French Eyes Only

From: FMEO

To: Capitain de Corvette Bonenfant. Oi/c Dinassaut 3




As you know the Commando Vandenberghe has been operating behind enemy lines in the South-West Delta area. Earlier today they had a major success in capturing alive the operations officer of the Viet Minh 42nd Regiment. Not only does this prisoner have the full details of the regiment’s supply and logistics arrangements, he has also been instrumental in the preparations for what we believe will be a multi-divisional level offensive into the Delta. If the prisoner can be debriefed quickly much useful information can be obtained which will result in the destruction of the 42nd Regiment and the thwarting of the Viet Minh offensive. Consequently Commando Vandenberghe has been instructed to take all necessary risks to extract the prisoner as quickly as possible. Air extraction is impracticable so the only alternative is by river. They expect to reach the banks of the Day some time after midnight tonight.



·         You are to establish a bridgehead on the east bank of the Day in the vicinity of Ban Doa Quoc at 0001 hours and move inland to make contact with Commando Vandenberghe which will be approaching the area from the North-East.

·         You will take over the custody of the prisoner and evacuate him to Phat Diem where he will be handed over to the Detachements Operationels de Protection.

·         If the covert nature of Commando Vandenberghe’s mission can be maitained they will break off to the North or North-East. If their identity is revealed to local Viet Minh forces you should evacuate the Commando in the LCM provided.


Enemy Forces

Ban Doa Quoc is, like most of the banks of the Day, firmly, but not strongly, held by Viet Minh forces. Convoys passing the point have received occasional SKZ, mortar and HMG fire. Latest intelligence reports indicate that the following enemy forces may be in the area:

·         Village Militia in about company strength.

·         Two companies of Regional troops with some heavy weapons.

·         Possible elements of the 42nd Main Force Regiment, possibly including heavy weapons.

Own Forces

·         Dinassault 3: 1xVedette du Port, 1x Vedette Y, 4 x EA, 1x LCM du train.

·         Commando du Monteforte embarked in two of the EA.

·         B Coy, 2/5 RTM embarked in two of the EA


Coordinating Instructions.

·         The exact rout and timing of Commando Vandenberghe’s march is not known.

·         Units will identify themselves as friendly by flashing V (for Vandenberghe) on a red torch, i.e: “…-“.

·         Having established that you are friendly you may expect some Vandenberghe units to fire at, but over, your forces in order to preserve the Vandenberghe cover.

·         At your own discretion you may fire a homing signal of red over yellow flares to indicate to Commando Vandenberge which point on the bank they should head for for embarkation.



Sgnd (Chasse)









24 Commando Nord Viet Nam


Dear Je,


                        As I know you must have realised, since you were accepted into the Commando Vandenberghe you have been under very close scrutiny.  And you know why this had to be:  because your cousin Je Her-but’s status in the Viet Minh is notorious.


                        Tonight I entrust you with a mission that can leave no doubt in your mind that I place my full faith in you.


                        This afternoon we captured the operations officer of the Viet Minh 42nd., Regiment alive.  This prisoner has information that can lead to us destroying the Regiment’s infrastructure in the Delta and also thwarting the anticipated Viet Minh division level offensive.  It is vital that the prisoner is debriefed as soon as possible.  Air extraction is impossible so a naval rendezvous on the banks of the Day has keen arranged for midnight at Ban Doa Quoc.


                        At least two Viet Minh Regional Companies are active in the area as well as village militia.  Movements by other Regional Companies and Main Force Elements of the 42nd Regiment are common so you will take the Commando and posing as a Regional Company make contact with the dinassaut that is holding the bridgehead and pass on the prisoner.


                        Ideally you should conduct this operation without the local Viet Minh realising that you are against them – you may be able to make it look like the prisoner and the escort squad are “captured” by the landing force.  If you can achieve this you should withdraw to North or North-East and rendezvous with me tomorrow morning.


                       If you have to fight your way through and thus alert the local Viet Minh to the Commando’s presence, the dinassaut will provide transport to evacuate you.


                        You do not know the exact landing point of the dinassaut.  They will try to land and contact you undetected.  You squads may identify themselves to the landing forces by flashing a V for Vandenberghe on a red torch, i.e. “…_” If you need to fire at French forces to prove your bona fides to the Viet Minh be sure to fire high!


                        Any intelligence that you can gain about the infrastructural of the Viet Minh positions in Ban Doa Quoc would also be useful.


                        Good Luck Mon Ami!








                        The defence of Ban Doa Quoc against colonial, capitalist aggression is the heavy burden that the Central Party Committee places in your hands.  To defend this sacred soil you have:


u   Once company of the SONG DAY Regional Regiment with heavy weapons.

u   About half a company of village militia with light arms only.


You will conform with the following standards of deployment which will be subject to checking by the Party Inspectorate and your political cadre:


u   Half of the village buildings should be prepared for defence.

u   You should prepare three other well-camouflaged squad positions for either infantry or heavy weapons use.

u   You should prepare one river mine and a camouflaged control position.

u   At nighttime one squad of each platoon will be on alert.  The others will rest.  Heavy weapons will not be manned.

u   Village militia should be used for lookout duty.


Another company of Regiment SONG DAY is adjacent to your position.  You should coordinate your defences with them.  Reinforcements will be available from Regiment HQ and some assets of the 42nd Main Force Regiment may also be available.  However, should you unnecessarily call for or utilise these units you will be called to account at the Regimental Self-Criticism meeting.


                                                                           To Fight and Win!



                                                                                Hu Bak Tak

                                                                   Cdr. SONG DAY Regiment