2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment 1967-68

Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) Bravo Company, 2nd Bn, 8th Cav Regt. 1st Cavalry Division Bravo, 2-8th Cav - Co B, 2-8th Cav Regt. - B Co, 2-8 Cav Co B, 2/8 Cav Regt. - Co B, 2-8 Cav, 1st Cav Div - B/2-8, 1st Cavalry Div - B 2/8, 1st Cav Div

The Enemy

To the US military in Vietnam, the enemy was known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), and the Vietnamese Communists or Vietcong (VC). The NVA consisted of professional army units whose soldiers were recruited and trained in North Vietnam. The VC were guerrilla soldiers who were recruited and trained in South Vietnam. Some of the VC were organized in regular military units, while others were farmers during the daytime and guerrilla fighters at night. Both the NVA and the VC used similar tactics with a strong preference for hit and run. For the most part, they were invisible and attacked us at a time and place of their choosing. In other words, their technique of warfare was to fight only when they had a significant advantage and they were pros at concealment, escaping when surrounded, and at conducting ambushes and hit and run attacks. In sharp contrast to US Army tactics, our enemy considered planning for their withdrawal as important as any other combat action and they were normally very cautious when conducting offensive operations, except when these operations had a political objective, such as, the Battle of Dak To and the Tet Offensive.

To avoid our awesome firepower, enemy forces tried to “hug” our units. By this we mean that they attempted to get as close as possible to our positions so that we were restricted in using our devastating firepower because of the danger of friendly casualties. Another favorite NVA/VC tactic was to “intentionally wound” as many of our troopers as possible on a jungle trail and then ambush those who attempted to rescue them. We fully recognized the dangers of these situations and made maximum use of scout dogs and their trained handlers. Both the NVA and VC were experts at making anti-personnel mines from our dud artillery shells and using them against us. They also constructed numerous “punji” traps that were concealed in pits and designed to disable us. These traps consisted of sharp spikes, often made of bamboo, and the sharp tips of these spikes were contaminated with excrement to increase the risk of infections. Along with many other types of Russian and Chinese weapons, both the NVA and VC units were armed with the AK-47 automatic rifles, widely-recognised as one the best weapons of this class.



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