This is a beautifully and detailed Powerpoint presentation of the events leading up to and during the Battle of Long Tan.


It requires Microsoft Powerpoint to view.


The whole presentation takes about an hour to view, but well worth it. It may be best to save the file to your computer to watch when you want.


The presentation was compiled by Long Tan vet Dave Sabben (who has now been finally awarded the Medal for Gallantry, the equivalent of the Military Cross, which should have been awarded 4 decades ago)


please click to view




Propaganda by the Communist Government following the Battle of Long Tan


The response of the communists, far from concealing their defeat, trumpeted an outstanding victory, beyond even that claimed by the Australians. The units involved were awarded medals.




On 27 August 1966 Radio Hanoi announced:


The Australian mercenaries, who are no less husky and beefy than their allies, the U.S. aggressors, have proved as good fresh targets for the South Vietnam Libera?tion Fighters. According to LPA [Liberation Press Agency], in two days ending 18 August, the LAF [Liberation Armed Forces] wiped out over 500 Australian mercenaries in Baria Province. LPA reported:


On 18 August in the coastal province of Baria, east of Saigon, the LAF wiped out almost completely one Battalion of Australian mercenaries in an ambush in Long Tan village. At 1500 hours that day, an Australian mercenary Battalion and a column of Armoured cars fell into an ambush. Within the first few minutes the LAF fiercely attacked the enemy and made short work of two companies, set fire to three M113 Armoured cars, and drove the remnants into a corner of the battlefield. The LAF then concentrated their fire on them and heavily decimated the remaining company. The LAF shot down one of the US aircraft which went to the rescue of the battered Australians.


According to the first reports, in this battle the LAF put out of action 400 Australian mercenaries, thus annihilating two full-sized companies, heavily decimated another, set afire three M113 Armoured cars, downed one US jet fighter, and captured a great quantity of arms and munitions.


The day before, 17 August, the LAF in the same province wiped out over 100 Australian mercenaries. For these victories, the South Vietnam LAF Command had decided to award a Liberation Military Exploit Order Third Class to the victorious units.


Radio Peking International Service (in English) announced on 28 August 1966:


More than 500 Australian Satellite Troops including two whole companies were wiped out by the South Vietnam Liberation Army in Baria Province on 17 and 18 August when it launched fierce attacks on an Australian battalion and an Armoured Car Column, reported the South Vietnam Liberation Press Agency. In an attack on an Australian Base in Nui Thu on 17 August, the Liberation Army in Baria Province wiped out more than 100 Australian troops.


In the afternoon the following day, the Liberation Army knocked out a number of Australian troops which fell into an ambush in Long Tan Hamlet. Then, the Liberaation Forces concentrated their fire on the rest of the enemy and wiped out more than four hundred Australian Satellite Troops. Two companies were completely wiped out and another company was heavily battered. Three M113 Armoured Cars were destroyed. The Command of the South Vietnam Liberation Armed Forces has recently decided to award this victorious unit with the Liberation Exploit Order, Third Class.



These messages were also promulgated to the troops.


The communist history of Dong Nai province (in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Dong Nai approximately covers the former Bien Hoa, Phuoc Tuy and Long Khanh provinces), published in 1986, gives the battle scant mention in view of the victory claimed. It describes the communist forces as having eliminated 500 Australians and destroyed 21 tanks. No mention was made of their own side's casualties at all, an unusual omission. The communist account of the battle of Long Tan had effects both in the short and long term.


excerpts from 'To Long Tan' by Ian McNeill



______________________________________________________________________________


THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN   by Graham Roger



The Battle of Long Tan


In nineteen sixty six the Australians were new

To their Nui Dat base and their numbers were few.

The V.C. decided they’d be easy to beat

They’d humble the Aussies with a crushing defeat.


For the eighteenth of august they planned their attack

With three thousand troops to wipe out Nui Dat.

But one hundred and eight soldiers from ‘D’ Company 6 R.A.R.

Were patrolling that day and stood in their path.


Four o eight in the evening the battle began

In that rubber plantation known as Long Tan.

Our blokes were out numbered by thirty to one

But nearly five hundred would fall to their guns.


The fighting was fierce as the V.C. pushed in

But the Aussies held on never giving an inch

With the angel of death ever close by their side

They fought for our country with honour and pride.


Our choppers flew in just above the tree tops

And in the heat of the battle fresh ammo was dropped

Then the artillary boys tore the jungle apart

And the enemy fled under cover of dark.


In that rain sodden jungle they counted our loss

Twenty four wounded and eighteen men lost

We paid a high price to receive victory’s hand

So here’s to the soldiers who fought at Long Tan.


Chorus 1

So here’s to the soldiers who fought at Long Tan

And all other battles in South Vietnam

You were fighting for those who would dare to be free

Your deeds will live on in our memories.


Chorus 2

So here’s to the soldiers who fought at Long Tan

And all other battles in South Vietnam

You were fighting for those who would dare to be free

Your deeds will live on in our memories.