Title: Vietnam 1968 – The Battle of Fire Support Base Coral/Balmoral
Author: Page-Allen, Courtney
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2008
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 48 pages
Comments: A Department of Veterans Affairs publication on the Battle of Fire Support Base Coral/Balmoral.
The Battle of Coral–Balmoral (12 May – 6 June 1968) was a series of actions fought during the Vietnam War between the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) and the North Vietnamese 7th Division and Viet Cong, 40 kilometres north-east of Saigon.
Following the defeat of the communist Tet offensive in January and February, in late April two Australian battalions with supporting arms were again redeployed from their base at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province to positions astride infiltration routes leading to Saigon, in order to interdict renewed movement against the capital. Part of the wider allied Operation Toan Thang I, it was launched in response to intelligence reports of another impending communist offensive, however the Australians experienced little fighting during this period.
Meanwhile the Viet Cong successfully penetrated the capital on 5 May, plunging Saigon into chaos during the May Offensive in an attempt to influence the upcoming Paris peace talks scheduled to begin on the 13th. During three days of intense fighting the attacks were repelled by US and South Vietnamese forces, and although another attack was launched by the Viet Cong several days later, the offensive was again defeated with heavy losses on both sides and significant damage to Saigon, as well as many civilian casualties.