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Site of Groupe Mobile 100 ambush?

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  • Site of Groupe Mobile 100 ambush?

    I've come across contradictory statements regarding the real life location of the ambush of Groupe Mobile 100. The Mang Yang Pass is associated whenever this battle is brought up in discussion, but it seems it happened just as close to Anh Khe combat base than the pass in relatively flat terrain. There is one comment which decsribes the exact location:

    The French were outnumbered, and the battalion size unit was severly mauled in the engagment and ceased to exist as a fighting formation. The actual ambush occurred in the area between what was, in 1968, Bridge 25 and Strongpoint 5, approximately 15 kilometers west of the airfield at An Khe.
    http://www.rjsmith.com/info_pages/ma...pass-info.html

    Using Google Earth I can see locations that Veterans or researchers have marked as Bridge 25 and Strongpoint 5 and the coordinates are:

    Bridge 25: Latitude 13°58'14.91"N Longitude 108°30'9.00"E
    Strongpoint5: Latitude 13°58'32.44"N Longitude 108°31'19.25"E

    That puts us between this location in an area 1.5 miles in length:

    http://i.imgur.com/uRaJ9ry.jpg

    There is what looks like a memorial in the centre of that image, and I must have driven past it when I went down route 19 last year and didn't notice it which is a shame.

    Would anyone have any more information to point me to the correct location?
    Last edited by haarp; 10 May 17, 07:05.

  • #2
    I think you already got it right. Note that according to Vietnamese sources, the ambush was set on both sides of Dakpo stream (where I believe your Bridge 25 stood) with a total length about 1.2 kilometers.

    http://imgur.com/a/tzabo

    http://imgur.com/a/s8nP1

    And yes, Mang Yang Pass is a little bit incorrect name when we talk about location. On Vietnamese side the ambush is called "Battle of Dakpo".
    Last edited by chiangshan; 10 May 17, 11:10.

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    • #3
      One of the reasons I was confused by this location is that I read an account of the battle, it could've been in Bernard Fall's book, where it describes men jumping possibly to their deaths down ravines to avoid gunfire which makes sense if it actually happened in the Many Yang. But on this stretch of highway 19 I couldn't fit that account in to the location.

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      • #4
        http://notresiteouebe.free.fr/doc/gm100_1954.pdf

        https://penseemiliterre.fr/ankhe-cen...e_2015322.html









        The first book changed his title it's now :


        In french sadly , but the latest versions of google translate are working decently...
        That rug really tied the room together

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        • #5
          Yes, Mang Yang post was what the French were trying to reach, where they would link up with the cover elements coming from Pleiku. Mobile Group 100 wasn't a battalion. The Korean Battalion had been expanded to a 2 battalion Regiment, filled with Khmer Krom troops from the Mekong Delta, including Commando Bergerol, which had been cadred by teh 10th Colonial Artillery Regt. (the became 7 and 8 companies of 2 Coree). The BM/43rd Colonial Infantry Regt (Battalion) was also a mixed unit with two companies worth of Delta Khmer and some Vietnamese. The battalion of the 10th RAC had its batterys spread among the four "Rames" (subunits). The Vietnamese light infantry battalion was the 520th, which had barely been in existence for six months. I've also seen the 3rd Vietnamese Reconnaissance Squadron on some OBs. The Tank company had been split off from GM 100 and was not at the ambush. So their were a total of five battalions in GM 100, the two Coree Bns, the BM/43th RIC, and TD520KQ, and that one battalion (called "Groups" in French artillery terminology) of the 10th Colonial Arty.
          dit: Lirelou

          Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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          • #6
            Found this

            la composition succincte du GM100 etait la suivante:

            CCS 100
            BM du 43°RIC
            Regiment de Coree: 1° et 2° bataillons
            II/10°RAC
            3°/5°cuir
            1 compagnie du genie
            That rug really tied the room together

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            • #7
              Maudit! I had forgotten the Engineers. They must have been with GM 100 at the ambush because as soon as BM/43rd Colo Infantry hit the rocks blocking Highway 19, they called for Engineers to clear them just about the time the VM sprang the ambush.

              Regarding tanks (3rd company, 5th Cuirassiers) they were not with GM 100, but moving in as part of the linkup force. Specifically, COL Sockeel's Montagnard Mobile Group 42. So, they were part of the overall operation, but not with Mobile Group 100 when it pulled out of An Khe. (Note: they had been operating with various mobile groups in the Pleiku sector since the annihilation of a "ARVN" battalion from GM 11 in the Mang pass switchback on 30 March 1954.

              NOTE: Aftermath: Mobile Group 100 was not exactly "wiped out" as most English language sources claim. Regarding the 520 TDKQ, a very poorly trained "ARVN" light infantry battalion with less than six months existence, it may have 'vaporized' the minute the ambush was sprung, fleeing into the forest, but it was definitely attached to GM 100 and positioned around the command post, which was the Viet Minh's major target. Some remnants of the RVN (then State of Vietnam) 520th Light Infantry did stand and fight, and some who took off did seek to reach French lines. All survivors of the ambush who did reach French lines arrived with their assigned weapons, so some 520th troops did run and regroup to fight, not unlike some American troops in the Battle of the Bulge. Bernard Fall's numbers on GM 100 losses have been criticized by survivors, who point out that many of the indigenous troops did show up later. I note that Fall uses the same numbers of troops present for each French battalion, and doubt seriously that such was the case. I believe he confused their authorized strength for the actual number present. Given GM 100's KIA , WIA, and MIAs over the previous six months, there had to be different numbers of men present for duty in each battalion. GM 100 was reformed at Mang Yang, received an ammo and heavy weapons resupply, and moved into Pleiku with the link-up force, fighting several ore encounters on the way. Nevertheless, with their equipment losses and continued combat losses, the Group and Korea Battalions were dissolved several months later, with the Indigenous personnel being transferred to a newly re-designated 43rd Colonial Infantry Regiment.


              Last edited by lirelou; 03 Aug 18, 14:36. Reason: Further information gained from French sources
              dit: Lirelou

              Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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