By Greg Lockhart: A history of the Australian minefield laid in the Phuc Tuy Province in 1967 that played havoc with Australia’s military operations in Vietnam and constituted the greatest tactical blunder in Australian military history since World War Two.
The Minefield tells the story of one of the greatest disasters in Australian military history.
In 1967, Brigadier Stuart Graham issued the calamitous order: First Australian Task Force would construct an 11 kilometre barrier fence minefield containing 20,292 powerful M16 landmines in southern Vietnam’s Phuoc Tuy Province. What he failed to realise was that the opposing forces were well positioned to lift thousands of the mines and turn them back against the Australian Task Force with horrendous, far reaching results.
For protracted periods, Australia’s own M16 mines became the enemy’s most effective strike weapons, causing over 50 per cent of all task force casualties. The minefield also guaranteed the enemy’s successful defence of its vital area and base complexes against task force incursions.
The Minefield is a national narrative, written with the unflinching clarity of a great tragedy.
Allan and Unwin have the book