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Viet Cong See Possible Defeat

Aug. 4, 1962 - For the first time in South Vietnam’s fierce guerrilla warfare, Communist insurgent leaders have revealed concern over a defeat by Government forces (pictured). The admission came in a clandestine radio broadcast directed to the Viet Cong. The broadcast was monitored in Saigon this week. An unidentified broadcaster sharply criticized guerrilla commanders for having departed from standard defense tactics when attacked by Government troops in a rebel stronghold near the Cambodian border. The Vietnamese Government had reported 131 Viet Cong killed in a 3-day action that began July 20. The Communist broadcaster altered this figure to more than 100 killed and more than 50 missing, indicating that Saigon’s estimate of casualties had been low. Two Vietnamese army regiments reinforced with additional battalions attacked a Viet Cong secret base in the Plain of Reeds at dawn on July 20. The attackers used helicopters, armored amphibious personnel carriers, and strafing planes. The Viet Cong were taken by surprise. The broadcaster declared that this defeat, believed in Saigon to be the worst suffered by the Viet Cong since the present intensive guerrilla campaign began in late 1959, could have been avoided. If rebel commanders had obeyed the standing orders to disperse in small bands when faced with a superior force, the defeat would not have been so severe, the broadcaster said.


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