The truth about the Battle of Long Tan and how it came to define Australia's Vietnam War - from the men who were there.
The truth about the battle that came to define our Vietnam War - from the men who were there.
18th August, 1966. 1pm D Company entered the plantation. They thought that, if they were lucky, they were closing in on perhaps 30 or 40 VC. They were horribly wrong.
Over twelve long, bloody and brutal hours, 105 Australian soldiers and three New Zealanders fought off mortar attacks and heavy machine-gun fire, unaware they were facing up to 2500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces. The first major battle of the war for the Australians, our men showed extraordinary courage and, against all odds, they triumphed although the Vietnamese didn't admit this for another forty years.
In The Battle of Long Tan, Caulfield takes us through that hellish day in the Long Tan rubber plantation, combining gripping first-hand accounts from eleven of the men who fought with an authoritative overview of the battle itself from headquarters to the men in the field.
This is as close as you'll get to being there.
Michael Caulfield has worked as a composer, musician, TV and film producer, and director. He was the executive producer of the ABC TV series Australians at War. His books with Hachette Australia include The Vietnam Years, War behind the Wire and Voices of War.