The Principles of War Podcast
Artillery at Long Tan
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34 – How was artillery controlled at Long Tan?

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What were the control arrangements for artillery at Long Tan?  This is the next episode in our Long Tan Series with Dave Sabben.  Our last episode discussed the final defensive position.  This episode starts a 4 part Q+A with Dave, looking at the conduct of the battle.

Dave Sabben discussing the control of the artillery batteries at Long Tan.  How was it organised?  Was it Platoon Commanders using All Arms Call for Fire or was it all controlled by Maurie Stanley, the Forward Observer controlling the guns.

On multiple occasions, permission was requested for and by Bravo Coy (-) to return to Charlie Coy in it’s defensive position.  How was the base QRF organised?  Was there support available from the US forces?  Did the number of false alarms to the US forces decrease the willingness of the Commanders to request support?

What was the reason for the delay in organising the resupply of D Coy? What was first line ammunition for each of the soldiers?  How much ammunition was left with each of the soldiers at the end of the battle?  Of the 11 MGs in the battle, 8 had stoppages because of the heat of the weapon causing the barrel to droop.

We discuss the delay around the organisation of the APC Troop to reinforce D Coy.

Was the Battle of Long Tan an ambush?  Dave discusses the theory of the NVA setting an ambush for D Coy.  This is an oft repeated theory about the battle.  How likely is it?

What was the enemy doing in the Australian AO?

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John Pritchard August 8, 2019 at 10:21 am

What is this business describing 275 VC Regiment as NVA? There were no NVA at Long Tan.

KERRY BRIDGLAND August 13, 2019 at 10:32 pm

I recently saw the film Danger Close , I noticed the incoming Tracer was red ,can anybody confirm that is factually correct , Chicom and Soviet ammo /tracer was usually green

Ernie Dare August 24, 2019 at 7:10 am

perhaps you could interview LT COL. Mollision Ret. on the subject ,ordering a platoon to chase them up after a contact given throwing caution to the wind is not a good idea , splitting the company up could be construed as a enemy tactic. thank heavens for the nine mile snipers saving the day.


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