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Subject: Central Highlands and Mekong Delta- which was worse?
TriggaFingaz    8/5/2004 4:14:37 PM
Which place was nastier to fight in during Vietnam- the Mekong Delta or the Central Highlands? Consider the contrasts and similarities: 1. In the Delta, the main enemy were the VC. In the Highlands, the NVA regulars ruled. Both were present in abundance. 2. The Delta was always water logged, so movement was mostly by boat followed by foot. The Highlands were rather high altitude, rarely accesible from the ground so helos were the main means of transport. (The commies came in from Cambodia by foot, truck and bike.) 3. The Delta was the most heavily civilian populated area of South Vietnam owing to the rice fields, while the Central Highlands was the least populated apart from the Montagnard tribes owing to the isolation. WHich means in the Delta, firepower usage was limited due to collateral damage concerns. In the Highlands, both sides could slug it out unrestricted. 4. The Delta was always WET meaning that troops had to be rotated out every few days to obviate immersion foot. Both Highlands and Delta were tough places to navigate. 5. Delta vegetation was mangrove swamp while the Highlands were triple canopy jungle. Both types of terrain severely restricted vision. Anything more to add?? Like supply concerns?
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USAF/milhistlover    RE:Central Highlands and Mekong Delta- which was worse?   1/20/2005 10:47:40 PM
I think the Central Highlands were worse. Gen. Westmoreland in his autobiography said he had to comit a ful division (the 1st cav(air mobile)) plus a brigade of the 101st Airborne. the Delta he only had about 3-5 Battalions (plus the naval and ARVN units).
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vetvoice    RE:Central Highlands and Mekong Delta- which was worse?   6/11/2005 1:02:40 AM
You're forgetting the collateral damage in the Highlands in the Montyagnard tribes. Many of them worked with Special Forces and furnied us goor guides and in some cases interpreters. That complicated the warfare in the Highlands.
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S-2    RE:Central Highlands and Mekong Delta- which was worse?   8/26/2005 10:52:59 PM
Worse? Central Highlands, no doubt. Consider conditions. You could freeze at certain times of the year in the highlands. Units didn't return to base within hours to days of an op. It was nothing to have a rifle company stay in the bush for two weeks or more. Leeches, mosquitos, snakes, and centipedes as abundant in the highlands as the delta in many locales at various times of the year. Oh, and since you would be out in the bush for two-three weeks at a time, you carried more gear-up and down 2000-4000 ft. mountains. Then there were the troops. You decide-PAVN or Viet Cong? I'll name four distinct battles fought in the Highlands that were mid-high intensity infantry engagements of the first order- Ia Drang (November, 1965), Dak To (November, 1967), Khe Sanh hill fights (April-June, 1967), and Hamburger Hill (May, 1969). I'll take the V.C. any day. The 9th I.D. did yeoman's work in the delta, no doubt. Conditions were awful, no doubt. And the V.C. were top notch and well entrenched in that area. Still, in the highlands there was a real chance of losing an entire rifle company in an hour if it was caught unbalanced. I don't recall that level of risk in the delta. I may be wrong, and would welcome some anecdotal evidence to that effect.
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S-2    RE:Central Highlands and Mekong Delta- which was worse?   8/26/2005 10:58:52 PM
I did like the notion that, montagnards not withstanding, you didn't have all the ash and trash of civilians in the middle. All four of the battles that I've mentioned didn't have any contact with civilians. Two top-notch armies, with some of our best (1st Cav at Ia Drang, 173rd Airborne at Dak To, Marines in the hill fights, 101st Airborne at hamburger hill) going toe to toe (literally!) with some of their best. In some ways, the perfect storm.
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Future Cavalryman    RE:Central Highlands and Mekong Delta- which was worse?   10/23/2005 5:58:24 PM
This is a hard one, but I would have to say that the Central Highlands would be worse. After considering all of the major battles fought there and the amount of casulaties sustained by the US forces in the Highlands it becomes easier to see the answer. Also like S-2 said Hamburger Hill was fought in the Highlands and it argulably can be considered the most decisive battle of the war (besides Tet) considering the upheval in the senate and the sudden urge for the US forces to take less casualties which ultimately affected the outcome of the operations on and around the Ripcord AO and ultamitely the end phase of the conflict.
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BadMoon    Mekong/Delta   3/18/2007 3:29:21 AM
Good day men here we have old and new, But all realy is the same dead is dead War has no answers but death buit we do it any way.  Yes both The Delta and highlands where no choice but we went any how about the same over seas now not a pot to piss in but we it's a sad thing to see that intell is stilljust a big snafu as before all the candy giving and being nice nice to poeple in war zone is about the dumbest thing there will ever be I spent my dime done my part was not over in Nam but had some the same bad intel over seas jumps ambushed sold out yep been there but if I had to pick Delta or Highlands uhmm? I would find a damp dark cave in the highlands,  No
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