Operation CEDAR FALLS

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For more information, see: Joint warfare in South Vietnam 1964-1968.

Operation CEDAR FALLS was a 19-day "search and destroy" mission of the Vietnam War, conducted in January 1967 in the "Iron Triangle" area northwest of Saigon. It was followed by a longer mission in the general Saigon area, Operation JUNCTION CITY. [1] The attacking forces numbered approximately 16,000 U.S. Army and 14,000 ARVN soldiers. Most allied casualties came from snipers and improvised explosive devices rather than unit-level combat; the main Communist units, of the 1st, 7th, and 8th Viet Cong Main Force Battalions of Military Region IV apparently were under orders to disperse.

Iron Triangle

The Iron Triangle can be visualized as a southern-pointing area, with the point near Phu Cong, in Binh Duong Province. The western edge was the Saigon River, and the eastern side was made of the Tinh River, adjacent to Highway 13. The eastern edge was about 25 miles/40 km northwest of Saigon.

Results

Over 700 Viet Cong were killed and 280 taken prisoner, with 23 crew-served weapons and 590 individual weapons captured. The number of captured weapons was often a better estimation of casualties than the sometimes estimated "body count", since guerrilla forces make every attempt to avoid weapons being lost, even if that means abandoning dead and wounded. On the other side, 72 Americans and 11 South Vietnamese died. 540 Viet Cong Chieu Hoi voluntarily surrendered, 512 suspects were detained, and 5,987 refugees evacuated. Enough rice was captured to feed 13,000 troops for a full year.[2]

References

  1. Rogers, Bernard William (1973), Vietnam Studies: CEDAR FALLS-JUNCTION CITY: a Turning Point, Center for Military History, Department of the Army
  2. Rogers, p. 74