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Quang Tri Province Chief and former commander of the 1st ARVN Regiment.
They decided to place the city 'in a state ot emergency' and also imposed
martial law. Am also provided weapons to various cadre and government
civil servants. At the same time, elements of the 812th NVA Regiment,
which had formerly been operating in the DMZ sector, infiltrated into
the hamlets and countryside surrounding Quang Tri City. According to
a South Vietnamese account, the arrival of the enemy troops sent 'thousands
of local people panicking toward the city.' By now the entire city was
alert.69

The enemy failed to carry out his plan. Sappers were supposed to infiltrate
into the heart of the city on the night of 30-31 January and create
a diversion. Once the sappers struck, the 812th was to launch
its attack under cover of a mortar and rocket barrage. The plan went
awry for the North Vietnamese, however, almost from the beginning. A
platoon from the 10th Sapper Battalion reached its objectives
around 0200 on the 31st, but soon found itself isolated and easily rounded
up by local police and militia. The 812th with five battalions
under its


Both photos are from the Abel Collection

Top, after heavy fighting in the Cua Viet area, Marines
from BLT 3/1 examine an enemy fighting hole with one Marine actually
in the enemy position. Below, Marines jrum the BLT interrogate a frightened
NVA prisoner captured in the fighting





Page 134 (1968: The Defining Year)