The Battle of Binh Ba

The Battle of Binh Ba (6–8 June 1969), also known as Operation Hammer, was a hard fought, but one-sided, battle during the Vietnam War. The action occurred when Australian Army troops from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR) fought a combined communist force of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong in the village of Binh Ba, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province. The battle was unusual in Australian combat experience in Vietnam as it involved fierce close-quarter house-to-house fighting. In response to communist attempts to capture Binh Ba the Australians assaulted the village with infantry, armour and helicopter gunships, routing the Viet Cong and largely destroying the village itself. Such battles were not the norm in Phuoc Tuy, however, and the heavy losses suffered by the communists forced them to temporarily leave the province. Although the Australians did encounter communist Main Force units in the years to come, the battle marked the end of such large-scale clashes, and ranks as one of the major Australian victories of the war.