Australian Centurion tank, Operation Overlord June 1971.
Australian Centurion tank, Operation Overlord June 1971.
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Battle of Long Khanh

The Battle of Long Khanh was fought during the Vietnam War on 6–7 June 1971 between the elements of 1st Australian Task Force and the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army during Operation Overlord. The fighting saw Australian infantry from 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment attack a heavily fortified communist base camp in Long Khanh province, while Centurion tanks providing close support crushed many bunkers and their occupants. Although the bunker system was subsequently captured, along with a second system further south, the Australians suffered a number of casualties and the loss of a UH-1 Iroquois helicopter, while the bulk of communist force was able to successfully withdraw intact, although they were believed to have suffered heavy casualties in the process.

There was acts of extreme heroism and courage from all ranks on that day (7 June 1971). The battle at the platoon level proved that well trained and disciplined troops could and did overcome huge odds. This was the biggest operation 3RAR second tour had been involved in to date. In the battle B Company was pitched against tough and experienced North Vietnamese troops with long years of combat experience behind them. To 5 Platoon's credit it was able to hold its ground until later supported by the other platoons of B company. When the main body of 3RAR arrived in South Vietnam on 25 February 1971 to relieve 7RAR, the military situation had changed in Phuoc Tuy province. 2RAR was in its last few months of active service in South Vietnam. Australian operations within the province were now entering their final phase.