians had to go fight the battle first, there wouldn’t be any battles or better still, no bloody politicians.


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