5RAR Book Reviews Page


North Vietnamese Army

Book cover Title: THE 33RD REGIMENT North Vietnamese Army  Chamberlain, Ernest: The 33rd Regiment – North Vietnamese Army: Their Story (and the Battle of Binh Ba). Vietnam Veteran and linguist Ernie Chamberlain has recently written and privately-published another book that would certainly interest all who served in Phuoc Tuy province during the Vietnam War. This 33rd Regiment history complements the histories of its “brother” Viet Cong battalions – D440 and D445, published in 2011 and 2013. The 33rd Regiment was the only North Vietnamese unit faced by the Task Force in Phuoc Tuy ― and the toughest.
  In early June 1969, the 33rd Regiment occupied the village of Binh Ba north of the Australian Task Force’s base at Nui Dat. In the ensuing battle about 80 NVA soldiers were killed. What is now known however is that the 33rd Regiment’s 2nd Battalion was tasked to ambush the Task Force relief force led by (then) Major Murray Blake. However, that ambush was not “sprung”. If initiated, the engagement might have even eclipsed Long Tan in our Vietnam “iconography”. In order to provide context – and to comment upon the Vietnamese accounts, the book is comprehensively referenced by the author. The comments cite a large number of captured NVA/VC documents – some not previously translated or available to researchers. The author has also included 22 appendices ― as well as photographs and maps.
  While the book is not available commercially, the text of the book has been placed on the Internet as “free-to-read” ― http://www.scribd.com/doc/217396459/The-33rd-Regiment-North-Vietnamese-Army-Their-Story-and-the-Battle-of-Binh-Ba.
  Interested readers will probably find it more convenient to access the book ― ie for free, on the Internet.

Author's comment:
To save 5RAR readers wading through 33rd Regiment’s “early years”
(eg the fighting in the Ia Drang Valley in late 1965 – “immortalized” in Hollywood’s “We were soldier once ...” starring Mel Gibson as LTCOL Harold Moore), your editors might wish to note that the Battle of Binh Ba is covered in pages 47-84.