What Are Some Facts About the Battle of Dak To?


Quick Answer

On November 3, 1967, the Battle of Dak To began with 1,000 U.S. troops and 3,500 reinforcements from the U.S. 4th Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade against four communist regiments with roughly 6,000 troops. The battle's climax took place from November 19th to November 22nd in a fight for Hill 875. The estimated number of fatalities for the North Vietnamese was 1,455, and the U.S. casualties included 285 killed, 985 wounded and 18 missing.

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Full Answer

Dak To is a city about 280 miles north of Saigon in the South Vietnam Central Highlands. Hill 875, where the North Vietnamese held their last defensive line, is located about 12 miles southwest of the city. The 173rd Airborne Brigade was victorious during the battle for Hill 875 but the casualties were heavy, some the result of accidental U.S. airstrikes on U.S. positions. The battalions airlifted into the battle from Darlac Province included the 1st Batallion, 12th Infantry.

The Battle of Dak To, a combined search and destroy effort by both the United States and South Vietnam, resulted from Operation Greely. Dak To had been used as a forward operating base since 1965 to launch reconnaissance teams. The battle lasted from November 3rd (or 2nd, depending on the source) until November 22, 1967. The result of the battle was disastrous for the North Vietnamese; three of their regiments were so thoroughly disassembled that they could not take part in the Tet Offensive of 1968.

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