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Battle of Kontum
Part of the Vietnam War
Date May 2 – July 1, 1972
Location 14°21′22″N 108°0′28″E / 14.35611°N 108.00778°E / 14.35611; 108.00778 (Kontum)Coordinates: 14°21′22″N 108°0′28″E / 14.35611°N 108.00778°E / 14.35611; 108.00778 (Kontum)
Kontum, South Vietnam
Result South Vietnamese and U.S. victory
Belligerents
Flag of South Vietnam.svg South Vietnam
Flag of the United States.svg United States
Flag of Vietnam.svg North Vietnam
Commanders
Ly Tong Ba
John Paul Vann 
Vo Nguyen Giap
Casualties and losses
Over 100 Over 1,000

The Battle of Kontum was fought during North Vietnam's Nguyen Hue Campaign.

The North Vietnamese Army began their initial attacks by attempting to overrun Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) fire support bases and Tan Canh (14°39′29″N 107°49′33″E / 14.65806°N 107.82583°E / 14.65806; 107.82583 (Tan Canh)) during March and April. Hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, South Vietnamese soldiers were forced to abandon their positions, leaving behind the 105mm howitzers. This left the defence of Kontum to the South Vietnamese 22nd Division.

With their positions consolidated around Kontum two North Vietnamese divisions, well-supported by armour and artillery, launched the attack with a heavy barrage of artillery and rocket fire. During the early encounters, M-41 tanks of the South Vietnamese Army proved ineffective against Soviet-made T-54, forcing South Vietnamese tank crews to abandon their equipment. After the attackers came close to taking it all, by May 30, the tide of battle seemed to had turned in South Vietnam's favor. The North Vietnamese attack paused, giving the Saigon government troops time to regroup and dig in for the defense of the city. In direct if unofficial command of the ARVN army was an American, John Paul Vann who pulled every available ARVN unit into the battle.

What turned the tide, however, was not Vann's leadership but American firepower. In one three-week period, Vann ordered three hundred B-52 strikes in and around Kontum, then circled the huge craters they left, and called in Cobra gunships to quell the few remaining survivors. South Vietnamese troops were regaining their positions and by June sweeping operations were conducted to clear out the remaining pockets of enemy resistance.

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