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Book Review - Blue Lanyard – Red Banner

By: Lex McAulay (547/35718)
Publisher: Banner Books ISBN: 1-875593-28-4

A complete Vietcong regional headquarters was attacked and captured by US and Australian soldiers in January 1966. The headquarters was in part of an enormous tunnel complex that far exceeded in scope the previous experience of Yanks and Aussies.

The US 173rd Airbone Brigade (Separate) included the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), and the Yanks and Aussies operated together for a year.

Though the headquarters was defended by several battalions of Vietcong, they were unable to prevent its capture or the removal of the huge amounts of munitions and truckloads of important secret documents which then were evacuated to Saigon.

With no previous experience to guide them in coping with such an extensive underground network, Australian and US infantry and engineers armed with a torch and a pistol had to explore tunnels extending for kilometres, in darkness and foul air, always aware of meeting the enemy and his booby traps, in the knowledge that rescue was extremely difficult.

This is the story of that week on operation ‘Crimp’ 8-14 January 1966.

October 2007


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