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Battle of Long Tan Part of the Vietnam War The site of the battle in 2005 Date 18 August 1966 Location Long Tần, Phuoc Tuy Province, Republic of Vietnam[1] Result Allied victory Belligerents  Australia  New Zealand  United States Viet Cong North Vietnamese Army Commanders and leaders Harry Smith Nguyen Thanh Hong Strength 108 1500 - 2,500[2] Casualties and losses 18 killed 24 wounded[3] 47 killed 100 wounded (North Vietnamese claim) 245 killed (Australian estimate) 100 - 150 wounded 3 captured Senior VC commanders later claimed that only 50 of their men were killed[4] Also, the US Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) awarded to D Company 6RAR, reports that only a reinforced enemy battalion took part in the battle. Also, the Australian estimates of the battle came after only one day of counting enemy dead and wounded as government and media alike wanted a body count as soon as possible, other estimates have put the body count significantly higher than first thought. v • d • e Military engagements of the Vietnam War Laos - Sunrise – 1st Ap Bac – Go Cong – Hiep Hoa – Chan La – 34A – Long Dinh – Kien Long – Quyet Thang 202 – Nam Dong – Thanh Hóa – An Lao – Bình Gia – Pleiku airbase – Thanh Hoa Bridge – Song Be – Ba Gia – Đồng Xoài – Starlite – Chu Lai – Plei Me – Minh Thanh – Hump – Gang Toi – Ia Drang Valley – Crimp – Masher/White Wing – Suoi Bong Trang – Cu Nghi – Kim Son Valley – A Shau – Birmingham – Xa Cam My – 1st Dong Ha – Wahiawa – Hastings – Minh Thanh Road – Prairie – Đức Cơ – Long Tần – Beaver Cage – Attleboro – Bong Son – Tân Sơn Nhứt airbase – LZ Bird – Cedar Falls – Tuscaloosa – Tra Binh Dong – Bribie – Junction City – Francis Marion – Union – Hill 881 – 2nd Ap Bac – 1st Con Thien – Malheur I and Malheur II – Baker – Nine Days in May – Union II – Vinh Huy – Buffalo – 2nd Con Thien – July Two – Hong Kil Dong – Suoi Chau Pha – Swift – Dong Son – Wheeler/Wallowa – 3rd Con Thien – Medina – Ông Thanh – 1st Loc Ninh – Kentucky – Dak To – Mekong Delta – Tam Quan – Thom Tham Khe – Phoenix – New Year's Day Battle of 1968 – Khe Sanh – Ban Houei Sane – Bien Hoa – 1st Tet – 1st Saigon – Huế – 1st Quảng Trị – Lang Vei – Lima Site 85 – Toan Thang I – Delaware – 2nd Dong Ha – May '68 – Kham Duc – Coral-Balmoral – Hoa Da-Song Mao –Duc Lap – Speedy Express – Dewey Canyon – Taylor Common – 2nd Tet – Apache Snow – Hamburger Hill – Twinkletoes – Binh Ba – Pat To –LZ Kate – Bu Prang – Texas Star – Chicago Peak – Khe Gio Bridge – 1st Cambodia – 2nd Cambodia – Kompong Speu – Prey Veng – Snuol – FSB Ripcord – Tailwind – Chenla I – Jefferson Glenn – Son Tay Raid – Lam Son 719 – Chenla II – Ban Dong – Hill 723 – FSB Mary Ann – Long Khanh –Nui Le – Easter '72 – 2nd Quảng Trị – 2nd Loc Ninh – An Lộc – 3rd Dong Ha – Kontum – Thunderhead – 3rd Quảng Trị – End Sweep – Hoang Sa – Iron Triangle – Svay Rieng – Phuoc Long – Ho Chi Minh – Ban Me Thuot – Hue-Da Nang – Xuân Lộc – 2nd Saigon Air operations Farm Gate – Chopper – Ranch Hand – Pierce Arrow – Barrel Roll – Pony Express – Flaming Dart – Iron Hand – Rolling Thunder – Steel Tiger – Arc Light – Tiger Hound – Shed Light – Carolina Moon – Bolo – Popeye – Niagara – Igloo White – Giant Lance – Commando Hunt – Menu – Patio – Freedom Deal – Linebacker I – Enhance Plus – Linebacker II – Homecoming – Babylift – New Life – Eagle Pull – Frequent Wind Naval operations Gulf of Tonkin – Market Time – Vung Ro Bay – Game Warden – Double Eagle – Sea Dragon – Deckhouse Five – Bo De River – Nha Trang – Tha Cau River – Sealords – Hai Phong Harbor – Đồng Hới – East Sea – Mayaguez The Battle of Long Tan was fought between the Australian Army and Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tần, about twenty seven kilometres north east of Vung Tau, South Vietnam on 18 August 1966.The action occurred when D Company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF), encountered the Viet Cong (VC) 275 Regiment and elements of the D445 Local Forces Battalion. D Company was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States personnel. During the battle the company from 6RAR, despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large enemy assault of regimental strength. 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 Viet Cong were killed. It was a decisive Australian victory and is often cited as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation. The battle had considerable tactical implications as well, being significant in allowing the Australians to gain dominance over Phước Tuy province, and although there were a number of other large-scale encounters in later years, 1ATF was not fundamentally challenged again. Contents 1 Background 2 Battle 3 Aftermath 3.1 Controversy regarding strength and casualties 3.2 Controversy regarding tactics 3.3 Disputable killing of a wounded man in battle 3.4 Commemoration and reconciliation 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links // Background 1ATF arrived in Vietnam in May 1966 and was based at the Nui Dat base, in Phuoc Tuy Province. (As of 2005, Nui Dat and Long Tan are both in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.) 6RAR was composed mainly of national servicemen. The Australians faced formidable enemy forces, which were operating on home soil: Within Phuoc Tuy and the neighbouring provinces of Bien Hoa, Long Khanh and Binh Tuy, the principle [sic] main force formation ... was the 5th VC Division, which usually had its headquarters in the Mây Tào Mountains. It consisted of 274 Regiment and 275 Regiment plus supporting units. North Vietnamese regulars were used to boost and reinforce this South Vietnamese [Viet Cong] formation...[5] For several weeks prior to the battle, Australian field intelligence had tracked a VC 275 Regiment radio transmitter moving south to just north of Long Tan. Aggressive patrolling failed to find this unit. On the night of 16–17 August, the Viet Cong 275th Regiment fired over 100 mortar rounds into the 103 Battery area and 24 Australian soldiers were wounded, one later dying from his wounds. B Company 6RAR was sent out early on the morning of the 17th to find the VC heavy weapons. D Company (to which were attached three New Zealand Army personnel) relieved B Company at midday on the 18th. The commander of B Company, Major Noel Ford, briefed the D Company commander, Major Harry Smith, and B Company returned to base. After discussing the situation with the 6 RAR battalion commander, Lt Col. Colin Townsend, D Company moved to the east towards the limit of their covering artillery's range. Battle At 1540, a small group of VC soldiers walked into the middle of 11 Platoon on the right flank of D Company. One was killed in the action, the area was cleared and 11 Platoon moved forward again. Several light mortar rounds were fired towards the company position landing to the east, not the 82mm mortars that had fired at the base on the night of 16 August. The accompanying Forward Observation Officer (FO), New Zealand Captain Morrie Stanley, organised counter battery fire, and this probably silenced them although they may have fired at the B Company later. No further mortar fire was reported during the battle. This diversion separated the main company slightly from 11 Platoon, putting the main body behind a slight rise. As 11 Platoon continued to advance they were attacked by heavy machine gun fire and immediately sustained six casualties. Following normal contact procedures, the platoon went into a defensive position. The VC formed an assault and attacked 11 Platoon around 20 minutes after initial contact with support from their heavy machine guns. Stanley called in all available artillery support from the 1ATF artillery units, and 10 Platoon moved up to the left of 11 Platoon to try to relieve pressure on them and allow them to withdraw to the company defensive position. The commander of 11 Platoon, national serviceman 2nd Lt Gordon Sharp, was killed and Sergeant Bob Buick assumed command of the platoon. During this engagement both platoons' radios went out but one was sent forward to 10 Platoon and the 11 Platoon aerial was repaired. Heavy monsoon rain began falling on the battlefield reducing visibility considerably, probably saving many lives on both sides. 10 Platoon, under 2nd Lt Geoff Kendall, also came under fire and went into a defensive position. 12 Platoon, commanded by 2nd Lt Dave Sabben, had been the reserve platoon, and it was ordered to the right to support 11 Platoon. 12 Platoon left one section behind to support Company HQ. The company called for close air support but when it arrived it was unable to identify targets due to the weather and rubber plantation. The US aircraft dropped their bombs to the east disrupting the VC rear areas. Smith requested helicopter reinforcements from 6RAR. B Company HQ with its one platoon had not yet got back to Nui Dat and was ordered back to Long Tan but was then stopped. The Australian soldiers were carrying a light load, approximately five magazines, and after nearly three hours of combat ran low on ammunition. At 5:00pm Smith called for an ammunition resupply. By coincidence, two UH-1 Iroquois from 9 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force were available at the Nui Dat base, having just been used as transport for a Col Joye and Little Pattie concert. One of the Iroquois pilots, Flt Lt Bob Grandin, disobeyed orders by dropping supplies to D Company.[6] He recalled: "...[i]t did sound extremely bad on the radio." Because the ammunition resupply was to be dropped from a helicopter some distance above the tree height the wooden (outer) crates with metal straps were wrapped in army blankets for the wounded. However no-one thought to provide any tools to cut the straps and the tired soldiers had to smash open the crates with machettes and the butts of their SLRs during the battle to get to the inner metal ammunition boxes. Sgt Neil Rankin (12 PL) recounted frustration of not being able to quickly get to the ammunition at a time when the company was in an extremely dire situation with very low levels reported by many of the soldiers. Eventually the ammunition was freed but the soldiers then had to load the magazines themselves. Magazines were considered part of soldiers’ weapons and issuing was strictly controlled. (One of the lessons of Long Tan for the Australian Army was that combat personnel on operations started to carry more supplies, including more ammunition and food, to enable prolonged operations. Ammunition was later resupplied in magazines, and the issuing of magazines was relaxed.) The survivors of 11 Platoon withdrew to 12 Platoon and back to the Company area under the cover provided by the artillery and torrential rain. At Nui Dat, A Company had been ordered to ready itself and the M-113 armoured personnel carriers of the 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron to transport them. However there was a delay of more than an hour from the time 1 APC Squadron was ordered to 6RAR lines at Nui Dat to pick up A Company. Smith pressed Townsend to send reinforcements and even though Townsend had given the warning order to A Company to be prepared to go and assist D Company, Jackson would not release the APCs to take them. Jackson considered that the attack on D Company was a possible feint and did not want to reduce the defences at Nui Dat.[7] The VC continually formed assault waves and moved forward, but were broken up by artillery fire. Those who got through the gunfire were mown down by D Company men. Fortunately for the attackers, the soft boggy ground reduced the effect of the shell bursts, but there were a large number of wounded. The rain was so intense it kicked up a mist that gave the Australian soldiers some cover from the onslaught. Dave Sabben remembers the mist rising from the ground to about chest level. "All that's poking out of that is the diggers' hats and their eyes, not even their rifles," he said in a television interview with 60 Minutes.[8] The soldiers of D Company held their line and repulsed any VC that got through the artillery barrage. D Company were supported by 24 105 mm and 155 mm guns from the Australian 1st Field Regiment, the 161st Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery and the U.S. 2nd Battalion, 35th Artillery Regiment. Over 3,000 rounds of artillery were fired throughout the remainder of the battle at likely Communists' forming-up positions and withdrawal routes. "A" Battery, 1st Field Regiment fired rounds every 15 seconds for three hours. The U.S. gunners were in the same base as "A" Battery and assisted the exhausted Australian gunners by carrying artillery rounds to their guns. The reverse slope that D Company used to defend their position meant that the VC found it difficult to use their heavy calibre weapons effectively; the VC could only engage the Australians at close range. The VC repeatedly tried to find the Australian flanks but the wide dispersal and excellent defensive position combined with the artillery support led to many VC casualties. Furthermore as the Australian defence was not entirely static with some limited patrolling and contacts arising it caused the VC great difficulty in determining the exact perimeter and led the VC commanders to conclude they were facing a much larger force. A driver of one of the 1 APC Squadron vehicles, Cpl Peter Clements, was fatally wounded as 1APC Squadron fought its way into the rubber plantation. An unnecessary dispute between the acting commander of A Company and the 3 Troop APC Squadron commander regarding who was in command of the relief force, the commander of the APCs or the commander of the infantry mounted in the APCs, also caused a delay.[9] (In response to this ambiguity, the command structure of combined units was later more clearly defined by the Australian Army.) At last light, A Company, in ten APCs from 1 APC Squadron, arrived under the command of Lt Col. Colin Townsend who had finally arrived in three carriers sent back to Base, and assaulted the last withdrawing enemy. In teeming rain 3 Troop APC under Lt Adrian Roberts and eleven men of 2 Platoon A Company under Lt Peter Dinham had earlier attacked the forward elements of D445 Battalion, taking them by surprise. B Company also fired on enemy which were withdrawing to the east. An Australian soldier from B Company, Private Johnson, was slightly wounded as they approached D Company from friendly fire off the top of one APC, believing them to be enemy in the gloom. The fresh reinforcements formed a screen in front of D Company allowing them to treat the wounded and rest. During the night the artillery fired on likely forming-up points of the VC and the force withdrew with most of the 24 wounded evacuated by helicopter. This was a strong force and should have been able to repulse any night attack. As it happened, there was no further contact that night or for the next three days. Lt Col. Bob Breen wrote later: "the battle discipline and bravery of the Australians, the cover provided by the torrential rain and the effects of hundreds of artillery and mortar rounds falling among the Viet Cong attackers resulted in a stunning victory for the Australians and a further enhancement for the fighting tradition of Australian infantry.[10] Aftermath This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2009) Controversy regarding strength and casualties The first North Vietnamese communiqué claimed that: "Liberation Fighters ... wiped out almost completely one Battalion of the Australian Mercenaries in an ambush in the Long Tan Village." However, the official Australian losses were 18 killed and 24 wounded. The official Australian figure that 2,500 NVA/VC were involved in the battle with D Company was determined by US and Australian Army Intelligence Reports,[11] Australian Vietnam veteran Bob Breen has written that "just over 100 diggers withstood the best efforts of over 1500 Viet Cong soldiers to kill them."[12] The US Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) awarded to D Company 6RAR, however, reports that only a reinforced enemy battalion were involved in the action. On paper each of the three 275th Regiment battalions had roughly 400 men, but according to the North Vietnamese/VC commanders, all were seriously undermanned. There have been accusations that the Australians exaggerated VC and NVA casualties. The day after the battle, the dead and wounded from 11 Platoon’s position were recovered and the enemy dead buried. Encountering no more resistance the Australian soldiers swept the area for enemy dead and weapons but found only 33 AK-47s, 5 SKS rifles, 7 RPD light machine guns, 1 Soviet SG-43 Gorunov, 1 57mm Type 30 anti-tank gun, 1 M1 Garand rifle, 1 M1 carbine, 1 M1941 Johnson machine gun and 4 RPG rocket launchers.[13] "There was not a great quantity of enemy weapons recovered after the battle," Buick admitted.[14] The official Australian count was 245 Communist dead and 150 wounded. The number of NVA/VC killed and wounded was about twice the initial radio report from Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Townsend that reported that 188 enemy had been killed or wounded.[13] Seven days after the battle, the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, a US Marine battalion, several ARVN battalions and 5 RAR launched Operation Toledo, a large-scale sweep of the area. Captain Robert O'Neill wrote: "...the battalion had been keyed up to the possibility of a major encounter with the Viet Cong-a battle which would have had a decisive effect on the Viet Cong in Phuoc Tuy Province. Instead all we found was dense jungle with no trace of any large Viet Cong force ever having been in the area."[15] According to 275th Regiment veterans and (former North) Vietnamese historians, 47 VC and NVA were killed in action and about 100 wounded. Mark Baker of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote in 1996, after meeting ex-VC and NVA commanders at Long Tan: "[The] senior [north] Vietnamese officers made the startling claim that only 700 of their men had taken part in the battle — half the most conservative Australian estimate — and that only 50 had been killed."[16] The North Vietnamese account of North Vietnamese losses is supported by Australian Vietnam veteran Terry Burstall and a number of other 6 RAR veterans he interviewed when writing his book. Burstall, who was a private in the 12 Platoon section guarding D Company HQ during the battle, is a controversial figure among other Australian veterans and historians because of the claims made in his book. He has contradicted Australian and US official accounts of NVA/VC losses: When I returned to the battlefield the day after the battle, there were bodies lying all through the area ... Would a shell-shocked digger count an arm, a trunk and a leg scattered over several metres as one body or three bodies? Nobody knew or cared at the time, and certainly not the people doing the counting. ...Looking back I don't really think that I would have seen more than 50 bodies and I spent three days in the area.[17] Burstall and a number of senior Vietnamese veterans have objected to the Australian claim that 108 Diggers defeated 1,500 Vietnamese and report that many of the NVA/VC were in fact rear echelon troops who could not be classed as combatants. These claims are supported by Mark Baker of the Sydney Morning Herald who reported that only 700 of the Vietnamese had in fact taken part in the battle and that only 50 had been killed.[16] A B Company HQ and one platoon arrived at 6.50pm, the APCs at 7.10pm,by which time the enemy had already started to withdraw, having taken horrendous casualties and unable to penetrate D Company. It does have to be said however that VC records later captured by US Forces indicated the total VC losses at Long Tan were in the order of 500 dead and 750 wounded. There was also evidence when the Australians returned to clean up that many bodies had already been removed by the Vietnamese which is quite possible as the Australians did withdraw from the area and didn't return until the next day. Controversy regarding tactics It has been alleged that Australian commanders knew that there was a North Vietnamese regiment moving towards the rubber plantation area prior to the battle. A top secret Australian signals unit (547 Troop) did track what they determined to be the radio from 275 Regiment for 12 days (2 August to 14 August 1966) and this information was shared with Brigadier David Jackson.[citation needed] Australian intelligence relied on many sources and there was no way to determine whether the radio was in fact located with the 275 Regiment forces. Jackson began a series of patrols and some of those patrols, including A Company and 6RAR, actually went into the Long Tan rubber plantation on 17 August but no contact was made.[citation needed] The top secret 547 Signals Troop was so secret that information gathered from it was not shared with Australian field commanders, such as Townsend or Smith, to prevent it giving away the fact that the Australians were monitoring enemy radios.[9] Many North Vietnamese participants are also adamant that D Company walked into an ambush, although enemy reports were not consistent with the facts. They state that the VC had planned to draw the Australian force into a wooded area to the north of the rubber plantation, where heavy weapons had been set up on a rise known to the Australians as "Nui Dat 2 GR4868". Another 100 members of D445 Battalion were in the south near the village of Long Tan. One platoon with several rocket launchers had been placed on the south western edge of the plantation, hoping to slow down any APC-mounted reinforcements, and cut off an Australian retreat. In 2006, Sau Thu, a former major in D445 Battalion, was quoted as saying that he had been ordered to lure the Australians out of Nui Dat, kill as many of them as possible, capture their weapons and then take the base. "We didn't know how many you had in Nui Dat. We tried to draw them out… We thought they would go one way but the Australian soldiers went the wrong way and came behind us."[18] In 2006, Sabben and Buick visited the site of the battle. They met Nguyen Minh Ninh, former vice-commander of D445 Battalion. Minh said: "you won. But we won also. Tactically and militarily you won — but politically, we won. In this battle you acted out of our control — you [escaped] from our trap." According to journalist Cameron Stewart, it was the first time that a senior North Vietnamese officer had admitted that his soldiers had been defeated at Long Tan.[19] According to Terry Burstall, the North Vietnamese commander at Long Tan, Col. Nguyen Thanh Hong, was amazed that the Australians could look on the battle as a victory: How can you claim a victory when you allowed yourselves to walk into a trap that we had set? Admittedly we did not finish the job, but that was only because time beat us and your reinforcements arrived. I mean you did not even attempt to follow us up. How can you claim a significant victory from that sort of behaviour?[20] However, Townsend was unable to pursue the 275th Regiment because of the vulnerability of the Nui Dat base to an attack from the 274th Regiment. Moreover, Operation Toledo was launched seven days later. Disputable killing of a wounded man in battle Bob Buick faced criticism in 2000, after he published his memoirs.[21] In the book, Buick admitted killing a mortally wounded North Vietnamese soldier on the Long Tan battlefield, the day after the firefight.[22] Terry Burstall pointed out that any such an act constituted a prima facie breach of the Geneva Convention. Buick's decision to publish his memoirs was also criticised by the president of the Australian Long Tan Association, John Heslewood, who was a private in 11 Platoon.[21] Commemoration and reconciliation The Memorial Cross in the rubber plantation. 2005. The Long Tan Memorial Cross Memorial plaque on the Long Tan cross. A US Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) was awarded to D Company 6RAR, by President Lyndon B. Johnson on 28 May 1968, for the unit's actions at Long Tan. The text of the citation reads as follows: By virtue of the authority invested in me as the President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I have today awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for extraordinary heroism to D Company, Sixth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, The Australian Army. D Company distinguished itself by extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations against an opposing armed force in Vietnam on 18 August 1966. While searching for Viet Cong in a rubber plantation northeast of Ba Ria, Phuoc Tuy, Province, Republic of Vietnam, D Company met and immediately engaged in heavy contact. As the battle developed, it became apparent that the men of D Company were facing a numerically superior force. The platoons of D Company were surrounded and attacked on all sides by an estimated reinforced enemy battalion using automatic weapons, small arms and mortars. Fighting courageously against a well armed and determined foe, the men on D Company maintained their formations in a common perimeter defence and inflicted heavy casualties on the Viet Cong. The enemy maintained a continuous, intense volume of fire and attacked repeatedly from all directions. Each successive assault was repulsed by the courageous Australians. Heavy rainfall and low ceiling prevented any friendly close air support during the battle. After three hours of savage attacks, having failed to penetrate the Australian lines, the enemy withdrew from the battlefield carrying many dead and wounded, and leaving 245 Viet Cong dead forward of the defence positions of D Company. The conspicuous courage, intrepidity and indomitable courage of D Company were to the highest tradition of military valour and reflect great credit upon D Company and the Australian Army. Soldiers posted to D Company 6RAR still wear the PUC on their uniforms. Smith was recommended for a Distinguished Service Order, but received the lower award of a Military Cross. Two of the three platoon commanders were recommended for Military Crosses but neither was awarded. The Military Medal recommended for the third (acting) platoon commander (11 Platoon, Sgt Bob Buick) was awarded as recommended. Two Distinguished Conduct Medals, and another Military Medal were also awarded. The lack of recognition paid to Australian veterans by the Australian government has been the subject of intense criticism on their part. In November 2006, John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, visited Long Tan, the first Australian PM to make the journey. At Long Tan, Howard acknowledged the poor treatment that Australian Vietnam veterans received. A total of 22 members of ATF, 13 of D Company were to be awarded South Vietnamese medals. However, in line with British military policy, the Australian government was not prepared to formally accept awards from foreign powers without the prior approval of the Queen. The Australian Ambassador gave this advice to the South Vietnamese government, which decided at the last moment not to award the medals. Soon afterwards the Australian Army introduced a more relaxed policy of informally allowing the acceptance of presented awards. In June 2004 the Australian Governor-General approved the 22 individual awards. On 12 October 2007, John Howard announced the appointment of an independent panel to review the awarding of imperial medals, and the claim to the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation, and the panel reported in March 2008. The Rudd Government announced its response to the report on 14 August 2008.[23] The Government accepted the recommendations for upgraded awards to Harry Smith (Star of Gallantry), Geoff Kendall and David Sabben (both for the Medal for Gallantry). The Government has referred outstanding claims for individual awards to the new independent Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal. The Government also rejected the panel's recommendation not to approve the former South Vietnamese Government's Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation, and recommended the approval for wear of the emblem of this award by all members of D Company 6RAR in Vietnam on 18 August 1966. Harry Smith was reported to be "extremely pleased justice has finally been done".[24] 6RAR erected a concrete cross to commemorate those who died. This was removed by the government of Vietnam following the communist victory in 1975, but has now been replaced by a larger monument of similar design. The original is on display at Dong Nai province museum in Bien Hoa. In more recent times former officers from D Company have visited Vietnam and met former adversaries. The date the battle began, 18 August, is commemorated in Australia as Long Tan Day, also known as Vietnam Veterans' Remembrance Day. At the 40th year commemoration, in 2006, veterans were accompanied by Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddle at the Long Tan Cross; following the commemoration a concert was held at Vung Tau where former Redgum band member John Schumann sang "I Was Only Nineteen" which describes the experiences of Long Tan veteran Mick Storen (Schumann's brother-in-law).[25] An Australian television account of the battle, entitled Long Tan was produced in 2006.[26] A feature film, a fictionalised account written and directed by Australian filmmaker Bruce Beresford, and entitled Long Tan, is scheduled for release in 2011.[27] The film is being produced by Martin Walsh and is expected to have a budget of up to $42 million dollars.[28] Notes ^ Kelley, Michael P. (2002). Where We Were In Vietnam. Hellgate Press. pp. 5–303. ISBN 1-55571-625-3.  ^ Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA) (no publication date), "Vietnam — Australia's Longest War; A Calendar of Military and Political Events" and; Australian Army ("Intel Summary No.79, 24 August 1966", 1 ATF Commander's Diary), cited by Martin Walsh, 2006, "The Battle of Long Tan, South Vietnam, 18 August 1966, Quick Facts Sheet" Downloaded 18 February 2007 ^ Dennis et al 2008, p.556. ^ Mark Baker, Stilling The Ghosts Of Long Tan, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 August 1996 ^ David Wilkins (no date), "The Enemy and His Tactics" (5RAR Association website) Downloaded 18 February 2007 ^ Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2005, "Long Tan film to clear 'misconceptions'" Downloaded 14/12/06 ^ Ian McNeill, op. cit., p. ??? and; Peter Dinham and Adrian Roberts, interviewed(?) in The Battle of Long Tan (documentary) broadcast 16 August 2006, The History Channel ^ The Forgotten Heroes ^ a b Ian McNeill, op. cit., p. ??? ^ Bob Breen, in David Horner (editor; 1990), Duty First: The Royal Australian Regiment in War and Peace (Allen & Unwin, St Leonards), p. 215. ^ Australian Army, cited by Martin Walsh, Ibid ^ Breen, in Horner op. cit. p. 215. ^ a b 6 RAR Commander's War Diary ^ Bob Buick's Vietnam Page ^ Robert O'Neill, 1968, Vietnam Task: The 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, 1966/67 Cassell, Melbourne, p. 93. ^ a b Mark Baker, "Stilling The Ghosts Of Long Tan" (Sydney Morning Herald, 16 August 1996.) ^ Terry Burstall, A Soldier Returns, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1990, pp 77-79. ^ Steve Pennells, "We lost battle, says VC officer", The West Australian (print edition), 14/8/2006 ^ Cameron Stewart, 2006, "The Ghosts of Long Tan", The Australian (8 August 2006) Downloaded 14/12/06 ^ Terry Burstall, 1991, Long Tan: The Other Side of the Hill (Originally published in Duty First, the Royal Australian Regiment Association magazine.) ^ a b "7.30 Report: Hero of Long Tan's "mercy killing" upsets comrades". Transcript (ABC News (AUS)). 17 August 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.  ^ Buick, Bob; Gary McKay (2000). All Guts And No Glory. Allen & Unwin. ASIN: B000KB20AW.  ^ Australian Minister for Veterans' Affairs press release ^,,24177886-2702,00.html?from=public_rss ^ "Radio National: 40 years on - Long Tan". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 January 2008.  ^ ^ Long Tan directed by Bruce Beresford scheduled for release ion 2009 ^ Beresford to direct Long Tan film By Jonathon Moran for The Herald Sun 20 August 2006 12:10am Accessed 18 August 2008 References McAulay, Lex (1987). The Battle of Long Tan: The Legend of Anzac Upheld. London: Arrow Books. ISBN 0099525305.  McNeil, Ian (1993). To Long Tan. The Australian Army and the Vietnam War 1950-1966.. The Official History of Australia's Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948-1975. Sydney: Allen & Unwin in association with the Australian War Memorial. ISBN 1863732829.  Dennis, Peter; et al (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (Second ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand. ISBN 9780195517842.  External links 6 RAR Commander's Diary (Long Tan vets win recognition at last) (Bob Buick's Vietnam Page) (The forgotten heroes) Martin Walsh, 2006, "The Battle of Long Tan, South Vietnam, 18 August 1966, Quick Facts Sheet". Harry Smith (no date), "The Battle of Long Tan", 2000, "Being a historian: Investigating the Battle of Long Tan" (School resources) Terry Burstall, 1991, "Long Tan: The Other Side of the Hill" (Interviews with Vietnamese participants.) The Battle of Long Tan Coordinates: 10°33′14″N 107°15′32″E / 10.55389°N 107.25889°E / 10.55389; 107.25889