5RAR Association Website
operations conducted 1969-70


 

australian infantryman's combat badge
operation twickenham 2

22 May - 1 June 1969

Captain Mike Battle

 

The headquarters group reoccupied Fire Support Base Susan and the two companies again went back the Nui Thi Vai's while the other two went into the Nui Dinh complex. Eventually all companies redeployed into the latter area.

During this time a local RF (Regional Force) Company came under control of 5 RAR each day. This experiment in building up the confidence of the local troops and encouraging them to operate away from their defended posts showed promise. With Australian liaison officers, this company searched the south-western corner of the AO (Area of Operations).

C Company took to the ridges of the Nui Bao, Quan and Nui Dinh ranges and was very successful in dislodging a large group of enemy from their traditional sanctuary areas. This group was not followed because of the large numbers of women and children in the party.

The operation closed with the enemy driven from his bases close to population centres. In this type of warfare this is important as the revolutionary aims of the Liberation front can only be achieved by re-education of the population. This in turn, depends on the military successes of the Viet Cong on the battlefield, to emphasize on the 'silent majority' of 'fence sitters', the weakness of the present Government's authority. Consequently, one of the major tasks of any allied operation was to force and maintain a separation between the Viet Cong and the civilian population.

Operation Twickenham was 5 RAR's most successful to date. Military successes were significant, and the local forces were encouraged to assume greater responsibilities in the protection of the civilian population.

Although saddened by our own losses, 5 RAR returned to base confident of its capabilities after dispelling the bogey of the Thi Vai mountains.


 

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