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FOREWORD

T h i s handbook i s an attempt t o f a m i l i a r i z e p l a t o o n l e a d e r s a p e r e t -
i n 6 i n t h e J u n g l e w i t h t h e c m o n t a c t i c s employed by t h e enemy in t h e
jungle. The i n f o r m a t i o n i s ~ e n e r a li n n b t u r e and w e s d e r i v e d from i n t e r -
v i e s w i t h knowledgeable p l a t o o n l e a d e r s who were f o r c e d t o l e a r n many
O f t h e s e oft-repeated t a c t i c s t h r o w h experience. It i s hoped t h a t t h i s
handbook w i l l provide e r n e understandinq of t h e s e enemy t a c t i c s and equip
t h e p l a t o o n l e a d e r t o make more i n t e l l i g e n t assessments of s i t u a t i o n s he
is l i k e l y t o encounter.

@d.&.U
PHILLIP DAVIDSON, JR.
R.
BriRadier General, USA +
A s s i s t a n t Chief Of S t a f f . J2

12 October 1967
DISTRIBUTION :
JP-12
52-16 ( L i s t R : 01 less 2 ; 3 1 p l u s 1 2 ; 52 plus 2).
PLUS :
2 - w . USARPAC, APO 96558
l - i i Q , Us Army (PPOV), APO 96491
1-CO. 335th RRC, APO 96370

1-CZO5 1-1~15~ 1-3005


1-C3b2 1-Dl59 145W
lLC5'47 1-0206 14520
1LC583 1-ll232 l-KO4O
LC591 1-D239 1-K1O5
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14599 1-3436 1-K30b
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1-C635 1-~005 1-K514
1-C641 1-FlOO I-K52O
l.-C641 2-F300 1-K525
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be653 1-11005 1-K610
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lLCtt1 1-Ii350 ~-KW
1-C669 2-H5OO l-NO05
. TARLE OF COFl’ETE
.
I . INTRODUCTION ......................
I1 . OFFEXSIYE TACTICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

A . General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

B . When Ambushes Can Be Expected . . . . . . . . 5


C . Planning Ambushes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

D . Ambush Indicators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

E . Ambush Tactics and Formations . . . . . . . . 7


I11 . DEFENSIVE TACTICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

A . General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

B . Characteristics Of Field Fortifications . . . 17


16

c . Camoufle.ge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D . Fortified h e m y Base Canp . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
.
TABLE OF COmE!iTS (Cant)

IV . WITHDRAWAL TACTICS ..................


A . Gencrsl ..................... 20

Bi Types of Withdrawal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

V . MIRES lupD BM)BEXAPS ................. 23

A. mines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

B. Boobytraps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

C. Enemy Marking of Danger Areas . . . . . . . . . . 26

D. Illustrated Examples or Mine and Boobytrap Markinqs 26

VI . CDACLUSIOR ...................... 37
WAT A ?SA?OOV LFADER SYOULD KNOP AAO'S: THE ENEMY'S J'JiGLE TACTICS

I. INTRODUCTION.

A . ,The p u r p o s e of t h i s handbook i s t o a e s c r i b e t h e juwle t a c t i c s ,


t e c h n i q u e s , and dece?'.ions which hove been iised over 8nd over q e i n by
t h e ennnv, o f t e n w i t h n l a m i n e success. I t i s honed t h a t Paowledge of
t h e s e "%-repeated t s c t i c s w i l l h e l p t h e small u n i t leader t o make a
more i n t e l l i R e n t BSsP5Sment Of t h e enmy s i t u a t i o n by b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d -
i n g what t o e x p e c t rrm t h e enemy durini: b o t h movement a n d meeting en-
gagements i n t h e j u n c l p .

8. The t e r r a i n of S o u t h Vietn,m renaes f r m ruRRed mountain o e a k s ,


2500 meters h i g h , t o m m s h y p l a i n s belov sea l e v e l . Much of t h i s t e r -
r a i n i s covered w i t r dense r a i n f o r e s t s t h a t have become t h e t r a d i t i o n a l
refwe m e a s f a r Vc forces. Two d i s t i n c t tynes o f junale are found i n
South Y i e t n m : t h e m u l t i c a n o p i e d f o r e s t i i i t l i d e n s e underRrowth, ~ P O Y B -
l e n t i n the mountainous regions: e n d t h e manprove s ~ m p s ,p e c u l i a r t o
t h e D e l t a snd c o a s t a l areas. (The map on p-e 2 d e p i c t s Some o r t h e
more common aieaa vtere rugged junnle may b e found. )

1. Ic I , 11, a n d TI1 torrs T a c t i c a l Zones, t y p i c a l Jungle t e r -


rain consists of a rulticanapied forest with dense underRrovth. Gener-
a l l y , t h e t r e e s are ?5 t o 10 m e t e r s h i q h . T r e e s are two t o t h r e e m e t e r s
a p a r t , and t h e d i s t a n c e between t h e ground and f i r s t f o l i a t i o n i s 5 t o
1 0 m t e r s . Tree d i e m e t e r s vary from 40 t o 150 c e n t i m e t e r s (16 t o 57 i n -
c h e s ) . The undergrowth C o n s i s t s o f moss.es, Terns, v i n e s , b u s h e s , b r i a r s .
1

n-..- -
and w a s s e s f r m one t o t h r e e meters h i g h . The bushes are two t o t h r e e
meters h i g h , and vines and briars wind around t h e t r e e s , extending up t o
t h e t r e e canopy. A s e l e v a t i o n i n c r e a s e s , t h e d e n s i t y of undergrouth de-
creases. A t e l e v s t i o n s h i g h e r t h a n 1200 m e t e r s , an undergrowth of mbss
and R ~ S Si s most b r e v n l e n t . Throughout South V i e t n a m ere many s c s t t e z e d
f o r e a t s of bamboo which are v i r t u a l l y impossible t o t r a v e l through u i t d -
out f i r s t c u t t i n e a t r a i l .

2. I n I V Corns TaCtiCsl Zone, t h e t e r r a i n i s s u b j e c t t o c o a s t a l


f l o o d i n g . Mangrove t i d a l svamps a r e very p r e v a l e n t . The m q r o v e t i d a l
s w m p i s a very dense everoreen f o r e s t wowing i n c o a s t a l areas flooded
by t h e d a i l y t i d e . The h e i g h t of t h e t r e e s ranees Prm 2 t o 18 m e t e r s ,
a v e r q i n g about 5 m e t e r s . They nolmally have a double-lwyered canopy,
w i t h t h e younger t r e e s formin8 t h e lower canopy. Throughout t h e e n t i r e
mangrove f o r e s t area t h e r e are many v i n e s v h i c h h-ng d o v f r m t h e t r e e s
and t w i n e among t h a n . The undergrowth c m o n l y C o n s i s t s o f marsh grass,
reeds, r u s h e s , and palm bushes, u s u a l l y about two meters high.

3 . S m e Of t h e f i e r c e s t encounters i n v o l v i n g company and p l a t o a n -


s i z e d a c t i o n s have Occurred i n jungle t e r r a i n . There are s e v e r a l reasons
why t h e s e e w e 4 a n e n t s have o f t e n been c o s t l y for f r i e n d l y forces:

a. The f i g h t , on t h e averwe, becanes j o i n e d a t ranges be-


tween 12 and 20 m e t e r s , v h i c h are t o o c l o s e t o afford any real advantage
t o our crew-served weapons.

3
b. Marking smoke, for (LIZ' and a r t i l l e r y support. cannot be
used e f r e c t i v e l y where t h e t o p canopy of t h e Jungle is 1 5 t o 20 meters
high or of t r i p l e thickness.

C. Over-eagerness, often r e s u l t i n g from periods o t fruit-


less S e w c h , cau8es small u n i t l e a d e r s t o a s s a u l t enemy p o s i t i n n s with-
out stopping t o anslyze t h e s i t u a t i o n and t o use all a v a i l a b l e firepower
in coordination with good Schemes Of maneuver.

d . Supporting fires, t o avoid s t r i k i n g f r i e n d l y POsitiOm,


must d l o w t o o wide Imargin of error t o influence t h e a c t i o n .

e . Mortars are of no use unless they c m be based where


overhead clearance is avrrilable.

f. The advance of reinforcements i a Often e r r a t i c . ponderous.


and exhausting.

g. A i r medical evacuation i s omen d i f f i c u l t .

C. VCINYA j u n a l e warfare c a l l 8 for repeated use of mbushee. mines,


and boobytraps. This handbook p o i n t s o u t t h o s e t a c t i c s and techniques
which have often been used by t h e enmy i n t h e p a s t . The examples and
i l l u s t r a t i o n s covered in t h e handbook are not an a t t m p t t o cover t h e
g m u t of cnsny jungle t a c t i c s . This would be i m p r a c t i c a l , if' not impos-
s i b l e , t o a t t e n p t in a s i n g l e p u b l i c a t i o n . The handbook is only an

li
attempt t o provide sane conclusions concarnine enemy jungle t a c t i c s based
on r e p o r t s provided by t h o s e small u n i t leaders who have encountered them
i n Fast operations.

11. OFFWSIYE TACTICS.

A. C e m . The ambush has been t h e most f r e q u e n t l y and s u c c e ~ s -


f u l l y used enemy o f f e n s i v e t a c t i c i n j w l e t e r r a i n . Jungle ambushes
w e normally e s t a b l i s h e d on n a t u r a l r o u t e s of movement Such as trails
and Streams. They are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y short, v i o l e n t a c t i o n s fol-
l o w e l by a r a p i d withdrawal.

ducted a t all hours of t h e *


8 . When Ambushes Can Ye i x p e c t e d . Enemy ambushes have been con-
and n i g h t ; however. as would be e x p e c t e d ,
tile m a j o r i t y of embushes occur during d a y l i g n t h o u r s . Almast 1/3 of all
enew YmbusLLeB occur a w i n g t h e naming iiours. a t which t i m e r r i e n a l y
troops arc m v i q out frm t h e i r base c m p s t o conduct d a i l y o p e r a t i o n s .
Often triey nave s e t up anlbushes behi nd f r i e n d l y p a t r o l s after they have
l e f t tileir p a t r o l bases. There have been C ~ S ~i nS which p a t r o l s r e t r a c e d
t h e i r r o u t e s and were caught i n ambushes at times w h e n p a t r o l members
were t i r e d Bnd s e c u r i t y was lax.

C. Planning ilmbushes..

1. The enemy uses g r e a t p a t i e n c e i n s t u d y i n 8 f r i e n a l y movement


methods and techniques. iie i s quick t o d e t e c t any p a t t e r n Of r e g u l a r i t y
in friendly activity.
>
2. The dense jungle undergrowth found i n some areas, combined
w i t h t h e dark shadow o f t h e canopy. l i m i t s wound o b s e r v a t i o n t o f i v e
m e t e r s ; some enemy smbushes have been i n i t i a t e d a t j u s t t h a t d i s t a n c e .
E x c e l l e n t f i r e a i s c i p l i n e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e case of NVA units. h8s
r e s u l t e d i n f r i e n d l y elejnents walking w i t h i n p o i n t - b l e d ranqe OP enemy
s m a l l B ~ S . The enemy i n i t i a t e s t h e a c t i o n as close as p o s r i b l e i i n or-
d e r t o reduce t h e f i r e S u p e r i o r i t y and a i r power of f r i e n d l y f o r c e s .

D. Ambush I n d i c a t o r s , Rssed on o b s e r v a t i o n and e x p e r i e n c e of


small u n i t l e a d e r s , t h e following l i s t of i n d i c a t o r s has been compiled
t o a s s i s t p l a t o o n l e a d e r s i n determining t h e l i k e l i h o o d of mhush s i t e s
i n t h e i r area of o p e r a t i n n s :

1. Tied-down brush. It m w be a f i r i n g l a n e f o r an ambush s i t e .


2. V i l l a g e s w i t h no peoplb p r e s e n t . They m w conceal smbushes,
b u t it s h o u l d be remembered t h a t t h e presence o f c i v i l i a n s i n an area
does not p r e c l u d e t h e p o s e i b i l i t y o f ambush. The VC often make themselves
appear as "innocent" c i v i l i a n s i n o r d e r t o d e c e i v e f r i e n d l y m m m d e r 8
i n t o t h i n k i n g t h e area i s f r e e of VC.

3. L a r ~ eh e r d s or c a t t l e and well-tended crops i n a sparsely


populated area.

6
4. An u u s u a l mount O f w t i Y i t y i n a s p e c i f i c area. A c t i v i t i e s
which should be noted are reports of unknwn =its i n t h e area and s i g h t -
i n g s of VC reconnaissance elements.

5. A s t e a d y d e l i v e r y of small m s f i r e from one p o s i t i o n . While


t h i s m q appear t o be aimed a t checking o r delaying movement, it may
a c t u a l l y be designed t o encourwe p u r s u i t .

6 . S n i p e r fire. The enemy will use snipers t o draw f r i e n d l y


forces i n t o smblish p o s i t i o n s . The s n i p e r s w i l l f i r e harassinE rounds;
and,upan p u r s u i t by t h e f r i e n d l y f o r c e , t h e y w i l l f a l l bacX and draw t h e
f o r c e i n t o an ambush.

E. &bush T a c t i c s a n d Formations. The enemy has used Yawing t a c t i c s


and formations "hen i n i t i a t i n g offensive actions. A few examples will il-
l u s t r a t e some O f t h e more c m o n t a c t i c s which t h e enemy has s u c c e s s f u l l y
enployed a g a i n s t F r i e n d l y forces i n t h e Jungle. It s h o u l d be ranenbered,
however, t h a t t h e s e formations and t e c h n i q u e s w i l l very rrecording t o t h e
t e r r a i n , mission, and enemy u n i t s involved.
1, Lure end Ambush.
The "lure and ambush" i s a commonly used enemy t a c t i c . The b a s i c p r i n -
c i p l e i s to &a" t h e a t t e n t i o n of f r i e n d l y forces and lure them i n t o pre-
pared p o s i t i o n s . Meny v a r i a t i o n s Of t h i s t a c t i c have been noted d u r i n q
movement i n Jungle t e r r a i n . I n one i n s t a n c e , 8 f r i e n d l y p l a t o o n was
p a t r o l l i n g near War Zone C. Several hundred meters s h o r t of i t s turn-
around p o i n t it e n t e r e d a keyhole-shaped Jungle clearing, about 150 meters
from t r e e l i n e t o t r e e l i n e . The p a t r o l e n t e r e d t h e c l e a r i n q i n R column
formation. men the head Of t h e column was two-thirds of t h e w a y BCIIOSS
t h e c l e a r i n g , t h e p o i n t m a n s p o t t e d three enemy S o l d i e r s w i t h backs turned.
They s t o o d 15 meters t o t h e left f r o n t of t h e column and 10 meters s h o r t
of t h e t r e e l i n e . Without t u r n i n g , t h e y d a r t e d away toward t h e j u n g l e ,
and the l e a d files Of t h e p a t r o l t u r n e d to yursue. The t.arnin.3 of t h e
column s p r e a d it n e a t l y i n front Of t h e k i l l i n g zone of an ambush, which
wee deployed j u s t i n s i d e t h e t r e e l i n e .

9
2. >Shaped Ambush.

, 3 W W ' "

movement \
81,
e
4

88.a"lti"P,
element

10
I n t h e &Shaped ambush, t h e long axis is normally p o s i t i o n e d in B tree-
line and p a r a l l e l t o a road or trail. Deployment in an "L" formation
enables t h e VC/NVA t o mass a heavy c o n c e n t r a t i o n of fire both on t h e
f l a n k and dovn t h e l e n g t h of L mOvinR colmn. Bmployment of reserves
adds f l e x i b i l i t y t o t h i s t y p e of mbush. Reserves can be used t c rein-
f o r c e e i t h e r axis of t h e ambush, as a maneuvering elcmcnt in e n v c l o p i w
f r i e n d l y f o r c e s , and as a blocking f o r c e t o cut o f f withdrawal r o u t e s
o r t o ambush friendly r e i n f o r c m e n t s .
3. V-Shaped Ambush.
AW

3 c

fi
J c
AW 3 c

B
12
The V-shaped mbuah i s vevally p o s i t i o n e d along a t r a i l or path. Auto-
m a t i c weapons are p l a c e d a t t h e vertex and d o w each side of t h e "V."
This fornation e n a b l e s t h e enemy t o p l e z e 8 heavy volme of fire on b o t h
flanks and d w n t h e l e n g t h of an approaching colman. Claymore mines h w e
often been p o s i t i o n e d i n f r o n t of t h e a u t o n a t i c weapons t o r e p e l any
attempt t o r o l l up t h e flanks or break through t h e ambush.

13
4. U-Shaped Ambush.

AW

> u u u u I c
c
C
c
A8 with the Ir and V-shaped ambushes, the "U" formation i s 81so encountered
during movement on J u n ~ l et r a i l s . The enemy places automatic w e a ~ o n sw e l l
to the front Of the mbush s i t e i n order t o 5.81 Off withdrawal from the
trap. Claymores are also employed with t h i s ambush formnticn.

I
I

15
111. DEFWSIYE TACTICS.

A. e.
1. The enemy generally avoids t h e defense because he cannot v i t h -
Stand f r i e n d l y firepower.. H w e ~ e r ,he has tenaciously defended wlner*blc
u n i t s , bases, and i n s t a l l a t i o n s f o r s h o r t periods of time. The enemy ire-
parea extensive defensive p o s i t i o n s throughout h i s operational are-. De-
fenses a r e prepared aloog t r a i l s and o t h e r avenues of approach. Boobytraps
M d mines are often incorporated i n t o t h e s e defensive p o s i t i o n s , particu-
l a r l y in base camp a r e ~ b .

2. The enemy can move i n t o M m e a and prepare bunkers and trench-


l i n e s Overnight. I f contacted, he attempt8 t o hold t h e s e f o r t i f i e d posi-
t i o n s throughout daylight hours, and then he withdraws in mall ~ r o u p sover
crrrefully planned escape routes during t h e hours of darkness. If cut o f f ,
he occupies one Of maw other f o r t i f i e d (veas and resumes defensive t a c t i c s .

B. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Field F o r t i f i c e t i o n e . Increasingly, t h e enemy


i s employing extensive f i e l d f o r t i f i c a t i o n s in conjunction v i t h h i s opera-
t i o n s . VCIlwA s o l d i e r s a r e enthuSiaStie diggers because they f e a r f r i e n d l y
a r t i l l e r y snd air s t r i k e s . These f o r t i f i c a t i o n s are ChRf.(LCtei-iEed by:

16
1. Defense in depth.

2. Extensive use of cmouflaqe.

3. Mutually supporting defensive networks.

4. Restricted avenues of approach.

5. Escape routes

6. Use Of boobytraps, mines, and obstacles.

7. Use O f tunnels, bunkers, cmunication trenches, and


foxholes.

C. Camouflsge. Fortified areas almost alw&vvs present the


greatest difficulties to friendly forces. In no other technique
is the e n w y more Skilled than in the deceptive cmoufla&k, of
fortified base camps, supply caches, and villwes. Nature is msde
to work in his favor; trees, shrubs, end earth are reshaped to
conceal bunkers and trench lines. The density of the forest pre-
vents observation f r w the air, and the thick undersrowth hinders
ground forces f r m adequate observation of enemy base camps until
after the camp has been discovered.
17
I ,

"I' l-rd
G I ---rr3

18

-
The f b r t i f i e d enemy base camp i s r o w h l y c i r c u l a r i n form w i t h an
o u t e r r i m of bunkers and foxholes enclosine a complete system of
l i v i n e quarters. However, t h e shepe w i l l v a r y according t o t h e
t e r r a i n , t h e r i s e and f a l l of t h e ground, and t h e use of n a t u r a l
f e a t u r e s t o r e s t r i c t a t t a c k on t h e camp t o one o r t w o avenues.
Some Of t h e enemy bases, p a r t i c u l a r l y t h o s e used only f o r t r a i n i n g
07 commo-liaison, have minimum d e f e n s i v e works. I n a l l cases, t h e
enemy i s prepared t o defend a g a i n s t a ground a t t a c k u n t i l f o r c e d
t o withdraw as a r e s u l t of f r i e n d l y pressure.

19
IV. WITHDRAWAL TACTICS.

A. General. The VC/NTA i n c l u d e a withdrawel p l a n for every


offensive and defensive o p e r a t i o n . They c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y conduct
r a p i d withdrawals along preplanned, concealed escape r o u t e s . The
more ~ O m m O nt a c t i c s f o r evasion, escape, and withdrswal i n c l u d e :

1. Framenting.

2. Dispersinq.

3. liidiw.

4. Deceiviw.

5. Delaying.

B. Tyl,es of Withdrawal. These examples of withdrawal t a c t i c s


a r e t y p i c a l of t h o s e encountered by small u n i t l e a d e r s throughout
South Yietnam, p a r t i c u l a r l y in Jungle t e r r a i n .

1. Fragmenting. On one occasion an IWA regiment, d i s -


covered i n an area removed ircm i t s nonnel base area, was overrun
and l a q e amounts of s u p p l i e s were captured and destroyed. As 8

20
r e s u l t , all t h e subsequent c o n t a c t 8 were with mall groups of 3 t o
1 0 men. The r m e n t s of t h e regiment had fr-ented t o exfiltrate
t h e b a t t l e area toward t h e i r base camp. Often when enmy b a t t a l i o n s
have been surrounded end f o r c e d t o f i g h t , t h e i r m u n i t i o n h a s been
used up b e f o r e t h e end Of one d w . These e n m y u n i t s t h e n S p l i t
i n t o mall groups and attempt t o break through t h e encirclement.

2. Dispersing. Another f a v o r i t e t e c h n i q u e used by smell


VC forces i n danger of an unfavorable. close-ranpe c o n t a c t i s to
drop t h e i r packs and run. F r i e n d l y forces have been i n c l i n e d t o
slow p u r s u i t i n order t o i n s p e c t t h e packs.

3. Hiding. Hiding places a v a i l a b l e t o t h e V C l N V A are in-


numerable, although UndeWTound l o c a t i o n s appear t o be t h e f a v o r i t e .
Underground h i d i n g p l a c e s for t r o o p s and equipment r a n e e f r m simple
s p i d e r h o l e s t o e l a b o r a t e l y r e i n f o r c e d rooms. Frm t h e surface
t h e s e underground i n s t a l l a t i o n s are exttmnely OiiTiCult t o d e t e c t .
C r i t i c a l p o i n t s are e n t r a n c e s and e x i t s , which mr\y be concealed i n
ptvdens. animal pens, r i v e r banks, under piles o f Straw OF d u w ,
and i n or under s t r u c t u r e s . (see d i a w w o of t u n n e l c m p l e x , next
peue.)

4. Deceiving. VC/NVA foFCeS have used deception t o draw


f r i e n d l y forces a w a y frm b a s e C B ~ ~ S S. m a l l enemy u n i t s w i l l h a r a s s
and t h e n withdraw i n an attempt t o suinp t h e A l l i e d d i r e c t i o n of
movement away from a v a l u a b l e area.

21
5. Delaying. The VCJNVA have made e x t e n s i v e use of rear
guard personnel t o d e l w pursuing forces u n t i l ,withdraval o f t h e
main element is accamplished. Also, ambushes designed t o slow
p u r s u e r s have often been employed.

V. MINES AND BOOBYTRAE.

A . .M - hemy u n i t s do Dot make e x t e n s i v e use of conventional


a n t i p e r s o n n e l m i n e f i e l d s i n j u n g l e t e r r a i n . Their p r e s e n t mine war-
fare d o c t r i n e c a l l s for using nmerous i s o l a t e d mines and s m a l l groups
I of mines.

I :1 The V C ~ N V A r e l y h e a v i l y on t h e use of clsymore mines.


They employ both US and C h i C a m claymores i n a l l t y p e s of s i t u a t i o n s
axid engagements. Claymores aye p l a c e d i n t r e e s , along t r a i l s , on
p e r i m e t e r s of base camps and f o r t i f i e d v i l l a g e s , and at ambush s i t e s .

2. One of t h e most common t y p e s of mines t h u s far encoun-


t e r e d i n j u n g l e t e r r a i n i s made with a ChiCom hand grenade. In
enemy-controlled a r e a s , t h e s e grenades are p l a c e d i n w e l l - t r a v e l e d
l o c a t i o n s and detonated e l e c t r i c a l l y . Thus, t h e y can be c o n t r o l l e d
s o t h a t local people c 8 n vslk back and f o r t h Over t h e area. When
f r i e n d l y t r o o p s are p r o p e r l y p o s i t i o n e d , t h e enemy d e t o n a t e s t h e
grenade. Long l e a d wires allow t h e person d e t o n a t i n g t h e device

23

~~~
~.~ ~
-

t o be well clear of t h e area. Grenades are sometimes buried i n groups,


producing t h e s w e e f f e c t as conventional antipersonnel mines.

B . Baabytraps. Ranging from a simple hole in t h e ground t o a com-


p l i c a t e d devicc, t h e boobytrap i s an e f f e c t i v e w a y for t h e enmy t o cause
c s s u a l t i e s and harass, delay, and confuse f r i e n d l y forces a t l i t t l e $bSt
t o t h m s e l v e e . The v a r i e t y of t h e s e weapons is l i m i t e d only by t h e imw-
i n a t i o n of t h e designer. The sene t r i c k s t h e enemy uses t o lure victims
i n t o ambush s ites are used t o lure them i n t o boobytrapped areas.

1. Erplosive boobytraps are m p l o y e d in all phases of enemy


operations frrm combat t o s a b o t w e . They ere f i r e d i n t h e same manner
as mines using t h e e w e types of f i r i n g devices and fuzes. Non-explosive
boobytraps are frequently used i n conJ4nction with mines a t ambush sites.
The enmy employs Cmde,but e f f e c t i v e t r i p wire devices alone t r a i l s a d
paths, which release arrows. bamboo whips, and o t h e r suinginq, barbed,
and club-type objects. Muddy trails m d heavy w e e t a t i o n can provide
a l l t h e camouflage necessary f o r spike t r s p s and punji p i t s . The enmy
is extremely good a t disguisinR h i s t r a p s . A f a v o r i t e enemy t a c t i c i s
t o mine and boobytrap breas which f r i e n d l y elements have r e c e n t l y occupied
Upon returning t o t h e s e areas, friendly personnel are often caught u m w a r e
by t h e s e new t r a p s .

24
2. In conducting past searches of VC villagea, base camps. and
supply caches. boobytraps have often been located in the Iolloving places:

a. In or near gate* or entrances.

b. Anywhere normal work doe8 not take place (next to t r a i l s ,


I i n graveyards, near shrines, etc.).

I C. A t entrencea t o conceded tunnels.

d. In rubbish.

e. On propaganda boards and flags displayed in conspicuous


loCati0"ns.

I. llcv animd pens and other cnclosu~es.

g. Mder dung piles and dead foliage.

h. Uear wells.

3 . me enmy has also rigged weapons, UniIOmS, dead bodies.


binoculam, end maqy other obJects with sxploalvve boobytraps.
C. memy Markin6 Of DanKer Areas. VC/IwA u n i t s have found it neces-
sary t o follow c e r t a i n procedures i n markiw mined and boobytrapped areas.
As y e t , no standard p a t t e r n f o r markinr: t h e s e areas appears t o e x i s t ; d i f -
f e r e n t enemy u n i t s s e w t o have t h e i r o m techniques f o r markine darqer
areas. The only apparent doctrine on marking mines and boobytraps i s t h a t
a VC o r NVA u n i t must know t h e l o c a t i o n of mines and boobytraps within i t s
own o p e r a t i o n a l srea. Also, it must coordinate with 1 0 c d forces f o r
guidance on mine and boobytrap locations when Operating i n unfamiliar areas.

D. I l l u s t r a t e d Exmoles of Mine and Boobytrap Markings. The i l l u e -


t r a t i o n s contained in t h e following pegea are examples of marking of mines
and boobytraps which have been discovered by f r i e n d l y elements. It Should
be renwbered t h a t a l l markers are subJect t o being d i s o r i e n t e d by t h e
e f f e c t s of rain, wind, and animbl and human movement t h r o w h an area.
Small u n i t l e a d e r s Should i n s u r e t h a t t h e i r personnel w e thoroughly f m i -
lisr with mine and boobytrap markinga. Those presented i n t h e i l l u n t r a -
t i o n s should be a n t i c i p a t e d a t d1 times during movement d o n g t r a i l s
through jungle t e r r a i n . Many m7-e types of markers are suspected t o e x i s t ,
and all persoonel should be encouraged t o r e p o r t any new mine and booby-
t r a p markers or i n d i c a t o r s which are discovered. Doing t h i s W i l l a i d in
t h e reduction of f r i e n d l y mine and boobytrap c a s u a l t i e s .

26

.I . - ~g
- 1. Siqn "arkem.

Restricted Area Kill Zone Please Don't Go


Keep Away

piGi7-1 pGiGz-1
Area i s Boobytrapped Boobytrapped A r e a or Zone

Various handwritten signs have been encountered warning a11 persons


entering Bn area that a dawer e x i s t s i f they pass the sign. The
danger area i s usually 50 t o 200 meters beyond the Signs. These sidns
are normally placed in enemy rear areas and are scheduled for rwoval
i n t h e event friendly troops conduct operations i n the area.
--

2. Parallel S t i c k s Parker.

Short a t i e k s or l e n g t h s O f bamboo l a i d p a r a l l e l t o a t r a i l r e p o r t e d l y
means t h a t t h e t r a i l i s f r e e O f mines or boobytraps in I CTZ.

28
.
.r
3. Rock Markers on Trails.

Various rgrmations of w a l l mcks have been r e p o r t e d l y p l a c e d on t r a i l s


t o serve as L varning Of mines and boobytraps ahead. These rock for-
mations hevc been p l a c e d i n elrcular, pyramid, &!Id straight line patterns.

29
The VC break the top from 6 s m a l l snplinn an4 s t r i p P I ? /~f,: e branches
f r m it. One branch is left on the sbplin8 snlj it r, T'.; , ~ . ~ , l , t h e trail
Usually a mine o r boobytrap h a s been f o u n d 50 to 1 Y #e'.i.r: i w n t h e
trail.
30
5. Grass Marker.

I
I

----
Crowinv grass is sometimes tied i n four sheeves. The sheaves farm a
square w i t h sides measuring approximately t w o meters. The mine i s
buried or concealed i n t h e center of the square.

31
6. Red "X" Marker.

Red "X" siRns are p l a c e d &low t r a i l s leadin@ to mined &reas. This


s i w i n d i c a t e s a prohibited arc& and personnel should proceed with
caution 07 bv-pass t h e area. These s i g n s have been found i n both VC
and GVN-controlled areas.

32
A s t i c k or length of bsmboo broken at a ri,r,ht angle and lying across
a t r a i l ha8 been used to warn of a mine 01 bwbytrap 2W to b00 metera
ahead.

33
8. Stakes and Leaves Marker.

-.

These two warning signs have been reportedly used i n the sene area. One
marker consists of two l a r ~ eleaves placed parallel t o each other on t o p
of the mine or boobytrap. The Second marker consists of two short s t i c k s
or stakes placed on the t r a i l in front of and t o the rear of the mine or
boobytrap. These devices have been Used individually and in conJunction
with each other.

14
9. Emboo Ma

1
This marker c o n s i s t s O f a small piece of bamboo s i x t o eight inches long
and a I m p j o i n t of bamboo which i s carved t o f i t over one end of t h e bam-
boo stick. The bamboo s t i c k is stuck i n t o t h e qround a t shout a b 5 O angle
v i t h t h e large end of t h e device p o i n t i w toward a mine or boobytrap.

35
10. Bamboo Tripod Marker,

The bmbm tripod marker consists ot three pieces of bamboo approxhately


18 inches long, t i e d together at one end and s e t up i n a cone shage. W i r e
or another material i s n a p p e d around the device near the b o t t m of the
three l e g s 8 0 that the device will retain i t 8 cone shape. This device i s
placed over boobytraps, mines, snd Wngi p i t s .

36
VI. concLusron.
A. VClNVA Jungle t w t i c e call for repeated use of ambushes, mines,
(Iod boobytraps. They m e used both s e p a r a t e l y end i n c m b i n a t i o m . The
enemy is n master of cesourlwe and g l a n s M ambush with p e a t a k i l l . Be
p r a c t i c e s deception in all forms. He may lure you i n t o a village o r Chick
Juwle by b a i t i n g you with a fer men. when your i n i t i a l e a t i n a t e is light
contact with B squsd attempting t o escape. t h e tendency i s t o pursue vig-
orously. Then, when t h e enemy has you positioned in t h e t r a p , he springs
it. We h o l h his fire until you BTC well i n t o t h e trap,aad vhca he docs
spring it, he is almost on t o p of you.

B. J w l e warfare requires a r e o r i e n t a t i o n from conventional t a c t i c s .


A new approach t o t a c t i c s and operations must be developed with g r e a t e r
emphasis On small W i t t a c t i c s . Individual s k i l l s and t a c t i c s must be
m.phasized in order t o allow mall u n i t leaders t o respond v I t h t h e u t -
most f l e x i b i l i t y t o t h e p e r p l e x i t i e s and complications which a m char-
a c t e r i s t i c of Jungle warfare. Getting t o know t h e enemy b e t t e r is t h e
f l r a t s t e p in solving +he problem.