By Donn A. Starry
ISBN 0672526735. writer: Bobbs-Merrill, 1980. Hardcover.
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Additional resources for Armored Combat in Vietnam
This situation. Improvements in Equipment Paralleling organizational changes in the armored force of the South Vietnamese Army were important changes in materiel. Improvements were sometimes made in the United States and the equipment was sent to Vietnam for testing; more often, however, the ideas originated and the work was done in Vietnam to meet a specific need. The Ml 13 was a success but some other armored vehicles were tried out and eventually discarded. S. Army in 1961 and 1962. 38 A Army team conducted staff briefings, driver training maintenance courses, and demonstrations of the Ml 14 for South Vietnamese soldiers.
Lieutenant Colonel John P. Vann, division adviser, radioed Captain James B. Scanlon, senior adviser to the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, that the helicopters were down about 1,500 meters to the southeast of the regiment. After considerable argument with Captain Scanlon, Captain Ba finally agreed to move across the Cong Ba Ky Canal and secure the helicopters. Three hours later, as the first of the APC's approached the helicopters, enemy fire suddenly raked the two leading vehicles and their dismounted infantrymen.
S. Army Chief of Staff, branded the vehicle a failure and ordered it retired from the Army. The Ml 13, on the other hand, was the best land vehicle developed by the United States. With the aid of the Ml 13, armored units could abandon the French tactic of sticking to the roads. S. advisers provided the spark needed for innovation. No armored vehicle is invulnerable, but the Ml 13 proved to be as tough and reliable as any. It could absorb hits and continue operating. Only about one out of seven APC's penetrated by enemy fire was destroyed, and crew casualties were few.