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Vietnam War map: Corps to corps (1968)

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Vietnam War Corps map 1968

Vietnam War map from Newsweek – January 1, 1968

Vietnam War map - Newsweek - Corps to corps (1968)

I Corps

Also known as “Eye Corps,” this encompasses the five northernmost provinces in South Vietnam, along with two major cities — Hue and Da Nang.

II Corps

The Central Highlands area in South Vietnam, consisting of 12 provinces, and the largest of the four corps in size.

III Corps

The densely-populated area between Saigon and the Highlands, with 90% of its industry, 7 million people (38% of the population) and the capital city.

IV Corps

The 16 southern provinces in the Mekong River Delta area, including the rich “rice bowl.” [See more in the article below.]

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Men and weapons in South Vietnam

US / Allied / South Viet / VC-NVA

Men and weapons in South Vietnam 1968

Key for top Vietnam War map

U.S. FORCES:
3rd Marine Division
1st Marine Division
1st Marine Air Wing
36th Tactical Fighter Wing America! Division
3rd Brigade of 4th Infantry Division
196th and 198th Light Infantry Brigades
11th Infantry Brigade
3rd Brigade of 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) also attached

SOUTH VIETNAM FORCES:
1st Division
51st Regiment
2nd Division

U.S. ALLIES:
ROK 2nd Marine Brigade

ENEMY FORCES:
NVA 324th B Division
NVA 325th Division
Elements of NVA 341st Division
NVA 368th B Regiment
Two Rocket Artillery Battalions
NVA 2nd Division
NVA 3rd Division
NVA 3rd Division
NVA 1st Division
NVA 5th Division
VC 5th Division
VC 9th Division
VC 7th Division
Five VC Main-Force Battalions
Six VC Main-Force Battalions

U.S. FORCES:
Elements of 9th Infantry Division
Delta Helicopter Aviation Battalion
ISE Headquarters for Navy River Corps Patrol Boats, Seal Teams, Junk Forces; Army Special Forces

VIETNAM FORCES:
7th Division
9th Division
21st Division

U.S. FORCES:
1st Brigade of 4th Infantry Division
Elements of 2nd Brigade 4th Infantry Division
Elements of 173rd Airborne Brigade
Elements of 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
2nd Brigade of 4th Infantry Division
Elements of 25th Infantry Division
Elements of 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
1st Tactical Fighter Wing
1st Field Force Headquarters
5th Special Forces Group Headquarters
Army Engineer Command
12th Tactical Fighter Wing
483rd Troop Carrier Wing
35th Tactical Fighter Wing
Elements of 101st Airborne Division

SOUTH VIETNAM FORCES:
22nd Division
23rd Division

U.S. ALLIES:
ROK Capital Division
ROK White Horse Division
Royal Australian Air Force Squadron

U.S. FORCES:
1st Infantry Division
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
3rd Tactical Fighter Wing
1st Brigade of 101st Airborne Division
199th Light Infantry Brigade
Elements of 9th Infantry Division
25th Infantry Division

SOUTH VIETNAM FORCES:
5th Division
18th Division
25th Division

U.S. ALLIES:
Royal Thai Queen’s Cobra Regiment
Republic of Philippines Contingent
2nd and 7th Battalions of Royal Australian Regiment, 1st Australian Task Force
New Zealand Artillery Battery

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Vietnam war statistics: Charts from 1968

Killed in action (Monthly average) | Under whose control? (Percentage of total population) | Desertions

Vietnam War statistics and charts from January 1968


VIETNAM WAR MAP: IV CORPS (from Newsweek – January 1, 1968)

The sixteen southern provinces in and around the Mekong River delta comprise the richest part of all Vietnam, its rice bowl. The government claims to control more than 50 percent of the 6.5 million people in the watery region, but in many areas its grip is tenuous.

There are nearly 200,000 South Vietnamese regulars, militia and irregulars operating in the delta, along with 9,000 U.S. troops, and they have inflicted serious wounds on the enemy.

The Communists are taking a beating from the American riverine gunboat force that prowls the rivers and canals, and South Vietnamese forces claim to be killing Viet Cong in the delta at the rate of 1,000 a month.

In some respects, paradoxically, the Viet Cong appear stronger in the delta now than ever before. Their numbers have clearly increased. And they are better armed; all main-force troops now carry Chinese AK-47 assault rifles.

But U.S. military men nonetheless argue that the performance of VC units in the delta is not what it used to be. “The units we fight now will break and run,” says one general. “Two years ago you couldn’t pry them out.”

This kind of optimism, in fact, prevails not only among U.S. commanders in the delta but throughout the whole of Vietnam. Aware as they are of the considerable problems remaining in each corps area, most senior U.S. officers profess confidence about over-all military prospects.

So encouraged is General Westmoreland that he is about to launch into what he terms Phase Three of the war. (Phase One, according to Westmoreland, involved the initial U.S. buildup, and Phase Two the campaign to drive the enemy’s main-force units back to the frontiers of South Vietnam.)

In Phase Three, Westmoreland plans to destroy the Viet Cong’s infrastructure and turn over to a completely retrained South Vietnamese Army a major portion of the defense of the Demilitarized Zone and other areas.

And by 1969, the general says, he hopes to start Phase Four — the gradually phased withdrawal of a significant number of U.S. combat troops.

Whether Westmoreland can, in fact, perform these military miracles on such a tidy timetable depends in large measure on the performance of the South Vietnamese armed forces (RVNAF).

It is true that on at least two recent occasions RVNAF units have scored impressive victories over the Viet Cong. But, even allowing for continued steady improvement on the part of South Vietnamese forces, most Americans in Vietnam doubt whether they will be ready, when Westmoreland flashes the sign, to assume the heavy military burden he contemplates putting upon them.

Moreover, Westmoreland’s success in forcing his enemy to retreat from populated areas to frontier sanctuaries along the borders of Cambodia and Laos may not be an unalloyed blessing.

Vietnam War coverage in Newsweek 01 01 1968

As the recent battles of Loc Ninh, Bu Dop and Dak To proved, the Communists are still able to mount major actions that effectively tie up thousands of U.S. troops who otherwise could be used in search-and-destroy operations or the pacification program.

Still another variable in weighing the military prospects in Vietnam is the enemy’s demonstrated willingness to sustain enormous combat losses for what appears to be no immediate advantage.

Some U.S. military men suggest that these suicidal tactics reveal Communist desperation. Others believe that strategists in Hanoi have made a conscious decision to accept vastly increased losses in order to raise the number of American casualties to a point where it may become politically indigestible in the U.S.

Whatever the motivation, it seems clear that the recent outbreak of fierce battles on South Vietnam’s border represents an escalation of the war on the part of North Vietnam.

This, however, is merely a continuation of a long-standing trend. As it has become increasingly difficult for the Communists to recruit troops in the south, North Vietnam has felt obliged to commit more and more of its men to the war.

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Today, U.S. military men estimate, in addition to the completely North Vietnamese units serving in the south, Hanoi is supplying Viet Cong units with about 10 percent of their personnel.

Nonetheless, the U.S. command in Saigon believes that Hanoi has not been able to keep pace with the Viet Cong’s attrition rate and that, as a consequence, total enemy troop strength has declined over the past year.

Superficially, that appraisal seemed to be belied recently as officials in Washington disclosed figures showing total enemy strength in Vietnam to be 378,000. (Last year’s official figure was 280,000.)

All this really suggested, however, was that last year’s figures had been deceptive. In November, after months of haggling among intelligence experts, the U.S. drastically revised its method of calculating enemy strength. As a result, meaningful comparisons with previous manpower estimates have now become all but impossible.

Figures apart, most U.S. commanders in the field are convinced that there has been a marked decline in the past few months in the combat effectiveness of enemy troops. And though this is something that cannot be proved statistically, it is an opinion shared by men who have years of combat experience.

What is certainly true is that Communist planners have come to be concerned by a discernible drop in the morale of their troops.

One recent batch of captured documents, for example, turned up a directive issued by the Viet Cong’s Political Staff Department warning against “confusion of mind, fear of hardships and protracted war, lack of heroism and loss of revolutionary pride.”

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Yet, despite the savage mauling they have been taking and the signs of flagging morale among them, there is no evidence that the Communist main-force units in Vietnam are about to quit. On the contrary, most U.S. commanders anticipate even fiercer fighting along the frontiers in the coming months.

“Don’t kid yourself,” said one general. “It’s not a crumbling army. They have tough and well-equipped troops along those borders and they can still give us a lot of trouble.”

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21 Responses

      1. Correct except MACV was the higher command. USARV was United States Army- Republic of Vietnam. General Westmoreland was stationed at USARV headquarters at Tan Son Nhut and in early 1967 moved to Long Bien about 20 miles up highway 1 to the north. I was stationed with USARV when we made the move. We transported the prisoners our forces captured from the field to the POW camps where MACV took over responsibility in an advisory capacity to see that the Geneva Convention agreement relating to prisoner treatment was adhered to by the South Vietnamese who had control of the camp. That war was a waste and the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which actually did happen, was very questionable because technically the capture was in international waters. This supposedly was the reason for the U.S. entering the war. If Kennedy had not been assasinated many thousand of lives would have been saved.

        1. Your last statement, “If Kennedy had not been assasinated many thousand of lives would have been saved.” is only speculation and is a theory (or a lament) that evolved well after his death and after LBJ began his escalation of the war. There’s no way of knowing what would have transpired. Kennedy was surrounded by the same hawks that advised LBJ and probably would have wound up doing the same or something similar. Eisenhower got us involved in Vietnam, Kennedy accelerated our involvement and LBJ escalated it. Kennedy must share his part in the fiasco.

      2. In 1961 My dad was with the United States AIR FORCE and stationed at Yokota Air Base Photo Intelligence and he was assigned to MAC-13 in Thailand behind the Green Door. His mission was TOP SECRET at the time and I only know about this because the war is over and 20 years have passed.
        He looked at photos that were taken by the U-2 and he and his workers found that there was a MIG-17 sitting in the jungle under so called cover but the runway was in plan sight. This is before we entered the war on the ground. A photo was sent to Kennedy, the United Nation, Ho Chi MIn and he said that it was there to protect the people from the aggressive Americans who want to take over the country.
        Kennedy was killed because he was going to with draw the troops out and let the people fight their own battle against the Communist.

        1. Kennedy, through the CIA had totally botched an attempt to kill Castro. This of course, did not sit well with Castro. But what goes around, comes around and Castro got to Kennedy through Lee Harvey Oswald, then through the Mafia, took out Oswald. The Mafia had an axe to grind because JFK’s brother, Bobby, who was the U.S. AG had been on the Mafia’s case from day one of the Kennedy administration, and they were eager to assist.

      3. Well, yes and no. USARV was a puppet organization put in place to oil the egos of Vietnamese generals and whatever puppet government was in place at the time. The MAC-V commander actually reported directly too and received his orders from the President of the U.S.

    1. MACV or MAC-V stands for Military Assistance Command – Vietnam. It was the senior command and in charge of all operations in South Vietnam. Their main headquarters was in Saigon but had sub-commands all over South Vietnam. All Americans of all branches in Vietnam in one way or another reported to MAC-V. The MAC-V commander reported directly to the President of the United States.

  1. Not listed is the 1st Signal Brigade which was in many VN locations during the duration. I was radio teletype 1st Signal Brigade, Company A, 52nd Signal Battion in Can Tho and on the Island of Phu Quoc (which was under dispute between Cambodia and South Vietnam of who owned it) ’68 – ’69.

  2. I just want to add that the U.S. Navy also had a river patrol boat unit (TF-116) in I Corps in 1967-1970. Reference: http://www.tf116.org
    There was also at least one SEAL team from which members rescued LCOL Iceal Hambleton (Bat-21 story) in 1972. Two Medals of Honor earned by SEALs on I Corps missions.

  3. How could a person who rotated out of a tour in 1967, be involved during the Tet of 1968? Can’t figure this out as my husband said his 1st tour was 1966-67, but he also fought during Tet. During the first part of that tour (66-67) he was a door gunner on Westmoreland’s chopper–wherever that was.

  4. Thanks for sharing this wonderful pictorial, and facts about Vietnam. I was stationed in the 19th Combat Engineers during 1966 to 1967. I am now retired, and a resident at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, Illinois.

  5. How can you forget the Vietnamese Ranger Groups? I was Senior Advisor to the 33rd and 34th Ranger Bns.in 1971. I spent 7 months on the Cambodian border. We had very little American support, mostly C-47 gunships at night and ARVN helocopters and VNAF airstrikes during the day. Oh yes we had 4 consective nights of B-52 strikes in October 71. The strikes were just across the border

  6. For people who want to get maps of an area like Nam it’s here:HEADQUARTERS AERONAUTICAL CHART SERVICE, Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C. I have maps that date back to 1897 which includes the RailRoad routes in the US.
    You might have to pay a fee but it’s worth it. Thanks to my dad I have a great collection of Maps all over the world.

  7. I was in an infantry squad that did what ever they had for us that day. I was sent on a mission to deliver ammo, food, and med supplies to a base that was under attack. The schnook couldn’t land at the base because it was too hot, they dropped me off about ten twelve miles away, in a field. I was there about 8 to ten Hours, the base was surrounded by water on two or three sides. The base was in the delta somewhere around My Tho. Does anyone know the name of the base?

  8. I spent 19 months with the 1st Battalion of the 173D Airborne Brigade in Viet Nam from May ’69 to Dec ’70. I was part of the 1/503 Infantry out of L.Z. Uplift. The map as shown above is vague and lacks a lot of accuracy. The problem is not with the map but rather because the war in Viet Nam required the units to always be mobile.

    Most people don’t know it but the 173D, shortly after the fights at Hill 875 and Dak To Army Airfield, had some of its paratroopers sitting alongside the runways at Dak To dressed in desert warfare camouflage uniforms because they had been put on alert to go into the 7 Day War between Israel and Egypt. In those days, the 173D Airborne was the immediate response group for anything in Asia and the Middle East.

    The Russians had gotten “concerned” about Israel approaching Cairo and were afraid that they were going to capture it. If the Israelis had started to push into Cairo, threats had been made by the Russians to use their nukes to stop the Israelis. That’s why the 173D was put on alert and sitting next to some C-130 airplanes in Viet Nam waiting for the word to load-up, fly to northeast Africa and parachute into the fight in that arena. I talked to the guys who had been sitting on Dak To tarmac so I know that the mobility of all military units would throw off anybody trying to design a map of the units in Viet Nam at any time. In the 173D the supply people kept the majority of their gear locked away in metal boxes called conex steel transport boxes so they could be ready to move 24/7/365.

    The 1st and 3rd Battalions were stationed at L.Z. Uplift. The 4th Battalion was at L.Z. English. The 2nd Battalion was at North English. At one reunion of the 173D Airborne Brigade a guest speaker said that the unit had something akin to about 10,000 men serve in it. Out of that 10K group over 7,000 people were awarded the Purple Heart. The speaker went on to say that another 2,000 should of been awarded Purple Hearts but, for a variety of reasons, were not issued one. Then he said, “Imagine that! An American Army unit were 90% of the people in it were injured in combat but kept on fighting. Unreal.” That’s pretty much the story of the 173D as I know of it.

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