Training ARVN airborne, date unknown.
ARVN soldiers at Phu My, 1968.
The soldier on the left is holding a M1 Garand, and the soldier on the right holds a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle).
ARVN outpost, 1969. Exact location unknown.
“The Communist leadership regarded the Dak Ha offensive as ‘our biggest victory in the Highlands in 1961’ and reckoned that it ‘helped consolidate and maintain the masses’ faith in the face of the wave of enemy terrorism.’ Indeed, it seems that this second Communist offensive in Kontum Province within a year achieved quite dramatic results. It shook the South Vietnamese government’s confidence badly; made the ARVN nervous about operating on the high plateau, except in large units; revived Communist morale; and put the initiative back in Communist hands. It was followed by a widespread upsurge in guerrilla activity that included attacks on small government posts and road ambushes. The latter threatened to paralyze road traffic, and thus effective government control, over a large part of the Central Highlands and to jeopardize connections between the Central Highlands and the coast.”
– Vietnam’s High Ground: Armed Struggle for the Central Highlands, 1954-1965 by JP Harris, page 61.
“Diem had approved the creation, within the ARVN, of ‘Ranger’ companies to combat Communist guerrillas with small-unit operations. Rangers would ultimately play a significant role in the government’s counteroffensive. But they had made relatively little impact by the end of 1960.”
– Vietnam’s High Ground: Armed Struggle for the Central Highlands, 1954-1965 by JP Harris, page 50.
ARVN officer about to execute a Viet Cong prisoner. Photographed by Dickey Chapelle.
“Even in the early 1960s, when guerrilla warfare was the norm, highly placed Vietnamese on both sides realized that the fighting in the Highlands would eventually assume a more high-intensity, ‘conventional’ nature. To the Communist high command, the rugged terrain and dense vegetation of the Central Highlands offered the best chance of ambushing and annihilating major units of the South Vietnamese armed forces and of drawing in and destroying their strategic reserves. When large American units arrived in South Vietnam, the Central Highlands seemed to be the most suitable place to engage them, too. Both sides seemed to sense from an early stage in the war, moreover, that control of the high ground looming over South Vietnam’s narrow coastal plain might ultimately prove decisive.”
– Vietnam’s High Ground: Armed Struggle for the Central Highlands, 1954-1965 by JP Harris, page viii.