3d Marine Division Essay

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The 3d Marine Division was in the process of shifting north from Quang Nam and Thua Thien Provinces to Quang Tri Province. At the same time, the 1st Marine Division was redistributing its forces in the corridor between Phu Bai and Da Nang. This overall redeployment of the Marine forces was about three-quarters completed when the North Vietnamese offensive began. Task Force X-Ray, under the command of Brigadier General Foster “Frosty” C. LaHue did not assume responsibility for the Phu Bai area, including Hue City until 15 January. LaHue, who had been serving as the 1st Marine Division assistant division commander in Da Nang, had barely enough time to become acquainted with his new tactical area of responsibility (TAOR), let alone come up to speed on the fast-developing Tet situation. General LaHue’s Task Force X-Ray controlled two Marine regimental headquarters and three infantry battalions; the 5th Marines, under Colonel Robert D. Bohn, had two battalions, 1st and 2d, and the 1st Marines, under Colonel Stanley S. Hughes, had only the 1st Battalion in the Phu Bai sector. All the units were new to the area. Colonel Bohn arrived on the 13th, …show more content…
On the eve of Tet, the greater metropolitan area contained fewer than a thousand South Vietnamese troops on active duty. Most of the garrison was on leave to celebrate Tet, either at their homes in the city or elsewhere in neighboring districts. The headquarters of the South Vietnamese 1st1st Infantry Division, commanded by Brigadier General Ngo Quang Truong, made its home in the walled Mang Ca military compound, a mini-fortress that occupied the northeast corner of the Citadel. Apart from the headquarters staff and a handful of support units, the only combat units in the Citadel were the division’s 36-man Reconnaissance Platoon and its reaction force, the elite, all-volunteer, 240-man Hac Bao (Black Panther)

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