Second Battle of Quang Tri Begins
The Second Battle of Quang Tri (Vietnamese: Thành cổ Quảng Trị) began on June 28 and lasted 81 days until September 16, 1972, when the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) defeated the North Vietnamese at the ancient citadel of Quảng Trị and recaptured most of the province.
To achieve victory, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, backed by the United States Army, shelled more than 80,000 tons of ordnance, the destructive capacity equivalent to almost six Hiroshima-size atomic bombs.
The North Vietnamese forces had launched a massive offensive, called the Nguyen Hue or "Easter Offensive," on March 31, with three main attacks aimed at Quang Tri south of the Demilitarized Zone, Kontum in the Central Highlands, and An Loc just 60 miles north of Saigon. This invasion included 14 divisions and 26 separate regiments, a total force numbering over 120,000 troops, and was designed to knock South Vietnam out of the war and inflict a defeat on the remaining U.S. forces (which numbered less than 70,000 by this date due to President Nixon's Vietnamization policy and the American troop withdrawal schedule). The North Vietnamese attack was characterized by conventional combined arms attacks by tank and infantry forces supported by massive artillery barrages, resulting in some of the heaviest fighting of the war.