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Battle of Long Tan, The
The Battle of Long Tan is a 2006 ABC documentary made by Red Dune Films. Narrated by Sam Worthington of Avatar fame, and employing a mixture of veteran interviews, archival footage and dramatic reenactments, it tells the story of the events of 18 August 1966, when D Company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fought a fierce battle with local Vietcong forces at the Long Tan Rubber Plantation in the Phuoc Tuy province of the Republican of Vietnam. Despite being a documentary, it employs actors using uniforms and weapons correct for the period, making it eligible for inclusion.
Not to be confused with the similarly named action film, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, which dramatises the same historical battle.
The following weapons were used in the documentary The Battle of Long Tan:
The L1A1 is the main weapon of 6RAR in the film, not surprising it was the standard-issue Australian Defence Force rifle during the Vietnam War.
The M16 also appears fairly regularly in the documentary, carried mostly by officers and scouts. Sergeant Bob Buick (11 Platoon) recalls using the Armalite AR-15 in both the film and his memoirs; the AR-15 was in fact the basis for the M16 rifle, but it was possibly referred to as the Armalite by Australian and New Zealand troops in-country.
The M16A1 appears amongst Australians in a couple of scenes. It can be identified by the forward reciever pins and the "birdcage" flash hider. This is anachronistic, since the M16A1 was introduced amongst U.S. troops in 1967, and would have hardly reached Australians by that time.
The AK-47 is carried by Vietcong troops. In one scene, when 11 Platoon first makes contact with the enemy, 2Lt Gordon Sharp can be seen removing/pocketing the sole magazine and clearing the chamber of rounds to prevent immedtiate enemy re-usage.
Vietcong troops in the film also carry SKS rifles with underfolding bayonets.
Owen Submachine Gun
Australian Radio Telephone Operators (RTO's) carry the Owen Submachine Gun, probably due to it's light weight and reliability in jungle combat. Indeed, the Owen was in service in Vietnam until 1966, when it was replaced by the similar F1 Submachine Gun.
The M60 is used by Australian machine gunners in the documentary, both with the deployed bipod and without it.
The RPD is used by the Vietcong troops who ambush 11 Platoon.
The Browning M2HB is mounted on Australian M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC's) sent to reinforce D Company.