The Royal New Zealand Artillery
Last year, I privately‐published a “non‐commercial” ‐ i.e. not‐for‐sale, book on the principal enemy unit faced by Australian and NZ troops in Phuoc Tuy Province during the Vietnam War. I provided complimentary copies of the book (The Viet Cong D445 Battalion: Their Story ‐ 2011) to Australian Government agencies – mostly in Canberra, museums and selected libraries. Regrettably, to my knowledge there are no “hard copies" in New Zealand. I’ve had several queries from New Zealand – including from the NZ Defence Force Library last week, and now certainly regret that I didn’t send a couple of “gratis” hard‐copies to Wellington.
While the book is not available commercially, the text of the book has been placed on the Internet as “free‐to‐read” – www.scribd.com/doc/62621973/The‐Viet‐Cong‐D445‐ Battalion‐Their‐Story.
The book was very favourably reviewed in the current edition of the Australian Army Journal – i.e. Autumn 2012 (pp.131‐134) as an “invaluable resource”. More than a translation of D445 Battalion’s history, the book is an “exegesis” as it includes 863 footnotes that comment upon – and “correct”, the Vietnamese account.
Earlier this year, the Australian RSL included a “book review”‐type notice in its magazine advising its members of the D445 book (encouraging “free‐reading” on‐line) – and earlier this week, I sent a similar notice to the New Zealand RSA (see attached ‐ i.e. should the RSA wish to also advise its members of the book, and its Internet “free‐to‐read” availability).
I have also attached a copy of that possible notice for your interest – that includes mention of the Viet Cong’s fear of the “New Zealand orchestra" (i.e. 161 Battery RNZA). Best wishes to all, Ernie Chamberlain (Brig – Retd) PS. I have almost finished a history of D445’s “fraternal unit” – D440 Battalion that fought against our forces in Phuoc Tuy Province and southern Long Khanh Province. I plan to publish that book non‐commercially at the end of this year – to include an “addendum” on the 33rd NVA Regiment.
In October‐November 2012, my wife and I are returning to Vietnam for some further research and interviews of senior NVA/VC cadre. Early next year, I also plan to publish a “compendium” on the three Viet Cong district companies that operated in Phuoc Tuy Province. The Viet Cong D445 Battalion: Their Story Chamberlain, Ernest: The Viet Cong D445 Battalion: Their Story. Australian Vietnam Veteran and linguist Ernie Chamberlain has recently written and privately‐ published a book that would certainly interest all who served in Phuoc Tuy Province during the Vietnam War.
The core of the work is a translation of D445 Battalion’s history ‐ as written by Vietnamese historians. In order to provide context – and to comment upon the Vietnamese writings, the book is comprehensively referenced (863 footnotes). The comments cite a large number of captured NVA/VC documents – many not previously translated or available to researchers. Several annexes have also been included covering Viet Cong personalities, 275 Regiment, 440 Battalion, Long Tan, Long Dat, Minh Dam, Hoa Long etc.
Interested readers will probably find it more convenient to access the copy ‐ ie for free, on the Internet (about 8,700 “free reads” to date). Perhaps the sections of most interest to veterans are the Viet Cong’s version of the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966 – at pp.39‐48, and the Viet Cong’s fear of the “New Zealand orchestra” ie our 161 Battery RNZA, p.46. The book was very favourably reviewed in the current edition of the Australian Army Journal – Autumn 2012, pp.131‐134.