ANZACS in Phuoc Tuy
· See Nui Dat, which was home to the main Australian base in Vietnam
· Walk over the battlefield of Long Tan, where an heavily outnumbered Australian company repulsed a Vietcong assault in 1966
· Visit the sites of villages cleared by ANZAC forces, as well as the Long Phuoc Tunnels used by Vietcong forces
People often associate foreign involvement in Vietnam with either the Americans or French, a view which overlooks forces sent by other nations, not least of which was the sizable Australian contingent that patrolled across Phuoc Tuy province from their main base at Nui Dat. Go with your personal, and knowledgeable, guide in a private tour visiting some of the most evocative sites of a war which remains etched in the Australian national consciousness.
Meaning “small hill” in Vietnamese, this was personally chosen by the leader of the Australian forces, Lieutenant-General John Wilton, to be the main base of his forces. Although its proximity to Vietcong bases was believed to be a major advantage, making it easier to bring the fight to the enemy, the need for security led to villages nearby being evacuated.
The site of a major battle in 1966, Long Tan marks the site where the Australians inflicted a significant defeat on Vietcong forces. Encountering them while on patrol, D Company of the Royal Australian Regiment’s 6th battalion fought off an assault by a far larger Vietcong force in a battle now marked by the Long Tan Cross.
“The Other Side”
Your guide will take you to the site of two villages around Nui Dat which were forcibly evacuated after the base was built. Believing that the populations of Long Tan and Long Phuoc could provide intelligence to Vietcong forces, the villagers were resettled without compensation; an action that greatly alienated the local population. They will also show you the tunnels at Long Phuoc. These were used as a base and place of refuge for the Vietcong forces and your guide will help you get a glimpse of the experiences of soldiers who lived, and died, in those tunnels.