VIETNAM STUDIES

Cover: Field Artillery, 1954-1973

FIELD ARTILLERY, 1954-1973

by
Major General David Ewing Ott

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C., 1975


Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Ott, David Ewing
Field artillery, 1954‑73.

(Vietnam studies)
Includes index.
Supt. of Docs.: D 101.74:F45/954‑73
1. Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975. 2. United States. Army. Field artillery-History. I. Title. II. Series.

U742.087 959.704´1342 75‑619336

First Printing


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402 ‑ Price $3.10 (paper cover)

Stock Number 008‑020‑00556‑8


CONTENTS

Chapter
Page
FOREWORD
ii
PREFACE
v
I. THE VIETNAM ENVIRONMENT

3

Geography

3

The Enemy

7

Political-Military Considerations

18

II. THE ADVISORY EFFORT, 1950‑1965

21

Background- Military Assistance Advisory Group,Vietnam, Organized

21

The Field Artillery Adviser

22

The Adviser's Challenge

24

The Adviser Learns, Too

31

III. IN ORDER TO WIN

38

The Impact of Vietnam on Field Artillery Organizations

39

Fire Support Coordination

47

Field Artillery Weapons

49

Field Artillery Mobility

51

The Fire Base

55

Base Camp Defense

73

Riverine Artillery

75

IV. THE BUILDUP (1965-1967)

81

The Buildup Begins and Early Actions Around Saigon

81

New Arrivals

86

The Pleiku (Ia Drang) Campaign

87

The Buildup and Major Combat Operations During 1966

96

The Buildup and Major Combat Operations During 1967

110

Overview: 1965 to Pre-Tet 1968

129

V. THE HOT WAR (1968-OCTOBER 1969)

137

Tet 1968

137

Khe Sanh

148

A Shau

157

Actions at Fire Bases and Lessons Learned

161

Peak Strength and Beginning of Redeployment

167

Artillery Organizations

168

Safety

173

Target Acquisition

179

Artillery Raids

184

Harassing and Interdiction Fires

187

Civic Action

188

VI. VIETNAMIZATION, NOVEMBER 1969-FEBRUARY 1973

190

Field Artillery Assistance Programs

190

Operations Into Cambodia

205

Toward Vietnamese Self-Sufficiency

215

1972 Enemy Offensive

220

Problems During Phase-Down of U.S. Forces

225

VII. AN OVERVIEW

231

Work to be Done

231

The Field Artillerymanís Performance

236


CHARTS

No.

 
Page

1.

Characteristic Sapper Organization

16

2.

Field Artillery Task Organization, January 1968

170

3.

Field Artillery Task Organization, July 1969

171


MAPS

No.

 

Page

1.

Administrative Divisions, South Vietnam

2

2.

Vietnam Topographic Regions

4

3.

Enemy Activity, 1954-1965

36

4.

Ia Drang Valley

88

5.

Area of Operations: MASHER/WHITE WING

99

6.

Landing Zone BIRD

109

7.

Operation JUNCTION CITY, 22 February-14 May 1967

114

8.

Battle of Suoi Cut, FSB BURT

119

9.

Fire Support Base CUDGEL

126

10.

The Tet Offensive, 1968

139

11.

The Battle of Hue: Enemy Attack, 30-31 January 1968

140

12.

The Battle of Hue: Friendly Situation, 24-25 February 1968

141

13.

III Corps Tactical Zone

144

14.

North Quang Tri Province

149

15.

Khe Sanh Valley

150

16.

I Corps Tactical Zone

158

17.

Fire Support Base MAURY I

162

18.

Fire Support Base Pike-VI

164

19.

FSB CROOK: Enemy Situation, Friendly Fires, 6-7 June 1969

183

20.

Enemy Base Areas

208

21.

III ARVN Corps Operations

210

22.

1st Cavalry Division Operations, May-June 1970

211


DIAGRAMS

No.

 

Page

1.

M101 105-mm. Artillery Field Positions

63

2.

M102 105-mm. Emplacement

64

3.

Semipermanent 105-mm. Self-Propelled Howitzer Emplacement

65

4.

Towed 155-mm. Howitzer Emplacement

66

5.

Self-Propelled 155-mm. Howitzer Emplacement

67

6.

Heavy (8-inch or 175-mm.) Artillery Emplacement

68

7.

Battery A, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 320th Field Artillery, Fire Base

121

8.

Artillery Box

152


ILLUSTRATIONS
ARVN Outpost

26

ARVN Gun Section

28

155-mm. Howitzer in Tuy An District Headquarters

33

Early Movement of Artillery by Air

34

CH-47 with M102 Howitzer

51

CH-54 Lifting 155-mm. Howitzer

52

Fire Support Base J.J. CARROLL

53

Star Formation

54

Building Parapets

56

1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery, in Position Along Demilitarized Zone

57

Typical Towed 155-mm. Position

57

Battery C, 2d Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, on Hill 88

58

Battery D, 3d Battalion, 13th Field Artillery, at Fire Support Base STUART

59

155-mm. Howitzer Position Using Speedjack and Collimator

60

6,400-Mil Chart

62

Artillery Hill at Pleiku

69

AN/MPQ-4 Countermortar Radar

71

TPS-25 Ground Surveillance Radar

72

30-Inch Xenon Searchlight

74

CH-47 Emplacing Airmobile Firing Platform

76

Riverine Field Artillery Battalion Command Post

77

Riverine Battery Position

78

Riverine Platoon Moored to Canal Bank

79

Riverine Gun Section in Traveling Configuration

80

105-mm. Battery Firing Fron Hasty Position

82

Aerial Rocket Artillery UH-1B with XM3 Weapons System

85

Field Force Artillery

97

175-mm. Gun

98

CH-54 Emplacing a 155-mm. Howitzer

102

M102 Firing High Angle

103

Battery A, 2d Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, in Position on Operation WHEELER

123

Aerial Field Artillery Cobra in Flight

131

Aerial Field Artillery Cobra and Light Observation Helicopter

132

Major General David E. Ott Demonstrates FADAC

135

1st Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, Fire Direction Center

176

FADAC Computer

177

Ammunition Resupply by CH-54

187

Formal Fire Direction Center Class for ARVN Field Artillerymen

203

ARVN 155-mm. Howitzer Static Position

206

ARVN 1034 Field Artillery Battalion in Training

207

Illustrations on front and back covers of softback edition are the work of Specialist 6 Jim Gardner.

Map1: Administrative Divisions, South Vietnam


page created 13 March 2003


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