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Mine Warfare

1st Australian Task Forces struggle for South Vietnam

(3 customer reviews)
Authors: Dr Andrew Ross
10/May/2021
Australian Army Combat Support series
160
Paperback
245mm x 170mm (B5)
9781922488268
$19.99

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*No 3 in the Australian Army Combat Support Series

Mine warfare, in its various forms, is a favoured weapon used by insurgents against government forces. By June 1966, when the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) arrived in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, the Viet Cong and People’s Army of Vietnam forces were well entrenched in the province and used mines extensively. The mine campaign risked few enemy lives and was a powerful statement to everyone, including civilians, that the Viet Cong were still in the war and not a spent force. The intense patrolling practised by 1ATF inevitably put its men in close contact with enemy mines. Indeed, 1ATF suffered more casualties from the Viet Cong mine warfare campaign than from any other single cause, yet enemy casualties were minimal. So why did the enemy mine campaign collapse in the period July to December 1970 and continue its rapid decline until 1ATF ended combat operations in September 1971? Counterinsurgency has been described as a competition in learning and, facing a well-organised mine campaign against them, 1ATF learned and adapted to the enemy’s mine warfare techniques. Supported by statistical analyses of operational research data, this book details the complex tactics adopted by 1ATF to eventually defeat the Viet Cong mine campaign, and how enemy forces were reduced to a negligible military presence in Phuoc Tuy Province.

Dr Andrew Ross

Dr Andrew Ross

Dr Andrew T. Ross was a former operations research analyst with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation of the Australian Government Department of Defence. He is also a political scientist and military historian, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Canberra.

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3 reviews for Mine Warfare

  1. This a welcome and systematic examination of the Vietnam mine tragedy. It is inevitable that insurgents will use mines. Many of the lessons in this book are relevant to any such future conflicts

  2. The Army History Unit’s series continue to go from strength to strength. Each volume is authoritative, accessible, well-illustrated and available at an extremely good price.

  3. This a welcome and systematic examination of the Vietnam mine tragedy. It is inevitable that insurgents will use mines. Many of the lessons in this book are relevant to any such future conflicts.

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