Jan. 7, 1963 - A rising tide of South Vietnamese casualties indicates that the long guerrilla war has entered a new phase of large-scale engagements. The fighting is fiercer than at any time since the French-Indochina war ended in 1954. In 5 days, 122 South Vietnamese died in 3 battles. Viet Cong casualties were believed heavy also. In the latest battle, the Viet Cong stormed into a defended hamlet near the seacoast 240 miles northeast of Saigon Sunday. They killed 24 South Vietnamese, wounded 10, and captured 27 and a sizable stock of arms. Analysts of Viet Cong tactics feel the Communists may be trying to rack up a good score of successes to offset low morale that has been reported recently. Some experts say the Reds may be trying to overcome a weakness of past encounters — failure to follow up initial successes. At the battle at Ap Bac last week, the Viet Cong stood and fought.
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