From early to mid-April 1975, the South Vietnamese 18th Division, defending the strategic road junction of Xuan Loc northeast of Saigon, held off massive attacks by an entire North Vietnamese Army corps engaged in a surprise assault to overrun Saigon and quickly end the war. Enduring extremely heavy fighting, they stopped the communist offensive before being ordered to retreat and help defend Saigon. While communist forces were guilty of over-confidence, the 18th Division's superb performance was largely the result of the combat skills, prior planning, and inspirational leadership of their commander, Brigadier General Le Minh Dao, who demonstrated that even in South Vietnam's darkest hour, the much-maligned soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam would fight when led by able officers.


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pp. 163-213
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2010
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