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Battle of A Shau

Trivia powered by Prof. WalterThe Battle of A Shau was waged in 1966 during the Vietnam War. The battle began on March 9 and lasted until March 10 with the fall of the special forces camp of the same name. The battle was an outright victory for the North Vietnamese; it was nevertheless a costly battle that U.S. estimates suggest cost the attackers almost half of their force.

What do you know about the Battle of A Shau? Try this Vietnam War History Made Easy Trivia quiz.

1. The A Shau Special Forces Camp was located in the A Shau Valley, about 30 miles southwest of this South Vietnam cityHue in Thua Thien Province. What was the city?

  • Jug A
  • Hue
  • Co Shan

2. It was strategically important for the North Vietnamese Army as a major infiltration route because it was adjacent to the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Defending the camp were 10 Green Berets and 210 South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense Group, supported by Air Commando units equipped with vintage A-1 Skyraiders and AC-47 Spooky gunships.

  • True or False?

3. The camp was routinely harassed by small Viet Cong formations leading up to the battle. Throughout February and March, troops from the camp were often sent out to conduct reconnaissance patrol and were prepared to destroy any suspected enemy position in the surrounding area. What was the normal size of the troops on recon?

  • Squad-sized
  • Platoon-sized
  • Company-sized

4. On March 5, two defectors from the North Vietnamese Army turned up at the camp. Under interrogation, they indicated that units from the North Vietnamese 325th Division were planning to attack the camp. How many battalions were to attack the camp?

  • 1 battalion
  • 4 battalions
  • 8 battalions

5. When was the A Shau camp reinforced with seven U.S. special forces personnel, nine interpreters and a MIKE Force Company in anticipation of the North Vietnamese attack?

  • March 5
  • March 6
  • March 7

6. On March 8, the camp was placed on general alert and the camp's defenders had taken up their positions. During the night an enemy assault was thrown back. When was the camp placed on general alert?

  • March 6
  • March 7
  • March 8

7. The attack on the Special Forces Camp began during the early hours of March 9 with mortar bombardment, damaging the communication line and reducing defensive positions to rubble. Upon the request of the detachment commander, at 13:00 an AC-47D "Spooky 70" from the 4th Air Commando Squadron, circling the camp, managed to attack North Vietnamese formations but was shot down and crashed about five kilometers north of the camp. All six crewman died in the crash.

  • True or False?

8. On the morning of March 10, the North Vietnamese Army launched another attack with mortar and recoilless rifle fire. An assault team penetrated the east wall of the camp, where hand-to-hand combat took place for three hours. What time was the east wall penetrated?

  • 03:00
  • 05:00
  • 07:00

9. At 17:00 all communication equipment was destroyed. The survivors carried out their evacuation orders and destroyed all their weapons and withdrew further to the north wall of the camp. Leading the evacuation effort were fifteen H-34 helicopters from HMM-163 supported by four UH-1B gunships. Panic-stricken Vietnamese mobbed the evacuation helicopters and overwhelmed U.S. Special Forces troops as they abandoned the camp. The evacuation of the camp was complicated by heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire. How many H-34 helicopters were lost?

  • two H-34s
  • four H-34s
  • eight H-34s

10. The camp was officially closed at 17:45 and finally overrun by enemy troops. In the aftermath of the battle the United States suffered heavy casualties on the ground: 5 killed and 12 wounded. More losses were suffered during the evacuation efforts. What time was the camp officially closed?

  • 15:45
  • 17:45
  • 19:45

Battle of A Shau Answers

  1. Hue
  2. True
  3. Platoon-sized
  4. 4 battalions
  5. March 7
  6. March 8
  7. False. All six crewman survived the crash, but were taken under attack by NVA troops. Three crewman were killed in the attack but the other three were eventually rescued by a USAF HH-43.
  8. 05:00
  9. four H-34s
  10. 17:45

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