In the last days of April 1975, the morale of the Saigon military in particular and Saigon Government in general was sinking. On April 25, President Nguyen Van Thieu fled Saigon and was soon followed by numerous senior civilian officials, and high-rankingmilitary officers afterward.
Meanwhile, from five directions, the Liberation Army laid a siege around Saigon, with Army Corps 3 from the Northwest, Army Corps 1 from the North, Army Corps 2 from the Southeast, Army Corps 4 from the East, Corps 232 and Division 8 of Military Region 8 from the West and the Southwest.
At 5p.m. on April 26, 1975, the operation started. Troops of the Liberation Army breached the outer defensive line of the enemy and blocked road and waterway transportation routes to the Southwestern region and to the sea.
From the East and Southeast, artillery batteries opened fire on targets in Trang Bom, Ho Nai, Bien Hoa, Nuoc Trong, Long Thanh, Duc Thanh, and Ba Ria. After the calculated barrage, infantry troops of Army Corps 2 and Army Corps 4 charged forward, beginning the offensive.
From the Eastern flank, Division 341 of Army Corps 4, supported by a tank battalion and an anti-aircraft artillery battalion, captured Trang Bom, one of the most important strongholds on the outer defensive line of the enemy. The battles lasted for hours with the engagement of tanks and armored vehicles of the two sides.
From the Southeast, on April 26, Army Corps 2 attacked and took hold of Duc Thanh military sub-district. After two hours of intense fighting, the Liberation Army captured Binh Gia, Ngai Giao, Nui Dat and then liberated Xuyen Moc and Long Le with the support of local forces. At 9 p.m. the same day, Infantry Regiment 141 and a tank company, with artillery fire support from the Army Corps, attacked Vung Tau town. The enemy troops launched a weak counter-attack and then fled the town.
Coming from the Northwest, the main attack direction, Army Corp 3 aimed to seize Tan Son Nhat Airport and the Saigon Joint General Staff. Accordingly, Division 10 was responsible for attacking and taking control of the two targets. Other units, including Infantry Division 316, Infantry Division 320A and Commando Regiment 198, supported the division by suppressing enemy troops in Trang Bang, Dong Du, Bong Bridge, and Sang Bridge on Road 1 and Road 15.
Army Corps 1 was responsible for opening the offensive from the Northern direction. Crossing a distance of 1,700km from the North, on April 14, 1975, Army Corps 1 reached the rendezvous point in Dong Xoai. On April 26, Army Corps 1 captured positions in northern Saigon and were ready to open fire. The Army Corps then exercised diversion tactics, forcing the enemy to order the 8th Regiment of its 5th Division to block Road 14.
From the West and Southwest, Infantry Division 5 of Corps 232 and Infantry Division 8 of Military Region 8 supported by Engineer Brigade 341 and local troops, attacked checkpoints along the two rivers of Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay in Long An province.
As a result, Road 4 was blocked and Saigon was completely besieged!
Translated by Huu Duong