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Vietnam Firebases 1965-73: American and Australian Forces

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Overview

Impressive in terms of scale and structure, the Fire Support Base became a dominant element in ground maneuver during the Vietnam War. Initially a mobile base, it soon evolved into a semi-permanent and more sophisticated fortress as a result of enemy counterattacks and bombardments.

As a consequence, the majority of US and other allied troops found themselves pinned down in defensive or support roles, rather than being free to conduct 'search and destroy' or other mobile ...

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Vietnam Firebases 1965-73: American and Australian Forces

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Overview

Impressive in terms of scale and structure, the Fire Support Base became a dominant element in ground maneuver during the Vietnam War. Initially a mobile base, it soon evolved into a semi-permanent and more sophisticated fortress as a result of enemy counterattacks and bombardments.

As a consequence, the majority of US and other allied troops found themselves pinned down in defensive or support roles, rather than being free to conduct 'search and destroy' or other mobile missions. Thus, the first and foremost function of the Fire Support Base was defensive. Troops, machine guns, mortars, artillery, surveillance radars, and command centers all had to be dug into bunkers and fire trenches by nightfall of the first day. Around these positions there would be deep belts of barbed wire, generously scattered with several different types of mines and even, in a few cases after 1967, with a brand new series of electronic sensors to detect and locate the enemy at a distance.

With the benefit of the on-site howitzers, the FSB could also deliver offensive high volume fire, reaching as far as 14,600m and eliminating enemy firing sites, supporting friendly infantry operations, or simply participating in fire missions where exact targets were not known. In fact, the fort offered such a degree of support and protection that ground maneuver was eventually hampered by the troop's reluctance to leave the comfort and safety of the FSB.

With a description of the design, development and operational history of the Fire Support Base, this book provides the key to understanding one of the main assets of US battle strategy in the Vietnam War.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"... a very nicely done book." -J. E. Kauffman, Site-O

"This is one of the best-written volumes in the entire series, well organized and well illustrated with photos and drawings. Those interested in field fortifications or in the great tragic American adventure in Indo-China will find this an excellent book. I highly recommend it." -Bolling Smith, The Coast Defense Journal

"The author provides a well-written text that introduces the reader to the era... The images in the book are for the most part well-chosen and very useful for modelers... those that wish to have a proper setting for a model, will find this book very useful. Other modelers who may wish to get a bit ambitious could also construct a position to include a bunker complex; again this book is the place to start! Highly recommended." -Frank De Sisto, missing-lynx.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846031038
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/30/2007
  • Series: Fortress Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 667,614
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Randy E.M. Foster is an independent British military historian who has observed modern armies at close hand, including studies of NATO tactics in Germany. He has specialized in the Vietnam War, with his first articles on US tactics appearing in War in Peace magazine Nos. 48 and 50, in 1983-4. Since then he has contributed to the wargame press and he is currently active in the Battlefields Trust, for whom he is regional organizer for North-West England. He lives in Manchester, UK. The author lives in Manchester, UK.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     4
The place of fortification in a widening war
A war in five acts
Defending the bases
What is a firebase?     14
Building a firebase     19
The operational use of firebases     33
LZ Bird in the Christmastide battle
FSB Crook, June 5-7, 1969
Tour of a firebase: design and developments     43
Life in a firebase     50
Aftermath     57
The sites today     60
Select bibliography     62
Glossary and abbreviations     63
Index     64
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Yes first!

    Underwear!!!!!!! Flappy Bird wears underwear!!!!

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