CONFIDENTIAL (c. April 1968)
Hq 27th Mar, 1st MarDiv
Duong Son (2) Viet Nam
APPENDIX 1 (INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE) to Annex B (Intelligence) to Operation Order 301-68
Reference: (a) Maps (b) Regimental Order 3800.1A
a. Basic Mission. 27th Marines participate in defense of the DaNang Vital Area and other U.S. or ARVN or GVN critical installations, conduct unilateral and joint operations within the TAOR, when directed conduct operations exterior to the TAOR, and support the Revolutionary Development Program within assigned TAOR.
b. Previous Decisions. None
c. Purpose of this Estimate. To develop the intelligence necessary to support the assigned mission.
2. ENEMY SITUATION.
a. Recent and Present Activities.
The enemy utilizes our TAOR as part of Military Region V Reconnaissance Zone. The zone consist of area north of Go Noi Island and west of the Song Yen River. The 2d NVA Division, (Ist VC, 3rd NVA and the 21st NVA Regiments), R-20 Bn and V-25 Bn utilize Go Noi Island and the area to the south as a base area for training, administration, replenishment and other miscellaneous purposes. The mountainous area west of the Yong Sen River is utilized as a base area for the 31st NVA Regiment and the probable location of the 341st NVA Division with two regiments. It is believed that the 402nd Sapper Battalion also uses this area for its base camp. The only units which remain within the TAOR indefinitely are the Q-15th Dien Ban District Company and the Q-16th Hoa Van District Company. In addition to these two companies, village and hamlet guerrillas also remain within the TAOR at all times. Regular units only enter the TAOR on their way to DaNang or to conduct offensive actions against the ARVN or USMC units within the TAOR.
Village guerrillas only leave the area for training in the mountains west or Go Noi Island to the south.
The VC/NVA utilize Highway 1 and the waterways running north to south as major LOC's through the TAOR.
Defensive positions in close proximity to hamlets and tunnels within the hamlets are used as way stations during movement through or in the TAOR. b. Characteristics of the Area of Operation. (See current TACTA's).
c. Enemy Military Situation.
(1) Composition-Tab B and C.
(2) Locally Available Strength.
The enemy maintains 2 District companies (Q-15 and Q-16) in the TAOR at all times. In addition village guerrilla companies, lightly armed and poorly trained, are in the area. Their weapons consist of unknown number of 81mm mortars, LMG's and an assortment of small arms.
(3) Availability of reinforcements.
Immediate reinforcements from the R-20 and V-25 Local Force Battalions (400 men each) within 24 hours and 12 NVA Battalions (C) (and 6 (P)) within 36 hours supported by 108-122mm Rocket launchers, and other supporting arms possibly up to and including 152mm guns.
(4) Location and disposition-see Tab A.
(5) Movements and activities--see 27th Marines Intsums.
Weapons and ammunition are brought in country via Laos and sea infiltration. The main storage areas are located to the south of Go Noi Island and west of Song Yen. Food and medical supplies are obtained from the local economy.
(8) CBR-The enemy has used C/S in the area before and still retains the capability.
(9) Pecularities and Weaknesses.
The enemy enters the TAOR, conducts offensive actions, withdraws to his base camps for 30-60 days and returns to repeat the cycle again. Prior to offensive operations, civilians within the TAOR stock up on food, build rafts, work on defensive positions, and the enemy commences attacks on the periphery of the TAOR.
The enemy's main weakness is reliance on the local population for assistance in any operations, the inability to sustain long engagements, and recruitment problems from the local population.
a. To attack 27th Marines patrols anytime with squad size units 6-15 men.
b. To defend any hamlet with many squad size units 6-15 men each, anytime supported by unknown number 82mm Mortars, 60mm Mortars and B-40 Rockets, reinforced by unknown number VC main force companies.
c. To reinforce hamlet guerrillas in TAOR anytime with unknown number of VC mainforce companies.
d. To continue mining of LOC's during hours of darkness.
e. To launch rockets from sites, during the hours of darkness, within the Rocket Belt.
f. To continue to infiltrate through the TAOR with unknown number of units in a south to north direction.
g.To continue stockpiling of equipment in TAOR in preparation for second offensive.
h. To attack any ARVN or U.S. compound within the 27th Marines TAOR with up to four infantry Regiments (8000) supported by two 122mm Rocket Regiments and unknown number of 120mm Mortars, 60mm Mortars and B-40 Rockets. Reinforced by unknown number of local force guerrillas, Mainforce Gerrillas, and NVA regulars.
a. Relative Probability of Adoption of Enemy Capabilities.
a, d, g, e, b, c, f, h,
b. Effect of Enemy Capabilities on Commander's Mission.
The adoption of the capabilities or a combination of them will in some cases have a serious effect but not prevent the accomplishment of the assigned missions.
BY COMMAND OF COLONEL A. G. SCHWENK
N. G. RODES
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps