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  Phuoc Tuy Province
some basic facts
     
    From "The ANZAC Battalion in South Vietnam 1967-68", Volume 1, page 45, edited by the late Major K E Newman, Printcraft Press, Australia, 1968.
     
    See the map of Phuoc Tuy
     
    The Province, the capital of which is Baria, has a total population of 106,256 (at July 1967), mainly concentrated to the south of the task force base along Route 23, Route 44, and Route 15. The majority of the people are Buddhist with a smaller proportion being Roman Catholic.

Terrain is flat with elevations generally between 50 and 200 metres. Mountains are located in the south-western, southern and north-eastern areas of the Province. Low swampy areas covered with mangrove are found in the south-western zone, which is bordered by the South China Sea and Saigon river estuaries. Most of the jungle area, which is mainly secondary growth laced with bamboo, is located to the north of the task force area; about three-quarters of the Province. Along the coastline to the south of the base are wide, sandy beaches.

Road movement in the area was restricted. From Vung Tau to the task force base traffic was regarded as being relatively secure from VC attack. From Baria to Dat Do on Route 23 vehicles travelled only in pairs. Elsewhere, north of the base, east of Dat Do or west of Baria, vehicles only moved in connvoy with adequate protection.

The Province is affected by the monsoon season from May to October, when the rainfall per month averages eight inches. Between November and April the dry sets in ...... The average temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, except during the months of January and February, when the temperature drops to an average of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

The economy of the Province is based primarily on agriculture. Crops include rice, vegetables, banana, coffee, pepper, rubber, sugar cane, tobacco, peanuts and flax. Commercial and industrial enterprise is limited to several rice mills and saw mills, two fish factories, 1440 acres of salt pan and 16,000 acres of rubber. Two electrical utilities provided power to two of the larger towns, Baria and Long Dien.

There are 46 public schools, 15 elementary schools and two private secondary schools. The system is supported by 312 teachers with a total enrolment of 13,701 students.

The enemy forces in the province can be divided into three main groups. The village guerilla, the provincial forces and regular forces. The guerilla was the standard part-time communist soldier: a farmer by day, a soldier by night. He operated in an area around his village, on such tasks as sabotage, terrorism, intelligence gathering and the guidance of provincial and regular forces who passed through his area.

The provincial force in Phuoc Tuy consisted of D445 Mobile Battalion. The soldiers of this unitlay between the guerilla and the regular soldier, but were well trained, equipped and armed. The battalion usually operated in company groups or less, ranging throughout the Province with an elusiveness that often frustrated our efforts but yet raised our admiration for his doggedness and courage.

The regular forces consisted of main force units of VC Regiments. In Phuoc Tuy these were most commonly the battalions of 274th and 275th Regiment. These units were extremely well equipped and armed, often with the latest Chinese range of weapons, and operated in company or battalion groups in and out of the Province.

In addtion to these main groupings, there were also headquarter units - the 5th VC Division in Phuoc Tuy - administrative groups responsible for procuring and distributing food, amenities, equipment and other war material for the provincial and main force units and finally communist subversives in the villages consisting of such groups as committees, cell organizations and sympathizers.

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